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Maxine Priest Music Review

Today’s collaboration is narrated by British actress, Maxine Peake ( from T.V. seriesShameless) and  (former guitarist for Morrissey & co-songwriter for the band ‘The Smiths’ ) Johnny Marr.

The video & lyrics were inspired by former BIG ISSUE, Jo Gallagher’s (magazine vendor/seller )own experiences of being homeless in Edinburgh from 2105 until he went on to find full-time employment.

I discovered this brilliant spoken word, experimental soundscape, kitchen sink noir mash-up when I was editing  Act two for a stage play script I wrote about covering themes of Homelessness, relationships, legal highs & the state of the nation today in the U.K.

It appeals to me as it is raw & humorous. I am a firm believer in using my sense of humour in life to get me through dark moments.

It gives a bigger perspective of the idea that homeless people are just addicted or lazy people who don’t want to work.

If anyone has read the book by (pen name) George Orwell or Eric Blair  ‘Downtown in Paris and London’ – a biographical  account of Orwell’s own decision to turn away from his privileged lifestyle & live rough as a “tramp”, in a passionate attempt to be taken seriously as a writer in his lifetime. He was a radical.

We can see how our views in over a century about “tramps” are seriously misunderstood in a social, cultural & Historical Context

Like Orwell’s book ‘ The priest’ uses a common writing technique by adopting the register of the characters narrated about in the video.

Here is a bit of context

A few months ago I was on my way to see my doctor & I was standing at the traffic lights waiting to cross the road. A (homeless)  couple had made a sign stating

WE ARE HOMELESS -We will wash your car for money or food. We want to work.

When I was homeless (couch) I used my last bit of money and bought a one-way ticket to go and live with my (now deceased) Aunt in Barcelona for 3 months.

Homelessness doesn’t have to mean you are on the streets. Homelessness is also about couch surfing, temporary accommodation, hostels.

It is not easy getting off the streets. Trust me. I have done the research. Red tape issues are huge obstacles ( to name but one).

 

Ginger nuts parasite

This was the first piece of fictional writing I ever wrote. It was also graded and then I had to adapt it into a different genre.

 ‘Miss Sainte!’ the travel consultant’s hands twitch like a bees feelers, ‘let me get your tickets for London.’ and she is off. I’ve always found it amusing how people assume that your life is more exciting than theirs. My life had taken on the acrid taste of bourbon. Hard decisions require liquor. There I was bobbing up and down like a buoy in a sea of bitter. Disconnected from all sources of life. Waves of nausea threatened to bury me, deep, in an unrefined grave. This was my existence until I sobered up.

The hairs on my arms prick up like ears on stalks, straining to confirm what they’ve heard. Shivers rush down my spine. Impulsively my hand goes to feel the smooth outline of the documents in my handbag, confirming that the surgery will go ahead. I look up from the tropical brochure and nearly fall headfirst into a pair of dung coloured eyes. She’s that close. I quickly murmur my thanks and bolt out the door, the wind slamming the door for me

My life tends to go from one oblivious moment to the next. One ginger bastard is all it takes for the state of my jagged ignorance to be shattered. Now all I can see is my former ignorance smirking everywhere. All of a sudden its: Ginger beer, Gingerbread, Ginger cats, Ginger biscuits, Gingernuts, Ginger pubes, Ginger! Ginger! Everywhere! I’ve reasoned that it’s not too avaricious to want more than ‘current-girlfriend’ status. Why would a heathen (his -word) such as myself, all tits hanging loose, wild hair and barefoot, want certainty and commitment? Why indeed?! Every time it’s the same watery twaddle:

 ‘I’m a married man… A Catholic!’ –with a bellyful of 24-hour bargain booze. It’s all driftwood. I’m Odyssey’s ‘Scylla ‘or ‘Charybdis’. If he wants to treat me as a necessary evil then instinctively I will lure him to my grotto and devour him.  Men have this habit of changing anything they see as mystifying into the female form.

                                                            *

Yesterday his spinal support kicked in and he decides to call me. It went something like this:

‘Babe, things are … complicated. I’m here for you.’ he said.

Then, that familiar feeling, the tightening jerk on my vocal chords, taut like a gymnast’s rope. Panic. The struggle to gulp in air. My throat is blitzed with grainy, arid sand. The beat. The beat in my heart starts clanging cacophonously and belches up into my throat. My instincts are shrill. Screeching: Caution! Do Not Proceed. This is what his voice does to me.

‘Babe, we’ve been through so much?’ Smelly feet. All I can smell is pongy feet; His feet! I’d rather go collecting cacti with my teeth than screw you. Yerr screw: That’s what I should have said.

‘I’m on my way.’ C’mon you don’t wanna be loved? So instead he gets his way and I’m running like an Olympic sprinter to get to my car.

There I am sitting in the car about to gear it up. Panic. With my palms, I start slamming the steering wheel. You stupid bitch. SLAM! Greedy stupid bitch.  SLAM!  Blasted tears form. I look into the rear-view mirror and with a fingernail, I press down hard, scraping my cheek- only satisfied when I see the offensive, black line of soggy mascara tarnishing it .Ugly Bitch! I pound the rearview mirror-over and over.

                                                                        *

I can feel the gamut of my emotions and thoughts losing form. So fragile. One knock. One tiny crack is all it takes. When he opens the door all the innards of my mind start to scramble.

‘Neck this’, he says. He plays his part well. He picks me up like I’m a delicate fawn and gently lowers me onto his sofa. He waves a bag of coke in front of my face. My fucking dopamine receptors are giving you a standing ovation, mate! Trust an ex-army cadet to bring out the Bolivian marching powder. Several hours later, we’re both wading deep in overconsumption. Billie Holliday is playing, her voice becomes the beat in my heart.

‘Love. Love her voice… so raw….so pure…but damaged like… Know what I mean?’

He just sits there, shakes his head mindlessly, not even one cobweb is disturbed. Great bulging eyes leer out at me. I might as well have a pair of fucking rabbit ears and a hat on with electrodes attached to my head.  One eye hanging precariously out of its socket. It is torture what he does to me. I want to scream: Why do you look at my pain? Consider it. Consider me! And then decide this bitch needs sterilizing?

He’s suddenly up and real close. His odour arrests my breath, it’s like taking in a whiff of a Parisian fish market at the end of a hot rough day. The hairs stand up on my body betraying my true feelings. Then he demands me to laugh.

‘Laugh. ‘He roars. Followed by frenzied laughter – Shit what’s he gonna do? He’s just laughing. Standing over me and laughing at me. Kick him in the gonads, quick!  He stops. Breathe. He moves up close again, our faces touching.

‘Boo! He whispers, slapping his hands together with glee, he grabs my arse –roughly. I’m smiling. My mind severs itself form my body. It too plays its part well. He then begins to undo his jeans.

                                                              *

A bloated smiling face. The receptionist takes my documents. The ballooned smiling face points us in the direction of the waiting area.

‘Whoa!  They must have known we were arriving, all the chairs are set up, ready for a blessed sermon. Wanna do the honours?’ What am I saying? I watch his fat turnip- shaped face go red. Blood red. He is simmering away like a stew but someone forgot to put the meat in. Jesus why the hell did I agree to this? The walls expand and shrink like I’m sucking on a plastic bag.  Panic. I’m in Plato’s allegorical cave. His shadow torments me, I’m convinced that Mother Nature has given him rights over oxygen.

            ‘Hope Sainte?’ a nurse’s voice booms. Jumped up like a leapfrog. Crap joke but I got spooked. The nurse looks up at me, she raises her eyebrows which make her glasses slant downwards. He heaves his body upwards. I feel his skulking bristling my nerves. The Nurse ushers me into a cubicle.

‘Change into this then hop on a bed’ she gestures to a bed. I touch the blue gown and put my fingers to my nose. Tainted, I gag. How can I put it? It’s like, I’m inhaling water. Panic has dropped her anchor.

 Lying horizontally I turn my head to the left and I look up into a pair of nostrils. It’s the Surgeon. His lips are moving like that singing bass fish that was all the rage in the nineties. I can’t hear jack shit- the porter wheels me into the theatre.

                                                            *

 I open my eyes.  I exhale, the cubicle expands. He enters, drops his head. Doesn’t even bother to look at me. He stands in a corner and folds his arms He just stands in that corner reminding me of a scarecrow. All stiff and glacial. Hours slither by, the silence hissing mercilessly. A hug. I want a hug. The silence is pierced. It’s me. I’m screaming. Little critters are scratching away at my insides. The attack is stabbing and sharp. The pain throbs with intent. Panic.

‘What the hell is happening?’ I look over and he’s fiddling with his fucking phone like he’s re-arranging his balls. Strap on cock-face! He turns around to face me. Did I say that out loud? He looks demonical enough.

‘Erm… well derr!’ He slaps my forehead, ‘you’re giving birth to our baby! Look at the state of ya!’ I follow his eyes. They settle on my well-formed bump.

‘You stupid murdering bitch!’ He then spits in my face and turns to leave.

‘Hey, where you going- we agreed on this?’ Panic. There’s more screaming.

‘Why? Why? Why?’ Each “why” growing in expectation and volume. Sobbing, through my tears, I can just about make out a figure of the porter. Everything starts to slow down. No. Retardation is setting in, slowing me down. Panic. The surgeon appears again. It’s like I’m in a macabre pantomime

‘Now, please, count backward from ten, please.’ he smiles down at me.

‘I can hear you!’ I dribble out. The surgeon smiles and nods his head like one of those Chinese paw-waving cats.

‘Hey! Listen can you hear that?’ they’re playing music!  What kind of sick set up is this? Beethoven’s, ‘Moonlight sonata’ is playing in the background. I touch it. The bump. I’m pretty sure this has got to breach my human rights.

A voice punctuates the air. It’s mine.

‘Number one. Gotta look after number one!’ That’s what my Mum always used to say… “If ya can’t put yourself first, you’ll never be able to put ya, child, first. From now on I swear it. I’ll make each moment in my life count! Maybe one day I will be worth being called a mum….sorry.’

My eyes close, a tear rolls down my cheek as I’m wheeled into theatre.

What are your views on Abortion?

How can we help you?

How can we help you? You are loved.

My husband

I’m going to the source of my labelled diagnoses to find a way to answer this question.

Not to look for a reason to blame why I am like  I am, but so I can ask the right questions to help myself get better.

How can we help you?

Okay. The brain goes dead. How I help myself?

Set small goals for the bigger goals  I want to achieve?

What do I want to achieve?

  • A new carpet.

  • I want to clean the blinds,

  • I want to go through my drawers and  Bee’s drawers to organise our space better.

  • We need a new cupboard.

  • I want to get in the festive spirit.

  • Bring the big T.V.  downstairs.

  • I’m worried about Tatiana’s  ( my cat’s) cough.

  • I don’t want to be a FUCK UP!
  • I need to connect more with my mom and family.

 

All achievable unless its a “bad” day.

Write a list to Santa?  ( my inner Santa)

Being self-destructive is tough (sarcasm & truth).

Not as tough as being an 8-year-old child who doesn’t understand why her mother pushes her away. She is also scared to make her cry or hurt my feelings.

 Not as tough as having an endoscopy and no sedation. Having people talk about going for a pint after work while they look at your bowel.

Not as tough as being alone, having a panic attack & waking up in a hospital alone at 87.

I’m so quick to forget about the mermaids tail & a dog that can do anything ticking off Santa’s Christmas list.

I’m so quick to dismiss time.

Or is that just me looking up my own anus again?

Fluent in assholism

.

How can I save my relationships before its too late?

Am I going through the motions as my husband asked?

A firm NO  takes up all the room in my cognitive region.

Before I answer I think again about if I’m just going through the motions…

Today I am going to look up the definition of  ‘going through the motions

PHRASE

If you say that someone is going through the motions, you think they are only saying or doing something because it is expected of them without being interested, enthusiastic, or sympathetic.

Well, of course, I am going through the motions. That is part of the problem.

Get up, eat, clean, sleep, fill my day.

It’s not because I don’t care. I don’t think about the consequences or I forget the pain associated with the consequences.  Or I think about how to get away from feeling a failure in the now.

Note to self: Don’t do things that will make you feel shit about yourself

It’s not that hard to do, Is it?

Maybe I hesitated before answering my husband because I asked myself if the way I am and response makes me a narcissist.

Well, of course, I am. I have spent many years trying to look good, be the thinnest, the most pretty the cleverest etc…

I know I am not & will never be all the above-mentioned thoughts.

What did that mean for me as an adult with Chronic Anorexia?

I don’t take millions of pictures of myself and think I’m better than other people. When I have judged others I try to look at the shitty things I have done or said in my life to humble myself… I am demanding. I can be selfish. I don’t think I am the best. I want to be the best I can be.

Do I live in a fantasy world?

I have done. I do live in a world where I am the object of desire/ importance to get away from who I see in the mirror, who I feel I have become measured by what I have achieved psychically/emotionally/materially. I use sleep as a defence mechanism to not have to deal with the person I am today. My perception of me.

I know what is real and isn’t unless my thoughts about weight and shame invade my inner world.

I have to wake up from my slumber eventually.  Then I convince myself that the only thing that will make me good & empowered is by proving to people I have the money to buy shit that isn’t worth it.

I put a value on what I pay for & how I want it to be packaged.

I don’t feel I need constant praise from others to keep my ego in check. I do feel I need to give myself praise and try & love myself so that I can come across as a person with feelings, warmth & love.

I do struggle to show my emotions. Perhaps its the way my face moves, or because I don’t lie about how I feel or because I’m shit at pretending to be over the moon about something when I am feeling anything but amazing.

When I’m in a toxic phase I guess I do feel that the world should stop for me. It’s unrealistic to think that the world does. I have to check myself. I need to live more outside of my head than in it.

 

I don’t try to exploit people maliciously for my own gain without feeling shame nor the ability to empathise.  I know how manipulative I can be & I have to check myself a lot to try & not be too manipulative. I do sometimes forget how it must feel like to another person to be taken advantage of.

I don’t think I am a person who enjoys belittling others to prop up my own ego. I hate gossip, I can use patronising language & behaviour if I feel threatened. I don’t enjoy making others feel less than I feel.

I want people to be happy & I want people to know that I can be a source of happiness too.

Maybe I am going through the motions but we all do!

If I said: yes, I’m going through the motions

then that would mean that I am a narcissist!

And according to Google: Narcissists can’t love their own children!

What?

I already feel I lack traits that a normal mother gives her child.

Or because of my eating disorder, I have traits of a “vulnerable” narcissist.

If I look indifferent I am also afraid of being abandoned so I try to prepare myself for that moment.

Most of my relationships are unstable -with my mom. daughter partners etc… I can go from having a high opinion of myself to having zero worth in myself in a matter of hours.

I do need to work on my self-image & habits to self-harm.

I have many diagnoses -I need to use what I know about myself to make a positive change.

I want my daughter to love me in 20 years time.

I’m not a child any longer. I want to be better than I am now.