It's my life...

Monday, February 27, 2006

It's my life...

Yeah, I did get to college on the Monday, but Marz is still not better and I hated leaving her. Not that I can ever stop her drinking if she’s a mind to do it, but at least I can shop and cook her decent stuff and refuse to buy the vodka now she can’t get out. I came back that first day hoping not to bump into crazy Calla and wondering what the hell I’d find at home. I wrote to Danny too, then tore the letter up and threw it in the bin, all this pink confetti like I was getting married or something. Ha. I’m never going to get married. I asked Marz who my dad was once and d’you know what she said? She said she hadn’t the foggiest idea. I looked in the mirror then. I’m fair-skinned with pale hair and eyelashes, grey eyes, tho sometimes they seem blue. Maybe my dad was Scandinavian, I said, looking hard, thinking maybe I could crack her wide, get her to spill. Has she ever loved anyone? Who the hell knows.

‘Scandinavian?’ she said. ‘Maybe, but there were so many coming off the boats round about that time, and I was always one for the seamen, me.’ Then she laughs like a hyena and says, ‘Seamen, get it?’ and I feel sick again. I used to feel sick a lot back then, still do sometimes. And I saw myself in a shop window today and didn’t know who it was at first. Gave me a right shock. It wasn’t the black hair, which is coming up pale at the roots – shall I fix that? – or the chucking of the pink gear, although I can’t afford to go out and buy new. Lucky I work at Old Stuff cos Jo’s given me loads that she was going to sling out. I’m a bit goth now – all black like Danny, tho I don’t go for the weird make-up (not that Danny wears make-up, but hey, you know what I mean). No, it was the shape of me – I must’ve put on at least seven pounds. So it’s no chips tonight and just water to drink instead of chocolate.

I keep thinking of Andy, wanting to go and see him. Hate myself for that. I have to try to be alone and strong and other people always complicate things. Some of the girls at college wanted me to go shopping after lectures today, but I’m not getting into girly secrets and stuff. Before you know what’s happening they tell you theirs and you’re suddenly spilling and then you might as well be standing bloody naked in the High Street, and at seven pounds too fat I couldn’t cope. Joke. Ha ha.

Saturday, February 18, 2006


I haven’t been to college all week. Partly because of what happened last Saturday but mostly because of Marz, who’s been in bed since Sunday, tired out and throwing up. She’s gone a yellowish colour too, as if she’s got jaundice, but she says that’s just because she hasn’t used the fake tan since last Friday. She won’t let me call the quack either, says all she needs is a few days rest. I’ve been googling on and off all week, trying to find out what could be wrong. The best bet seems to be cirrhosis of the liver and the stuff I read scared me shitless – she could have as little as five years left if she doesn’t stop drinking. I wrote some of it out and went and read it to her – sat well away in case she went ballistic, but she just shut her eyes and said what difference did it make as we’re all going to die in the end and it might just as well be sooner as later and she couldn’t get through without the booze, and besides, did I expect her to chuck away all the drinks customers insisted on buying her? There’s no reasoning with Marz, so I left her to it, but I’m worried, as it seems worse this time.

Old Stuff was okay, although I was like Lee & Perrings on a hotplate all day waiting to see if Calla would come in and eyeball me. I got the mobile out as Jo locked up, walked down the road to the corner with her, but there was no sign of Calla and her butch friend. I dragged past Andy’s flat half-tempted to ring his bell but decided against it. There’s Danny in that place and what the hell am I thinking of? But it’d be nice to see him again all the same.

Marz seemed a bit better when I got back – actually ate half a slice of toast with baked beans. Maybe I’ll be able to get back to college on Monday.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Handy Andy

I should go to college today but I’m lying low. I’ll get some reading done instead. I’m pretty down and don’t know what to do – maybe I’ll have to move away from here. This is what happened.

Saturday was busy again at Old Stuff, but I enjoyed it. We even had a couple of trannies coming in to mince about in front of the mirrors wearing Dior stilettos and Max Mara – so camp you wouldn’t believe it. Jo was pleased with me too. So I wasn’t expecting what hit me when we’d locked up and I’d said goodbye to Jo and got around the corner into the alley. Crazy Calla and some other bitch stepped out from a doorway and pushed me up against the wall, started saying all this stuff about me and Pete. Seems she thinks we’ve got something going.

‘So you thought dying your hair would make you invisible, did you?’ she hisses in my ear, her spit on my cheek, ‘well think again, cos you can’t hide from this baby.’ I’d have laughed in her face if it hadn’t been two against one in a dark alley, but it wasn’t too hard to keep my mouth tight shut. They punched and kicked a bit, pulled my hair as if they were still in the bloody playground, then she ran her fingernails down my cheek. That was the worst. I panicked then, thinking I’d probably caught Christ knows what – hepatitis, aids, who knows what the hell. The other bitch’s hand was over my mouth but I bit it hard and started screaming and they ran off. I was in a right state. A man was running towards me but I didn’t like the look of him so I buggered off. I got part way home before I fell to bits – tears and everything. And I don’t cry too often, me.

Then I noticed I was outside PC Plod’s block. I remembered what he’d said about not coming again, but I needed someone like bloody oxygen just then, so I sort of staggered under the overhang and leaned against his bell. I was still crying. ‘Who is it?’ comes this voice, and I just manage ‘Jazz, help me.’ There’s a pause before the door buzzes and I’m in and he’s coming down the stairs with ‘I thought I told you…’ before he clocks my face and ‘Shit, what happened?’ and he’s holding my arm and guiding me up and through the door of his flat. And maybe that’s the biggest mistake of all, cos I start to cry again and he comes over all protective.

He holds me for a bit and it’s sort of nice, and all this stuff wells up like a tsunami and I cry and cry and can’t stop. Then I do, but these gasps keep coming for a while. Then we just sit for a long time. At last he gets up and goes to get a bowl of warm water and some TCP and cleans my face, and then he says do I want to tell him what happened and I say No. But I tell him anyway, and he says I must come to the station and make a complaint, and I ask him if he wants me dead, cos it’ll be worse next time and we argue and argue and I cry again and he holds me and we stop talking. And I’m there a long time, and he asks me why I’ve dyed my hair and I tell him about Danny. And his expression is weird, as if he can’t believe it, and he says to leave Calla to him, he’ll give her an unofficial warning and she won’t touch me again. So now I’m thinking that I really am dead, but I’m too tired to cry or argue any more. So I lie on the settee drinking tea while he cooks fish fingers and peas and mashed potatoes and tries to get me to eat some, but I can’t, and after a while he walks me home. And this time he gives me his mobile number and says I must call if I need help, and to ignore what he said before about not coming to the flat and his face is so sort of serious and pleading, like a puppy almost, that I say I will. He told me his name too. It's Andy.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Old things

First day at the new job yesterday. I got there early so’s Jo (the woman whose shop it is) could show me what to do before I started. I hung around outside in the cold for almost an hour before she turned up with armfuls of old clothes – seemed she’d been to a car boot sale to look for stock. We set to sorting it out. She seems to go for anything old in good condition as long as it’s clean and has a bit of style about it, and it goes straight on the hangers without cleaning – she said anything that needs doing can easily be dealt with later and in the meantime we might well sell it. That means that the shop smells a bit – you know, like something does if you put it away without washing and don’t wear it for a long time – Marz has stacks of stuff like that, but Jo has dried flowers in baskets around the place so it’s not too bad and you do get used to it.

The place is rammed with stuff – she even has an Edwardian wedding dress with a seventeen inch waist and sewn with seed pearls. Designer dresses too. She got me looking through the stock so’s I’d know what’s what, and I’m to examine the new stuff carefully and spot-clean or iron as needed. She has this shelf full of specialist cleaning fluids and Stain Devils out in the little room at the back. I enjoyed the first few hours – it was a bit like sorting through the dolls’ clothes, deciding what looks good with what.

Then we got busy – hardly room to move, but Jo’d warned me to keep sharp as people go off with things given half a chance, and some of that stuff’s worth a bit. I couldn’t believe the cash and cards coming across the counter. OK, I worked at Retro-specs, which is kinda the same idea with glasses, but we never sold as much on a Saturday.

And then bloody Calla walked through the door and gave me a fright. All got up in the red boa and what looked like Pete’s cowboy hat and boots. I tried to keep my head down. The last thing I need is for Pete to know where I am on Saturdays. But she didn’t seem to notice me – the new black hair and ditching the pink I guess – so as soon as I could I slipped out to the loo just in case. Lucky she was gone by the time I got back.

Home again, and Marz had cooked – only bought pizza and chips – but it’s the thought that counts, and she doesn’t have too many of those. We ate it in front of the box then she buggered off out, as usual all slappered up like she was in a panto. She’ll be too old for all that one of these days. When I’m on my own I can’t help thinking of Danny. Hope he’s OK. I watched the box awhile then went to bed.