Exist on our tongues

This is Faceless Frank. Slenderman’s shorter nephew who is a hell of a lot cheaper to hire than his uncle. Thanks Frank.

So I want to talk about talking. I’ve been told that what I talk about is surprising sometimes. Either because of my age, gender or something else. And half of me hates this. I love the looks I get when I bring these topics up, but I don’t like how rare these subjects are spoken of. I want a place where these actions are as regular as showering (not everyone does it, but you get weird looks if you don’t. And you probably smell funny). For instance, I’ve been told guys like myself will not utter a word about one topic, period.

I was with a group of friends who were talking about their periods. And seeing an opportunity, I said “Hey, can I ask a few questions, because I have no idea how to help when a girl is on her period”? There was shock and awe on the table. I felt like I was about to be anointed into a cult. I’d nearly say the lights dimmed, and everyone on the table leaned in close.

One my friends said “Do you really want to know about this”? Of course I did. Most of my guy friends only say one thing when it comes to periods; I should take a tactical leave of the country when it happens. But I needed to know this because I am related to women, I make friends with women, and get girlfriends on (rare) occasions.

The only reason you shouldn’t ask about Auntie Floe’s visits is if you are a guy surrounded by only guys until the day you die. (If this is your situation, I have a few questions, like: How does that differ from modern day society/ Can I crack open a few cold ones with you guys this weekend/ How does it feel knowing your tribe of testosterone will die out in a generation’s time?) And this knowledge puts you in great books with women, because it’s a rarity (when it shouldn’t be). So while this is a barely tapped market, you may as well avail of it. I’ll share three tips I was told, but you’ll have to learn the rest yourself as every period is different for everyone.

Hot water bottles are mandatory. Especially ones with the fur coating, like a tea-cosy. And if she can’t go out herself, someone needs to buy the supplies. (And before I get guys who’d rather leave a woman to buy that kind of stuff, think on this: If you’re chemistry was being dicked around like it was a pharmacy being run by a blind intern, would you be able to go outside so easily?) Another tip I was given was chocolate. Enough said.

But while I was taking notes with these girls, I said none of this should be that rare. And it won’t be if we talk about it. If there are topics that are issues, then it stands to reason that these should be the issues of friends/family. Burdens shared and all that jazz. And since we’re talking about issues, let’s talk about mental health issues. (It took me three months to think of that segway. It’s not going to get much better than that.)

I keep colourful company. Red yellow and green characters too grand for any story written. Problem is, they aren’t always bright colours. And in my time befriending people who were blue, I became very good as an open ear. Break-ups, Trump, a death in the family, they call me. Give me a bottle of coke and a packet of cigarettes, and there isn’t a dark night in creation that can stand against us.

But sometimes I’m the only contact in someone’s phone who they can call. That is just heart-breaking. This should be talk in a café. If I came to you, said “I miss my brothers/ I dropped my ice cream/ Life is treating me like I forgot the safe word” would that be so unknown that we wouldn’t talk about it? I don’t think so, but we act like it shouldn’t be spoken of. And that is mind blowing.

If it exists in our lives, it should exist on our tongues. We need to start somewhere so why not here and now? When I’m offering an open ear in a deaf world, I’m trying to set a trend. We’ll all be healthier with more of those stories told. I want talking about our problems to be as regular as ordering a coffee. Either that, or we should flip it on its head, and make ordering a coffee as taboo as talking about dark days.

 

“Can I get a coffee”?

What!? Here? Now? Are you serious”?

“Dude, it’s just a coffee”.

“Ok ok. Here. Just keep it out of sight, ok? Next you’ll want sugar as well”.

“Three please”.

“Are you fucking kidding me”!?

I’ll tell you a little secret: sometimes, hundreds spent on therapy doesn’t match to a friend seeing you have a world and a half of storms between your ears. And that friend saying “Coffee”?

Society determines what is taboo and what isn’t. Aren’t we society? We should be talking about everything, everywhere, except the cinema. Everyone who talks in the cinema should be flown into the sun. Anyways, I’ve been chatting for long enough. It’s your turn now.

Phone Call

 

I pulled out my phone while the man beside me was breathing down my neck. I started to dial and sidestepped away from him. He took a step closer.

Mind backing up a little” I asked. “Thanks”. I called my brother. “Tyler, I just had a thought”.

Dude, I’m suited up for an interview so this better be important” said Tyler. I imagined the sight, his short stature and his formal attire. It looked like a child holding a clipboard.

It is” I replied. “So what if an acapella group-”?

Tyler stopped me. “If this is one of your puns, I swear, I’m changing the Netflix password”.

It’s not, it’s not” I assured. “So if an acapella group got into gardening…”?

This is a pun Bruce, admit it” replied Tyler.

I’m telling you, it’s not” I defended. “So if an acapella group got into gardening, would they call their band Pitches and Hoes”?

Tyler groaned on the phone “I’m going to give that a negative four out of ten”.

I got a dissatisfied look from the man beside me. “No but seriously, I called to tell you about my emergency cigarettes”.

Tyler expected another pun saying “Ok…”.

There’s a box under my bed and it has about three in there. If you’re going for an interview, take them. Just buy a packet of mints as well. Pop a mint after your cigarette”.

Tyler was shook by the lack of a punchline. “Ok, thanks”.

And Tyler, you’ll be fine. No matter what happens, you’ll be fine. I love you”.

Ok man, I got to go, but thanks for the cigarettes, and the advice”.

Anytime Tyler” and I hung up. I turned to the man behind me. “Thanks for bending the rules. I’m ready to go now”.

 

Technically, the glass from the windscreen broke my heart. But Tyler looking at the car crash, that is what broke my heart.  He roared like a missile, aware of its purpose as it fell through the sky. Being ok was an impossible thing. And he would go on believing this for the rest of his life. But when he checked the time of our last call, he understood impossible things can happen.

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Blog: Tales of The Unexpected

I better make the first line in my first blog count. Damn!

I firmly believe that at most, half of anyone’s time (especially a writer’s) should be spent telling stories. Any more and you would miss out on the most important thing of all, living the stories that you can talk about.

Now I’m not saying the other half of your time should be spent scaling The Alps or solving crimes in spandex. Not every story is epic and grand (although, if too much time is spent telling stories, you will miss out on an epic tale at some point) but sometimes, the most magnificent stories are those of you walking through town, or talking nonsense in a café with no fruits of the day born except pleasant thoughts before sleep. Allow me to give an example.

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I was having one of those days where I wanted to write for hours and hours. I finally had a hook on a first chapter and my laptop was seducing me much like how gravity seduces all do it. But I tore myself away from the keyboard and went into town. Within a few minutes something astounding happened. I ran into a man who was using a tomato as a phone (in his defence, when the president calls you, you answer). And the rest of the day sustained that level and magnitude. I sat down in a café and me and my friends got into a long discussion about God, how different cultures depict it in different ways and how all depictions of God have similarities. I then migrated to a different café where my friend decided to read out obscure bedroom positions that had no sexual value and seemed to be health hazards.

That night I ran into three friends by chance. One of which, months ago I had met on his last day in this country before he went to wash oil off turtles in Creet or something equally obscure and heartwarming. bar-604633_1280I had met him that night which, by sheer chance, was his first day back in this country. His brother was also there (amazing busker. Imagine if Tom Waits had the energy of someone less than half his age). I had not properly spoken to him in years, And a spanish student who spoke so highly of the family she was living with and explained that they were, in all important aspects, as much as her family as the one she had back in Spain. That was just one day and night,

Now I could have been writing for a thousand years and still not had the skill to tell such a story without living it. One without a spec of fiction and with all my conviction. What I’m trying to say is not every part of this story had amazing unbelievable traits, but all of it was a story I am proud to have lived. And now that I have told it, I am off to make use of the other half of my time. You see, there is not one of us among seven billion without tales to make us laugh, cry, hurt, heal and gladly lend our ears. So I want you to do something for me if it is not too much trouble. In whatever way, in whatever format, I want to hear your stories.

But only after you lived them.

(At least I ended my first blog on a good closing line. Wait a minute…damn!)