God! Show Me Magic

SFA Fuzzy Logic

Chapter 8

April 12th 1996

Life is still very, very strange. Everything is so new and exciting and I feel like I am living someone else’s existence. I wandered into town this morning after my seminar and asked in HMV for the huge promo poster they had in the window for SFA’s new album Fuzzy Logic. I had asked them to keep it for me but was not holding out much hope. Surprisingly, I was in luck and it now has pride of place in my bedroom. If you don’t ask you don’t get.

Since the Fun Factory incident with Ben we have met at the library twice. Both times we have managed about 30 minutes work before racing off to his house. All so exhilarating, I feel like I am in a film with an excellent soundtrack.  I have ever done anything like this before. Seeing as He still hasn’t returned I can’t really class it as being unfaithful. I know He is at his parents’ house but have no idea of His future plans. Right now I don’t care.

This afternoon, after leaving Ben’s house in broad daylight all flustered and smiling with my dirty secret, I bumped into Harry. Up until then, no one else knew of this new twist in the plot of my life. We had been so discreet that even his housemates were unsuspecting. But, I was bursting to tell someone and who better than Harry, the friend I made on my very first night at Uni. We bonded over cider and a desire to get pierced, which we did the following morning – her in the top of her ear, me in my nose.

On the way to her house I told her everything, well, in as much detail as was tasteful for 3pm. She was shocked but also very excited. We all loved a bit of gossip and this was top class. Stable, boring, predictable me sneaking off for mid-afternoon naughtiness . Who would have thought it? Harry was completely non judgmental but she was worried about my state of mind.

‘Don’t fall for someone else straightaway!’, ‘Are you really over Him?’, ‘Don’t lose your self respect.’ All wise but unnecessary words.

I needed this; a focus away from being miserable. I needed someone telling me how lush I am, I needed this feeling of being on top of the world. I have a spring in my step and a swing in my ponytail. This dalliance with Ben is my gateway to being an independent, confident woman. Check me out!

Tonight, I am off to Clwb Ifor Bach with the girls for a night we haven’t tried before called Popscene. Indie music upstairs, Cheesy Club downstairs. So, the little skirt is going on with the ankle breaking boots and the 70’s shirt. We are all meeting at Harry and Ruth’s to pre-drink, Maisie is coming too. I am so bloody excited! If this is what being single is all about then I am in.

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Clwb was fabulous. Brilliantly, amazingly fabulous! The tunes were unreal, Super Furrys, Pulp, Manics, Space, Bluetones, Blur, Ash and everything in between. We danced our boots off. Then, when Popscene had a lull, we went down the scary metal steps and boogied away to 60s and 70s joy with HUGE smiles on our faces. Best night I have had in ages. We drank our weight in Pink Grapefruit Woodies (which are now making me feel like voming!), saw many cool dudes and got chatted up by many “As-ifs”.

The highlight of the evening had to be Maisie’s liaison with Welsh actor and SFA friend Rhys Ifans who has recently been promoted to national Mountain Dew adverts on TV. Seeing him at the bar, Maisie bounded over full of drunken overfamiliarity.

“You’re the bloke off the Mountain Dew ads!” she shrieked.

His reply, although obviously well rehearsed, was a classic.

He grabbed her in his arms, span her around and shouted in his gruff North Walian accent, “I’ll be mounting you in a minute babes!”Mountain Dew retro

Hilarious. Off to bed now. One happy bunny who can’t be arsed to take my make up off.

Something changed

Chapter 7

11 April 1996

Something_Changed_(girl_CD)

Oh my God! Oh my God! OH MY GOD! Something absolutely, ridiculously, off the scale mental has happened. I am writing this the morning after the night before and I can barely get the words on the page because of my shaking hands. And this time they’re not shaking due to anger.

Where do I begin. Something has changed.

BLOODY HELL!!!!!!

Right, calm down. I am going to try to clarify events by writing them down. Just let me have a cigarette first……..

Here we go…….. the crazy, unexpected happenings of last night.

Firstly, I went to Harry and Ruth’s house for pre-drinks as they wanted to cheer me up. It has been really hard going the last few days. Still no sign of Him so I have hidden myself away, listened to lots of music and been really anti social. Proper angst and black misery. Woe has been me.  Every time the phone goes or the door opens half of me wishes for His return, the other half hates Him. But, so far, nothing.

So, last night with great difficulty, the girl’s managed to raise me from my pit, force me into a pretty dress, put a glass of vodka in my hand and almost make me smile. I could tell they were worried about me but that they were also saddened by the whole situation. They had known Him for as long as I had. Beneath it all though I sensed their undeniable relief. No one was fooled into thinking we were right for each other.

After the vodka was consumed we headed off to Fun Factory, surely the most appropriate Student Union night to attend in such gloomy times. Everyone was there trying to get some drinking, dancing and copping off in before exam time. It was packed to the rafters with the usual assortment of student. The Check Shirt Brigade; the rowdy rugby lads and even rowdier rugby gals; the Townies; the Indie Kids; The Frooges and The Geeks. All there, drinks in hands, sweating on the dance floor to Oasis, Pulp, The Verve. It really was difficult not to have fun.

Hours of dancing must have passed and we decided to go for a wander around, a ploy Harry often used as a pulling tactic. Let’s see who’s here and let them see we are here, “Is it any wonderrrrrrrrr?” we’d say as we set off, quoting Liam’s Brit Award for Best Band acceptance snarl.

Wandering we went, Harry looking for talent, me following her half heartedly because I wanted to be on the dance floor. Harry met some people from her Maths course and as I stood there idling, Ben caught my eye at the bar. He gestured an offer for a drink so I joined him. And that was that.

Except it wasn’t.

There was a lot more to happen. A lot more that probably shouldn’t have happened considering my current frame of mind. But a lot more that needed to happen.

After a couple more drinks and what seemed like endless, easy chat about every topic on earth he said he would walk me home. I have no idea how thSomething_Changed_(boy_CD)at chivalrous offer transformed into snogging on the sofa at his, but that was what happened. We spent all night in his single bed with Leftfield as our soundtrack.

And it was great. REALLY great and, this morning on sober reflection I still feel great. Just what I needed. It was bloody exciting!!!!! We are meeting in the library later for some B.I.P. work……..and I am going to skip the whole way in.

I’m not the same person I was a year ago You cut me deeply and the scars still show

Bluetones Poster

Chapter 6

4th April 1996

Well tonight was stupid as f**k.

I really don’t know where to start writing about this sham of a relationship anymore. Against my better judgement I gave it one more chance and now he’s gone. It’s a relief. I am left reeling from all his hateful words, his intimidation and his hostility. I am desperate to shake off this pain and humiliation. This is the end. I know I have said this over and over again, in fact so often that I want to slap myself but it is over.

Prior to this evening of hate, even though I was having some big time doubts, we were both still just plodding along, enjoying being apart on separate projects yet feeling closer when together. Quality time. A healthy balance. So, it felt like a natural step to introduce each other to our new worlds. Last week I had a fun but uneventful night out in Metros with his Comic Shop mates. They were ace, not what I expected at all (geeks). They were actually hilarious and really cool with not a Star Trek badge in sight.

So, tonight was His formal introduction to my new mates, Ben and Sophie. We met at The Taf, ordered some beers and three of us started chatting, awkwardly, whilst the other one drank relentlessly. The snippets of uncomfortable conversation that I can bear to recall went something like this,

Ben: “So, what kind of music are you into then?”

Him: “Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Stone Roses.” Took a huge swig of his pint.

Ben:”Some pretty dark stuff then…..”

Him:”Are you trying to say that I am a miserable c*nt? Is that what she’s told you? Just ‘cos I don’t dance around like a tit to Blur.”

Me:”I think everyone knows you don’t like Blur by now, there’s no need to start preaching again.”

Him:”F*ck off Gwen.”

Silence for about five minutes. Agonizing silence with me trying to hold back the tears. He couldn’t even pretend to make an effort with my new mates. His lack of respect for me and them was made so obvious by his drunken, aggressive body language. His pointing fingers and sneers, his ‘don’t give a f*ck’ shoulder shrugs. I wanted to punch his jeering face in.

Every time he went to the bar I had to apologise for his behaviour as though he was an awkward, spoilt two year old. I wished he’d go away and leave me there in good company. On his unfortunate return after his fifth or sixth pint we were having a deep and meaningful, beer-fuelled conversation about frozen peas. I can’t explain why and if it had not had such a significant effect on our evening it would have been forgotten in time forever.  Lost in the Stella black hole. But, as it was the trigger for the evening’s downfall The Frozen Pea Conversation will probably still be remembered with incredulity many years in the future.

Him:”What are you on about?”

Me:”Frozen peas, me and Ben are trying to sell their benefits as a tasty snack to Sophie, she’s not ha…..”

Him:”What you two (pointing at Ben and I with his accusing finger) both like eating peas when they’re frozen?”

Before anyone could answer this ridiculous question, He slammed his beer down on the table and stood up tall. His eyes almost rolled back in his head as he roared,

“DON’T TRY AND MAKE OUT I AM AN IDIOT – I KNOW YOU TWO ARE SHAGGING!”

And he spun around like a demon in an Eastern European horror film and fled.The-Bluetones-Hits-Since-96-Mens-Tee

Ben and Sophie walked me home full of pity and disbelief. I had braced myself for the inevitable fallout from the pea conversation but he’s not here. He has gone.

I hope Mark Morriss’ voice can soothe me to sleep.

The end of us.

“We don’t have any coke but there’s a Pepsi machine down the hall”

True+Romance+(1993)+2

Chapter 5

25th March 1996

Some days you wake up with no agenda, no need to be anywhere and best of all no hangover. I woke up to a glorious spring morning in my cosy bed, remembered I had no place to go and spent about an hour pondering my me and Him. Really self analysed. He was working at the comic shop this morning so I had peace and quiet to evaluate my life and assess the pros and cons of certain actions. Precious solo time spent listening to Expecting to Fly by The Bluetones deliberating that age old quandary – should I stay or should I go?

1030 am and no conclusion.

We actually had edible food in the house for breakfast (eggs and bacon no less) which was a rare treat. Fine weather and fine dining. So, sufficiently full of protein and with a spring in my step, I  managed some serious nose to the grindstone stuff on the B.I.P. I am so on top of this uni work and it makes me focus on something more productive than my emotional dilemma.

130 pm and no conclusion.

I met Maisie after lunch and we had an ace afternoon pottering about Robert’s Emporium. I think it is one of my favourite places in Cardiff. Where else could you, if you so desired, buy an authentic 1950’s mannequin or a Speak and Spell under one roof? We spent ages looking through all the retro treasure, trying to stiffle giggles when something was just too cheesy. Hedgehog print flares anyone? Anyway I ended up getting two authentic 70s shirts, one with collars so huge I certainly won’t be able to leave the building. Two stylish shirts for less than £10 with a free, very enthusiastic and informative speech by the salesman on how small Twiggy was in the 60s, with a teeny size 6 Pucci print dress to demonstrate.

We then came back here to a blissfully empty house, opened a bottle of wine and chilled out whilst watching one of our favourite films – ‘True Romance’. Oh how I wish I was Alabama with her stunning, sexy girl strength. “You’re so cool”, I have always loved this simple line for the way it conveys her complete and utter love for Clarence.

630 pm and I am veering towards being a single girl. I haven’t thought of Him as being cool for months. He is not cool, I need someone cool.

Today has been amazing so far and there is more to come. Am just in the early stages of “ymbincio” –  Welsh for putting make up on, literally translated as “making oneself pink” and the best word ever!

Tonight I am reaping my rewards for being the Presidential Translating Service. I am so excited about having drinks with this new crowd but also feel intimidated and out of my depth. I want to make an impression because these people are cool. And I want to be with cool people. And have people think that I am cool. So make-up done, black jeans and 70s shirt (not the one with the huge collars, not yet) .

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I usually make a pact with myself not to write in this when drunk, especially when this stupidly intoxicated BUT I have to just write how ABSOLUTELY AMAZING TONIGHT WAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I loved everyone I met and I don’t think I made too much of a tit of myself. God I hope not…..no I’m sure I didn’t. I was AMAZING, the whole night was FAB. AND FREE BEER RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1993-True+Romance

2am conclusion – I don’t need him, I can do great things on my own.