I was lucky enough to receive this exciting looking box for Christmas. As you know, I love to write but, like most others, often have days when my mind can’t come up with anything worth writing. Nonetheless, looking through some of the ‘tools’ in my ‘toolbox’ I admit I was a bit sniffy. Their are sticks with random sentences, wheels with different protagonists, settings, obstacles etc, and ‘sixth sense cards’ which just seemed to have random ideas on. In fact, my daughters and I had an hilarious half-hour trying to string these together into some sort of story. It was rubbish of course, but fun.
However, once the Christmas festivities were over, and I was in a bit of a slump, I looked properly at the ‘instructions’. Basically I should pick out three or four cards put them face down, turn over the first one and write about it for three minutes using the timer supplied, then the next and so on. Not unlike some of the exercises we did on my creative writing course so ok, I’ll give it a go, I thought.
The cards I picked were:
I was dressed in a completely inappropriate shade of pink
Sticky raspberry yogurt
Yoga girls toenails
the sound of a garden hose
I honestly followed the rules, and amazingly I was quite pleased with the result. So pleased in fact, I’m sharing it with you here. Enjoy!
I was dressed in a completely inappropriate shade of pink. For my age that is. Fifty year old women shouldn’t wear pink, or so my father used to say. He’d know of course. Women’s fashion was his thing. He’d been a hairdresser in the 60’s, and met Mary Quant, or so he said. She let him help design some of her collections, so he said. He had an eye for fashion that’s for sure, especially the skimpy sort.
Apparently, some of his clientele was sure he was gay because of his good looks and nice manners, at least that what he said. Though it was probably because of his delicate fastidiousness in all things, which may have been appealing in the fancy salon, but drove us all mad at home.
I remember the day I spilt sticky raspberry yogurt on the carpet in the living room. He was livid. Pinker than the yogurt with rage. Made me scrub at it for ages until any hint of spillage had been eradicated completely. I was only six. I had sore hands when I finished and dad wouldn’t let mum put any cream on them or anything. I think she was sorry for that. I think she was sorry for a lot of things. Including marrying my dad.
She was a model in a department store. Modelling the clothes for other, richer, people to buy. She was pretty in a fairly conventional way but had to work to keep the slim figure that Twiggy was promoting around that time. Dad even cut her hair the same as Twiggy’s. He really liked that boyish look.
She used to practice yoga. It was the only time she seemed at peace. Sitting cross-legged on her mat on the bedroom floor, quiet, closed eyes. Once I painted all her toenails bright red while she was busy meditating and she didn’t even seem to notice.
My brother and I must have been a handful for her, but she never really complained, just meditated and smoked her funny cigarettes to ‘keep her calm’. Dad would’ve been furious if he’d have caught her smoking, and we were sworn to secrecy. No dirty ashtrays in our house, no dirty anything. Except dad.
Once I remember my brother and I messing about in the garden after it had been raining. It’s fair to say that we got a bit carried away and were making mud pies and throwing them at each other, and at everything else in the garden too. It ended up like the Somme. When dad found us, he turned the hose on full blast and made us stand naked under its powerful spray for a full ten minutes. We were frozen stiff by the end of it. The sound of a garden hose still makes me shiver.
Anyway, I digress. Yes, I’m wearing an outrageous long and tight flamingo frock, complete with feathers and sequins. I’m wearing a wig of shoulder length silky blonde hair, and I’ve made sure my make-up is impeccable. My entire torso is squeezed into spanx, giving me the curves my mother would have had if it weren’t for dad denying her chocolate and pies for years. Despite dads opinion, I look fabulous, even though I do say so myself.
I’m neat, and clean. Dad would be proud.
Or maybe not.
I’m not sure that he thought the way he treated me (us, my brother suffered just as I did), that he’d turn me into a full blown queer old drag queen. Shame he didn’t see it, I would’ve enjoyed that.
I squish my stub under my stiletto, hitch up my boobs, and head out to face the rowdy crowd in the grubby nightclub. Easy money.