On Inappropriate Laughter

There is a certain kind of laughter that I can always imitate quite well in person, but as sometimes happens, it’s hard to type out, but I’m sure you’ll know what I mean anyway.

If I know I shouldn’t be laughing, it’s going to sound like “Ohhh ho ho ho shiiiiiiit….. hah. Fuuuuuck”, which definitely has some cringe value and usually becomes funnier with time, but the gold standard in my opinion is when I or someone else laughs first, and then realises how fucked up that was.

I was bullied as a kid. To be fair, I was easy pickings: mixed-race, Mormon, super-nerdy (like, smugly correcting teachers and other students alike, precociously pedantic, hardly endearing), and such. Well, in my opinion, we were all bullied as children, however frequently or blatant, so when I go on about being made fun of as a kid, I’m not trying to steal the world’s smallest violin from anyone. It’s hard being a kid, and kids can be really fucking bad at relating to each other whilst navigating the technicolour maelstrom that is childhood for themselves because they’re only starting out socially. It’s OK, really, I get it.

At least, I feel like it’s OK now. Looking back, I now realise that I wasn’t always hated by the other kids at school, at least not 100% of the time. I talk to some of the people I went to school with, and they say they remember me as being witty and quick to defend myself verbally when I could. It’s hard to remember at first, but it gradually returns. I then realise I’ve been remembering myself in such a sad way – I wasn’t just some tool in a stupid shirt going on about why “I before E except after C” is mostly bullshit – I was in fact, a thinker and a quipper. Yes, awkward as hell, but that’s fine, because I had my moments, and they were good ones. I thank my friends for reminding me that I really wasn’t so bad, really, it’s such a relief.

Here are some recently reminisced-upon examples:

– in reply to a teacher who would NOT stop calling me ‘Irene’ after they realised how much it annoyed me at the time: “If you don’t know the difference between the letter L and the letter R, then don’t turn up tomorrow. What do you shave with; laser braids? You fucking muppet; grow up.”

– in reply to another kid who kept calling me “Island in the Sun”: “Hahahahaha. Fuck off before I give you a real nickname that actually rhymes and will catch on. You do not want your children getting ripped out for being Fartin’ Martin’s wee nugglets or whatever. I will blame all my trumps on you and ruin your life, bud.”

– the time I was sent outside for being less than a minute late, and then decided to try and attach a wall clock to my sweater (yes, imagine a five-foot-fucktard in pigtails, balancing on a plastic chair, grasping at blank parts of the wall until I got it… just) and talk like Flavor Flav for the rest of the day, becuase y’all muuuuhhhhhhfuckas needa know whaaaat time it is, yeeeeeuh. I also screamed “THE FLAV NEVER BEHAVES” through a window during an exam. So yeah, I learned what time detention was, yeeeeeuh.

– in reply to a student teacher who made a joke about how my middle name (Cecelia) sounds like a disease: “Oh, you’re making a funny joke! About chlamydia! Hey, nice! Not fucked up and creepy at all! I’m sure I can just go home and tell my dad about how a grown man inferred that I am somehow affiliated with STDs in front of the whole class, and everything will be fine. I’m sure that won’t fuck you up at all. And I’m sure it was all worth it, being the cool guy who rips out nerds like the cool kids do.”

– in reply to a student who decided to spread a weird rumour about me having head lice: “Me and lice are a bit like your mum and cock. She had it once, hated it, and gets reminded of it all the time, because of you. But don’t worry, she’s making lemonade out of lemons and I respect that.”

I remembered myself saying and doing some things, but not always the overall response. A lot of my… I don’t know… outbursts(?) were in front of large groups, but I was usually looking for a response from only one person, maybe two out of the whole group. I was looking for inappropriate laughs, looking back, I know I was.

I’m not sure when it happened, but I remember having this weird thought that if I could make people laugh, it meant that I was worth something. Something good, something joyful. I felt a little bit loved when the whole class or maybe just some of them would laugh, but I was looking to make the bully/bad guy laugh most of all. I’m sure it would have been nice to make everyone laugh and have the bully go cry in the bathroom, but I was reaching further than that. And, more than a few times, I succeeded. Looking someone in the eye as they laugh against their own will at something I said about them gives me a feeling I’m not too good at describing, but it feels like a victory of some kind, and I feel comforted when I know for sure that this has contributed to the character of the person I am today, in a way I’ll never be ashamed of.

I will always look for that knowing laugh that me and some of the so-called mean or tough kids shared. I feel like they were misunderstood like me, just with more friends. Anyway, I wanted that special kind of uncontrollable laughter that unintentionally cuts all the tension created by the unsaid and unfair and uncontrollable things that happen to us all. It was my way of saying: You think the ‘audience’ loves you? Well, they love me now. They really love neither of us. You know it, and you love me, if only for a second, for knowing it too. Take my humanity, you bitch, you already gave me yours. It’s OK; we’re OK now.

So yeah, give me your worst. You’ll never give any kind of shit I haven’t given myself. Even if I seem miserable for the longest time, I’ll eventually make you fucking laugh so hard that we’ll all forget how ugly this was, if I get the chance to. Seems rather appropriate to me, like your mum and cock. If she doesn’t take it so hard, she’ll have a better time, bloody oath does she love the wang though, oh my god, make her stop, [inappropriate hand gestures, pretending to choke on ghost dick at a glory hole disguised as a lemonade stall], your mama’s outta control, haha.

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Woman’s Day: Five Parts

The Fight

A familiar place, familiar faces, and a familiar feeling. 
The family home. 

Smooth justification, sudden declaration,
It’s normal if it happens often enough.
Sucky baby’s got it tough.
Never complains about it enough.
Minor altercation.
Minor inbound, heading for station.


The Flight

Face red; thoughts blue, turning black.
Arm dead; officer who?
Take me back.
Stockholm, hold the phone.
Please?


The Fit

I DID WHAT ANYONE ELSE WOULD DO YOU HAVE NO FUCKING IDEA I’M JUST A KID THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO MAKE SURE IT NEVER GETS THIS BAD BUT I MEAN IT’S NOT THAT BAD REALLY PLEASE CAN YOU TELL THEM IT’S OK AND I’M OK AND IT’S GOING TO BE OK MY ARM HURTS BUT NOT AS MUCH AND NOBODY HAS TO KNOW APART FROM YOU GUYS PLEASE I WANNA GO TO BED THIS IS A SCHOOL NIGHT AND WHEN YOU FALL ASLEEP ALL THE TIME PEOPLE START ASKING QUESTIONS MY UNIFORM IS AT HOME MY BOOKS AND SHIT ALL MY SHIT IS AT HOME I CAN’T BREATHE I HAVE MISSED SO MUCH CLASS ALREADY AND I’M STARTING TO FAIL THINGS FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER FUCK I CANNOT BREATHE TAKE ME HOME TAKE ME HOME TAKE ME HOME TAKE ME HOME IF YOU WANT TO HELP ME THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO DO IT WHY ARE YOU BEING LIKE THIS PLEASE STOP IGNORING ME EVERYBODY IGNORES ME I UNDERSTAND I AM INSANE AND ANNOYING AND DRAMATIC AND SHIT I’M SORRY I’M DONE BEING A BIG IDIOT AND I WANT TO STOP I AM SO SORRY  PLEASE JUST TAKE ME HOME.
PLEASE.

No. Calm down. 

FUCKING WHAT THE FUCK SERIOUSLY CUNT FUCKING WHAT THE CUNTING FUCK I DO NOT NEED TO CALM DOWN.

silence

– more… uh… silence –

OK.
FINE.
SORRY.
TIRED.

Nearly there. Sit tight.

– SILENCE, SLEEP –


The Fallout

Pressed, processed, depressed, dejected.
This is why I don’t make my own lunch anymore. Who knows when I’ll get to eat it? Oh, god, who knows when I’ll next eat. I’m not hungry. I’m not. No.
Inky hands make me feel like an idiot housecat stuck in a storm drain.
Look around and down.
Not free, but no longer bound.

FUK DA PIGZ  – how original.
TANIA SUX COX 02X XXX XXXX– and has broken an angry person’s heart, maybe…? Or an oblique marketing strategy? Hmmm… Nobody’s allowed a phone in here, so this person has committed this to heart. And expects others to do it too? Really, dude?
DUMPEDIN – is that a play on Dunedin, or did someone become a biohazard? The Power of One. The Shawshank Redemption. Shit. I don’t want to touch anything in here. What’s worse, the bench or the floor? I’m going to be sick. Making this place even grosser. Fuck. Shit.
IHTFP – yeah, me too. But I think that’s the point of it.

“Could I please have something to read other than the walls? Pleeeeeeease?”


The Favour

“Sure, hang on.”

A magazine, “relieved” of its staples, comes through a panel in the door.

“You’re not allowed a pen, sorry. The crosswords might be missing anyway. Are you hungry?”

Fuck.

“Hello? Would you like something to eat?” 

“Thank you for this. Newer than the ones at the doctor’s. Better condition, too.”

– nervous laughter –

(in the background) OI CUNT WHO’D SHE SUCK TO GET A FUCKIN FEED OI PIG CUNT.

“Better go deal with this. Dunno what you kids like, but that’s a Woman’s Day. Better than nothing, eh?”


That’s a woman’s day.
It’s better than nothing.

A seriously depressing tale

about buttholes falling out. Like, right out of your butthole.

Straight up. Buttholes can just come right out of a person.

Did I mention this is going to be depressing? Because it will be.

You know what an anal prolapse is, right? It’s when your butthole falls out.

Here’s an article by Michelle Lhooq for Vice about buttholes falling out (also kinda about the porn industry), if you’re as curious as I was about what the term ‘rosebud‘ means. And in that case, you might just be an over-thinker whose mind hurts from thinking too much about something you’ve seen in life and what might have caused it.

Guilty as charged.

I better stop putting off explaining exactly what I mean.

Two days ago, while procrastinating something somewhat important, I came across the article I linked to earlier. After reading it, I moved on and didn’t think much more about it. I did the somewhat important thing (eventually, and it took up a lot of time, I might add) and then came back home to go to sleep.
Of course, faced with the sight of my ceiling, my mind went into overdrive.

When I was nine years old, I went with my family on a vacation to Tonga, which you may or may not know is my mother’s country of origin. Anyway, we were there for quite a while, maybe two months, and generally, I loved being there. Some extremely insane shit happened, but those are a bunch of other stories for another day or two. All in all, I loved the place and I was sad to return home.

One of the things that remains burnt into my mind is something I saw whilst there.

Please bear with me; my poor li’l brain hurts and I know I mentioned this is going to be depressing and involves buttholes. And now it involves my childhood. Ugh, even better. Anyway.

I was wandering through my aunt’s yard, or rather, I was about to, because I remember standing in the back doorway, looking for my shoes. It was a beautifully sunny afternoon and I think I was about to go into the part of the family land that has guava vines and mango trees. I was also hoping to see one of the neighbour’s sows afterwards, and her relatively new piglets. I remember I was going to try and name them, even though I already had trouble telling them apart, but oh well.

Shoes: found. Yay, walkies. I saw my younger cousin sitting on the grass a few metres from me, so I called out to him, thinking he might wanna come and pick fruit with me and maybe even feed some to the sow I was fixing to see. I thought it might be a cute, fun thing to do with my little cousin, because of course taking a three-year old to see pigs and piglets is cute and fun.

Relatively simple childhood thought.

I called his name, and he jumped a little. Oh no, I thought. I gave him a fright. It seemed OK as soon as he saw it was me, because he replied with my name and leaned forward to get up from his sitting position. As toddlers are sometimes wont to do, he’d been running around in the yard without pants on after a funny little water-fight some of us had earlier, because it was pretty damned hot that day.

He started screaming and crying when he got into this semi-squatting position, and I looked and noticed something was hanging from him, so I thought he’d sat on something and it was hurting him, maybe? I was confused, so I went over to help and comfort him.

I noticed the thing hanging from him was pink and sore-looking and had pieces of grass and grains of sand stuck to it. I was horrified and confused, but I wanted to help. Not that I knew what to do. Just as I was a couple of steps away, his mother appeared and yelled at him to stop screaming. She then picked him up (very hurriedly and roughly, I might add) and walked past me to take him inside.

As I embarked on the walk / tiny adventure I wanted so badly, I wondered what the fuck just happened. Left alone with my thoughts, I racked my brain to guess what the fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck just happened.

Earlier today, I found myself realising that he had an anal prolapse. That was what was attached to him. That was what was causing him to scream his sad screams. So, I wondered, what causes a little boy’s rectum to just come out of where it belongs like that? A little boy who was handed from home to home. One who jumped in fright when his name was called out.

I froze in abject horror.

NO. 

HE WAS SO LITTLE. 

NO. 

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO. 

My eyes welled up as I realised what happened.

Sorry, I better cut this short. I can’t presently deal with this.

the Morning of Doom

Ah, fucks. Fuckity-fuck-fucks.

Ah, outside world. We meet again. Who’s that bright fucker in the sky? Shhh, I’ma stare him out real quick.

this state
makes itself
hard to explain

Formes Frustes – Untitled (2015)

Once, when I was about ten or so, there was the Morning of Doom.

I’ll never remember the date or even the season, but I remember waking up and seeing the pre-dawn glow through my curtains, and it made me cry uncontrollably.

I had time to fall asleep again before I had to get up for school, but things didn’t work out that way.
I clenched my teeth and scrunched my eyes shut as tight as I could. I sang to myself. I wrote “YOU’RE OK” on my arm and stared at it. I knelt down and prayed to anything that’d listen.
However, the crying didn’t stop until my mother came to check in.

At first, I tried to hide that I’d been so distressed, in case I got in trouble somehow. As if my mother would threaten to give me something ‘real’ to cry about, or accuse me of faking sickness, something like that. But I was just so tired that no usual pretense would hold up. My chirpy little grin kept folding in on itself and my nutty little chuckles were dissolved in my closing throat, just to fall back inside and eat away at my dwindling resolve.
Amidst these feelings, I managed to get a few words out. I don’t know what I said, but it was enough for my mother to admit that I should stay home.

I had no idea what was going on with me; I thought I was having a heart attack somehow brought on by my sadness. I remember thinking, “Is this what happens when someone dies of a broken heart? Is this what really happens? I broke my own heart.”

My childish abandon had, in turn, abandoned me, to be replaced by paranoia and apprehension. In a flash. Just like that. Ouch. Who dropped the world on my shoulders? I’m just a kid!

Until I was about twenty, I saw that day as some kind of awakening to what the world was like and what it held for me. I thought to myself, “Well, that hurt, but that’s how growing up feels.” I looked back on my halcyon days of happiness and enthusiasm as if I had come out of a highly-publicised stupor and was very, very embarrassed indeed. Like I was so sorry for living out loud that I’d never do it again.

Of course, now I know that the Morning of Doom was a panic attack. Nonetheless, it stained my tiny soul, and left me feeling seriously empty and confused. And roughly sixteen years later, I still sometimes panic and cry at the very sight of the light of day, and I still can’t make steady sense of it even though I try and try and try. But now, my emptiness is my muse. I’ve found interesting things in my mind whenever I try to describe the abyss I sometimes inhabit. It’s not like I enjoy how any of it feels, but I often find myself looking back at these episodes quite philosophically and matter-of-factly and it’s very curious indeed.

But if it gets really bad, I’ll just remember “YOU’RE OK” scrawled in purple glitter-glue on my wee twiglet arm and I’ll give my inner child the comfort she would’ve liked on that sad day, because she really is OK right now.

NO, STOP, DON’T and WON’T.

Since when did I get so territorial over my inner workings? When did these boundaries become so important? I have no real idea, and even if I did, the explanation would probably turn into some kind of sob story in which I’m the wronged party and how the only way to make it stop hurting is to be massively socially defensive. Yeah, it’d probably go like that. Which is tiresome, really.

This weekend past, it was a roommate’s birthday. So there were people getting fucked up and having what seemed like a nice time. I say it doesn’t really matter what everyone else gets up to, so long as the birthday person’s into it. I’d say she was. Anyway, I wasn’t drinking. And just when you think peer pressure’s just for high school… well, some people are just stuck in high school, aren’t they? They can be as lovely and as friendly as anything, but they just seem to know that YOU WILL LOVE THIS SO SHUT UP AND DO IT FUCK YEAH AWESOME.

The only thing I value about that is the enthusiasm. I think a lot of people come off very jaded towards enthusiasm in general; something about excitement being for children who can’t keep their shit on the down-low. I think it’s a giant load of nonsense, but it still stands. So while I was valuing my friend’s enthusiasm, I was trying to figure out why she felt she could only identify with me if I was getting fucked up too.

BACK TO EARTH, DIPSHIT! YOU GETTING MESSY WITH US BECAUSE IT NEVER HAPPENS AND I’M HERE SO COME ON.

Maybe it never happens because alcohol only gets complicated once it’s down my neck. Maybe I don’t like the maudlin way I view a lot of things when I’m “getting messy”. Maybe my parameters of friendship now encompass sober territory. Maybe I want to be myself around you after all these years, instead of being ‘party bitch’.

Sad thing is, those last few sentences start with “maybe”, so I’m not being as assertive (such a groupthink word. Makes me think of team-building sessions and the like… I want to be a team player… but what if my team sucks?) as I should be, given the ferocity of my opinions and how defensive I am of my right to have my own mind.

As a child, I wanted to do what everyone else was doing. I can’t blame that on anything. But as you do what everyone does, you start forming expectations, as you start drawing up little treaties of character. You compromise. You ignore yourself. And if you ignore yourself long enough, you’ll start to feel like you’re becoming nothing. So belonging to a group starts to matter even more, on this new, freaky little level of yours. Maybe you can find someone new in the group to dump on so you can feel better? It’s got to pay off somehow, right? Don’t know… never got that far.

I’m a very loyal friend. If I see that you’re talking to me and care about me for all the right reasons, then I’ll defend you against anyone who wants to start some shit. I’ll also help when you’re starting your own shit. That’s pretty simple. But sometimes I wonder if I’m taking it to the bridge unnecessarily. A product of not having many friends is that I feel the need to know if the friendships and relationships I bother with are worth my time. It leads to a lot of “would I __________ for them / vice versa” type contemplation, which can be tiring and confusing. During which I wonder if it’s not too late to build a cabin in the woods to stand as some sort of social fire escape… is being pyro-social a thing…? If so, I’m sure we’d all get along better… wait, what… I digress. I like fire. Where’d everybody go?

Basically, I have a pretty big idea of interpersonal fairness. I formed a lot of these opinions during childhood and some other fairly confusing times, so that’s part of how I know that they’re versatile enough to be carried with me (at least until I feel like I’m wrong). At times these rules I seem to have imposed on myself appear complicated and embarrassingly technical, but it can all be reduced to theory of mind.

The theory is that if I know I have my own mind, then I must know that you have your own mind, if you’re as similar to me as I imagine. I’m not sure if you know that you have your own mind, but that’s for your mind to process if you feel so inclined. But if you’re going to act like I don’t have my own mind, or that you know my mind better than I do, I will walk. I don’t spend all this time by myself to NOT know myself, so I feel wronged to imagine someone’s mapped me out after a few minutes of errant conversation. And when it’s flipped over, I find that I don’t treat anyone else like that. If I want to insult someone, I’d have to think about why and go from there, instead of acting like someone can’t think for themselves.

So… Party Bitch is on indefinite leave, I guess. Something abut a burnt-out cabin in the woods… Hairpins and melted vinyl everywhere… and not a single hanger-on to be found… if she’s to be believed.

; )

Edit: I just remembered there were two birthdays this past weekend, one for someone I don’t live with happened on the Saturday, then the one I’m talking about happened on Sunday. I was sober at that first one and nobody gave me any shit for it, which was nice.

They’re just words…

Those three words have been in my mind a mighty long time.

The kind of thing a parent says when you’re sad over something some kid at school said.
What we tell ourselves when we’ve created something and someone says just how much they hate it.
What you’ve got to think when a stranger feels they should yell something as you walk on by.

Words. Just letters and noises that people string together.

Well, shit.

I remember a time when I received hate mail from someone who took offense to a piece of writing I submitted for a competition when I was still in school. The ol’ boys’ club wasn’t impressed, but the judges were and I got a special mention. But I was copping some serious shit over it. I’ll admit it was a decidedly opinionated piece about my experiences within religion, and it rendered some people utterly furious. It was easy to ignore it when it came from someone my age, but this particular one was from someone whose opinions I used to respect, so it totally gutted me.

So Ma tries to comfort me, but I’m still livid.

And in my teenage behavioural splendour, I went off the fucking wall at her.

“Just words? JUST WORDS? ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS? Can you even hear yourself saying that? If these are just words, then it’s the same for what I write. The same for what you say. The same for that book you give one day per week to. There’s no such thing as a completely pointless word. It may not always matter, but it was said for a reason, by someone who meant something. As all words are. Piss off with that. PISS OFF WITH ALL OF THAT. FUCK YOUR SHIT. FUCK IT ALL. ALL OF IT.”

I apologised later because I felt awful. It’s not right to lose your temper at someone who cares enough about your feelings to want to say something to make it all better. And it’s an asshole’s move to pick their words apart and fire them back if they were said to you with pure intentions. So cruel. I felt really low about that. So I said sorry in my signature awkward way and went away to sit in my room, to go pick apart more hate mail and feel a bit more empty, I guess.

Then this slips under the door:

Ilene ~

My girl, you need to calm down. I was pretty offended about what you said about the Bible, it’s more than ‘that book’ to me and you know that. It’s my business and it’s your opinion. But really, it’s OK. Thanks for saying sorry. I know that was hard for you.

I think what’s going on here is you’re thinking the whole human race thinks words are as important as you do. It’d be interesting if that was true, but a lot of people don’t. They say stuff that isn’t true and that doesn’t mean much and they don’t care. We all know words are your thing. The things you write, sing and say are really important to you and you mean them. But not everyone is like this. I know it’s hard for you. It’s hard when you care a lot and others do not.

Language is like a wild horse given to you as a child. You harnessed yours and you care for it. You were patient with yours and now it serves you and you’re friends now. You found horses from other places and like them too. But outside, there are people who neglect and abuse what they got. There’s sadness in stables and by the pen. Some people let their horses shit everywhere, don’t they? But here you are, screaming THE WORLD IS NOT A TOILET. And it’s true. But not everybody cares and you take it to heart, which looks painful. I know it ‘sucks’ and it is ‘lame’.

But we like you and your words, even if you don’t always use your inside voice.
And don’t forget, we’d still like to go out for tea because you won something today.
Don’t let some bastard’s hate spoil your day.
And don’t call yourself stupid because you’re not. I have no stupid children. I made sure. Now you make sure.
We’re proud of you.
Don’t be too long in there, you muppet. No prizes for sulking!

Mama ~

I still laugh at the “no prizes for sulking!” part because it’s so true. That was really nice of her to do, and I ended up emerging from the brat-cave before long. The comfort of what she wrote to me will last through the years. I swear it’ll never die.
I learned something pretty important. People won’t always acknowledge what you hold dear. They’ll pick the parts that they take exception to and go on about it in ways that don’t always make sense to you and that’s just how it is. Not everyone cares about nuanced meanings and abstract concepts or even grammar and punctuation (a lot of hateful people don’t know how to spell, huh? Oh well, it’s hard to get mad when someone writes ‘go komit sewerside you bitch your going to Hell’. Sewerside, motherfucker! Hahah, oh help…). And when people like what you do, you’ll know. If they don’t, that’s their thing.
I managed to get over myself in time for dinner. And I ended up having a really nice evening with the very people I swore I hated with every fibre of my being just a few years before.
At one point, I was overwhelmed by how I used to hold on to the horrible things they used to say and how they had forgiven the shitty things I used to say. So much so that I was fighting back tears for a minute or two. Sometimes it felt like it was water off a duck’s back, other times it felt like phosphorus wounds I had to clean off and cut out of my flesh while pretending it didn’t hurt because WAR IS NO TIME TO BE A BABY. It still felt like something was missing, but it was also something we’d get back and wouldn’t hurt us for being gone. Just over ten years later, I think I was right.
Sure, I won a book and a certificate and the hearts of some local poets for a week or two, but those things don’t comfort me when I feel like headbutting a wall.

And as I gave a toast to words, the brother mumbled “what a fuhhhhhhh-king nerd” and got cheesecake on his pants. Well, that’s what you get when you talk with your mouth full of ridicule and dessert. OK, it was a dorky thing to say. But I totally meant it.

; )

P.S.: Didn’t the Bee Gees have a song about words? Now I wanna find it. Isn’t it sad that only one of those guys is still around? But that’s also a happy thing. YOU GO, BARRY. Nobody gets a CBE for nothing.