Wednesday, March 09, 2011

DSC_6999 - We didn't need dialogue; we had facesJumping on my parents' bed, spinning in mid-air, one of my mother's skirts billowing around me, scarf streaming from my head. The inevitable angry challenge. The protests, with reasons; I wasn't damaging it, you weren't using it. Perhaps "But I like the way it moves" wasn't the best answer to give.

Playing with her underused make-up. The struggle for balance; trying to see both eyes closed. The weird shifts in emphasis, when I hadn't know there was emphasis at all. The quivering of eyes, and skin that won't stay still.

The teds. They were my toys. Men and women, boys and girls, all stuffed as dogs, pandas, geese. Occasionally they'd flip, the heretofore males becoming females, but that's because my brother's were male so mine had to be female. And if they were female you could make them hats and clothes to wear as they drove round in tissue-box cars (and had car chases and crashed them, repeatedly, so the cameras could get different angles).

It's odd how some of the names stuck. New York, in the t-shirt, started off male then switched. Brown Ted, who was nice, and had series of gowns rigged from fabric scraps. Koala, the Stieff with oft rebuilt hands and feet, later crowned Queen (because she was only slightly too big for the Fisher Price car park that became the palace), when she wasn't Inspector Koala (to the theme tune to Inspector Gadget, but I never realised this). Doggles, one of my brother's. Jammy, a panda, the name being a pun two nicknames for police cars (he was my brother's; his sister was mine, but I can't remember her name). June, a blue and white scrunchy feeling thing I won in a raffle at school (I chose the teddy bear—are you sure you want to choose that?—in front of the whole school over various other boring things; I kept winning things in that raffle. The name is because she was won in June). There were a lot more, but I can't remember them.

Called "gay", called "queer", called "cissy", called "nancy", called "ponce", called "poofter", called "bent", called "faggot", called others, the words lost, the meaning kept. Always denied it. It was bad, I was not, so I couldn't have been. But then I denied being a virgin in year 7 because I was asked if I was one by the same people who asked if I was gay. I didn't know what it meant, but if they were asking it had to be something bad, so it wasn't something I wanted to be, or wanted to admit to being, so I denied it.

Pick a name at random from a class-list whittled down to the most suitable options, having crossed off any I've already decided to fancy in the last two years. Wait for the usual secret Valetine's post to be set up. Make a card and send to the dullest girl in school. Sit back and await the joy as she works out who sent it, realising of course it's the person she wants it be, who in hindsight would be the one I'd like to send me a card.

I just Googled; he—the beautiful boy, happy, charming, indulgent and carefree—is an accountant. Still beaming from his Linkedin page, but still an accoutant. Married. Has Cowfish as a Facebook friend. And the one whose father designed jet engines, whose life had kinks I wasn't supposed to know about, who lost a tooth against the playground wall, is now an army captain.

It's very odd, galling almost, realising the subjects of early infatuation, the lionised, idolised, fêted and nigh-on sacred, those who left in 3D—are left in 3D—are just this or just that. They might not have feet of clay, but they are standing in it.


PS. Turns out I've done this before.

PPS. This post triggered by BTW.

I steer clear of facebook and other such places. The temptation to stalk would be just too great.

Sorry to hear you were called all those things. That's terribly mean.
Oh, but stalking's fun. Except it's not really because usually it's far too easy (there's nothing quite like getting full details of someone's parents when you only meant to gather a small amount about the son to prove a point).

As for the names, well, life is what it is. Perhaps if I hadn't been so adamant in my denials—and agreement with the implicit assumption of that made the insults insults—it might have been otherwise. But that's a might and might is only worth bothering with when it means strength.
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