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”.
“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.
So, I’m going to do something a little different and not write a story. I am not going to talk in a character’s voice in a setting of my design. This is just a theory I had a few years ago and I wanted to run it by you. If you were expecting a horror story, read this till the end, because all I said was this was not a story.
Halloween. The night when the veil between this world and the next is at its weakest. Now I don’t believe in monsters. But many different cultures have spoken about the cracked barrier. So I’m agnostic when it comes to this. But let’s humour the idea for a second. Afterall, you will find people who believe there are far worse things below Heaven than us.
So, monsters can cross over on this night, due to the fact that whatever separates this plain from another has phased. It’s become transparent like a ghost. And there are countless legends of mythological creatures coming to this side. Which is fine; if I believed in the veil and its weakness, it would make sense. Open a door and eventually, something comes through. But nobody thinks about what this open door actually is.
Monsters cross over because they can. But when it comes to an open door, isn’t it possible that we could go through the other way? Isn’t it possible we could be taken there? What is stopping evil doing just that? Dragging us to the other side, begging, kicking, screaming. To a place we barely see a fraction of on one night of the year. Hell, I can imagine a beast made of fear and malice grabbing my ankle with it’s teeth, and come sunrise, I would be in a place where ivory fangs digging into my flesh would be the happiest memory I will ever have, from now until eternity. And the last marks I make in this world would be the ones I scratched on the floorboards. But this is just a theory…right ?
Probably…I mean, I give the idea of monsters the benefit of the doubt because people have “claimed” to have seen and heard them. From the phrase “The devil made me do it” to people swearing they saw ghosts. I’m not giving my theory any credibility because no one has come forward saying they were taken to the other side on halloween by nefarious creatures. Not one. But then again, how could they?
Why would we even hear about it? What if those people who were taken, are never heard from again? What if they remain trapped there, forever? What if the most horrifying stories, are the ones we never get to hear? But it’s just a theory…right?