The first thing that The Girlfriend© texts me during the working week is usually, Good morning, honey or some derivation thereof. That said, it was a little disturbing to read the following, first thing this morning:
“25 years since Lorena Bobbitt cut off her husband’s penis.”
All right. Thanks.
For those of you who are either too young to know the reference, or are simply not aware of it, Lorena Bobbitt became somewhat of a celebrity for chopping off John Wayne’s penis (her husband, not the actor with the cowboy hat) on June 23, 1993, and then infamously threw it out of her car, into a field. So as not to make it seem like this was an unprovoked attack, she did claim he had raped her earlier that night, so there’s plenty of wrongdoing to go around.
John Wayne Bobbitt became quite popular in the pop culture of the nineties and went on to have a moderately successful career in porn after the incident, so every cloud and all that.
Still, there are a thousand and one ways to get famous in this world… and let me be crystal, I choose any other one!
I’m actually going to go ahead and give this one to me, because if you can’t have a laugh at your own expense you shouldn’t be laughing at anyone else.
For many years I had trouble sleeping. I eventually did get to sleep every night, but it was usually a struggle to get there. I would often lie there, thinking about what I had done that day, or about what I was meant to be doing tomorrow. I’d think about my stories, and about what I had eaten for dinner. And yeah, sometimes – like the guy here – I’d be counting farmyard animals until even they had gone to sleep.
Silly as it may sound, I never actually knew how to get to sleep. Perhaps I did when I was a child, but somewhere along the line I forgot. When I was in my thirties I discussed this with my wife at the time. I explained to her that I would just lie there in bed, staring into the darkness, waiting for sleep to take me. I didn’t find it particularly funny, but she really laughed hard that night.
Apparently I was doing it wrong all along. She told me to try closing my eyes. That seemed like an odd concept to a fully-grown adult. That act felt like more of an effort in the search for sleep than simply letting my eyes fall shut naturally… but I tried it, and I haven’t looked back since.
So, you’re never too old to learn something new.
Yesterday I was at a leaving night for The Girlfriend©, who is moving on to new employment pastures. Same job title: new environment… and, more importantly, a step up in all the areas that matter.
There was a meal, followed by a pub quiz, and in amongst all that, there was alcohol. Now, I’m not opposed to alcohol at all – I can certainly enjoy it from time to time – but I know my limits and I stick to them. I do abhor the way alcohol affects some people, and, by extension, how the behaviour of those people affects me and my enjoyment of the night.
I am very competitive when I’m playing games – whether that’s a pub quiz or sat at home on my PlayStation. It’s just how I am. Should I have been a little more forgiving of those around me who cared more about finding the bottom of their glass of red wine than about hearing the next question? Probably. But I think alcohol should be used as a method of relaxation – to put a cap on the end of a long week; or, as in this case, to celebrate a valued colleague who is taking her talents elsewhere.
Last night, some used it as an excuse to be an asshole.
A long-winded way to say I didn’t win? Well, yeah. That too.
I lost my sense of smell over a year ago. I don’t know exactly when, but it was around the time I started seeing The Girlfriend©… so perhaps it was precautionary. This was coupled with the sensation that I was suffering from a cold that just wouldn’t quit. Runny nose one day; blocked nose the next. It hasn’t been pleasant to say the least.
I saw my doctor about it last year because I was getting fed up, and after a few months of nasal sprays with only limited success, I was referred to the hospital for further evaluation. That appointment was this morning, where the consultant advised me that I have polyps blocking my airways.
He has put me on a course of steroids, and given me some nasal capsules which he is confident will work. However, if those things are unsuccessful I’m going to need surgery to take care of it, which is something I’d like to avoid if at all possible.
Then again, maybe I could get a free nose job into the bargain.
I delved a little deeper this week into the dialogue of Talking in the Fourth. I’m looking forward to grabbing some time and getting through it because I already have a good springboard for the plot and how it ends, and about half of my projected word count committed. It’s (hopefully) a clever twist on a familiar set-up.
I’m also going to make a concerted effort to fire off a bunch of stories in the next few days. I’ve sat on a lot of good pieces for a long time, and I miss those days when I’d have upwards of fifty active submissions… where I genuinely did look forward to the response, even though nine times out of ten it was a rejection.
This one goes to one of my young work colleagues… one who should probably remain nameless after this little inquiry. So let’s just call him Kieran.
“Don’t you think Dwayne Johnson and The Rock look like the same person?”, he asked.
Yes. They do.
I asked Kieran if he was serious, at which point he questioned whether or not he was thinking of the right… people.
Now, in his defence it would appear that he is not the only one who doesn’t know that The Rock and Dwayne Johnson do indeed share a passport, but I figured that someone in their early twenties would have their finger a little more directly on the pop culture pulse than he apparently does.
I wonder if he knows that J Lo is really just Jennifer Lopez.
Well, I’ve named the piece I was discussing last week. It’s going to be called, Scream, Pause, Play. At least, that’s the working title. These things have been known to change as the story grows. On paper (or, in my head, at least) it’s a very dark story with an interesting narrative form. It will be quite the undertaking, but I’m certainly willing to giving it a go.
I’ve also picked up a story I started a long time ago called, Talking in the Fourth. It’s a first person tale set entirely on a therapist’s couch that should probably be no longer than a couple of thousand words, so it shouldn’t outstay its welcome. I found a good ending for it a few days ago, so now it’s just a matter of writing my way towards it.
Of course, this is along with that damn monster story on the train that hasn’t quite pulled into the station yet.
But I’ll get there.