Archives for posts with tag: panties

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So there I am, tearing down the high street in my beloved grey marl sweats, and me, I hear a small shrill voice calling. ‘Hel-lo-hoo!’ This voice, it’s tiny, it must be way off, yet it seems right in my ear. ‘Hel-lo! Ari-el! Hel-lo! Help me!’

Me, I come to a standstill, scanning around the street, somewhat confused. People scurry by in their shopping trances, not-there there, all caught up with important nonsense, the glorious a-void-dance we all do so well. Me, I want to do that dance, but the voice, it tells me, ‘Over here! I’m here!’ And frowning, no choice, I follow its apparent direction. ‘Yes, here! This way!’ I’m getting to wonder if this is a ghost. Either that or I’m truly off my trolley—because I seem to be the only one who hears the ethereal call. Tugged by it still, I crash through the door of a busy bakery.

‘Ariel!’ the voice cries triumphantly.

And hark at this: Me, I realise I am mad—bewitched you might say. And it’s wonderful! I am under the influence of a lean, long-legged blonde. A doll with boobs.

Absolutely: it’s Barbie.

There she sits, on a shelf by the window, surrounded by buns, donuts, éclairs, in a little frilly apron—some sort of shop mascot. People queue up, ordering doughy goods, while Barbie, her wide staring eyes stare at me.

Oh, what big eyes you have, I think to myself. All the better to see you with, my dear.

‘Hello’, says Barbie. ‘You found me at last!

To be sure, when she talks, Barbie, her mouth, it doesn’t move. This is not Toy Story. There she sits, smiling. Her lips apart just so.

What BIG teeth you have. I think, saying to her, ‘Hi.’

And she says, ‘My teeth are not big. Wrong story! Seriously, too much big bad wolf, Ariel—you’ve got to quit—all this spying on him is getting to be something like stalking and—’

‘—Blimey,’ I tell her. ‘Okay, Barbie, none of your business. That wasn’t meant for you; it’s an Ariel-to-Ariel ism. What are you, anyway?—telepathic?’ Barbie laughs. ‘This is awesome.’ I add. And believe me, awesome is not a word in my vocabulary. Barbie laughs again.

‘I’m glad you could come,’ she says. ‘Buy a bun and dance with it. Avoid no more. Abundance is the way to go.’

I smile. ‘I like the void. It has its merits. Space and all that. Is that what you got me here for? To buy buns? How much do they pay you?’

‘No. I want to tell the world a thing or two, and you’re the one I’ve picked to do it for me—you get me? Because I’m a doll.’

You don’t say? All the better to sally with you, my dear!

‘So shoot,’ I tell her. ‘I’m game.’

‘Fact is, I’m fed up with being an ideal,’ says Barbie.

‘Yes, that must be a trial,’ I say sarcastically.

‘Be serious, Ariel. This is a serious issue. I’m a toy. But I’m fashioned sexy and it’s very confusing. The messaging—you know, people are making lewd videos with me. I’ve seen them on You-Tube. But I’m straying… Point is, I need some form of humanity. Something that smashes the ideal. Women don’t have bodies like mine. My body is misrepresentative.’

‘But you are a doll, Barbie.’

‘I’m unrealistic. An unrealistic ideal!’

‘True. You are pretty ridiculous.’

‘Hel-lo!’ she says.

‘Well you said it.’

‘No,’ she says. ‘I said unrealistic.

‘Yes, your feet are too tiny. And so is your waist—and your hair is—come onit is—it’s way BIG—it’s fracking ridiculous. Hydraulic.’

Unrealistic,’ she states defiantly. ‘What I am, is a plastic ideal. And I’m sick of it. I want to be a woman.’

‘Great,’ I tell her. And I find myself thinking ridiculously: Oh, if only I were a doll. No real life: an un-breathing plastic ideal. How ideal! And then, desperately, I yell in my head: What is it I want?! And I get to thinking that when I was an ideal, all that time ago—when he, that un-man, was into me —it wasn’t so hot, he never really saw me—because ideal women—idolized, whatever—they have nowhere to go except down. A long long way to fall. To Barbie I blather, ‘So you want me to tell the world how fed up you are?’

‘I want to live,’ cries Barbie.

This takes me by surprise. ‘I want to live?’ I echo mournfully.

‘I want body fluids. You, Ariel, you have them, you own up to them! Your stuff of life.’

‘Yes but…’

‘I want to accept myself. Y’hear, Ariel, accept yourself! Look,’ Barbie says, matter-of-fact. ‘What you can do, what I really want is for you to make me a gusset. What is it you say about it—in your Introduction? That the gusset carries an awareness of the life-cycle. It suggests the state of becoming blemished, by it’s very existence, it’s very purpose—that’s what you say! It represents reality. The opposite of the ideal—oh shame, embarrassment, pain—give them to me!’

Me, I think to myself: You want those things?! Girl, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

‘I do,’ she answers. ‘I know perfectly well what I’m saying!’ She’s inside my thoughts again. ‘It’s called being alive! You, Ariel, you feel! You dare to feel! You’re brave! Don’t you see? For all the pain, it’s wonderful!’

‘You shouldn’t do that, Barbie,’ I tell her, dazed. ‘It’s rude to stalk my thoughts. My thoughts are my thoughts—they’re not for you to mine.’

Barbie, she ignores me, she cries, ‘We can do it, Ariel! We must survive loss. The loss of idealization. The loss of your loves. Oh make me a gusset, Ariel! Let me live.

Me, I smile ruefully, nodding. I realise, Barbie, she’s a bit of a sage. Ridiculous, but true. And why not? ‘I get you,’ I say. ‘I really do.’

Given half the chance, we’re more than meets the eye. Ideal women do not actually exist. We all spill. To be judged ideal is a camouflaged curse. ‘Blimey, for a moment I was actually willing myself to be you.’

Barbie cries. ‘If I could only be you…’

‘Be me? Why would you ever want to be me?’

It’s ridiculous, but there are tears in my eyes.

‘Oh Ariel, you’re alive. Stop the avoidance! Dance with a bun! Make me a gusset! Avenge me, Ariel! Give me life. Only you can do it.’

I smile with wet eyes. ‘Barbie, I’m going to do it. I’ll do it.’

‘That’s awesome!’ she says. ‘But look, I haven’t got any knickers. You’ll have to get me some—’

Me, I reach up and grab Barbie from the shelf. I turn her upside-down, inspecting her bare plastic bottom; it’s obvious there’s quite a lot missing down there. Barbie, she’s yelling, ‘No! I don’t mean literally! Get off! Ariel, stop it! Put me down! I’ve had enough humiliation!’

‘Sorry, sorry…’ I murmur, up-righting her, holding her ‘perfect’ little body at arm’s length.

At this stage, the shop assistant, she clocks me playing with Barbie, and she’s heading over, red-faced: ‘Oi you! Oi!’

Me, I tell her quick, ‘I was looking for her stamp of authenticity.’

‘She’s real alright,’ Shop Woman says, demanding Barbie with her open hand. ‘Can I help you? ’

‘Have you got anything wheat-free?’ I ask stupidly.

Baker Woman snatches Barbie from my grasp, checking out her pert posterior, her smooth un-crack. ‘If you’ve damaged this Barbie, they’ll be trouble. You’ve no right. She’s our lucky charm.’

‘She’s fine,’ I say. ‘Too fine. That’s her problem.’ As Barbie is plopped back on her shelf, I smile, adding decisively. ‘I’ll take a bun. A sticky bun.’

And to Barbie, I say, ‘Sorted! Let’s give you some real taboo. Let’s give them all a bit of a stir, shall we?! You may not have a cu_t, but I can fix things for you! I will. I’ll give you something that speaks of life, of humanity, something that every person must face. A stain. I’ll avenge your plastic ideal. ’

And I do. And this is that.

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Truth is, me, in case you hadn’t realised, I carry around a lot of secrets. They come two-a-penny and fill my pockets like all the worst sweeties. Lil fried eggs, rhubarb and custards… remember flying saucers? And I just can’t seem to unpack them—okay, so that’s a lie—even you know that, if you’ve taken a care to read me—no what I do is, I gorge on them—and I make myself sick. Right? I hide away and chew; suck, suck, sucking on secrets. It’s a folly, it really is.

Me, I’m a secreholic.

A memory addict.

Just how long can I last before I make a whole nother mess?

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t feel sorry for myself. More like I think—blithely of course (remember I’m a spirit and spirits, they are blithe (says Noel of the Coward-y custard kind))—what I think is: Me, I’m an idiot.

Don’t you know it: Things, they get imprinted when we’re scrappy lil kiddies—and we come to believe our own dumb dream. Like, what I’m saying is, I’m saying, Jeanie (=mother), she carelessly laid down this legacy for me. La-di-da: idiocy. Fact is, it wasn’t her fault—she was caught in the cruel clutches of something bigger than the both of us. She just fell far far away, disappeared into bitter sods of alcohol.

I lost my mother at the splendour age of four. When I lost my Poppa.

She was there, not-there. And he was there, not-there.

But what can you do?

Okay, so before you start crying in your soup, hold your horses and get this: me, I was a lucky lil perisher, because I had my Granny and my Granddad, two great wonders of the world. And before you attach to the image of a couple of ancients, know this: they were only thirty-six and thirty-seven respectively! These two loves had birthed their Jeanie (=my mother) just twenty years before. Jeanie had been so bright and happy but now my Poppa was gone she was lost. Granny and Granddad, they were under their own sorry strain, but girded themselves, girdling me. They took a hold of things. They tucked me up, and they brought in the bacon when my Poppa and Jeanie couldn’t do it any more. They saw me through.

Bless them.

And me, I waited. Pretending not to wait. Waiting for my Poppa to return. I remember him saying goodbye. He creeps through the mess of my cubbyhole room, careful not to wake me. Tenderly, he sweeps the yellow hair from my face, brushing it out onto the pillow, giving me the appearance of being caught in a gusty breath of wind. He is smiling and crying all at once, silently. Just one warm drop of him plops onto my cheek. Tomorrow I will discover it, a ring of crusty salt. And remember. He said, he said, I’ll be back, my little Ariel. He closes his fingers around my teddy’s mush, lifts him like that, like he’s a ball in his fist, and nestles him close into my loaf. He says, ‘You are decidedly threadbare. Now you look after her, you old thing, y’hear?’ Then he tilts into me once more and tells me in my dreams, ‘I’ll be back when you’re twenty, Ariel, my little sweet. Don’t worry. I’ll be back. When you’re twenty.’

And then he is Gone.

My Poppa, he came, secretly, that night, and told me he’d come back. He told me he’d come back. He told me. When you are twenty. I’ll be back.

Only I don’t know if he told me after he’d already Gone.

Only I do know.

Only I know.

Life and death, it’s a circle. We separate them, make them linear. Birth to death.

But it’s not like that.

We carry on. We are eternal. We are all one throbbing ball of energy, living together, separate, but not. You get me?

“would you adam and eve it?”

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How is it that the people that hurt you, those self-serving snakes who used you up then chucked you raw—honest-to-goodness hurt you—how is it, these people, you miss them?

How can that be?

When it was you who ran away?

I mean—you get me?—I’m the first to say it, me, I ran fast as any bunny can. I hopped, skidded and skedaddled up hill and down dale, I scurried the gamut of adapted cliché, slalomed the poppycock of all those well-worn, old hat phrases. Yeah, I saw the writing was on the wall; I leapt out of the frying pan into the pyre; I ran with my tail between my pegs. You couldn’t see me for must.

Muddy truth be told, deep down in the mess of me—you probably realise by now—if perchance you’ve attended these pages—yep, deep down in the sticky jam of me, I miss him.

Even T.B., he who lives with me, he cannot save me from that—for all his love and devotion. Ashamed as I am to admit it, me, I look for that wolf, for that dastardly devil, I look for him in Ted. I want for Teddy to speak big bad wolf words. Because the big bad wolf, he wasn’t all bad, and he sang me many a honeyed verse. And he sure knew how to… (lowered register here)… lurve me; yeah, he sugared my cherry a treat.

This wolf in man’s clothing, he knew how to get to me—you get me?

I’ve gotta admit it, I’ve found in T.B. a creamy, fresh, wholesome version of him. See, Teddy, he’s honest. He tells me things I don’t want to hear, things that he thinks will help me. And he’s celibate these days. We share an innocence, a pure and simple version of love. While at the same time, he’s a bit of lizardy lay-about, and a bit of a puffer—like him—slow-voiced and languorous, hazed in his dooby schmooby; a thing strangely seductive, laced as it is in memory lane.

Poor T.B.

Okay, so while I’m confessing, me, for sure, I’ve been a-runnin and a-huntin some more. I’ve loitered in woods and doorways. I’ve been on the look-out for his natty wolfish form. Betraying T.B. and my own integrity. I’m a foolish tail, harmless enough, but a tail nevertheless. A haunter. And it’s all a dream, miles and miles from reality. Me, I’ve locked myself away, living my own starry fairy tale.

I locked myself in—

and I locked myself out.

Then went about losing the key. On purpose.

The key to myself. To what really happened.

I don’t want to know, I don’t want to go, into the labyrinth of who I am. Yet truly, I long to be found. I peek though the keyhole, getting but a glimpse into my own heart, a tiny keyhole-shaped view, something that shows me just a little bit, a limited aspect, that is enough and not-enough, all at once. I peep into my past—just the keyhole sized parts I can handle. I wantonly live in denial of the truth, kidding myself I’m seeking it. Or maybe, me, I am seeking truth in my own jumbled way.

I suppose I sound like a sap? Me, the maker of my own tower, the guard to my own cell, keeping myself locked out of the now, locked in to the peered-at piece of my past I dare to trace.

Through the keyhole is where I need to go. Open the lock and be free. One day. A long way away. When I can.

When I’m through getting my knickers in a twist maybe.

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