Wednesday, 12 February 2014

"Let me be your ford cortina...breathing in your rust..."- J. Cooper Clarke

Today no one really has second, third let alone forth hand cars, but our family always did.
We never had a 'good' car- we had functional rust buckets and now there's only mum and me left and we still only ever have a veteran banger. But in the days where everyone seemed to have older cars, people would have understood more of what i mean if I were to describe the sort of car you often got and called a 'nail'. The nail was the car that forever had problems. Caused you reams and reams of bills from the Mechanic, who's pockets got heavier and heavier with your money until you finally get a new car, it breaks beyond repair, is taken from you by the police as 'un-roadworthy'....or maybe just blows up and kills the owner...

I am more than a Nail.

I am the motorists worst nightmare.

If I were a car.....

I'd be a Vauxhall Carlton (go google if you're lucky enough not to remember this old shittip).

I trundle the road with a dry, hoarse rasping engine. The dull exhaust shakes and wheezes smut as the labour of even a flat road takes its toll. The screen is blurred with smeared glass, like the eyes of the old; misting over and cataracted. The tear ducts dried out from lack of use and left untended, unfilled, no water is left to moisten the screen. The wipers may occasionally attempt a tired, stuttering sweep, but it is in vain; the dirt is sunk into the glass by now.

The wheel arches show the worst of the rust damage. Flaking, dry skin that stains fingers orange at the lightest touch and crumbles away at anything heavier. Age and weather have done damage beyond redemption, and below the crusting cliffs of the arches the wheels roll. Most of the tires have run bare. Bald surfaces threaten grim fate to the driver on any surface less than perfect asphalt. Metal whiskers have begun to show on patches of some, forcing through the papery skin. One has punctured completely. No one has bothered to replace it soon enough for it to be worth doing now. Besides, the rim has been bent and malformed from being driven on through the flattened rubber; you'd never fit another tire onto it now. Soon the axle will break from the juttering pressure...


Stench... festering piles of litter carpet the moulding floor in heaps. One thing turned to five, turned to ten turned to a mat of garbage slowly decomposing itself along with the surfaces it eats into. The upholstery is ominously stained, telling tales of past journeys and disasters. Hernias have never been seen to, and grey-brown guts fluff out of the splits and holes which pepper the seats and backs. Mildew creeps over the damp fabrics, dotting in its own dun rainbow.

The whole vessel is freezing and full of sweetly moist air. Seals are rotting away and only remain in peeling, hanging tatters so that the wind whistles in and out again like a ghostly song. Sun visors swing on their broken hinges, mocking the possibility that they would ever need to be used; no sun will ever permeate this poor beast again. The glove compartment rattles and eventually drops open, like a dead man's jaw, gaping, toothless.

I am this hideous pile of rust and rot. Cruelty keeps me from being set alight. Some demon possesses me and grinds the ignition every day even though with each  turn of the key I protest and weaken a little more, convinced that I cannot awake a next time; but I always do, only to snake along the same roads, always the same roads every day on weakening axles and a god defying fuel tank.


Monday, 10 February 2014

Suing under Trade’s Descriptions

Suing under Trade’s Descriptions
I often have times of self reflection. Unfortunately these occasions are predominantly towards the negative. I always defend the accusations that this self critical view of myself is simply me ‘beating myself up’. This is how see it…
To me it isn’t beating myself up, no; to me it is simply a part of the ‘self improvement’ process. I view myself much the same as a designer views existing products or a scientist evaluates his experiments; practical, dispassionate and unemotional. There is a brief acknowledgement on any of the good, any successes that may have occurred, but this has rather less of a role in the evaluation than the stage of ‘what went wrong?’, ‘what failed?’, ‘what needs to be done better?’. What will make it even better?
Problem is; I don’t think I am ever going to be good enough. I’ll live improving and I’ll die improving. In a morbid way, I wouldn’t be surprised if the very process of improving will be the cause of my death.
I remember how I used to be, in the earlier years of anorexia. I believed was going to turn me into the person I wanted to be. Wonder drug, the fast track pass to perfection. Not only was it going to make me skinny and beautiful, it was also going to make me more popular, more funny, more of a ‘social butterfly’, more talented, more noticed, more respected, more loved…more able to love.
The realisation that this is not reality did not come all at once. It was less of the glass-shattering and more of slow drug come down experience. The mists of fantasy and illusion had thinned until only wispy fragments floated around me. Now I could see clearly and what I saw was the wasteland I had created whilst blinded by my mists of marvels.
Fast forward- sit that alien girl from all those years ago down, and show her the film of her future.
I shall be honest with what I know she will feel when she first sees herself. She will very likely be ecstatic, for I believe I am uncommon in the fact that even in the embryonic stages of my disorder, my mind was kinda screwed. Oh there was certainly a part of me that strove to be the ‘normal’ sort of skinny. The kind of skinny magazines show and everyone desires but seldom experiences. But what’s more important is the other part that already had darker ideals, the part that wanted to ‘shock’. This part is not interested in beauty, instead it strives to the physical extremes of existence, it craves bones, the look of illness and fragility. But back to the film; so far to her it looks pretty damn good. But she’s hardly seen anything yet…
She’s with friends. Sometimes. Yes, she has lots more friends. Only, this girl can’t handle it and she is constantly terrified of losing the friends. To her, having friends is such a god damn exhausting and boring chore. She’s too weak to enjoy them, to dulled down to engage with them, too tired to make the efforts she so wishes to make for them for being such precious people to her. She certainly looks funny; she can make people laugh; crack enormously offensive jokes and sour lemons with her sarcasm, but she rarely experiences whatever feeling makes these people smile, giggle and gasp. Her ‘talents’ are like a rapidly diminishing memory. She’s too tired to have hobbies, to hungry to care and to depressed to have such things as‘skills’. She knows and she feels appalling because to her; all she really sees is the lack of talents or skills, to her the ‘reasons’ are not valid. To her; she is just being lazy, weak; her feelings of rubbishness and lack of skills, hobbies and talents is all a result of her ‘not bothering to put in effort’. So there; she knows she deserves to feel crap. She wouldn’t really know if she was respected now because she’s too busy worrying about what she will eat and when and how, worrying whether the milk in her coffee, the tomato on her salad will make her gain weight…
I think the alien girl spectator would have left by now, don’t you? Would you stay and watch such a depressing, bleak film; especially if it was about you.
The film’s not finished, but for today’s purposes it can be switched off. The point is made. By the time you become what you thought you could be you will want your film to end.