12 Feb 08
I’ve been out of prison for two months. The mental breakdown my parents expected hasn’t materialised, but I've had some bouts with loneliness. I’m getting more used to living in England. I’m even acclimatising to the cold. My social life has picked up, but I’ll get to that shortly.
I write for up to ten hours a day, including weekends. Now that I’ve finished editing the blog, I’ve moved onto a second draft of my life story. I wrote the first in 2003, but I left out details that might have caused legal problems, or health problems for my parents. I’m thinking of dividing the book into three parts: stockbroking, raving and incarceration.
I’m continuing my education with courses from The Teaching Company. I just started The History of World Literature taught by Professor Grant L. Voth of Monterey Peninsula College.
Hammy read your comments out loud in the Ring O’ Bells. His drinking friends lapped them up. He wants to do a follow-up blog “to set the record straight.”
Some of you expressed worry over my pubbing and drinking – that I’m on the road back to my partying days. I appreciate your concerns, but I assure you that’s not the case. I’m fully focussed on moving my literary projects forward and becoming an author. Going out for a few drinks on the weekend has just been a way to expand my social life. My parents say I spend too much time at home on the computer, and they are conspiring ways to get me out of the house more often.
Aza took me for an Indian meal in Stockton Heath. Leaving the restaurant, one of the diners asked if we were a gay couple.
I've had two dates with Posh Bird, a former air hostess (or “trolley dolly” as she called it), who quit her job, enrolled in Chester University, and has nearly finished a degree in Early Childhood Studies. She starts studying for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education in September. She has pale-blue eyes, and brown hair in a bob that brings out the prettiness of her face.
She drove us to Warrington where we watched No Country for Old Men, based on the book by Cormac McCarthy (whose The Road I enjoyed reading in prison). While she munched on popcorn, I scoffed chocolate Brazil nuts. Frightened by the psychopath played by Javier Bardem, I insisted Posh Bird hold my hand.
After the movie, we went to the Horse and Jockey, a small pub packed with old men, pints of dark beer in hand. When we walked in, the room fell quiet, and everyone stared at us. Actually, most of them ogled Posh Bird in her jumper dress. As we wended our way through them to get to the bar, they remained stock-still as if they had all been suddenly frozen holding their pints in the air. Momentarily, Posh Bird’s face took on a hunted look, until the old men turned back to the business of drinking and blather.
Last Friday, I went to the Playhouse with two friends, Iain and Julian, to watch Kafka’s Metamorphosis, a book I’ve read five times. The book starts with Gregor Samsa waking up to discover he has turned into a beetle. At first, I was disappointed in the lack of a beetle costume. But the actor pulled amusing beetle faces, and it took great strength to hang from the ceilings and walls. The play added a new dimension to the book. When it ended the audience applauded for ten minutes.
After the play we stopped at two pubs in Liverpool. Gangs of women in skimpy attrire, some in fancy dress, were roaming the pubs and streets.
“These days they hunt in packs,” Iain said.
It reminded me of a tourist destination in Spain – especially with all of the promoters luring passers-by into bars – and not the Liverpool I went to university at.
Boarding the last train home at 11:30, Iain said, “’Cause of all of the pissheads, the inspectors are too scared to check tickets on this train.” It was standing room only, and directly below me two young women fondled each other. I had to ask some drunken youths doing cocaine in the restroom to step outside so I could use it.
After the Bells on Saturday, I took a taxi to Bar Reef to meet Posh Bird. She looked stunning in a dress low cut at the back that tied around her neck. That night, I drank a couple of pints of cider and one Red Bull and vodka. We talked into the small hours:
“You’re good looking, how come you’re not in a relationship?” I asked.
“I just came out of a long relationship, and I’m just not ready at the minute, or I need to find the right person.”
“Someone who’s got a nice personality. Who’s sensitive, is a good listener, intelligent, and has a good sense of humour. I have to be attracted to him as well.”
“My Mum said you’re sensible and you’d be a good influence on me. How does that work?”
“I’m just naturally sensible of course, so I’m hoping it’s going to rub off on you. You’re someone who can be easily misled.”
“Easily misled!” I said, and gasped.“Where did you come up with that from?”
“I can just tell.”
Is Posh Bird right about me being easily misled? Is she the kind of sensible influence I need in my life?
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Copyright © 2007-2008 Shaun P. Attwood