Neither myself nor my ever present neuroses travel well, preferring instead to congregate within the confines of the haunt we call home where we can enjoy the tumultuous discomfort of endless bouts of prolonged misery in a familiar unsettling setting.
In this Shangri-la of derangement and mental maudlins, random panic attacks, general wailing and sudden bursts of hysteria roam free, unfettered by the judgmental arched eye brows of those who walk beyond this curious sanctuary and would question the bizarreness of such unorthodox behaviour...them being so perfect an' all... So, all this being considered, you'll probably find it strange that moi and the aforementioned neuroses..( who for the sake of this journal shall lovingly be referred to as 'friends' )...took it upon ourselves to accompany my octogenarian mother...( or MG as she's fondly referred to 'Mother Gargoyle' )...on her travels to Spain, as part of her ever expanding bucket list. The reason I had to do this, despite my peculiar mindset, is quite simple...I love this woman. I want to savour whatever time we have left together and she is completely unaware of the odd company I keep in the darkened corners of my raddled mind...and that's how it shall remain.
To discuss the matter further would evoke far too many intrusive questions and require answers that I myself simply do not have nor bear to consider... so it is that, me and my curious pals continue our relationship in secret....as best we can... Over the course of these chunnerings about mine and MG's travels you'll meet many of my little 'friends', though not all...some are far too disturbing to disclose even unto myself!!......Right...let's get on with it... DEPARTURE... Arrive at airport inwardly screaming 'cos am terrified of flying
Board plane - watch MG settle down in seat with book and barley sugar sweet - cast envious glance at her brazen nonchalance - swallow an inaudible sob. Mentally revisit inane statements of recidivist flyers who bleat supposedly soothing comments - "Oh nothing to worry about, it's not a long flight" - also revisit fact that length of flight has f**k all to do with time it takes to dive bomb into oblivion! Look around plane to determine if anyone looks dodgy - catch sight of own reflection in window - realise I qualify!
Fellow catastrophist thoughtfully prepares for post-crash situation
Listen as cabin crew go through emergency procedures - only hear " we're all going to die" Quickly scan rest of passengers excited, smiling faces just before take off - wince as mind replaces this idyllic scene of rapture with graphic images of blood, guts and general post-crash carnage Spend entire flight covertly monitoring every nuance of cabin crew's body language, looking for signs of masked panic.
WEEK ONE: ARRIVAL... Miraculously survive flight - eventually identify advancing alien feeling as hint of optimism Travel from airport to villa - discover villa is up a f***in' mountain - stare wide eyed into cavernous maw of impending doom which straddles either sides of car as it crunches its way up precarious, rugged path of cataclysmic possibilities - commence to quietly shite self - spot MG casually reapplying lipstick previously licked off face in a barley sugar sucking frenzy - waves bye to former hint of optimism
Survive ascent to villa - survey all aspects of breathtaking, beautiful scenery surrounding temporary home - enter perfectly tended and welcoming abode - pause to greet onward return of approaching optimism Notice steel bars firmly attached to every window including door - feel speedy retreat of aforementioned optimism as it's replaced by disembodied, strangled cry of claustrophobic terror Spend night covertly hugging fire extinguisher 'just incase' - awake and shuffle into lounge with hooded eyes - spot soon-to-be-83 year old mater relaxed and freshly showered on settee reading
Notice stifled titter she affords me - shuffle off to get ready for trip out to buy provisions - remember this involves road of impending doom - fail to remember applying for Survival Course - die a little inside Rest of time spent accompanying MG in exploration of beautiful town of Nerja, where we're based - struggle to suppress omnipresent want to rush back to villa to hide and adopt foetal position until time to go home to England - constantly bob and weave through assault course of people and noise of their ceaseless babble - avoid eye contact with anyone, especially with MG who has the ability to see through my soul Stand aghast at speedy approach of nun carelessly assaulting all in her path with scandalous flappage of bat black habit - grimace as scar tissue from convent education tears open to expose still smouldering embers of pain, guilt and fear of 'all loving God'
Notice nun has face like an empty duffel bag, collapsed in a constant state of disapproval, scanning for souls to devour and lives to f**K up - shudder all way back to villa
Plan day around pool - sleep marginally better knowing not going beyond hideaway this day - follow sound of MG's voice calmly sharing "must have been raining through the night, take a look at this" - quickly put bathing cossy on as prep for pool - exit bedroom - enter hallway - spot MG by open door, adorned in vibrantly coloured Gallabaya, breezily sipping coffee from china cup
Smile and saunter over to see what SHE'S smiling at - follow her perfectly manicured talon to point of interest - instantly mind- f***ed by sight of thick carpet of slithering, squirming, pulsing, writhing, bowel motivating worms leading from path to pool, around pool and IN THE POOL!!! which greets my now bulging eyes
Remain rooted to spot as MG turns, smiles again, with a mischeivously arched brow before asking "fancy a coffee before your swim then"? Scream into the following week!... ( to be continued )...
It would do much worse It would seek and find The human bitch Who had left it to die In the dirt deep ditch Whilst her screaming tyres Sped off into the night Caring not a jot for the black cat's plight Her scent was strong And the cat began to gloat Envisaging the moment It crawled down her scrawny throat As her eyes bulged blindly And her life's light dimmed Whilst it pawed and clawed Until it wore her skin Then it would dance in the moonlight And with all the demons laugh At the stupid woman's folly To cross the Witches cat's path.
At some point in our lives each of us will suffer from stress. Some more than others...and anyone who says they have never experienced stress...are either liars....or carriers! I'd probably suggest the latter in most cases.
Given the nature of my numerous neuroses I practically live on a diet of fingernails and chocolate, spending each day with a brow so furrowed as to render me Klingon in appearance! So on occasion, when nervous energy is spent, you'll find me flopped upon the couch trying to prise my clenched fists open, in an attempt to relax with a milky coffee and a Prozac sandwich. But I don't always manage to achieve this state of reverie, as was the case the other day. I'd barely un-knotted my eyebrows before the phone started ringing!
Some hysterical, hyperactive individual, with a voice not dissimilar to what I'd expect if you'd hand reared a chipmunk on a diet of helium and crack, squealed an enquiry as to my well-being, before assaulting my senses with a garbled mention of changing energy suppliers. I listened politely for some time before interrupting his monologue by saying... "Well this has been lovely...but now I need to go and spend some 'me time' ramming the fridge door into my head"...and thus we parted.
That over with, I settled down again and gradually, I could feel sleep creeping up on me...and if it hadn't been for the door bell ringing it would have caught up! Wearing the twitch of discontentment I dragged my reluctant body up from the settee and opened the door to find a dreaded Jesus Preacher standing there, dressed like an auditionee for Men in Black, with his obligatory child accomplice!
These people must get to choose their own side-kick before they set off for a days worth of knocking on doors pissing people off!.
Sometimes it's a kid, sometimes there's a person in a wheel chair with them...and if they're REALLY going for the pity-party jugular...the kid will be in the wheelchair! Still, on that particular day, for all I cared, he could have been accompanied by a choir of weeping orphans singing Old Shep, clutching tear soaked photos of their poor deceased mother, to their consumptive little chests ...I simply didn't care!...I was far too worn out and agitated to give a shite...and that's why I told him I was a Satanist.
These interruptions were really getting to me now and ruining the day. I was sick of the phone ringing...sick of the door bell constantly ringing...and then I was just sick.
I was about to attempt to lie on the couch again, when I heard something being pushed through my letter box. Instantly, the neurosis I carry which enjoys catastrophising every innocuous situation in my life kicked in, compelling me to run to the door in a bid to quickly assess whatever life threatening object had been thrust upon me! It was a plastic bag with a note attached asking for clothing donations to help the starving.
Now I am not an unreasonable person and I applaud all of the charities for the work they do but...you need to understand... I was on the edge of my wits here!...I'd been pushed to the limit!...and that's why I opened the front door to confront the startled guy who'd posted the bag by shouting at him... "If they can fit into my clothes they're not effin' starving are they????"...and then I ran in...ashamed.
For the millionth time I returned to the sofa. I could feel myself drifting again...ahhh yessss...gently beginning to float upon a bubble of bliss...lids folding over sleepy red eyes...drool welling up in the corner of my gaping gob...and then the phone rang again!!!... I jumped up and snatched it with the dexterity of a demonically possessed Ninja, with a temper to match!... "Whatever you want to give me I don't effin' want it!" I bellowed "What I want you to do with whatever it is that you want to give me that I don't effin' want ...is to stick it sideways up your mithering, intrusive, bug bearing arse. Do you think you could do that for me? Do you?".... There was a slight pause, followed by... "Well, I'll give it a go but one of the library books you've ordered is a hardback so there could be a bit of a struggle!"... The most peaceful happening to follow that, was the small funeral I held in the garden for my library card.......at least one of us got to rest in peace!...