Monday, November 12, 2007

Role models gone, flew to London on a bender

I taught myself how to shave. I have always found that to be a good representation of where my male role models fell short of the mark. I have learnt more about what not to do from the men in my life than what to do. Come to think of it I cannot think of any men I knew that I wanted to emulate. They all seemed somehow screwed up one way or the other. I find that I am stronger than the lot of them. I slowly developed my strength and sense of self from the strong females in my life and the books I read. Also the expectations I had of myself and what I did not want to become. The funny thing is that you often learn more from the ones that are failing than in the ones that inspire and succeed. One of my biggest influences has been Sadie's father because he has shown me what not to be. I find him such a failure as a man, a husband to my mother and as a human in general that I cant help but be inspired to keep working on myself. My belief in myself has been my doing, nobody else’s. I am proud of myself that I kept my head about me and trusted myself.

Remember I was talking about the crossroads I was facing when your Mum wanted to buy the unit. Well I just watched High Fidelity again and discovered that his story is similar to where I was at back then. His reticence to make that switch, that final commitment took him time and it was with the threat of losing her that he finally understood his feelings. This is exactly where I was at as well. Actually friends have even said im a little like all three characters in that record store.

Your Mum was already in England a few months when I arrived. I was taken aback when I finally saw her. She had lost a lot of weight and looked quite different. I couldn’t stop touching her. Like I was checking to see if she was really her. One of the nicest things about a partner is that you can touch them when you feel like it. It was not fun being apart I can tell you. She had been at her granddad’s but recently moved up to London. I got a letter from her and inside it mentioned there were some guys who were possibly moving in there with her and a few others. It’s the first and only time I was mad with jealousy. I feel like the biggest tool when I think about it now. So anyway I had a job within a couple of days looking after some people with disabilities. I simply loved London so much. I was only working 4 days a week and Fridays off. I would spend my day just walking around for hours and hours. It was so much fun. Your Mum did a bit of work as substitute teacher which she hated and then worked at a men’s clothing shop. I just loved the social aspect of the place. You actually spoke to strangers in pubs. In the afternoon there would be people spilled out in the street because the pubs were full. I loved the warm beer and the cool weather. I went to speaker’s corner in Hyde Park and met a really interesting guy named Anthony. He was from America and was studying psychology in London. He would stand on the milk crate and challenge peoples beliefs and opinions on black stereotypes. He had a whistle around his neck and held a football. He referred to himself as a nigger which really pissed people off. He was a real live wire and just loved debating people I think. I had a chat with him and we went and had McDonalds. I then invited him to come to this blues pub called Bob's Goodtime Blues near where we lived. He arrived with his beautiful girlfriend but all night he was so distracted. His knee would be bouncing up and down while his lady sat back all serene. I would dearly like to contact him again. I don’t think I have his details anymore.

Your Mum was also enjoying a bit of a puff at this time. I think it’s something about being away from home that frees you a bit from what you normally wouldn’t do. She has only smoked a couple of time before this but here in our little flat with all these people, she just enjoyed the times she did have it. She would laugh hysterically. You should ask her some time about the chocolate pudding incident. I would have a smoke myself however it was at this time that I gave up cigarettes. What a place to do that. But I did manage to quit, despite nobody making it too easy for me. Sometimes I would just have to sit up in the room to keep away from all the smokers. Speaking of the room. Two single beds, your Mum and I in one and two other people in the other and then another on the floor at one stage. This is in a room the same size as the end room at home. So I was loving my time there. I only went on two trips outside of London. One to see her Grandad and other family and another day trip to Oxford which was wonderful. We had plans to head over to Europe and Scotland but it was then that I got calls from Grandma and my Dad to say that Mum was not doing so well. She wasn’t telling me this and didn’t want me to know. Well thank God I can rely on your Mum to organise things because the next morning I was on a plane home. That’s a story for another time.