Another long silence because I’ve been working on a novella, or possibly a novel…. We shall see. This is a little flash all about mid-life nonsense – inspired by my own mid-life, other people’s mid-lives and the arty, creative life of my home town. Hope you enjoy.
Vomiting the rainbow
So I ate the entire large packet of Skittles on a stomach lined only with vodka and tonic and threw up the rainbow. It worked beautifully – the speckled, smearing mucus was shot through with bright, paint-box colours. Like fairy sick.
Now my head is vast and pulsing. It feels like it’s filling the bathroom. If you open that door you’ll scream – my great big head blinking back at you. But, of course, you won’t. So I’ll wait for it to shrink and, in a minute, I’ll flush my fairy sick. It does seem a shame not to show you but I don’t think I’d better.
The best bit about this breakdown or crisis, or whatever I’m calling it today, is the creativity. I’m only really able to stop hurting when I’m creating something – a story, poem, or new style of vomit. So, consequently, I’m creating ALL THE TIME. Because I am utterly shit at ‘being with the pain.’ Why would anyone ‘be with the pain’ if they could find a way to give it the slip for a while? Someone asked me the other day if I’d swap the mess of it all for contentment again if I had to give up everything I’ve created under the influence of the suffering. I would, of course, because I’m not a real artist. Just a piss artist.
Vomiting the rainbow is not something I’ll repeat. It was a performance piece for one night only. The beer thing is (regrettably) rather like the Ladyboys of Bangkok at the Festival – something I suspect will be back again and again even though everyone is bored of it now. I know it’ll cost me a whole morning of heaving and the opprobrium of the teenagers too.
It’s all recurring nonsense, of course. Replays of losses and messes past. And even fairy sick was an echo of a night aged fifteen when I discovered Campari and produced a nice little splat of girly vomit on the pavement. If the writing is any better than my teenage diaries then I suppose that’s something. And I have yet to actually sit in a gutter outside a house party in Hanover and wail like I did that time when She disappeared into the front room with that gorgeous American woman and told everyone to lie to me about where she was. Guess it could still happen though – the wailing in the gutter…
Here I am then – aged forty three with the capacities of a seventeen year old. And not one bastard warned me that the smug me of my thirties would morph into this monster. If I had suspected it then I’d have done a Reggie Perrin for a year or two and saved everyone the trouble. I’d have sorted something kinder than a pile of clothes on a beach. I’d have gone for a library assistant job in Edinburgh, a bedsit, value baked beans and no-one I know witnessing all this disgrace. And a promise to be back when I was sane again.
Ah, well, never mind. Tonight is a whole new canvas before me. Hold on while I just see if my middle-aged knees can do getting up from a gutter. They can. Oh good.