Sunday, 29 July 2012

Eliza escapes . . . (part two)

Alicante '82

No point trying the door, I knew that was locked. I looked down from the window, no fire escape, no nothing escape . . . just a long way down onto a small courtyard, packed with skips, bins and cardboard boxes. Most of the shutters were closed to the afternoon sun, and there was no sign of life in the rooms that were open to the sun. I banged hard on the door, four floors below the man on reception snored through his own siesta.

I changed into my old clothes and sandals, they felt good and smelled reassuring. I immediately had more faith in myself. I kicked my dress and heels under the bed, that was the end of them and, hopefully, all that went with them. A few splashes of cold water onto my face, my neck and arms, I rinsed through my underwear and I was ready . . . Now, all that stood between me and freedom was an old heavy, wooden door. Come on, there must be someone in this place other than me?  My hand was hurting from hammering the door, it seemed to absorb the sound. I tried kicking with my back to the door but that hurt my heel, there was nothing in the room that I could use to bang on the door. Maybe if I stood by the window and waited for someone to dump some more rubbish in the courtyard, I could get their attention.
"Hola!" . . . "Oi!" . . . "Ello?!" . . "ELL LO!!"
"La puerta!! . . . Oi!  . . . Cerrada!!"

I knew the word for closed as everything always seemed to be closed in Spain  . . . What was help? I knew what it was in French, at least one of my O levels was paying off. I followed my rule that rarely let me down; use the French word with a hint of Spanish, stick an "a" on the end, or an "o" for Italian.
"Secorra!" . . . "Woi!!" . . . O come on, I mean what if the place was on fire . . . Aha!
"Fuego!!" by the window . . . "Fuego!!" by the door . . . and back again to the window yelling.

I'm clouting the door with the metal frame of my rucksack now . . . holding it above my head ready to strike again, I heard a voice, something was being said in Spanish . . . Yes!! Yes!! This is it, I'm gone. I didn't care who was on the other side, the devil himself would not stop me now.
 "Bueno, bueno" A key turned in the lock . . . It was the greaseball from reception. I would have stopped to hug him but I didn't want him getting the wrong idea. With no backward glance to see if I had left anything other than the Brandy and those clothes, I flew down those stairs, leaving greaseball looking for the fire, he would be satisfied with the Brandy . . .  maybe even the clothes and heels. I had a road to find. 

It was an ideal hitching spot, a toll road with plenty of traffic, many cars pulling in for a break. Within five minutes a car pulled alongside me, A couple in their early 50's, both tanned and wearing way too much gold, looked a little too pleased to see me.
"You English?" the woman called from the window. O No. I didn't want to make conversation, but I did want a lift. Need a lift.
"Yeah, I need to get to Barcelona . . . or further, to France really"
"Jump in the back, we're going that way . . . Calp"
"Calp?" . . .  I hadn't noticed Calp on the map, but we were headed North and the quicker I put some miles between me and Alicante, the better.

The couple lived in this Calp place, they told me it was a busy town, near Benidorm, which I'd never heard of back then. They might be able to get work for me there, a friend had a bar . . .   Did I dance? O hello, here we go . . . No-no go-go. No more dancing . . . for now.
"Come and have a look, have a drink, see what you think eh? You're not gonna get to France today, you can stay overnight with us, see the bar, meet some people"
As she carried on planning the rest of my life, I saw a sign for Calp and he indicated to turn off the main road. I couldn't have been in the car for much more than half an hour . . . No way, this was too close.
"Erm . . . I think I'll just stay on the main road, if you could drop me here . . . thanks, I need to go further" 
"Yeah, well, I'll get out here then if that's OK?! . . . OK??"                                                                                                                                                                         
I was mentally calculating the distance, knowing I had to walk back to the main road and getting a bit frantic at the thought of wasting any more precious time. Strengthened by my old clothes, the smell of patchouli and having come this far, I barked.
"Could you just stop your fucking car and let me out! I don't want to come to Calp, I don't want to work or dance in Calp. Not for your mates and not for you . . . Thanks, and all that, but I'm running away, I need to go NOW! as far as I possibly can!!" The bark rose to a screech.
I felt like the gingerbread man; I've ran from Higgins and the laughing weirdo in a rented room . . . and I'll run from you pair too.
That did the trick, they didn't want to get involved in anyone else's mess, I suspect their own was enough.
"Thanks then, bye" suddenly polite again, now I had one foot out of the car. "Thanks for offering to help me, but I really can't stay here"
They weren't so chatty now . . . "Good bye, and good luck, young lady"

Back on the main road was not such a good hitching point and I felt pissed off with myself for having accepted the first lift, without knowing how far we were going. An utter waste of time. I stood at the roadside with cars whizzing past for almost an hour before a car pulled over . . . This time Spaniards, three of them, all male and middle aged.
"Barcelona?" I asked, having decided anywhere closer would not do.
"Si, Si Barcelona!"  ah well at least I wouldn't have to talk . . . like that was my biggest worry (!). I jumped in. The car smelled of Brylcreme, hardly surprising looking at the black plastic shapes they'd sculpted from their hair. I studied them in turn, looking for something that might tell me I was safe, or not. Not a hint, nothing. A mixture of their limited English and my limited Spanish told me they were off on a fishing holiday near Barcelona . . . did I want to come with them?
"No, Gracias , I have to go to France. I must to go to France".
I imagined the type of English middle aged men that might take a fishing holiday together . . . I felt safe. I sat back, accepted a cigarette and enjoyed a couple of hours of Euro-pop.

The evening was getting late, they were turning off towards a coastal town . . . was I sure I didn't want to holiday with them? I was almost tempted. It would be dark very soon . . . Then what?

Once again I was at the side of the road. I was beginning to feel weary and sad and hungry . . . maybe I should have gone with the fisherman, or headed to Barcelona for the night. Maybe I should have waited in Alicante . . .  or England. Gentle spots of rain fell. How had I even got to this point. What was so wrong with my old bedsit, in my city, with my safe job and friends?. Before I could regret or wallow any further, a big comfortable looking car pulled over. He was alone. Nice eyes.
"Si, Francia, entrar" Nice voice.
The radio played Abba and I felt safe. It was raining now, he didn't seem to want to talk, that suited me fine . . . I never had much to say. The music and rain were comforting. I sat back and closed my eyes . . .  until the sound of hail stones beating on the car woke me almost an hour later. It literally poured sheets, reducing visibility to almost zero. The wipers on full speed were useless. The noise was awesome and exciting. Surely he couldn't drive in this?
"I stop" he said . . . "We wait, no es posible, I sorry".

"OK" who was I to argue? I certainly wasn't about to protest and walk. He turned down into a lane with woods on either side and inched his way along to a place where he could stop . . . . He switched on the inside light and showed me how to recline the seat so I could sleep. The light went out and I lay there stiff and still, waiting for something to happen. I began to reason, in my own style of reasoning; if it weren't for my period I'd just get on with it, and hope it was just straight sex he was after, well straight-ish. I might even enjoy it, I mean he was clean and handsome, I'd had worse, he had a strong, deep voice . . . interesting eyes, neither too kind nor too vicious . . . and I was feeling lonely . . .

Maybe I could stay with him, I had no other plans. Maybe he had a nice place somewhere . . . We could fall in love and live happily ever after . . . I was nineteen and that was most definitely on my agenda, it would happen one day. I relaxed some and curled onto my side. I began to drift; images of his villa, me beside the pool with a cocktail or two, a little bit of madness . . . well, yes, my contribution alone would see to that!, but a little of his own too, not too much . . . Somewhere between Silverhip and Higgins. Yes, perfect. A loud stammered snore pulled me from my reverie . . . Oh OK, maybe not.

My dreams, built on the shaky foundations of a sexy voice, fine profile and nice eyes, were shattered by a single snore. I soon recovered, I'd be in France tomorrow . . . In Nice, hopefully. A whole new dream began to form in my fickle mind.

Once again, I've put a link to this episode on the "Flashes from the Archives" page, in the bar below my header. I think this is the ninth part in my story, if anyone wishes  to catch up.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Just a quickie . . . and some gratitude

Wednesday 11.43 pm

Oh, it has to be another "quickie", almost a midnight one . . . I've done so much today. I can hardly wait to wake up and start again . . .  a tad manic maybe? O well, if so, that's fine . . . I have more than enough to do. And I love this weather, in the 90's today . . . O yes!

I really am looking forward to camping, that's another thing I love. I built a tent once within a bedsit where I lived, just before I had Stropstrer. It was so cold there in the winter with a useless storage heater, so I began by covering the walls, and creating a fourth wall to partition off an area, with rugs and blankets . . . then I draped some throws from the top of the walls into the centre of the ceiling, where the light hung through, like an Arabian tent it was, I'd forgotten about that.

Anyway, where was I? Gratitude, I keep being (inadvertently) reminded of how important this is. And it is. I've even put up a reminder on my kitchen wall now . . . I might make some more, until it becomes second nature to me.

Thursday 7.03 am . . .

I fell asleep in the chair. A perfect blend of sunshine, fresh air and physical work was followed by a Seven hour sleep.

I am grateful that Hamper G has made friends with the children two doors away.  There are Eight of them . . . plus Six cats (which I think is the main attraction for Hamper), Two dogs and Four tortoises. She's loving it . . . and I'm able to get on with sorting, clearing and generally minimising the contents of the house, ready for the new rooms.

I'm grateful to be on day two . . I know, I know, this could have been day Twelve . . . but it isn't. I'm nevertheless grateful for the the ability to say no, just for today . . . And to be more aware each time of the peace that comes from saying "No".

I'm thankful that I'm healthy and strong enough to be able to work through the day, ticking things off my endless list . . . If I do something that I'd forgotten to put on the list, I then put it on the list just so I can tick it off. O the joy! . . . Grateful to be so easily pleased.

So pleased that the guy who mows next doors front lawn, crossed the path and did mine too last night! He's back today to trim the hedges . . .

I could go on with this list of gratitude. I may well do, in my head, but I'm off to work my way through this beautiful sunny day. I really, honestly, am hoping to complete Eliza's escape tonight; I dreamt of Higgins last night.

I'm grateful to be able to come here and interact with you good people, here and there, all over the world. I could well be slightly bonkers but I actually talk to some of you during the day . . . Do you hear me?

Ok, that's me for now. I'm grateful that head ache has gone. The Sun is breaking through . . . here we go!

Love and thanks to you all x x x

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Hamsters, Hamper and the missing Marigolds

Monday night

Hi all . . . This is gonna be a real lazy post. I worked a solid fourteen hours today . . .  for the third day in a row. I won't bore you with a list, although I would love to really . . . but I'm not here to write, I know, I did want to write tonight but its 11pm now and I've got a banging headache, very rare for me. Could be the sudden very hot sun for three days, though I've mostly worked indoors . . . Or these temporary reading glasses I bought whilst mine are being mended,. Anyway, all that to say I'm not gonna write . . . I'm gonna put some photos up from yesterday. The colour quality is not too good, I'll check with Geekster, I'm sure he will know what to do. I'll try and resist writing a commentary but I doubt I'll try hard enough.

So from me, for now, here's some flowers that are finally blooming on my patio . . . mostly grown from seed by my step-dad, for which I'm very grateful, no really . . . but he does tend to grow way too many Petunias and Marigolds . . . I'm not sure where all the Marigolds have gone, I think the slugs are partial to Marigolds. I'm not. I wonder if allowing some slugs to feast on the Marigolds compensates, karma wise, for throwing handfuls of slug pellets around the other plants?

A few shots of Gledwood's three pups with three of Faith's pups (all off to the pet shop next week) I said that two weeks ago, so it's not yet a done deal. I shouldn't keep them really as I have another twenty . . . but they'll be separated to be sold, and they're so happy together . . . I would only need one more cage for the males; the females could stay with their two mothers . . .  We'll see ;-)

Hamper G is learning to ride her bike a l'American (I presume, as most of the lessons on You Tube are from America) . . . It's the latest, obviously, much more efficient way for kids to learn. Rather than breaking your back, and lungs in my case, running alongside them holding the seat . . . Only to watch them wobble and fall when you let go, or worse (?) cycle off and not be able to stop! . . . The idea is to remove the pedals and let them scoot along, gradually gaining balance and confidence, until they start to lift their feet and cruise . . . Once they can cruise, happily, for six or seven seconds, on go the pedals and  . . . off they go! . . . Hamper is now ready for the pedals but would like a bit longer. No rush.

Next day . . . My head hurt so much that I had to stop. It's now 7am, I've still got a slight head ache so I won't stay long. I'll bring the photos here and start on another mammoth fourteen hour day. All being well, I will catch up on Blogs later and write some more.

The six pups huddled in a box while I clean their cage.

Their house and sharing the wheel . . . I've seen four of them sharing the wheel, successfully, before


Cruising . . . and learning to stop.

Next door but one's eldest girl (eldest of eight!) painted Hamper's nails. She's thirteen and very popular with Geekster and his friends . . .

I do like Lobelia and the Blue Mink.

OK, kids are hungry . . . It's a scorcher already. Loads of work to be done . . . Bernie is here. I've cleaned and filled our 10ft  "paddling" pool . . . let's hope my neighbour is ready for some fun in the sun! There were eight kids in the garden yesterday. 
I'll be back later. Hope you all have a real good day. Thanks for being here, love to all x

Friday, 20 July 2012

Here comes the Sun!

Just a quickie . . . No, really. I was busy tweaking "The Escape-part two", when I realised I hadn't updated on day to day life since last Thursday.  Last Thursday was, at the time, day one . . . As was Sunday . . . hmmmm.

BUT, But. but . . .
Today is day five! So, I see progress. I wont elaborate; sometimes the less said the better at this stage, in a sort of "Don't over dwell or give it too much attention, but don't take your eye off it for a second, either" sort of way.

I've finally re-started the decorating! Clearing that top shelf, to find the Hanneka portraits, kick started me and I've been pretty much non-stop ever since. The kids have all agreed (!?) to swap rooms, which works out well . . . leaving me downstairs in the lounge. I'm OK with that, I have all I need in this room, and it will be a luxury to have a room for myself at last . . . Yeah well, let's put this thing in perspective, I've been "In the middle of decorating" since I moved in, yes, twelve years! The kids' rooms have all been decorated twice but the lounge, never having been a priority, remains untouched. It's OK, but not what I would choose . . . I dare say I'll have plenty of time to think about what I would choose . . . what I will choose. Possibly another twelve years? No no no.

Bernie, Bro's dog, came to stay with us today, he often has a day, or two, here. We needed to go into town and as it wasn't quite raining, we decided to do it this morning . . . Opticians, Doctors, the Bank and two parks later, we came home in the rain and settled into an armchair each (Hamper and I) for a rest. Dozing off, lying in the chair sideways with my legs over the arm of the chair, I could sense Bernie next to me wondering if he dare jump up onto me, and where or how he would settle once he was up  . . . He thought carefully, assessing it all from various angles. I pretended to be asleep, knowing that he wouldn't be able to resist trying it eventually . . . I was right.

Half an hour later I woke up feeling as though I'd undergone a spinal anaesthetic; numb from the chest down . . .  He's a soppy fool that dog! my laptop was on the table, right in front of me . . . close enough to click on Webcam and capture this . . .

He's not a small dog at four feet tall and no lightweight either. We love him, he loves us and I can't wait to go camping with him. He enjoys every second of it and smiles the whole time.
The misbehaving jet stream, which is apparently to blame for two months of grey sky, intermittent drizzles and downpours, and floods . . . is finally moving!!
Sunshine and summer heat are on the way. Wonderful.  I must say I do feel very positive about  . . . well, everything really. I like that; looking forward to things; camping, decorating, changing, progressing . . . all of it.

Well . . . I think on that optimistic note, I'll go to bed.  Some old footage of Roy Harper was unearthed this week and put on You Tube. As it's one of my favourite songs, I'm gonna have to bring it here to round off the day.

Many things to be grateful for today, and many people here in the Blogosphere too. Thanks for being here and helping me to believe this would happen . . . It's happening x

Monday, 16 July 2012

O Wow! . . . I found the Higgins picture.

 Whilst looking for the drawings of Hanneka yesterday, I decided to have a major clear out of that area. That area, being the whole top shelf of a huge built-in wardrobe, where I've been filing throwing letters, drawings and photographs . . . old school books, school reports, cards and paintings that the kids have made over the years  . . . . Pretty much anything that I imagined might give me pleasure to look back on, one day.

As I was sorting through a pile of papers this picture of Higgins jumped out . . . I can't even begin to describe the melee of emotions that I felt, not to mention the physical reaction. I really believed this picture had been destroyed by a more recent partner, along with the very few photos that I'd kept of us together. I was very pleased to find it again; partly to be able to put a face to the name in the stories and partly  . . . well, it made my day!

I did love that man, really, I know I did . . . and I know he loved me too.
Anyway, that will all be told in time.
 . . . I also found the passport that I ran away with, and the only remaining photo of me in Spain. We sure caused each other some heart ache . . . and I wouldn't change one second of it.

Higgins and Eliza . . . and all that crazy passion.

For Hanneka

Here's some, "suddenly abandoned", drawings of my neice, Hanneka. We were chatting on-line yesterday, I told her I'd found some old drawings of her. She'd never seen them and asked me to put them up . . . so here they are. They're almost thirty years old (!) I've only met her a few times as she grew up in Australia. She was here for a while last summer on her European travels . . . Hanneka travels a lot. At the moment she's in Thailand for a few weeks on a health detox; after working in Nepal and consuming way too many carbs, cooked food and alcohol . . . A wise girl who looks after her body and mind  . . . as well as enjoying life, in so many wonderful places, with so many special people. 
I can only find these three, there are more somewhere. The one with the head wrap is not the original, it's a copy with ink added (unfinished) on the scarf . . . The original is somewhere . . . and also one of very few that are actually finished. The other two are the orignal pencil drawings in my more usual "sudden abandonment" style.
So, there we go.
For the beautiful, enchanted Hanneka
So much love x x x 

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Life, Rain and Women's stuff . . .

Right then . . .  I'm getting sick of hearing myself saying the same thing here. No, really I am. I've spent some time writing Eliza's escape (part two) and worked my way through daily life, which is not to be underestimated, as any mother will know. I've cleaned out all the hamster tanks, caught up  with the blogs on my list and found some time to comment. I've even passed a few evenings teaching Stropster some new tunes on the guitar . . . but I've avoided updating as I'm a bit fed up with myself .

Saturday was good; I was full of energy and enjoyed a manic house cleaning day, reminiscent of my manic cleaning days that used to occur, without fail, one day before my period.
Sunday, I was utterly exhausted  . . . I packed Geeksters clothes ready for his holiday in Spain with the neighbours and had an early night.

Monday . . . after almost two years of menopausal symptoms, I started my period again! Just what I wanted. I feel heavy, tired and proper yuk . . . I know I said at one point that I would give anything to have my periods back . . . but one or the other . . . not both!! Along with the hormonal changes and mood swings that accompanied this sudden change, the permanent grey skies and pouring rain have driven me round the bend . . . Fortunately with Geekster away, Hamper G at school and Stropster at work, I have been able to rest for most of the week.
Might I just add here, along with this "menstrual surprise" I was even more surprised to feel the return of . . . yes! (drum roll) . . . my sexual appetite!! O Mon Dieu . . .  let's hope that passes ;-)

No, these are not excuses. I no longer look for something or someone to blame. I've used for four days now and I'm pissed of with myself. Real pissed off. Yes, well, I know what I need to do then don't I? uh huh.

I sometimes wonder what the hell is wrong with me? Despite knowing how much better I feel and look after three or four clean days, not to mention the money saved towards our holiday (only 3 weeks away!) . . . I continue to take this well trodden road . . . like it might, all of a sudden, lead to somewhere new, somewhere good?! . . . I mean, bang, bang! (head against wall).

Then there's the tragic tale of Eva Rausing, and her husband; heir to the several billion pound Tetra-Pak fortune . . . Luxury homes all over the world, four beautiful children . . . everything she could ever want  . . . plus a heroin/cocaine addiction. They've donated millions to addiction charities and I dare say they've tried every known, and unknown, "cure" or treatment for this disease . . . she died aged 48 at home in their £70 million Belgravia mansion . . . addiction does not discriminate.

So . . . I'm thankful that I have the opportunity to try again. My health has improved, I've lost another 2 kilos but will now have to rely on self-discipline (!), weights, skipping and working out, for the next six weeks as I won't have the obligatory four mile school run to motivate me.

I've almost finished part two of Eliza's escape, there might have to be a part three; it was a long journey . . .  Meantime, I'll pick myself up and find my way through day one again . . . Only five more hours. Maybe, just maybe, this time, I'll stay on the right track and resist taking any familiar old side-tracks, they're all dead ends.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Eliza's Escape . . . (part one)

Alicante '82

Higgins sensed my distraction. Obviously he thought being left alone was worrying me. No-one could ever guess what went on in my head. I surprised myself most of the time.
"Nothing to worry your little head about Twiddle, everything is taken care of. I might have a nice surprise for you on my return" . . . Hmmm, I might have one for you too.

And of course everything I needed was taken care of; plenty of cigarettes, food at one of our cheaper restaurants all paid for. A tab at the beach side cafe for morning coffee, lunchtime coffee, evening coffee . . .  Brandy coffee. All paid for. Why would I need money? . . .  I checked the Brandy cupboard  . . . Dutch courage for my journey, there were almost two bottles. That should do it . . . Do It? What the hell did I think I was doing? I tried hard not to bring "think" into it, stick with do for now . . . think later.

Now . . . passport, I did need to think here. Should I find a reason why I might need it; hospital, bank. Hmmm. Would I have asked for it if I wasn't planning my escape? No. So I didn't. Somehow I had to make sure he didn't take it with him. As far as I knew our paperwork was in a leather clutch-type bag that Higgins carried with him, a continental "manbag". I could easily get it out once he was asleep, but what if he checked the bag before he left? Realistically, he would only do this if he had any suspicion . . . it was my job to see that he didn't. Time to make use of the acting lessons that he delighted in giving so generously. O yes. He'd taught a few people that I'd never heard of but I'd never heard of anyone.

"I will miss you, you know . . . it won't be the same here without you".
"You can rest Twiddle, you need to rest, not in the sun, you stay in the shade little one . . . you hear me?"
"Yeah, of course . . . I've learnt my lesson . . . I do need to rest, you're right"
I was still burned and sore from the sunstroke. I could hardly bear a bed sheet on my skin and my period was due, I felt heavy and confused. In his mind the timing was impeccable. It probably was. My pre-menstrual "cotton wool" head was preventing me from thinking too much.

He made a vague, slightly too arrogant, attempt to apologise after knocking me out. It wouldn't happen again  . . . but I was wrong to nag him, let's make sure that was clear . . . Did I not trust him?

"You know I love you dearest Twiddlestick . . . please let's not become Mr and Mrs bloody middle England! I mean, why would you feel the need to know the minutiae of my business? Good God, how frightfully tedious, I can't imagine anything worse! (you will) I have no desire to know where you go of an afternoon. I simply trust you. You are free to come and go as you please".
Right again, I was free to come and go . . . and I was going.

Yes, you're right. Right and right again. Right. It wouldn't happen again. Let's put it down to the fever and delirium . . . I could see that it was very un-attractive behaviour. I was sorry. Really sorry. I trusted him, I loved him. I would rest and recover, in time for his return. We would celebrate alone when he came back . . . I almost started to believe myself, to look forward to our celebration, with a possible surprise . . . Could I really do this, did I really want to do this? What was I thinking? Maybe I did need to think first . . . No.

We drank wine and listened to the piano man, who might have been a woman, until the early hours. I paced the room trying to stop my mind fast-forwarding to tomorrow. His passport was on the dresser with flight tickets, cheque book etc. so maybe he wouldn't take the bag, he didn't usually carry a "manbag" in England. Perhaps I should risk leaving my passport in the bag . . . but then what if he did take it. I couldn't risk anything, or re-make decisions half pissed . . . As soon as I was sure he was sleeping I took my passport from the bag and threw it on top of the bathroom cabinet. I then washed my hands, partly to try and stop the tingling and shaking, partly to remove any trace of guilt  . . . How would I sleep? I needed to sleep and I did sleep.

I couldn't get him out of that room fast enough the next day, the taxi was booked to collect him from our beachside cafe late morning  . . . he wasn't taking the manbag; only the essentials that were on the dresser and a colourful, long knitted cardigan for the "Abhorrent English weather . . . Speaking of which let's go and have some coffee . . . I do miss decent coffee when in England".

The coffee came, the taxi came and he was gone.

I  went back to our room and lay on the bed. It all seemed surreal. I was in an empty no-mans land, It was familiar, I'd been here before . . .  also on the brink of a huge change of mind, of life. I began checking the wardrobe and drawers, there could well be some forgotten money somewhere; a few pesetas would make it so much easier. I roughly knew the price of some Tapas and a room for the night if need be. What I didn't know was how far I had to travel. It didn't look too far on the map in the bar. I needed to head North along the East coast of Spain to France, turn right along the South coast of France, until I reached Nice . . . I swigged some more Brandy straight from the bottle, maybe I shouldn't wait until tonight. If I did it now, I could go now. Waiting was not helping, my mind was made up, I was off. I found my old metal framed army backpack that I'd brought with me from England. Stuffed inside were my grey jersey trackie bottoms and a loose white jersey top that I wore on the plane. Higgins must have hidden them in there so I wouldn't wear them. My casual, sometimes Bohemian, clothes really annoyed him . . . I knew he preferred women to be well dressed, coiffured and well groomed but I met far more important criteria for now. Polishing my vowels and edges could wait, that wasn't necessary for this game. In Spain.

In the side pocket of the backpack were my old Indian leather sandals. They smelt of patchouli . . . finding these old clothes made me feel safe. They were my friends and they'd be perfect for later . . . later, not now.
Any dress would do for now, I would bin it after my mission. I threw in a face cloth and towel, the brass candle holder, the silver cross, make-up and hair crimpers with adaptor, a few condoms, Tampax and the un-opened bottle of Brandy. Fuck it, he could buy another one, or two. That was it then . . . was it?  One more swig of Brandy. I slipped on some heels, retrieved my passport from the top of the bathroom cabinet and rescued my beloved teddy bear, Floppy ears. Floppy ears had been everywhere with me since I was two.

On the dresser was a wooden bowl of loose change used for tipping the local waiters. It would all help, I emptied it into my backpack and thought how wrong this old army bag looked with my dress and heels but I wouldn't risk coming back. Once I left that room . . . I wasn't coming back.
I cut through the square, it was deserted. Lunchtime was turning to siesta and the streets were quiet . . . O shit, this wasn't going to be as easy as I thought. Should I wait until tonight? I couldn't bear the thought of the wait, it would surely drive me mad. I would walk along the promenade, I needed to be heading North, so as long as the sea was on my right, I was on my way. Simple.

There were still a few folk out on the promenade, not many but I only needed one. I sat on a bench next to a middle aged, well dressed man who turned to look . . . that was enough. I didn't waste any time asking him if he was interested . . . No, he told me. No, he was married.  I'd already seen the wedding ring . . . but that didn't always mean no . . . OK, I was desperate here, perhaps the truth would work. It was worth a try, I tried, said I needed money to get away. He looked around worried, like maybe this Higgins guy was about to appear . . .  that hadn't crossed my mind. He was off to meet his wife now, he was sorry he couldn't help . . . but be careful.

yeah, yeah, I will.

I walked inland for a while towards where I imagined the main coastal road out of here might be. I wondered should I go without money, or leave now and try and make some money on the way. I sat on an empty bench this time and opened the bottle of Brandy . . . It wasn't long before I was joined by a Spanish bloke, mid-thirties, unshaven, a bit rough looking . . .  I didn't have the luxury of choice here . . . again I wasted no time telling him what I was doing. He laughed, said he had a room we could use. Taking some notes from his wallet, he passed them to me right there, I could see they equalled at least a few meals so I accepted, shoving them in my rucksack with the coins from our room . . . and we walked inland some more. He laughed a lot . . . I might have known this wasn't a man with sex on his mind.
He exchanged a few words and laughs with the man behind the reception desk, as he collected a key . . . up and up we went, the stairs became more narrow and more dirty with each flight. Now there was no carpet and it was the last flight. Fuck this was not looking good. Don't think, this is not the time to think. I was almost done, let's look on the bright side, I had the money and with any luck it would be quick . . .

He unlocked the door, opening it onto a tiny room with a single bed . . . Shit. I sat down and as I did so I felt that unmistakable sticky warm feeling of blood, coupled with a cramping in my womb. Even my body was protesting. If I'd half a mind, I'm sure that would've protested too. Damn. Fuck. Shit. Not now . . . pleease . . . what could I do? or say?
"Problema" I tried . . .
"Que?" he snapped, suddenly not laughing.
"Sangre"  . . . I knew that word from the bullring.
He made the universal sign for a blow job, laughing again . . . I nodded then pulled the condoms and Tampax from my backpack. Roars of laughter. What the fuck was so funny?

Helping himself to the Brandy, he poured roughly a quarter of the bottle down his throat . . . I wasn't liking this at all but reasoned that was normal, I wasn't here to enjoy myself. He pulled the condom from it's wrapper and stretched it length ways, still laughing  . . . I didn't like this fucking constant laughing. O Lord. The next thing I knew he was sat astride me on the bed, he'd pushed me backwards and his hands were tight round my throat. I couldn't scream, I couldn't move and I couldn't breath . . . No. God. Is this a game? I looked into his eyes, it wasn't a game. I felt so tired, too tired to fight, my head was hurting, throbbing and swelling like it might burst. Everything closed in around, turning black and red. I'm guessing that I missed the next few seconds, or minutes . . .  I was coming round, waking up . . . but I really didn't want to. My head was banging and I couldn't face this, not now. Lying there curled on my side I fought the light of day, eyes tight shut. So so tired, I only wanted to sleep. My body and mind were waking again, I heard him leaving the room and felt nothing, other than slight relief and sheer exhaustion. Even as I registered the sound of him locking the door from the outside, I felt nothing. So what? I just needed to sleep . . .  but now I wasn't so tired, I was almost awake and sitting up . . . My mind was focusing, I stood up on weak legs, surely I had to get out of here?


Ps. For anyone who has missed the episodes leading to this one, and would like to catch up, they are listed (and linked to) on the "Flashes from the Archives" page.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

My Morning Rant

This will be brief as I'm using every minute of my "writing time" to write the escape episode.

OK, I felt I was coming down with something on Saturday, aching elbows and back, struggling to breath (I have Emphysema for new readers), whooshing in my left ear. By Monday it was clear I had an ear infection which is now a throat and chest infection. I started my reserve antibiotics as I need to begin treatment way before the surgery can offer an appointment . . .

Fast forward to this morning. I considered keeping Hamper G at home as I wasn't sure I could face the two mile walk, in the rain, to school and back. I was even less sure that I could cope with her at home, bored all day . . . I wondered for a fleeting second if I could possibly call on any of my wonderful family to help me out here. Brother at work. Sister-in-law's day off but maybe not up yet (8.30am) Mother definitely not up yet. So I made my mind up to get this over with, then come home and rest . . . write.

On my walk home from school I said the serenity prayer . . . As I came to the "accept the things I cannot change" line, I added graciously before accept and Mother sprung to mind . . . I wonder why? Ready? . . .

Finally walking across the park, the house is in sight, as are the nearby row of shops . . . Who should I see pulling up in her warm dry car . . . how did you guess? . . . Oooops!

By the time I reached the shops she was talking to a "church friend" . . I could tell it was a church friend, firstly because the lady had that look about her; like she had prayed for and received some serenity this morning. Secondly most of her friends are church friends . . .

"What you doing out so early?" I said, trying so hard to leave out the accusatory tone (graciously accept)
"Ermm . . . I'm going to pick up M, to give her a lift to the train station"
M is my Brother's wife . . . works two days a week as a nurse, has no kids, is ten years my junior, is in perfect health.
The train station is less than a mile away.

This was planned last night. They both knew I was ill. Am ill.. They are both CHRISTIANS . . . and neither one of them thought to say . . . "O we could pop Hamper G up to the school at the same time, save Bugerlugs-Twat-Face having to walk there!!"

AAARRGGHHH!! I could fucking scream. She had the fucking cheek to "hug" me in front of her friend and say "Do you want anything from the shop; Paracetamol? Strepsil? O you do look poorly . . . I have to look after my little girl". What I wanted to  do was slap say was . . .

"FUCK you bitch! If I need ote from the shop I'll go get it myself. You. Make. Me. SICK!!."
God, grant me some serenity here please . . . . like NOW!!
I said.
"No thanks you're OK, I have everything I need" . . . :-) (that's my serene smile)
I'm home now, the dealer has sent his morning text that automatically goes out to everyone, I haven't read it because I know what it says. Yes, I've asked him to cut me off the list . . . His reply was "I have". It doesn't matter. I am not triggered by a text. I have been triggered by anger though.

I will NOT let this ANGER and resentment lead to using. I will feel every fucking little bit of it. I might scream. I will cry. I might have some cherries, meringue and fresh whipped cream. I might put some music on and sing as loud as my poor old throat and lungs will allow . . . Dory Previn's Her Mother's Daughter springs to mind. I don't think I've put that one on You Tube yet . . . I'll do it now . . . Then I'll bring it here . . . then I'll finish "the Escape".

I will NOT use . . . Just for today.  Sometimes I think I was happiest in France because I was away from my "family" . . . Sometimes I think I would still be better off far away.

That's all folks! Thanks for reading . . . I'll update later, I just had to get that lot off my chest . . . I actually feel ever so slightly better ;-)

OK, here it is!
This is not representative of our story or relationship in any way . . . But it is a beautiful song with some genius lyrics, that's Dory!