"What's the world for you if you can't make it up the way you want."

-Jazz, Toni Morrison


White Wine

White Wine

I am thinking that your horoscope shouldn't be based on the alignment of the stars when you were born, but on what your 'bad' drink is. Everyone has one. As it happens, mine is white wine. It fucks me all the way up, and, if I have some, more often than not,  whatever negative emotion I have lying dormant will be brought aggressively to the fore, causing me to behave like a total dickhead.  There must be a reason for it. I know a couple of guys who go bad if they drink whisky, and gin is supposed to make a certain genre of middle-aged woman cry.  I was thinking it might be related to your blood or something, like how in in Korea, a lot of people think your personality is based on your blood group. That's kind of like zodiac signs. Fewer categories. Basing archetypes around your bad drink sounds like a more realistic approach, if you ask me. I'm glad I'm not yet a gin woman. 

Last night. 

Me: No booze for me tonight thanks. Got an early start.

Also me:  I don't remember getting home, only I know  that I didn't get a taxi, as I checked my taxi app. I did get a pie from the 24-hour bakery, as evidenced by the tell-tale greasy paper bag on my bedroom floor. "Just one more thing", eh, Columbo? I messaged Jo and Nick and John-Mark when I woke up with a self deprecating missive, but only Jo is awake at this time of the morning. She said I wasn't being a knob, so that's a positive sign, I suppose. Christ. Why you like dis, pupper?

I know why, actually. I went along with white wine due to the unspoken understanding that if we all had the same drink, shared from the same bottle, we were being more community minded, and therefore more considerate friends, or whatever, something like that. Maybe people do that because it works out cheaper, but there's always someone who leaves without having paid for anything. I suspect last night that may have been me. Last night I wanted to be the sort of person who drinks white wine with her friends in a bar. I really should've straightened my hair and cleaned out my handbag. Done myself an adult. 

I honestly felt not too bad when I sent the message, but I must've been still drunk for a while, because I've been feeling progressively worse since I got in here. The water cooler is beginning to seem vaguely confrontational. I always think I can get away with it in this place, because I never think I smell, and the standard of my appearance has always been inconsistent. Sometimes they joke in here that I seem hungover when I'm just tired. Sometimes I wear makeup and stuff, but not always. Sometimes I wash and put on fresh clothes before I go in and stuff. 

I know I must be hungover TO FUCK, actually, because I nearly cried at the word 'puzzle' on a crappy book thing in the paper shop on the way to the office. Actually, it was the word 'puzzles'. It seemed so sweet natured a word, so naive. I will never be benignly middle class enough to use that particular plural. It's only for people with lovely grandparents who own houses with gardens and like trains and stuff. For the love of Christ. 

No. Positivity possum says you got this. I don't feel like I'm going to be sick or anything, and I am able to sit and keep refreshing my emails, so I look busy and sometimes I feel like I am. The only thing presenting me with a genuine problem at the moment is fucking Logan. He's not even on my team, but he has that fucking voice on him. Today, as it happens, he is talking about drinking, and about going on a date last night. He's telling the twins how he doesn't drink alcohol for the taste, but more for the effect. Even for him, this feels a particularly inane thing to say out loud an expect it to register with other people as in any way insightful or interesting. It'll be something his mother says. He's telling them that the girl he went out with likes craft beer, only he's calling it "craftED beers". When he says that I honestly want to punch him in the teeth. 

He is politely corrected by one of the twins. They are so nice. They work in the same team together, but I've never seen them argue. Or frown, even. Either of them. Seeing how they tolerate Logan and "crafTED beers", I have a sudden urge to ask them how they manage to get on so well, despite the fact they are twins. Or is it that being twins has made them be more tolerant of other people.  I Imagine asking them do you ever fight? Did you ever fight when you were kids? Did you ever do weird stuff like wank each other off when you were younger and didnt realise it was bad? Do you try not to think about that stuff now you're adults, or does it all feel OK, because you feel like you're just extensions of each other, rather than two separate people? Like when parents say they don't mind wiping their kids' bums?

Right. I clearly need to find an actual task to engage my brain in. This is why I will never have access to words like 'puzzles' or any kind of wholesome SOMEONE IS STANDING beside me saying some words I have to respond to and the correct response is not "chimken". Careful as you go. Oh heck, it's Martin. Doing a dialogue. I might not be able to get words out in time. I am concerned my eyes might be weird, or not matching. 

YES THAT's. That's what we said. Alright Martin. Ok. Yes, FINE thanks. Grand. Ok. 

Derp. Sometimes, when it's like this, I have to intentionally compare myself to Jim Davidson. That's what I said to Nick he should do, too, when he gets one of his bad depressions. I should set up a therapy centre and patent my Jim Davidson theory:

  Do you ever wonder what the fucking point of it all is? Yes. Do you ever feel that everything you've done from birth has just been a horrific, embarrassing mistake? Yes. Right now, do you feel this is a truth about yourself that you always know deep down, but you just convince yourself otherwise most of the time so that you can get on with watching TV and going on facebook? Yes.  Do you feel that the people around you know it to be true too, and just tolerate you, but the reality is that you just get in everyone's way? Yes. Right. Hold that. Do you see that, despite this, you are clearly, objectively a better person than Jim Davidson, who is a racist homophobe and suspected domestic abuser? And do you think Jim Davidson ever feels the way you do about himself? Or does he just keep selfishly and relentlessly, not even just existing, but imposing his existence on public consciousness? Also, have you seen that fucking photo of him from like 2015 where he is wearing a facemask to clear up his skin before a public appearance? So that he looks his best on TV. Because he really sees the point of doing that. Jim fucking homophobe generation game fucking cretin Davison. See? It's inspirational. Jim Davidson's bullish lack of self reflection should be an example to all of us. An illustration of how none of it matters, it's all just feelings and perspectives. Isn't it. I think he even worked for David Lynch one time. 

Anyway, I'm on my feet and I sincerely hope no-one else needs the bathroom right now. That said, I read somewhere that smelling other people's bad farts helps prevent the onset of dementia. Prepare to be made immortal, colleagues.

Remember the lock, pupper.  

Oh christ, it's as I expected. 

Well.

...Fuck it.

Fuck it, because sometimes, you have to be brazen. Other people are just brazen without even thinking about it and they do ok in the world. You have to be brazen and you have to be bold. If you're not bold, you're bloodless. Never be bloodless when you can be bold. You're either one or the other. If you're bloodless you cannot be sound, and soundness is the only philosophy that means anything in the world. Even if someone cocks everything up, if they're basically sound, you always have something to work with. All Scousers are sound. Not everyone in Scotland is sound, but absolutely everyone in Liverpool is sound.  Blessed are the sound, for they shall inherit oh God,  I hope didn't just make that noise out loud. 

What a fucking mess. I remember doing that quiz for schema therapy with Jo after she did her training course. We did that over a few drinks on her living room floor. She was anxious for us not to tell anyone she'd let us do the quiz when pissed because she thinks if anyone found out, she'd be struck off. I enjoyed it though - it was a laugh. It's nice to be reminded of your own skewed lens. I have all the schemas. Well, defectiveness and abandonment, at least. Scored not too bad in unlovability as well. I had to stop and disengage though because it started to feel like I might even

Sometimes, when I think too much, and I'm still a bit too sober and not at the sweet spot yet, the Brick's click, if you will,  I get really close to figuring out what it really is about, and things go dark and the walls move. I can't stand up, so I kind of wiggle to the floor. I'm suddenly very hot. My stomach lurches and it's bitter and THE SMELL is fucking Jim Davidson unbearable and 

I'M DOING IT A LOVE. CHIMKEN NUGGERZ! IF BRITNEY CAN SURVIVE 2007

My vomit smells of vinegar and shit, but the bowl feels fucking celestial as usual. I always forget how great it is. I'm probably very pink now. My breathing is heavy at the moment but returning to normal. My temperature is, just, whatever. We're all too emotionally literate these days, that's the problem. 

That's it. I know it. 

Suddenly, I feel like I actually do know it... A different click. There's writing embossed in the wallpaper and I nearly laugh at it. I am fine. I'm gonna be snookering you, snookering you, tonight

the thing: I never did anything wrong. And I'm fine. I am I am I am. 

Me: I never did anything wrong. I never did anything wrong. I never did anything wrong. I never DID anything wrong. I never did anything wrong. I never did anything WRONG. I NEVER did anything wrong. I never did anything wrong. I NEVER DID ANYTHING WRONG. 

Also me: 


Vic Allen is a writer based in Edinburgh.

Cover photo by Thomas Martinsern on Unsplash

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