Brown Paper Packages Tied up With String

I’m felling really low at the moment. It’s not often that I feel like this and I’m normally a glass-half-full type but a combination of things: it’s Saturday night, when my old life would have seen me out in Bexley, probably playing poker. That thought has made me pine for that period and rue my actions which landed me where I am now. My ex-fiance has made it very clear that she’s gone; that I’ve lost her but I do miss her and the life and home we shared; the things we did. I miss Bexley and Sidcup and all therein, including places and friends. Were it not for some foolish acts on my part, I’d still be there now and 13th February would have been mine and my ex-fiance’s first anniversary. We were meant to be for keeps but I fucked it up and 13th February is going to be a very tough day for me.
That in turn is making me pine for my most recent ex-girlfriend, who also became a fiance and whom I was going to live together with. I miss the lazy days spent in bed together, just cuddling, holding hands and maintaining maximum flest-to-flesh contact. I have to be realistic though and admit that us getting together was perhaps inadvisable and that our personalities made for a sometimes explosive mix.

I miss the company; shallow though it may be: someone to love and reciprocate; someone to care for. I am indeed co-dependent.
But most of all I miss my children. I don’t yet know what – if anything – my ex-wife has told them about the prevailing situation: hopefully just that daddy is unwell. I’m getting better kids and I’ll be back to my babies.
I even miss staying at mum and dad’s to an extent. Even though it was often like a prison (tailed constantly by a warder), there were home comforts. And although I’ve had four different homes in as many years, I miss the stability. I miss TV, DVDs, music, heat light, hot baths and meals; the ability to do laundry on a whim; I miss cooking. And if they’re honest, all of my previous hosts miss my cooking (at least one said they would when I left).
Saturdays are not good either as there’s no CRI, so I don’t get to see that particular group of friends. And of course tomorrow is Sunday, so there’s no library either to sit, read, write, research and learn: to keep busy, constructive and distracted.
I’ve only seen two of my new-found friends today (Sophie and Georgia) and even that was fleeting. The weather’s shit for about the 30th day in a row and it’s all combined to put me on this downer. I suppose I should be grateful that days like this are rare and as I suffer depression, they’re to be expected.
I have tomorrow night to look forward to, when I’m being taken to the Tunbridge Wells Shject. I get a free hot dinner and stay over if I like the feel of the place, returning to Tonbridge tomorrow. Then on Monday addressing the benefits situation – which has proven complicated – is at the top of a very long to-do list.
Searching for other reasons to be cheerful, touching wood with crossed fingers that my small sparks application is approved (the signs are good). I have to look forwards and not back; outwards and not in.
But looking back there are memories and most are fond recollections of a life that was and could have been; of times spent with the ex-wife and the kids, the ex-fiance and the ex-girlfriend. I’ll get the kids back. And then there’s the short-term memories, of meeting the ladies today and of spending most of yesterday with my friend Becca (have I mentioned she looks like Patsy Kensit, only younger and prettier? We’re just friends though and mutually beneficial ones at that).
Then there’s the even shorter term memory of a fun night spent with my friends Sadie and Em last night and getting self-defence tips from sadie’s brother Brandon to supplement those I’m learning from my friend Blue (the undefeated cage fighter). Myself and the girls were in town, pissing around until 3AM and thinking about it is making me smile.
The girls paid a brief visit to Gilbert Arse when I dropped off some stuff and they concluded that it is shit: even the best estate agent couldn’t polish that turd.
Having got to bet at 4AM, I was awake again by 6.30 for some reason. Sleep deprivation is probably another contributing factor to my current low mood. At least I should sleep well tonight. I’ll stay out for as long as my eyes can remain open, then go back to Gilbert Arse to do the only thing I wish to do there: sleep. And hopefully sleep in tomorrow to lose as much of a boring Sunday as possible.
I’m in McDonald’s having a coffee as I write this and hereafter I shall head to the railway station for the evening, to read, write and meet people. I’ll go there via Lidl, where I shall procure snacks (I still think Lidl should open small convenience stores, as other supermarkets have and take a leaf out of Waitrose’ book when naming them: Little Lidl).
I shall also pass Tonbridge Taxis’ office en route and smile as I always do at one of their many slogans plastered in the wondows: “New York, Paris, Maidstone. We’ll get you part of the way there”.
Despite the eBay listing going tits up (apparently I may only sell a limited number of vouchers per month, so need to split the three months I have into one month tranches), I’ve been frugal enough this week (and had food donations) to have a small cash surplus; so that’s nice. I think I’ll treat myself to something from 99p Stores. But seriously, benefits, housing and work are all being sorted out now that I’ve overcome a few hurdles. More to clear and hoops to jump through but I’m on it.
One of the things which persuaded my ex-fiance (the first one) to come over to the dark Side when she was wavering between me and her then boyfriend (thief? Me?) was a distractive conversation we had about favourite things, during which we discovered how much we had in common. This is a system I’ve employed before and since to assess my compatibility with a potential partner.
For the record, my top fives (in no particular order):
It’s a Wonderful Life
The Green Mile
The Shawshank Redemption
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
(All rather mainstream and I could go on debating with myself on further inclusions, so subject to change).
TV shows
Better off Ted
Hawaii Five-0 (the new one)
The Walking Dead
Battlestar Galactica (the new one)
(Also subject to revision, as are the other categories which follow. TV shows could even be broken down into genres (another time)).
Actors / actresses
Robert DeNiro
Ronnie Barker
Jodie Foster
Sigourney Weaver (or Rodney, after Dave)
Gary Oldman
Women you would
Patsy Kensit
Michelle Ryan
Zooey Deschanel
Caroline Catz
Jodie Foster
Men you would
Michel Roux Jr.
Marco Pierre White
Richard Osman
(Although I don’t deny that side of my sexuality, I’m struggling with this one).
Sean Lock
Lee Mack
Victoria Wood
Nina Conti
Norm Macdonald
Mr Vertigo, by Paul Auster
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (a trilogy in five parts), by douglas Adams
Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
Polaris, by Stanislaw Lem
Diamond Dogs (David Bowie)
The Liberty of Norton Folgate (Madness)
Sophie Auster (Sophie Auster)
Welcome to the Walk Alone (The Rumble Strips)
Kick Inside (Kate Bush)
’74 – ’75 (The Connels)
68 Guns (The Alarm)
Since Yesterday (Strawberry Switchblade)
Manchild (Neneh Cherry)
Prettiest Eyes (The Beautiful South)
Steak (rare), chips, mushrooms, peas, onion rings and corn-on-the-cob
Fish (rock) and chips with mushy peas and tartare sauce
Roast beef (rare), roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, gravy etc.
Full English breakfast: sausage, bacon, egg, fried slice, mushrooms, black pudding etc.
Stew and dumplings (with white bread to soak up the gravy / juices)
Indian: Dansak (chicken or lamb), sag aloo and peshwari naan
Chinese: sweet and sour king prawn balls, crispy shredded beef and Singapore rice vermicelli noodles; and crispy duck with pancakes if indulging in a starter as well.
Rock and chips
Pizza: pepperoni
KFC: original recipe pieces and fries
(And Big Mac meals from McDonald’s, meat and chips or doner kebabs from kebab joints…)
Cheese, sliced apple, pickled onions and mayonnaise on white bread
Cheese, beetroot and mayonnaise on white
Hummus, Halumi cheese and roasted peppers in pitta
Chicken, mayonnaise and lettuce (properly seasoned) in French bread
Steak and horseradish sauce in a grilled baguette
Singers (purely on merit of their voices and not material)
David Bowie
Karen Carpenter
Alison Moyet
Freddie Mercury
Leanie Kaleido
I do like a list (that’s my CDO: OCD but I like to have the letters in the correct order) and I’m sure there’ll be more to follow but for now, you know more about me and can conduct a compatibility test.
I’ve been offered some casual work in the kitchen of a Turkish restaurant: probably just dishes at first but if it pans out (see what I did there?) it could be a foot onto the ladder of the restaurant business; something I’ve always felt may be a vocation of mine. A complete new start from the bottom but as I’ve said elsewhere, I value job satisfaction over financial reward.
I spent most of today in the library reference section as usual and specifically in the section on local history and Tonbridge miscellany. I perused a book entitled Around Tonbridge in Old Photographs, collected by Charlie Bell (my old drama teacher’s name: I wonder if it’s the same one?) and Tonbridge: a Pictorial History, by Ivan Green. Both were fascinating and nostalgic in equal measure.
Later in the day and I’m at the railway station. Despite not seeing any of the usual suspects, I did bump into a couple of old acquaintances earlier in the form of Laura and Joe. To place those names into context, both are police officers. Laura was the one who supported me – literally propped me up – when I collapsed in the doctors’car park a few weeks back; Joe arrested me a while back for theft. We all get on amicably and they know my current situation, so just like the staff and revenue Protection Officers at the station, they’re fine with me being there. That way they know where I am. They’re nice people, we always stop for a chat and they’re almost friends of mine.
I’m pretty much the poet and story teller in-residence at the station; a label I don’t object to and I enjoy writing poems and telling stories to those who pass through (when I’m asked to), perhaps bringing a little sunshine. I’ve even written a couple of short stories fo kids (when asked to by their parents).
So I’ve reviewed the situation and found silver linings.
When the dog bites; when the bee stings, I simply remember my favourite things and then I don’t feel so bad.

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