Monday, 7 August 2017

Memoirs

They say "everyone has a book in them" - no idea who the "they" are (I'm sure many people have more than one - and some have probably literally got one "in them"!!!. I have 2. One I came with the concept for whilst still at school. I have a beginning, an end, a middle, yet not a single clue on how to merge them all together. I even took a writers course a few years back, which was great, yet only served to prove to me that it's ok having these ideas but if you can't put them into a proper context and order, then you're pretty much doomed. I know we are our own worst critics when it comes to most things (I am definitely guilty of such) and that we are never going to be entirely happy with what we've done (regardless of whether it's writing a book, carving a sculpture or designing a house) but when you know, you know, and I know that it doesn't matter how hard I try, my books will remain just a idea within me. 

A few years back I did have a bash at writing the one I came up with at school; I got to over 60000 words, and the concept is still really good; sadly the writing is not so. The thoughts and ideas are whizzing around in my head, yet I am unable to transfer them to paper, and so they will remain forever, partly completed.

That remains the same for my 2nd one - my memoir. 

I've not always been the middle-aged bore you find before you today. I've lived a little, I've seen some things, I've experienced a lot more. Again though, I've no idea how to put everything into the words needed to make it interesting to someone else, and so it will remain something that only I will ever get to read (as with the work of fiction I have started it). I'm sure there are some of you out there who could take my couple of paragraphs full of drivel and turn them into something amazingly captivating; alas, that is not something I am capable of. One thing I have always been aware of is my own limitations; it doesn't matter how much I tell myself "I can do anything" there are some things which I cannot do. Actually, that's a lie; I am perfectly capable of doing them, I'm just not good at excelling in them, and when it comes to books I believe you should always be able to give nothing short of excellent. If I'm handing over money to an author I want them to damn well make sure I'm getting my money's worth. That's got me into trouble before - I wrote a review on a book once which was (deservedly) less than glowing; this ended up with me getting all manner of abuse. I thought I'd shared it with you all before but have just been back through all my old posts (good lord, I do waffle some crap, don't I?) and cannot find it. I had the author, his family, his friends and random people who had read his book, bombard me with shit and abuse because I dared to say I didn't like it (I listed in detail why I didn't like it and was never once rude). I don't want someone to pay for something I've written for them to then leave me a bad review because they think it shit. I'd rather keep my rubbish to myself (unless of course it's a blog entry, then I'm happy to share 'rubbish' as you will see if you go back through my archives 😂😂😂).

However, because I kind of heard from someone the other day (a right blast-from-the-past) I thought I'd share an excerpt of the memoir entry where he is first mentioned. Feel free to criticise it (in a nice, constructive way though - just being mean for the sake of it is not nice!!).

***""Saturday, April 24th 1982 - I was just 9 days passed my 12th birthday, staying with an Aunt and Uncle for the weekend. I’m not sure if there was a particular reason I was staying there - I don’t remember Mum and Dad leaving me so they could go out for the night, for my 4 year old brother would have also been with me if that was the case. I can only assume I’d asked to stay there - I did love my Uncle (not so much his wife) and their son who was 3 years older than me; their daughter 5 years older. It was good to hang out with older cousins (not quite sure they always thought so!!). Their son and I had a really close bond for many years; I thought the world of him. He’d been ill as a child, the illness leaving him a little slow when it came to learning, causing his mother to treat him in not-quite-the-same-way I think she would have treated him had he been an academic genius. She always saw herself as someone being way above her station so to have a son that wasn’t a genius reflected badly on her (in her mind, at least).

I loved that he never treated me like the ‘annoying little cousin’, which I am sure at times I was. Some of the long walks just the 2 of us took (with their dog) around the town they lived in ,were some of the most pleasant times of my teenage years. Come wind, rain, or shine, if I was staying with them, him and I, a couple of times each day, would have to walk the dog.

Anyway, I digress; back to that particular Saturday night.

I remember it was raining, yet not; that real fine drizzle stuff which makes it appear like there is a fog hanging around more than it does actual rain. We’d not long finished dinner; my aunt was washing up, my cousin (male) had disappeared upstairs, his sister was in the shower getting ready to go out for the night (she was turning 17 the next day so was off clubbing that night with her friends - back in those days if you looked old enough, and dressed the part, the bouncers would let you in). I was about to sit down in the “living area” when my Uncle appeared at the doorway between the hall and the area I was in - their house had a “Best room” at the very front of the house that only the ‘adults’ were allowed in. The back of the house had a dining/living room with a kitchen behind; these rooms weren’t completely separate for there was a wall halfway along the width of the rooms, between the 2. The ‘living room’ housed a 6 seat dining table, a 2 seater sofa, an armchair and a tv in the corner; this is the room us ‘kids’ were allowed to sit.

Beckoning me to him (I got the impression he was trying to keep himself hidden from my Aunt) I made my way to him, quietly, whence he passed me his keys saying “there are flowers, chocolates and some wine in the boot of my car; run out and grab them for me, then pop them on the table in the best room”. Smiling, I nodded to let him know I understood what he was asking,  took the keys and crept quietly to the front door. Opening it gave me chills, for the air was thick with the drizzle, a crazy orange glow appearing to hang in the sky every 20 feet (or so) from the street lights. Anything, or anyone, could have been waiting down the end of the path, around the corner, or even just behind the door - I’d watched way-too-many horror movies! In fact I likened it to the scene in the Exorcist when the vicar walks down the road (you all know that scene?). The only difference being his movie set appeared black and white at that point; mine was definitely glowing orange. I considered grabbing my coat from the banister behind me, so much in that I turned around, moved my cousins coat from the top of mine, then thought about how silly it was when their front garden was little more than a forecourt area (roughly 10 feet from door to gate) and my uncles car was parked on the road directly outside the house, meaning I only had the sidewalk to cross after the garden.

As you exited out of the front door you had a path which ran directly to the end; this was wide enough for one person to comfortably walk down, 2 could just about squeeze by each other - at a push; to the right of the path was a narrow strip of soil (with plants) and a 4ft high brick wall, to the left, a flower bed with grass the other side of that. I could make it to the end, out to the car and back again without getting too wet - of this I was sure.

Deep in my own little world I got 3 steps down the path when the outline of 4 people appeared, heading directly for me, 2 of whom were already on the path. I looked up to see who it might be and found myself staring into the eyes of a boy I’d never seen before. I’m sure there were sparks (literally) flying between the 2 of us, for the boy who had been standing behind him jumped back, the 2 girls with them, who had still been on the street at that point, stepped away from the entrance gate. In that one moment, that split second of time, I knew exactly what people meant when they said for them it was “love at first sight”. I was 12 years old, I should not have been feeling what I was feeling, I shouldn’t have even known what it was I was feeling, yet I knew. This was the man (boy) I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. How crazy is that?

Anyway, I finally had to break off eye contact; I’d been set a task by my Uncle, I couldn’t fail. That is how I found my whole body shudder and tingle, for in order to get to the car where the flowers, chocolates and wine were waiting, I had to make my way by this boy who had gotten me all flustered; the only way to do that was for us to squeeze by each other. One misplaced step and he would be knee deep in soil from the flower beds and I would find myself plunging over the wall into the next door neighbours forecourt. He took charge of the situation, placed his hands on my shoulders, pressing firmly, guiding me by him; I could not take my eyes off him. Had my life ended in that instant I would have honestly been able to say, when I arrived in the next world “I died happy”. Nothing, and nobody, has ever made me feel the way I felt in that moment. I loved Louis deeply, would have married him, yet even he never came close to making feel that way. Every single fibre, muscle, joint and nerve ending in my body tingled. My breath was quite literally “taken away”. He was, still is, the only man who has ever made me feel such a way. Even now, just the thought of him can make me tingle :)

Finally his hands let go of my shoulders and I (flustered) made my way to the car, not daring to look at the other boy and females who were with him. I assumed (correctly) that one of the girls was his girlfriend; even at such a young age I knew it was wrong to want another woman’s man. I needn’t have been so considerate, for by the time I’d retrieved the items I’d been sent for, she’d twigged that I’d got a crush on “her man” and took great delight in shouting it to him, where he was now standing at the front door waiting for my cousin. Those 13 steps (oh yes, I counted them) from the car to the house, were possibly the longest steps I have ever taken (will ever take) in my life. The girls made comments about me having a crush, the other boy (I never did find out who he was) asked if the flowers were for him (something I’ve heard many times since when I’ve been out delivering for my job - let me tell you now people, it’s boring and so bloody unoriginal; it’s also not funny. You are not the first person to say it). The boy who’d made me blush? Well, as I got up close to him, he blocked my entrance to the doorway, then said out loud “ahh, you shouldn’t have; I’m not up for a night in with you tonight, so you’ve wasted your money”. I went from loving him to hating him in an instant, although by the time he’d finally moved to let me inside, I’d gone straight back to ‘being in love’.

Once back inside, I sat in the living area by myself for the rest of the night (my aunt and uncle holed themselves up in the 'best room') where I had way-too-much-time to think about my encounter with the ‘arsehole’ I’d just fallen in love with - yes, he was an arsehole. His behaviour to me in front of his friends when he stopped me entering the house was the kind of thing only an arsehole would do.

My poor male cousin when he came home. I grilled him non-stop, for hours. I was sleeping in his room that night too (he made me sleep on the floor with just a blanket) and I didn’t stop; I asked him question after question after question. In the end he threw his pillow at me, telling me to “shut the fuck up”. I really was the annoying little cousin that night!. ""***

There you go, I write the same kind of crap in my private journals, as I write for all of you 😂😂😂. For the record, yes, I do still have the exact same feelings for the boy (man) now, as I did back then. If only he'd felt the same!

I do still hold on to hope though, that one day, someone else will come along and make me realise that the boy (man) is nothing in comparison!






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