giorge thomas

Happy Easter everyone! I am currently eating my way through various types of chocolate eggs, which Easter Bunny kindly left for me.

Yes, Easter Bunny still visits me. Just because am in my late thirties does not mean I can’t have Easter Bunny come and see me.

Soon Mr Thomas and I will be off to Mama and Papa Thomas’s, where we will be fed a full-blown Italian Easter lunch. I am very excited by it.

For me, Easter is much like Christmas: it’s all about food and family. So I hope you all have a lovely weekend eating good food and spending time with family. Love you all, and look out for another instalment of Almost Drank the Kool-Aid later today.

 

To catch up on previous chapters of Kool-Aid, click the link in the menu above.

 

Was seventeen, I think. Had just been to see Mr Gruff for what was becoming our usual twice-weekly meeting of coffee drinking and smoking. Didn’t have a lot else to do. Was not in school, had no family, and no real job. Gruff was the only person I knew and he tolerated me. Our catchups were mostly expletive-ridden, and I enjoyed them thoroughly.

I would always use stairs in Gruff’s building. Hate lifts because hate the idea of being stuck in a slowly moving box with complete strangers. Even un-complete strangers. Is my idea of hell, really. At least on a staircase, can move past people as quickly as possible.

So on this particular day, was taking stairs down from Gruff’s office when spotted person slumped on stairs. Lamented. He was positioned in such a manner that would have to actually climb over him. Was not in the mood for it. Not exactly the best time for me at that point. Tried to work out how would handle the situation. Would I be pleasant and say, excuse me, can I get past? Would I tell him to fucking move? As neared, though, realised there would be room for me to get past. Spacial awareness not one of my strong points, see. If you ever ask me to tell you the length and distance of something, could never do it.

Was relieved when realised there was room for me to get past, but then, when I was two steps away, the figure turned to look at me.

Absolute horror on what was a very handsome face. Eyes wide with fear, face pale, clammy, and mouth open; desperate for air.

Immediate recognition. Had been in the very position of this poor soul before. Feeling like you would die. Dizzy from lack of oxygen. Humiliated at your own weak state.

I couldn’t leave this man. Couldn’t walk past him without saying a thing. Couldn’t leave, knowing there was someone in trouble.

Sat myself down next to this man, dumping bag on the step below us. Could be wrong, of course. Was a definite chance of that. This man could very well be having a heart attack.

So asked him — ‘panic attack?’ He nodded briefly through gasps of air.

Knew he would be feeling retched at this moment. His chest would be heavy and painful, his head like it contained a bowling ball.

I went straight into action.

Brushed the hair from his forehead not only because it was damp with sweat but because human contact can help in such moment. He might have been like me, of course. Might have hated human touch of any kind unless sexual when, if was possible, I would bury myself under the skin of another just to feel something.

I took the man’s face in my hands, gently, tilting it towards mind so could look in his eyes. Another thing I avoid at all costs and by the flicker that appeared in his, I knew it was something he usually avoided, too. Yet I kept my hands steady and said to him, ‘I’m going to help you. What’s happening to you right now is a lie. It’s just your fucked-up mind playing tricks on you.’

His eyes were wide with fear but I got the sense he acquiesced with what I was saying.

‘We’re just got to break that communication with your brain. Your body has to rethink how to breathe.’

He tried to take a breath. One of those big breaths when you are fooled into thinking your lungs will find the air from some miraculous place. Almost wanted to laugh at him. But didn’t.

‘That’s not going to work, I said, ‘there’s nothing there.’

I took my hand and placed it on his chest. He had undone the buttons on his shirt at some point, probably due to the rise of temperature in his body. Have been there myself before — at home I would end up naked from the heat.

And he was warm. Beneath my hand I felt the clammy heat of his chest. And… hair. A dusting of hair which initially transported me out of that moment. There’s nothing I loved more than chest hair.

I urged myself back to the present, willed myself back there. ‘Small breaths now. We need to let some air in.’

Like a midwife coaxing her patient, I let out a series of breaths for him to mimic. After a moment or two I felt him relax just a little beneath me. I figured he had enough air at this moment.

So I took one of his hands, trying my best to lay it flat on my chest. A difficult task due to the size of my breasts and my penchant in those days to defy gravity and wear them high in supporting bras which broke often from the strain.

‘Breathe with me,’ I directed him. I took big, long breaths, allowing him to feel the rise of my chest. I held the breath and then exhaled slowly, pressing his hand down as if it was he himself expelling the air.

I replaced my hand on his chest as we breathed, held and excelled together, pushing slightly down when it was time to exhale. After a few moments I felt his temperature return to normal.

I let go of his chest.

Reluctantly, after a few moments more, he let go of mine.

He hung his head as I ferreted around in my handbag to find the bottle of water I always carried with me.

‘I am terribly embarrassed,’ he said in what was a decidedly plum accent.

‘Don’t be embarrassed,’ I told him, offering him the water. He drank deeply while I ferreted some more, finding my pack of hand wipes. The shit I used to carry in my bag back then! Always had the largest bags to carry around a multitude of crap. Amazes me that am now sans handbag. The me ten years ago would have hyperventilated at the thought of leaving the house without a bag full of supplies. Now have learnt to live without them.

With shaking hands the man placed the top onto the water bottle while I — perhaps naively not understanding what a personal action this was — wiped his forehead, face, back of neck and chest with the wipe.

When finished he looked at me for a very long time. His expression was unreadable. Searching maybe? Am unsure.

After a moment or two where we were doing nothing but staring into one another’s eyes — creepy in any other context — he said, ‘thank you.’ Soft, small voice.

I shrugged in reply. I think I may have been embarrassed by his fervour.

‘I’m late for an appointment, but I think I should like to get some air first.’

I nodded and we stood up, me helping him a little to steady himself, and walked the last remaining staircase to the outside world.

The air was thick with mist but he took a graceful breath all the same. Without speaking agreement to it, we walked the short distance between the buildings to the Thames, sitting down on one of the raised park benches. I was outside and had just been through an awkward event so my instinct was to light a cigarette.

‘Do you have a spare one?’ He asked. I handed one over, holding the lighter to him.

We smoked in silence while watching a garbage boat punt slowly down the Thames.

‘Does that happen to you often?’ He asked. I knew he was talking about the panic attacks.

‘Every now and then,’ I told him.

‘How do you know to handle it so well?’

‘My mother was a psychiatric nurse, so she picked up a thing or two.’

‘You’ll have to thank her for me.’

‘I can’t. She’s dead.’

He muttered his apologies for my mother’s death. We were silent again. It lasted until the end of our cigarettes which we put out with our feet.

‘Well, thank you for your help today,’ he said.

We both bent forward, ready to get up, which brought our bodies closer together. Suddenly, the air shifted. There was a change. A tangible electricity. Have not had a moment like that before or since.

Suddenly aware of this handsome, although much older, man before me, whose skin I had only just felt under mine, who had smelt of fresh soap and spice, whose eyes were a welcoming crystal blue and whose lips. Fuck. Whose lips were full and ripe and, well, if I didn’t kiss them right then I’d be an absolute fool!

Suddenly, that’s what we were doing. A tangle of limbs as we launched together, lip on lip hands investigating all that we could reach.

I can’t remember now what part of his body I had found but I remember where his hands had reached. One on my lower back, soft and smooth, the other to my breast, searching beneath the fabric of my shirt, finding fullness and then, with the lucky stroke of a little finger, the hardness of a nipple.

All the while his mouth was in the exact rhythm with mine, with perfect pressure and just enough tantalising tongue to keep me interested.

Right there on the banks of the Thames with the whole of London watching. Hands down, the most erotic thing to have ever happen to me. Had we not been in public; goodness knows what would have happened.

But then; I was cheating. Proper girlfriends do no go around kissing strangers. Shame washed over me. I broke away from the man who I had felt such a sexual pull towards, it was dangerous. There was confusion written on his face. Confused as to why he had kissed me or confused as to why I had pulled away? I didn’t know, which haunted me somewhat. And there is no way I am going to ask — even in writing — Landlord about it now.

I remember telling him hurriedly that I had to go. Apologising that I had to go, and racing from the scene as quickly as possible. Was halfway across the bridge when I took the chance to look back. He was there, sitting where I had left him, staring back at me.

I cried for the rest of the day. Mostly from the guilt, but for something else as well. The unknown maybe? Or maybe it was foresight.

Of course, my indiscretion was revealed many years later under duress and then used as one of the reasons to leave me. If I look at it logically, I know it was just an excuse, but at the time I found myself being so angry at the nameless stranger for undoing me when I was weak.

He’ll never know it, but I hated Landlord for many, many years. Until the time I realised I was living a lie. Then I looked at him differently. The memory of him became a what-if.

What if I had learned his name? What if I had seen him again, left my boyfriend for him. Would it have been a life of happiness, or despair?

Not that anything could have been as despairing as what I had been through, though there is a chance it could be worse.

And now he’s here, an old, broken soul. I mean, he’d have to be over fifty now, surely? Unless of course he’s one of those types who looks older than he is. Cripes. Maybe he’s one of those types who looks younger than he is! Maybe he’s near sixty than fifty!

Not that any of this matters. Was just a day almost thirteen years ago. Another time. Whatever thoughts I had on it since either fuelled my anger or my hope. Nothing more. It’s funny, you know, how life turns out.

To catch up on previous chapters of Kool-Aid, click the link in the menu above.

 

 

I know you are all wondering how. How on earth anyone could possibly get sucked into a cult?

Well, obviously (and everyone who has been in a cult would say the same) I didn’t think it a cult.

I didn’t even think it a church. Odd, yes, given it is known as a church.

It’s all a little fucked up, really. When you enter it, when you join, they say, ah, no, is not a church. You don’t have to give up your religion. Is a way of thinking, they say.

And then, in hushed tones, you’re told the whole “church” thing is only there for tax reasons. Which, of course, they deny publicly.

But you go into it thinking this is just a way of being. This isn’t a religion.

For me, it was more than that. Was desperate for life to change. Addiction was controlling me. The only way I knew how to live with the pain of my life was to dull it with drugs.

Not alcohol. Never alcohol. Didn’t enjoy drinking. Wish now, of course, that I did. Because maybe would not have spiralled so quickly and therefore not be desperate for help.

It was the rehab centre that got me in. Got to LA, they said. This place will change your life. You will not only be free from drugs the moment you enter, but you’ll be given the tools to lead were a more successful life.

Which is all I wanted. We’d snow-balled into this life together. Me and him. The only way we could stay together, I thought, would be if we got clear.

What I thought would save our relationship ended up breaking us apart.

But that’s what gets you into the cult. The hope for something better. In the end they take your hope. They suck it dry from you.

Not all. Hope may have got me into the cult, but is also what got me out.

 

Next time…

Kool-Aid talks about her first meeting with Landlord… all those years ago.

Yes, yes, I know. Has been a long time since last Kool-Aid post. Not to worry, have rectified this by scheduling the next few posts, so Kool-Aid will now be back on board!

To catch up on what’s been happening with Almost Drank the Kool-Aid, click the menu link above. You can also read the last post here.

And now, for the next instalment of Almost Drank the Kool-Aid.

 

meeting my landlord (part 2)

Right. So quite a lot has happened this afternoon. Is most activity I’ve had since day I left the church.

Got text from Gruff explaining Landlord’s behaviour probably due to his reclusiveness. Yes, Landlord is a recluse. So seeing another human being probably scared the shit out of him.

Felt much better after this discovery. Don’t like the idea of anyone hating me for any reason which is bizarre because normal insecure behaviour usually has me thinking that people hate me.

But then — get knock at door. Slightly on edge because only person I expect is mail man and was not mail man time of day.

Open door, completely aware of possible escapes from situation — French door in lounge and back door in kitchen.

Was Landlord. In hands, a coat, much like that he was wearing. He held it up in greeting and said, ‘I thought you could use this.’

Was still wrapped in duvet, so couldn’t deny it. Nor could turn nose up at coat because was a very country style, probably Barbour (have since confirmed it is Barbour), the type of thing Madonna used to get about in when going through her bizarre British phase (that accent!) when married to Guy Ritchie. Even if was hideous, could not deny coat as rest of current wardrobe also hideous.

Nodded head in thanks, extracting hand from under wrapped duvet and took coat. Would mean no longer needing use of duvet, a thought which brings slight sadness as have grown attached to it in a security blanket kind of way.

Use of duvet alerted Landlord to temperature in cottage. He stepped inside, frown on face, and asked why I did not have fire on.

I gave an expression which I hoped would convey my uselessness at ability to start a fire. Of course, it only took one look inside wood burning stove and the remnants of unburnt wood for Landlord to see for himself.

I watched as he stood back, evaluating the situation, before emitting an ‘ah,’ and flicking what I thought was a useless know on the chimney. ‘You need to open the vent to start the fire.’

Noted that he spoke this in matter-of-fact terms. No judgement or accusation. Is weird for me to hear. Everything said to me these last few years has been with a tone of judgement and accusation.

Landlord then settled self in front of fire and began building a new one. Felt quite hopeless sitting back, watching him work, and decided I needed my own occupation. Took kettle from kitchen, holding it up to Landlord to indicate the question of tea. I myself do not drink it but was left a container of teabags from the landlord himself.

He understood my question, answering that yes, he would have a tea. Probably not because he wanted one, but because was polite thing to do.

‘Just with milk, thank you, ____.’

I didn’t like the way he said my name. As if it was familiar to him. As if he knew it well.

I set about making his tea and my coffee while he sorted the fire.

When I came back with the two mugs (but no biscuits — have eaten them all and still currently waiting for next Waitrose delivery) to the lounge, the fire was roaring.

As we sat down on the settee, Landlord explained how I could close the floor when the fire got going. Felt a bit ridiculous. Though did not have much experience with fires I do remember the one or two occasions spent in country houses when was required to light them. I remembered the whole opening of the flue thing and felt like an idiot forgetting it. Well done dickhead indeed.

Landlord drank tea silently for a few moments. Is probably exhausting talking to someone who doesn’t talk back. After a few moments. Landlord indicated coat, which I’d left on the back of the chair, and noted it probably would swamp me, but at least I’d be warm.

Without trying it on I knew it wouldn’t swamp me. Sure, I’d have to roll up the sleeves as Landlord’s arms are Neanderthal in length, but body-wise, there was a greater chance of me not fitting into the coat. With my chest being as largely-proportioned as it is, I knew it would be a tight squeeze. I may not even be able to zip it up, but at least I would be warm.

Knew Landlord was working up to his next question. A lot of swallowing and repositioning involved.

Before he opened his mouth, the realisation struck me. The ping of a long-ago held memory, of Wedgwood Blue eyes, a clean-shaven face and cropped hair.

As Landlord asked, ‘you don’t remember me, do you?’ I sucked in a great of air, cheeks reddening with the memory.

‘Ah, you do now,’ Landlord declared. I nodded in response. ‘Age, I guess, had not been kind.’

And then Landlord did a very British thing of nodding, standing up, clearing throat, straightening self and then declaring, thanks for tea, and leaving.

Yes. Quite. Let’s sweep all memories and feeling under the rug and move on.

Not sure how I feel about it all though. A lifetime ago. And yet, if am honest with self, that time has been kept in the store of my memory bank, brought out to mull over, wondering what would have been. Wondering what kind of life that nameless man was living.

Now I know. The nameless man has a name. A recluse who just so happens to be my landlord. And for whatever reason, fate has seen fit to bring us together again.

 

Next time…

Kool-Aid gives more detail on the ‘church’. And her reasons for joining the cult in the first place.

KOOL-AID: meeting my landlord

Another instalment of Kool-Aid! If you missed the last one, click here to catch up!

Blistering cold again this morning. Wrapped self in duvet for walk into woods. Enjoy sitting on the small arched bridge which spans the stream before it opens out into a pond.

Is lovely peaceful place to be and do frequent it every day, sitting on bridge with feet dangling on edge. Have three cigarettes while there. And yes, I keep all of the butts and take them home with me because am, at least, a very conscious smoker if nothing else.

Was on third cigarette when heard that classic twig-snapping sound you hear in movies; alerting you to danger.

So looked up towards the sound. Was a man standing there on the opposite side of the bank. Typical British country uniform of flat cap, green mack on top of knitted jumper, dark blue jeans and green wellies. I need wellies. White trainers are no longer white, but brown with mud and slush contracted on journey to the wood.

Quite an unkempt look to the man who I knew was my landlord. Long grizzly beard of grey and brown, but not in a trendy, hipster way. This beard had not been manicured in any way; simply left to grow as if he couldn’t be arsed shaving any more.

Hair was long and wispy under flat cap. Indistinguishable in colour. Brown, mousy, greyish. Strawberry blonde on the ends.

Landlord looked at me with initial shock and scepticism. Was on his land, after all. Took a moment or two before his face relaxed. Realised who I was, I suppose. Remembered he had told Gruff I could walk the property as I wished.

Smile broke across Landlord’s face. Looked like he had to work hard at smiling. Is probably how I look when try to smile. Am out of practise. Seems like Landlord is out of practise, too.

He walked towards the bridge, a little unsteady, probably because of slippery, wet ground.

‘You must be ________,’ he said, when within normal talking distant.

Thought, well done, dickhead. But yes, yes, nodded in acquiescence.

‘Have you settled in okay?’

Nodded again. Wished I could convey gratitude to him. Had left me with a warm, well-stocked little cottage. New linen on the bed, towels in the bathroom, a roaring fire and stack of wood.

But couldn’t give thanks. Landlord wouldn’t know about my muteness. Watched him carefully.

He was watching me, too. Strange expression on his face formed. Wide-eyed, almost panicked. Mouth actually fell open a little. Looked like he might cry.

And then, just a few moment later, his eyes narrowed. Was now searching.

Could not imagine what the hell was going through his mind. All very odd. Very odd. Because then he seemed scared. Got all fuddery. Like Hugh Grant in any part Hugh Grant has ever played.

‘Ah, yes, well, have a good day, ray, ray, rah.’

And then was gone. Disappeared back into woods with another twig snap.

Of course am now completely paranoid about whole situation. Texted Gruff: ran into Landlord. Any reason he behaved in odd manner, practically running from sight of me? No answer. As of yet. Am now worried there’s some kind of conspiracy between the two. That maybe Gruff has told Landlord a little too much. Perhaps Landlord is aware of history and therefore frightened of repercussions. May find self without home which is a bit of pain because have only just figured out how to set perfect temperature in shower. Would be disappointing after suffering many bursts of cold water for nothing.

Right. So I’ve just come up wth the best. Game. Ever.

You can thank me later.

Actually, no, you can thank me now…

You’re welcome.

The game is called ‘Guess the Mutual Friend’ and all you need to play is a Facebook account. Now, let’s face it. We all have one of those. Am sure is now a prerequisite to being human; having a Facebook account. You will also need one of those friends lists full of far-flung acquaintances. Yes, yes, we all have them. A long list of vague acquaintances. Friends from that job you had five years ago and will never, in any normal circumstance, see again in your ‘real’ life.

Maybe it’s the ex-girlfriend of your second cousin. Maybe it’s your second cousin. That bloke you went to school with, who you were never friends with, but got caught up in the novelty of Facebook in its infancy, so added him anyway. The girl you met at the pub, decided was your soul sister and added her on Facebook then and there. Next morning, of course, you realised she is not your should sister; you were just drunk.

Those folks you endured a monotonously long conference with, where you all thought you’d die of tedium and therefore bonded, adding each other on Facebook so you can share your mutual announce by way of funny memes, making fun of the guest speaker.

Am sure any of you who have been on a cruise will have that couple you sat next to at dinner as a Facebook friend.

Yes, cruises. Word to the wise — don’t go on a cruise! Is like school. You’re told when you can eat and are forced to sit at a table with a bunch of people you know know. Yes, you have the option of not going to dinner. But then you’re stuck with the buffet and, if you’re anything like me, the buffet is a dangerous place if you have absolutely no willpower.

pexels-photo-775294

Cruises are weird. You think they are going to be so wonderful. Like you’ll be off to some exotic location when in reality you’re stuck on a moving prison, full of organised fun with the oh-so-obviously-mass-produced food. Plus, there’s that constant ringing of steel drums from the calypso band always playing at the pool who you can’t avoid because the pool is next door to the mass-produced food buffet. And, well, I obviously don’t have the willpower to prevent self from going to buffet. Even with the maddening calypso music.

(I hate steel drums. HATE them. There was a bloke playing them at the end of Millennium bridge in London and Mr Thomas literally had to prevent me from punching him out.)

So you’re on the cruise, comfort-eating, and you befriend the folks you’re forced to sit next to at dinner for the entire trip because at the end of the day they seem normal compared to the over-enthusiastic cruise directors.

If the above is familiar to you, your Facebook friends list is probably full of mere acquaintances rather than actual friends. Which makes Guess the Mutual Friend game so much fun!

You can play on your own, or with friends. Would probably make for a great drinking game. If you drink. Am not much of a drinker myself. Regardless of whether you play it with friends or alone, it’s still super fun.

 

How to play

Head to the ‘people you may know’ section of Facebook. Search those faces. Below, it will tell you how many mutual friends you have in common. Which might give you some clues on who your mutual friends are. Say, if there’s a large number, it might be the mutual friend of an old work. Or even your school. A smaller number might mean they are a mutual friend of a family or couple you know.

When you play this game you get to learn a lot about your Facebook friends. See, for example, I have discovered when playing this game that one of my friends and their partner are closet bicycle riders. All of the mutual friends that popped up on my feed have pictures of bicycles! WTF? Have they joined some cult?

Another un-named friend is seemingly only friends with twenty-something blondes with full-faced makeup and duck-lip poses. Creepy.

So if you find yourself bored this weekend, or perhaps you’re looking for something to pass the time while you wait patiently at the doctors surgery, or while you’re waiting in line at the next ‘it’ food truck, have a go at the Guess Your Mutual Friend game. If you find it as hilarious as I have done, and want to share with your friends, remember to hashtag #giorgethomas

That is all. Will be back shortly with the next instalment of Koolaid!

Hello lovelies! Here is the next instalment of Almost Drank the Kool-aid. Remember, if you want to hit it up from the start, you can do so by following the Kool-Aid link in the menu above.

 

I love reading. Was always my escape as a child. Haven’t been allowed to read. Well, not for fun. All we read was church books. The same shit over and over again. No real plot. Certainly no sex. Sometimes wish was in Christian or Mormon cult. At least would have stories to read. The problem my church had was there was no hero. You always need a hero. Jesus, now there’s a good hero. But my church? Nada. So was a bit boring, really.

Thank goodness for Mr Gruff. Today I got a package full of books! Postman could hardly lift out of his van. Wasn’t happy with me. Though that might be more to do with fact that didn’t speak to him than heaviness of package. Suspect, as a postman, he’s used to heavy boxes.

Now, while I think of it, can someone tell me what the hell is UK Mail? Is Royal Mail now UK Mail or is UK Mail different from Royal Mail like UPS and other such delivery companies? Would be terribly sad if Royal Mail no longer a thing. Another great British institution privatised. If that is case, are we to see traditional red post boxes disappear? Can’t imagine it.

Is weird coming back to a country and seeing things change. Sometimes is a good thing. Like coffee. Used to be hard to find coffee shop but now they’re everywhere. And coffee half decent! Though maybe I just got lucky with coffee bought at Heathrow and in London.

Have realised the dream I once had for self has actually come true. Back in the day all I wanted was to have small house in the country and sit by fire all day reading. Should be loving it, but of course not. Firstly, can’t get fire lit. Obviously do not have necessary talents. When arrived, Landlord had raging fire going. But I can’t even make it spark. The radiators in cottage are pitiful, really only taking chill out of air so have taken to spending entire day wrapped in duvet. I sleep fully clothed. And am starting to smell. Don’t have washer or dryer in house so have to hand-wash. But because takes clothes so long to dry in next-to-barely warm radiators, am having to wear clothes for three days before others are dry. Have internet. Have money. Would think priority would be to buy clothes. Trouble is, not quite sure what size I am any more. Tags on uniform have faded and, besides, American sizing different to sizing here. Was much smaller when I left. Maybe there is a bit of denial, too? Like, I have idea of what size I may be, but do not want to admit that to self. No, no, no, no.

But yes, have books. Have to pace self, though. Have already read one book today. If keep this up, will be done in ten days. Then what will I do?

 

In the next instalment…

Kool-Aid finally meets her Landlord. What kind of man will he be? Will she be able to talk about it?

Coming up…

Someone from Kool-Aid’s past catches up with her.

 

 

Like Koolaid? Then check out Giorge’s other work here.

I’ve really been enjoying YouTube at the moment. In particular, beauty tutorials. Have never really been the makeup type. In the past I may have tipped my hat at makeup every now and then with some mascara and maybe, just maybe, eyeliner. I remember when I left home to live in the ‘big city’ and start work at a doctors surgery my mum (never a makeup-wearer herself) said to me, ‘maybe you should wear a little makeup?’

It wasn’t a dig. I think she was just trying to encourage me to be a little more presentable. And for whatever reason, makeup makes you more presentable.

Up until recently I never in my life wore foundation. Now that the time has passed, I can boastfully admit to you that I had beautiful skin. The real kind of peaches and cream complexion. Sure, I’d often go red as a beetroot (my rosy cheeks being sometimes too rosy) but it would always pass. My skin was clear and blemish free and anything covering it would have looked unnatural.

But then I got old. Yes, the wrinkles, but I don’t really give a shite about them. We all have them. Maybe I’ll botox it up later on. But. My skin. Ugh. I’m guessing a lifetime of medication combined with a refined sugar diet has taken its toll. I have pimples and bumps and dryness and irritation. The peaches and cream complexion is more blood orange and four. Not good. So, you know, I need a little help.

     Nikkie-Tutorialsnicholanwen

Of course I do. With absolutely no experience in the makeup world I had to turn to my favourites such as NikkieTutorials, Nicol Concilio and my new pleasure Anwen. I’ve watched carefully, trying to replicate their looks. After one successful play, however, Mr Thomas looked at me, eyes wide and declared I looked like Kryten from Red Dwarf. For those of you who don’t know who I’m talking about (I didn’t) please see the picture below.

kryten

Yes. Well. Obviously, had gone a little overboard with the contouring.

I am getting better though. Even bought an eyeshadow palette. First time wearing eyeshadow. Even bought foundation! Have been flirting with mineral powders up until now but they’re just not cutting the mustard.

However. I have a little bit of a beef with the beauty community. There are a few issues none of them seem to be covering. Tips I’m in desperate need of.

For example. What does one do with stress-related hair loss? The hair is growing back but my baby hairs are curly as all hell and just don’t want to settle. I basically look like an inverted poodle. Straight hair except for tennis ball sized patches on each temple which are curly as all fuck. So what do we do about that, beauty experts? You can’t straighten them. Too short to fit into the hair straightener. Must I suffer in silence?

Then there’s my nose. Now, this may be because it’s growing so rapidly in old age (ha, ha) and every time I apply product to it, my nose simply outgrows it. But how on earth do I get foundation, powders etc to stick? Every time I full-face it up, am left with a patchy nose. And yes, I’m doing the primer and the fixing spray afterwards. Have changed up using beauty blenders and brushes. Nothing works! Look like Rudolph, if Rudolph was sun-burnt and his nose started to peel. What about that, beauty influencers? Am desperate for the ‘snatched’ nose you all talk about, but hard to contour when all the product immediately disappears into some cavernous pit which is, most probably, my over-large pores.

Cut crease. Cripes alive. How do you cut your crease when your crease has about fifteen folds in it? Hooded lids I think they call it. But mine are like they are dressed for Antarctica with fifteen different hoodies in tow, the final one being the furry hood of my eyelashes. Would love a cut crease, but am I to have surgery first to remove layers of skin? I tell you…

(Not beauty folk may have no idea about the above. Don’t worry. It’s actually not that important.)

Now, please. Tell me, am desperate to know: what makeup routine does one need to remove resting bitch face? It’s quite the problem.

Was at a shop the other day, waiting, and the attendant served another lady first. No big deal. Was in no rush and was deep in thought thinking about life, cut-creases, that kind of thing. Anyway, the customer said to the attendant, ‘you better serve that other lady first’ (me) ‘she looks pissed off.’

Was shocked. Turned to lady and said, ‘am not pissed off, just have resting bitch face. This is how I look.’

So, you know, it’s causing problems in my life. So yes. A beauty tutorial to remove resting bitch face is a must.

As is a tutorial on how to put a full face of makeup on in the car. While driving. Now that’s a skill.

 

Are you guys addicted to YouTube like me? What are your favourite type of videos? Would love to know your favourites!

 

*** images of NikkieTutorials, Nicol Concilio and Anwen taken from their Youtube channels 

The next instalment of Kool-aid. To check out the rest of the story, click on the ‘Koolaid’ menu above.

 

Right. I admit it. I miss having a purpose. Am quite annoyed at self for admitting this. Because purpose turned out to be a lie. No, we were not saving the world. No, have not found answer to inner peace, bullshit, bullshit.

But now — have nothing to do.

Okay well, is a lie. Am spending inordinate amount of time on web learning everything I didn’t know about the church.

Because was never allowed to be on interweb reading negativity. But now can. Understandable why it wasn’t allowed. A lot of bad press out there. A lot. Rest of world hates church. TV shows and movies and articles talking about how bad church is. All of this has been kept from us. So now, am spending days catching up on that.

Am also catching up on the world as a whole, really. Have been quite cocooned. Especially in last five years. Remember the film The Fifth Element? When Milo Jolovich’s character is seeing all the videos of all the bad shit that has happened in world? Feel like that’s me now. Trying to get up to speed and take it all in.

Am not spending all day on the web. Would send me crazy, no?

I do a lot of walking now. Being out in the air is comforting for me. Even if is freezing.

Is only October, probably should think about buying actual coat before winter sets in properly. Didn’t have one as part of uniform in church. Yes. Uniform. Consisted of khaki coloured pants (one long, one three quarter), tennis shoes, as they call them in America (trainers), two royal blue polo tops and a cardigan for cool days. We all looked like camp counsellors. Or cruise directors. Yacht staff. And yes, am still getting about in this gear because is all I have. Did unstitch churn emblem from the breast of shirts but you can still see the outline. When I do go outside I wrap up with my duvet. It’s quite like a security blanket for me now — I take it everywhere. Am sure the landlord did not intend for it to be used outdoors, especially when I go and smoke by the stream on his property, wrapped up in tight, big fluffy and white. Don’t worry, am not trespassing. While have not met the landlord, Gruff did inform me that I was welcome to use “the grounds.” Have been using them every day since. There’s a lot of trees on the property which is a complete contrast to where I have been living previously. I don’t know, I feel quite protected by them. Like they will shield me from anything bad. Which of course is not true. Trees won’t stop anything or anyone reaching me; it’s just nice to have the illusion of safety even if the reality is completely different.

So those are my days at the moment. Eating, smoking, walking while wrapped in my security duvet, reading horrible stories online and trying desperately to not think of all the bad that has happened to me.

 

 

45 Notes Cover 4 small

Download Giorge’s latest book here

 

 

52 Words was written by Grabbety Covens as part of a 52 word challenge, hence the title. To view more of Grabbety’s exception work, check out his page here.

 

Her eyes possess a galaxy of stars,
constellations,
dreaming of discovery;
and I,
the sailor seized in their siren song,
am lost in love;
captured in breathless obsession;
Oh, I would eagerly sail the entirety of my days,
beguiled by their gaze,
upon the waters of her soul;
never a day, wasted.

© 2018 Grabbety Covens

And now, the next instalment of Kool-Aid! To see the story from the beginning, hit the ‘Koolaid’ menu above.

Verbal communication has never been my strong point. Reminded of this fact constantly the last ten years. Never good for your confidence. But they do like to point out your faults. So you have something to work on.

When I say it was not my strong point, what I mean is, that the idea of having a conversation with anyone would fill me with dread. Could never work out a happy medium. Either talked too much or not enough. Would worry about, constantly, what I was saying while I was saying it so words would get jumbled because mind not on actual task of talking.

Then, afterwards, have high levels of anxiety worrying about what I said. Was I nice? Did I say the right thing? Worried, always worried, about people’s opinion of me. Was nightmare.

Is probably why I took drugs.

When left the church (cult), knew would have to do a lot of talking. Explaining self. Explaining situation. Could not bare any of it. What was point of freedom when would be restricted by the perils of conversation?

No thank you.

And so, I don’t talk. Communication with Mr Gruff is solely over text. Works for me as always better with the written word. Don’t have to worry about anyone else because don’t see anyone else. Don’t have to in this day and age. Everything I need can be delivered. Except for cigarettes. Is ridiculous you can’t buy them online.

Do not miss talking, but still do have the need to communicate in some way. Guess is why am writing this blog. Is my therapy. Goodness knows I need it.

 

 

 

45 Notes Cover 4 small

 

 

 Love what you’re reading? For more of Giorge’s writing, download her novella 45 Notes on London by hitting this link.

A beautiful, haunting poem on the gripping connection with another by Andrew Maudling. To see more of Andrew’s work, check out his site here.

 

Her Roots

Walls broken and bricks out of place.
The sound of calling from a far away land.
Ship steam fogging my vision,
Like the smoke before a volcanic storm.
It comes as lightning.
It infects my eyes.
I am blinded by the grace of another being,
Whose heartbeat becomes the very meaning of my existence.
Her mind my meaning.
Our souls conjoined.
An ever-growing numbness clears my head of anxiety.
Her roots wrap around me like tree vines,
And they hang me by my wrists and ankles,
Dangling me above a field of fire,
Supporting me; carrying me over the flames.
She is good;
She is great.

© Andrew Maudling

 

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