My ordinary life

I know the language of your laugh, tripping over circumstance I know the story of your walk, I taste the sugar in the salt I taste to savour your little ways, the colours that you choose to paint your day

Monday, September 25, 2006

"Oy you a terrorist mate?"

Bedecked in a denim jacket, a Che Guevara T Shirt, with a rucksack and my brother's laundry, I was stopped and bag-searched at 0945 this morning under the 2000 Anti Terrorism Act by three uniformed police and a search dog at Kings Cross, just yards from the barrier.

In spite of the policeman being very nice (and even introducing me to the dog, which i wanted to stroke but felt it inappropriate), my stomach rumbled but that could have been hunger. He asked me a few basic question. if i was on my way to work, what work that was and how long I had been there. "For friggin ever" was not appropriate so I said "four years". He said he would give me a receipt, which would show the reason for any lateness. I was tempted to say "oh we must do this again". I was grateful for that, he does not know what my boss Pippa is like. She has heard all manner of excuse from me! He asked me for some id, I had my passport, which must have looked suspicious but I am in the process of renewing, and a credit card. He joked he would not charge me for the search. I mustered a laugh as the rush hour wandered by. He looked through my bag, saw a Nivea for Men oil control moisturizer and probably decided I was no threat. He also asked me to select my ethnic origin. British White was way down the list, which underlines how cosmopolitan London is, I almost ticked West Indian Rastafarian by mistake.

He told me politely if I had any grievances, I could call the following number and they both wished me a pleasant day. I miss the dog already. I am off now to calm that rumbling stomach, think of that poor shot Brazilian and ditch my jacket. Denim is out. And so am I.

Home is where the ... hassle is

After six hours on Megabus, with no leg room, air conditioning and a toilet that I presume, given the odour, was not working, I pulled into an attitude-packed Manchester at the 11th hour.

A bowl of chicken soup later, I was in bed and waking up to the Jewish New Year. My brother and mother had gone to synagogue to bitch about how religious the rabbi was for a traditional congregation and to chat with people in the lobby. I went for a walk with my father, whose conversation skills have deteriorated to 3 words an hour, and those three are not audible. The afternoon was a rollercoaster of emotion as my mother asked us why we were so distant from her? So we told her EVERYTHING about her negativity, depression, attitude. She cried. Mark and I made a pact in front of her that we would not call or visit until they had done one new thing each week. Snakes on a Plane is the first planned activity. If orders are followed until May, they get a weekend in Paris. We will have to go to on account of their stupidity and ability to say "Prolly Vous Francais", which my mother thinks gives her "conversational French". Mark's emotions went up and down as Bury twice surrendered a lead against 10-man Barnet and mine went up and down in the evening, following many a gin and tonic chez 25-year school friend Simon and Lindsay. Sunday pitched me with my cousin Lynda, who has just defeated breast cancer, briefly with her parents - the one and only Uncle Alan (my dad's older brother) and his wife, the toothless, forever-complaining-about-her-bad-back Shirley, who likes to compete on the "keeping in touch with family" stakes. Even though no one keeps in touch with her. How are you Aunty Shirl told me she had a very bad cold, a streaming cold, one of the worst she had ever had.

As evening approached, my grumpy brother Mark drove home at 110 mph, flying down the motorway, only moving from the outside lane for a speeding ambulance, in a successful bid to get his friend on the last evening train from Coventry to Reading. When we pulled into the station in the Midlands, the G Force stopped and his friend flew at the train doors with 12 seconds to spare. When I got home, I mistakenly became glued to Texas Chainsaw Massacre and old leather head, whose penchant for hooks and saws left me unable to sleep and dreaming of National Express. Mission over. Three months till the next.

Where are the normal people?

After watching the rather interesting Al Gore lecture on Global Warming and how all the rivers will recede, all the soil will dry up and the sun's inability to escape (should let my mother near it, those rays will be in outer space before you can say chicken soup), I went to the pub with 12 poofs from here. In the Duke of Wellington , I was chatting to a drunken Geordie, a features editor at Attitude Magazine, when this Clark Kent lookalike turned to me. He was being chatted up by an older gentleman in his 60s and wanted to escape. Instead of saying "I think we are at different stages in life, I am not interested", he asked if I would "go along with his plan".

Reticent, to say the least, I told him that would depend on what it was.

The scenario unfolded that we both pretended to work as lawyers at the same firm (although it emerged I was the inferior one) and I was to urge him to go back and complete a deal at the office as a made up woman called Sandra was expecting him. I was stellar. You would have been amazed. I was almost as Bollywood as you. Only English. I should have been in acting never mind "law", I told Clark after.

Before the old man disappeared and my guilt levels rose, the drunken Geordie decided to wind me up further. "You never told me you were sleeping with someone else, you bastard" he cried as my face contorted into disbelief.

"What are you doing to me honey" I yelled.

The Benny Hill farce evaporated with my self esteem to the offer of drinks and more by both of them. I give up.

Where are the normal people?