About Emma

1. the end
 

it was of no great loss to me. i was an island of great complexity and filled notebooks full of the kind of writing you might have written recently, being of a lesser talent than i. i was not accepted into the bosom of any group. but i discovered that heroin is marvellous for the skin. it also has no werth whatsoever, which greatly appealed to me. i left the other academicals at the student union to their futures and headed back up the hill toward my own.
 

and from that day on i can not pretend i am not searching for the elusive razzmatazz read about in books and occasionally encountered in others who lead exciting lives swimming with the dolphins. and i would be lying if i said that it is only things with no werth that get me going... and you are lying if you say that swimming with the dolphins has no werth (although i would be inclined to agree) that they are rather whimsical creatures (only included here as a kind of metaphysical benchmark). i learnt that there are many other activities one can embark upon in the quest of having an exciting and varied life such as travelling, which is country where you go to meet antipodeans.
 

i have not yet been to travelling per se, but i liked to think in my quieter moments (and also when i recount my personal mythology) that i am, in fact, well travelled in mind, and not at all gauche.) so, having no money and little sense of adventure, i got drunk for a while and wandered around. my degree existed only as another fabrication in my Curriculum Vitae. i found it hard to remain enthusiastic about my new career choice. i was a KP where i learnt transferable skills such as cleaning algae off mussels and how to empty a pig bin. i also got to eat swordfish and quails.
 

but subbing the olive tree for rocks of crack was not what i had envisaged for myself. i should have been writing a dissertation on how kathy and heathcliff were never really in love so that i could go on and werk in arts administration.

2. werking


i discovered pretty quickly that werking leaves you no time to do all the less important things in life, such as washing and forming meaningful relationships with people, but that this is known as getting on with things. or making do. i made do as well as could be expected. i was a genius trapped in the mind and body of a fool. i alleviated my frustrations by sleeping with strangers. here i learnt that boys don’t sleep with you because they think you are attractive but rather because you let them.
 

one day i found myself living in a flat (which had a poster of the mona lisa smoking a marijuana cigarette in it) smoking a marijuana cigarette with a boy who was addicted to fruit machines. after a while of trying to understand the off-side rule whilst picking my cuticles until they bled i realised it was time to move to london. london was a place which i had been trying to bypass because i was scared of getting lost on the tube, but it could not be avoided forever. so i said goodbye to the provinces and i moved to a place where kittens ran over me at night as i slept. 

i got a job serving the london symphony orchestra rosehip tea and put up a sign that said we are the coffee makers and we are purveyors of tea but got told to take it down. i suppose it was not that funny. i was earning 4.50 an hour and working from 8am to 8pm. i wore black leggings and a waistcoat with my name on a badge. i was certainly going places.

3. the darkening


the darkening is a thing that happens to everyone. my friend has a theory that it happens to most people around the age of 20. this is when you realise that maybe you are not going to be a pop star after all and that life depends on what you are willing to put into it. this is somewhat crushing if you have always got by on your good looks and sheer luck alone. usually around this period something awful happens to you like a painful love affair or an addiction to marker pens. i was always aware that teenage angst was somewhat of a fabrication on my part generated by a lack of confidence and sepultura.
 

nothing had prepared me for the reality of true pain.

4. the new werld

 

when my friends and i get together we try hard to avoid being post-ironic or post-feminist or new wave. or new wave of the new wave of the new wave. it takes some doing for the moment any of us has an idea someone comes in and catches it under a jar and calls it something. the next week it is on the telly being advertised as the next big thing. by which time it is out of date and embarrassing, like old poetry from when you were 13.
 

some people spend a hundred pounds on sunglasses that make you look like a car’s windscreen. i used to werk in an opticians where i was not well liked because my trouser hems kept coming down and i had to stick them up with sellotape. but i learnt that sunglasses are very much like shoes, in the way that people think that you can more or less tell someones entire philosophy by the purchases they have made.
 

me and my Clarks did not stand a chance at university. i soon discovered i did not want anything. because when the chips are down, it does not mean much apart from being nearer to the dolphins. which is a shame really because nowadays it is seen as laziness to not want to werk for stuff you dont need. and it is not the best thing to say in an interview at all. 

often i am asked where i see myself in 5 years and i get the feeling it is not au fait to tell the truth, which is the same place probably, just 5 years older. i think it is fair to say i am not lazy for i am very motivated. if i were never to werk another day in my life i would not be bored. but this is not an employers wet dream by any stretch, so i remain doing 8 hours a day in my microcosm of boredom.
 

how many peoples minds are dying day in day out is unknown and just a fact of life now. it is, however, well known that you can do anything you put your half dead mind to. so i am doing this. because this is anything.

5. a brief history of politics


lately when i watch the news i just cry. when i was small it was the most boring programme in the werld. it was bed time and the only time my parents had to argue. but now it is the only programme i watch apart from top of the pops. i would like to go into it but by the time you read this something else will have happened. it will already be history from which you can learn nothing. 


i remember reading a story about some boys who had an argument about who was the toughest so one of them cut his own finger off. the other one then decided to cut his own arm off with an electric carving knife. well, you can imagine what happened. after a while, one of them blew their head off with a shotgun and won the prize for being the toughest ever. i learnt that this is what POLITICS is, except lots of people who don’t care who is the toughest get blown up too, sometimes in their front room while they are watching the news. 

also you could not say you don’t care about politics because that was a political statement in itself and could lead to APATHY. apathy was something that politicians did their best to encourage. in my naiveté i thought that just not fighting would be the best way to stop fighting but what did i know. sometimes i tried to imagine what it was like to believe in good and evil but i realised that this was only possible if you believed in other things like GOD. 

god was a man who lived on a cloud and had a telescope that could only see the bad things that muslims did. if you believed in god you could do anything you wanted to do because you would be forgiven. in this way it was ok to blow up children because this contributed to the greater good ie a world where children do not get blown up. again in my naiveté i thought that simply not blowing them up in the first place would be a good place to start, but then what did i know.
 

god did not like criminals unless they were on death row making alan keys. he was not into the idea of anal sex unless it is a priest doing it, in which case it was ok because he would be forgiven. it must be comforting to believe all this. and it may help to have faith in anything other than everything good in the world like ice cream and violets. because maybe if i did then i would not be a loser, i would be the king.

6. school


before the darkening i suppose i was a fairly normal person. i went to a private school where the teachers did their best to discourage you from learning and told me how i was not as clever as my sister. i was bullied for a while for my nasty haircut and my lack of trainers. i was the girl with the slightly off-blue jumper that had a wooden tennis racket and for this reason it took me a while to become the leader of the cool gang.
 

teachers do not recognise astounding artistic ability until years later when they claim credit for it when being interviewed by smash hits. i got into this school in the first place by writing a story about robots which took over the werld by flying around on pteradactyls so you can imagine the kind of problems i encountered. it is only recently that i have realised that maths and physics are actually really interesting. the teachers tried to hide this from us for as long as possible in case we started asking questions they could not answer. 

luckily i discovered LSD around the time we were told to write an essay on what it would be like to be a baked potato. i realised that life could hardly become any more ridiculous. we were told a lot of stuff about how drugs are bad for you at this time. telly, for instance, was a much better way of learning about yourself.

7. lies


here i should say that i am not as jaded as i sound. there are many things in this werld that i enjoy such as going to the beach and skiving off werk. at the time of writing i am currently on my third consecutive day of skiving off werk because i would rather be doing this. i said to my boss that i am as sick as a dog which is not so far from the truth. you cannot say that you are not going in because you are mentally ill, because being mentally ill suggests that you are not fit to be doing your job. 


once i werked in a 24 hour newsagents where men would come at 4 in the morning to buy pornos. one night a boy came to the hatch with a decanter of sherry and we talked into the early hours. he told me about how one time he had told his werk that his mum had been in a car-crash so he wouldn’t have to go in. the next week his mum really was in a car-crash. so i guess you cannot spend your life lying because it will come back to haunt you. i remember when i told someone that i was a narcoleptic and he said he was too and asked me what medication i was on. that was not such a good lie.
 

i make no apologies for sounding as if i am shooting myself in my unfashionably clad foot. i understand that hard work is important. i have simply never found my niche. i have tried lots of different things like werking in a cattery, looking after children, giving out leaflets dressed as an edwardian and being a cleaner in a head injuries unit. i have applied for jobs to be a support worker, a librarian, a park keeper, a photographers assistant and snow white at eurodisney. once i did two weeks of an art foundation but gave it up to go apple-picking. at school when we did psychometric tests mine came back saying my perfect job would be being an air-stewardess. but really i just like staying at home with my cat and writing poetry all day.
 

poetry is a way of saying something difficult in a simple way. a lot of people think it is a way of saying something simple in a difficult way. but that is because they are worried about not understanding it. it’s funny how people think that they have to understand things.

8. injured animals


some girls make a big show of how caring they are. i don’t really care but i like people to be happy. for my own sake really. so i am happy. i think that’s a fair deal. the people in the guessing-labs come up with stuff about happiness all the time- they say it's liquid and a bendy line and u-shaped in voices from enid blyton. 


i would come across all controversial if i said i thought it’s a choice- people could get offended by that and claim i had a dark-side etc. i cannot deny this. men who are depressed are like big black clouds and they come in and breathe tornados all round your pretty room until everything goes grey and the flowers wilt. women are worse perhaps- flat and skinless, smelling of marigolds. maybe i can only know this as i have been sad too.
 

my sadness is kind of black and white. i am nearly always being watched. my crying has points-
 

1. sea-lion sea-lion sea-lion sea-lion
2. the pleasant sleepy self-aware eastenders phase
3. still warm run over bird

 

after that i’m ok again. i read somewhere that if you win the lottery then initially you will be extremely happy but then your usual level of happiness will return. this is another good argument as to why there is no point werking for things that you don’t need, but it does not stop me from playing the lottery occasionally. 

you read a lot of stories about the curse of the lottery. but surely it is just the wrong people winning. if you do not have any hobbies and you win the lottery you must be gutted. after you’d bought a plasma screen telly what would be left? clothes and cars and holidays. i sincerely believe that more people like me should win, so we could get out of everyone’s hair and start t-shirt making businesses which would revolutionise the werld.

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