I’ve mentioned this in several posts before- but I’m a teenager who isn’t built for this generation. My ‘selfie’s’ are awkward and I could never imagine posting a posey photo of myself. The concept of a hashtag is foreign and I’ve never really been into Twitter or Instagram. I don’t think there is anything wrong with these social media platforms, and I’ll never judge you for posting your selfie- I’ll just never understand the premise behind it all. I believe that once, social media was a tool for storing memories and sharing photos taken with friends and family. Now I think this meaning has changed, and I can’t help but see a platform of insecurity, and I can’t tell if it’s a good or a bad thing yet. I live in a generation where people live for followers and getting more than 100 likes on a photo. I’ve seen people post a photo that has a happy memory behind it, only to have them take it down because it only received twenty likes in the first five minutes. When people ask why I don’t post on social media like the other teenagers in my generation, I don’t really have a clear answer for them. They assume it’s an insecurity- but I wouldn’t say I am not a particularly insecure person. If anything, I would say that part of my reluctance to post on social media arrises not on the judgment of how I look, but more on the judgement that I had the audacity to keep a photo online when it only received two likes. The biggest issue I have with a lot of social media is the hollowness of it all. I’m bored of seeing the same selfie after selfie, with with the unchanging face, no intermission of a fun silly photo with friends. What’s the point? Growing up with a large age gap between my siblings, maybe my distance with social media is based on my upbringing, where to my elder siblings the concept of ‘likes’ and ‘selfie’s’ is equally as foreign a concept.I miss the fun in a lot of people’s photos. I’m traditional in thinking that photo’s should be linked to a memory and not just a good hair day. But who am I to say what a photo means? Maybe there’s some deep meaning or reason for a selfie and I’m just too old for my age!
Francis Warwick leans against one of the walls, eyes on the television, mind elsewhere, as the advert for the flu vaccination loops on the T.V once more. Earlier, he gave up his seat to a very frail looking woman, who thanked him by coughing in his face. He is beginning to regret giving up his seat now, because his appointment was scheduled for half an hour ago, yet the doctors still haven’t seen him. He checks his watch and mumbles something about the NHS going down the pan. A buzzing sound comes from one of his coat pockets. He pats himself down until his hand hits something hard in his breast pocket. He squints at the small screen of the Nokia, making sure that it’s not one of those numbers that try to sell him ‘some PPI nonsense’.
“Hello?” He answers “Hiya love… No, they haven’t even seen me yet, bloody NHS… well It isn’t my fault is it? I’ll be there love… I wouldn’t let you cart that home on the bus… I’ll ring you after they see me Dot… Bye Love… Bye.” Francis proceeds to press a button on the phone, which he hopes will end the call; but he can’t be sure what he’s pressing without his glasses. He takes his slouched position at the wall again, silently judging the twenty something year old with the headphones in, for not giving up his seat for him.
Francis hates hospitals. To him, it ‘s just a place filled with time wasters who think they’re dying when they have a cough. Francis wishes he were at home watching Antiques Roadshow with a cup of tea and a digestive biscuit. But he’d never hear the end of it from Dot if he didn’t pick up his results.
“Francis Wo-o-orwick.” The robotic voice attempts to say over the intercom.
“About bloody time!” Francis mutters as he starts to make his way down the hallway and enters into the doctor’s office. “I’m sorry about the wait Mr Warwick,” the doctor starts “Please take a seat.” Francis bites back a few terse words as he sits down in the chair.
“I’m sitting.” Francis states bluntly.
“We have your test results back Mr. Warwick”
“I should hope so,” Francis starts “It’s been two weeks. Me and the wife have been wanting to book a weekend away, but this faffy nonsense has stopped us.”
“Mr. Warwick,” the doctor says firmly. She shifts forward in her chair, and clasps her hands together in front of her. She lifts her eyes, so that they keep Francis’s gaze. “We found a tumour Mr. Warwick and unfortunately- the tests have found it to be malignant.”
Francis doesn’t respond. Outside the room, feet shuffle, doors squeak open then slam shut. The doctor begins to think that Francis Warwick hadn’t heard her. He rests his hands on his pot belly, a calm expression on his face, not dissimilar to the one he pulls when deciding whether to have tea of coffee.
“Mr. Warwick?” The doctor asks, “I understand that this may come as a shock-“
“Why do you people use all of this medical Jargon? It’s Cancer isn’t it?” Francis asks
“Yes,” the Doctor replies “we found a cancerous growth in your lungs Mr. Warwick. I understand if you need some time before we-“
“Can it be treated?” Francis asks. The doctor pauses, formulating a response in her head before she speaks.
“It’s quite advanced Mr Warwick… There are options, but-“
“This is such a faff” Francis interrupts, squeezing the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger “It would have been much easier for you to tell me that I’m dying over the phone.”
“Mr. Warwick?” The doctor asks, concerned.
“This is why you have waiting rooms fit to burst. You keep me in a germ-ridden incubator, to tell me something you could have said over the phone!”
“Mr Warwick, do you need to speak to a grief councilor before we discuss options?”
“Grief councilor!” Francis exclaims, “This isn’t the sodding Jeremy Kyle show! No, I don’t want any of that. I just want to go into town and help my wife with the shopping.”
“I think the shopping can wait Mr. Warwick,” the doctor suggests in a light sympathetic tone “It’s best to discuss your options as soon as possible Mr. Warwick. This should be your priority right now.”
“That’s where you’re wrong Doctor,” Francis says, standing from the deceptively hard chair, knees cracking “you haven’t seen my Dot after I leave her waiting. She’ll kill me before the cancer does.” Before he leaves, he turns back to the doctor “Is there anything else doctor? Aside from the cancer.”
The doctor stares at Francis in disbelief, various words in her mind that she couldn’t put into a sentence, she then shifts through her papers with clumsy hands.
“No Mr. Francis… that appears to be everything”
“Good” Francis replies. He then turns to leave, closing the door behind him.
As he leaves the office, Francis pats down his body again, feeling around for the lump of the Nokia. He leans against one of the walls in the waiting room as he squints to find the name ‘Dot’ in his contacts.
“Hiya love… yeah I’m out… It’s alright. Honestly. Look, I’ll speak to you more later; Are you done? Ok… I’ll meet you at the doors, grab yourself a brew or something while you wait. Love you too.” When Francis looks up from the phone, his eyes automatically land on the spot by the wall that he had previously filled. The frail old lady had vacated the seat he sacrificed. A younger woman takes her place, flicking through a magazine while chewing on her excessively long acrylic nails. Francis feels suddenly grateful that no-one had given up their seat for him. He didn’t want to be the frail one who needed sympathy. He figured that he wouldn’t get that label for at least another ten years. Well, that was what he assumed before today.
“Sir, are you okay? You look very pale.” A nurse asks. Francis hadn’t even been aware of her presence. Francis realises that the nurses hand holding his arm is what’s keeping him upright. He uses the wall behind him to correct his stance.
“I’m fine nurse. Just in need of some food I think” he says, moving his arm from the Nurses grip. Before she could object, Francis turns to leave the waiting room, aware that he needed to meet his wife… and tell his wife. Francis doesn’t get scared often, but he’s scared right now. He approaches his car rubbing his chest, as if he could feel the cancer with his bare hand. He isn’t scared of dying. He’s scared of telling his wife. How do you tell your wife and grandchildren that you’re going to decay and die right in front of their eye? How do you comfort them after that?
Francis suddenly realises that he’s been walking aimlessly for a while, and he has gone past his car because his mind keeps conjuring up these unanswerable questions that make his body feel numb.
“I’ll pick up my wife,” he says to himself, silencing his morbid brain, trying to push those numbing questions to the farthest point of his consciousness. He’ll answer them another day.
So this post is very late and I’m sorry for that, but I’m a very last minute person! Anyway- Do you like crazy, fun, charitable events? Then you need to be doing gisHwHeS 2015! Only die-hard fans of the TV Show, Supernatural (or those who just love Misha Collins… because why wouldn’t you?) will know what I’m harping on about. Even I have trouble explaining to others what it is. In short, it’s an acronym for:
It is honestly the most fun I have ever had. For a week in August, you’re manically running around, trying to complete and gather items on a list- yet these aren’t ordinary items. In the past we’ve been asked to record or take pictures of the strangest things, whether this be a storm trooper receiving a facial, or dancing around a maypole in front of a bus station. The greatest pictures or videos are worth more points, and points add up to a prize- this year the prize is a trip to Costa Rica. If you don’t win and let’s face it, you probably wont (not against my team anyway…) your submission fee of roughly $10 at the bare minimum will go towards the charity Random Acts. The experience alone is worth the fee and more.
Here are some pictures of my gisHwHeS experience in 2014:
The flash ready to get stuck behind someone on an escalator
Building a fairy house in London
Building a corrupt ginger bread village filled with criminals… we added prostitutes for kicks.
This is just a handful of the pictures that I had. I didn’t even include the videos!
It was both humiliating and amazing, and I can’t wait until gisHwHeS this year. You still have a week and five days to sign up for yourself, and i really urge you to whether this be on your own or with a group of friends. The event was created to spread kindness and happiness to a world that needs to become a little more abnormal. If you want to join, or learn more about the event, click here!
It’s really, the most fun you will ever have.If I’m wrong, I’ll eat 3 year old Kale.
I’m what you might call, a bit of an awkward person. I’ve never quite seemed to fit into the grain of ‘normality’ is society. You might say weird, I prefer the term ‘quirky’ (although let’s face it, those words mean the same thing). Consequently, this means that I’m always the one with the go to humiliating story, or the one that silences the conversation in the room when I take a joke too far. ‘Awkwardness’ often has the habit of branching out of my personality into my appearance and my laugh which has been described as a ‘contagious cackle’.
My curly hair is awkward, always acting like a hormonal teenager. Some days it will behave and curl in the way that I want it to, but most of the time it tells me to go f*** myself, sticking out like a mane. And then there’s these bad boys…
The epitome of awkward are glued to my teeth. My eighteen year old awkward teeth, that were too awkward to push the baby teeth out by themselves, so they had to be removed. I thought the laugh was bad, pair that with a metal mouth and the manic hair, you have yourself a meth-head who needs to be sectioned. It’s needless to say, that making new friends at university this year was a worrying prospect. Who wants to befriend the awkward drug addict? Somehow I got through it, although I spent my freshers year doing that awkward close-lipped smile, that never really looks sincere.
Wow. This was meant to be a post to other awkward older people with braces, to tell them that being an awkward metal mouth isn’t so bad. I’m sorry, I’ve probably just scared you to death. Don’t rip the metal off so quickly! You’ll be thankful when your teeth are straight in the long run. You’ll also have a lot of room for bags on the bus! After all, who would want to sit next to anyone as awkward as us?
(Drinking game: Shot for every time I wrote awkward)
-7 minutes late and the lecture begins… he’s working from a powerpoint but he doesn’t have a clue what he’s saying. Talking about morality in creative writing. I just took the keyboard protector off my keypad… it feels weird. I’m putting it back on.
– Ethics of writing… we all have moral compass which are inside of us all.
-Someone’s showing off. He answered a question that hadn’t yet been asked yet. In a lecture. Really?
-Oscar Wilde, ooh. No he only mentioned him briefly.Back to the boring stuff i guess
-Oops I forgot to listen.
-Stumbled across this on the internet, and I’m not allowed to laugh… oh dear.
-Oliver Twist- Victorian morality. Stop listing the characters. We all know Oliver Twist. Or at least I hope we do as literature students students.
-Art can never change public morality- clearly not. I’ve read some terrible books that made me want to maim the authors.*cough, Twilight cough*.
-George Eliot… German Idealist philosophy who discussed masculine identity. Wait this is a female? Ohh pen name. Sexism and all that. Why do they still call her that? Her real name is Mary.
-All narrative need a sin… this is the world we live in. We’re sick individuals. True though… sick but true. Why is our creativity evil!? The devil can take any form… why not Literature. I bet he’s twilight. Wouldn’t expect that twist would you?
-“If we are offended by something, should it be published? Should we self sensor?” I wish you would have self-censored this lecture.
– I’m feeling sleepy. I knew it was a bad idea to watch Charlie’s Angels. 4 hours sleep will not ‘be fine’. You have an essay to research idiot…which you could have been doing in this wasted hour.
-I want sleep. Ill hide behind my laptop.
-Why do people use abbreviation. It’s so dumb, WTF!?
-‘Lol’- Whats wrong with saying ‘ha’… it’s shorter?!
– I’m getting cranky…. That’s because I’m being bored to death. Thank the heavens that I took my laptop with me.
-Everyone on Facebook is telling me to google blue waffle.
-Don’t google it… or urban dictionary it. All I’m saying is- Gross STI. Ugh. Percy Jackson won’t want this blue food… Rick Riordan fans will get that reference.
– This is just a philosophy lecture! I thought I left that behind at A-level.
-He’s talking about the holocaust now… way to bring the tone down dude.
-Holocaust and religion in the same lecture!? This guy’s controversial.
-Just this… I’m dead. #literaturejokes #ofmiceandmen #notthebandthebook
-Cadbury’s are releasing popping candy ice-cream. I can feel my butt growing just looking at the picture.
– 3 minutes left… we can do this.
-He’s gone over! HOW HOW HOW… he’s talking about his own moral experiences!? Oh, my parcel has arrived… yay!
ITS DONE… and I have a seminar in an hour. Great. I’m calling in sick.
Yep… I only posted 4 hours ago. And yep… it is 5am. And yep, i haven’t been to sleep yet. I have been self- diagnosing, scaring myself to death convinced my teeth are going to fall out.
Here’s a tip. If you have a health related issue, don’t use google. In this circumstance, google is not your friend. He is your enemy who links every health issue back to cancer or Alzheimer’s. Most importantly, don’t use yahoo answers, they don’t have any answers! They’re full of people who tell you you’re going to die in seven days, then claim to be a doctor.
I’ll try to get some sleep now if there’s any point.
Good night! 🙂
Since coming to university, it seems as if the God of embarrassing moments has been following me around and unloading a lifetime’s supply onto my poor unsuspecting soul. Generally, I’m a dizzy person lacking in the thing people call ‘common sense’, but reflecting back over these last few months I have to hide my face in embarrassment at what a fool I’ve made myself out to be. Some things are unmentionable, some things are (I’m just going to interject and say just as I wrote those words, our fire alarm sounded… how dramatic! Not from my doing though unfortunately… it would have added to my list of embarrassing moment) mentionable, but i still-want-to-curl-up-into-a-ball-and-die-able.
Like today, when I went to the wrong lecture and only realised when I sat down and read the title ‘understanding Calculus’. It’s funny, because i thought i was meant to be studying Margaret Atwood. Or another time where I earned the nickname Sarah ‘Lambrini’ McGee, for bringing a bottle of Lambrini to a flat party… it’s a chavvy drink apparently.
Even the time where I sent an angry e-mail to Amazon to say my parcel hadn’t arrived… it turned out, i was just looking in the wrong mailbox.
I could go on but I think I’ll save those for another blog that I’m not writing at 1 am and not feeling guilty for writing something other than my essay. Until then, laugh at me… everyone else does 🙂
Most days, lectures are interesting and filled with information I want and need to know. As it turns out, if the lecturer prepares slides for the wrong book, the lecture tends to be somewhat less productive.
In the end, we were read a story (yes, I kid you not) which was entirely irrelevant to the course, and what I could only describe as ‘soft-porn’. I thought about getting up and leaving several times… but didn’t want to be rude. But I sure did give him some evil looks, don’t you worry about that!
Oh well, at least I got to work on my doodling skills.
Daunting, poweful, important, strict.
Wishing for a smaller word count.
2500 words between freedom and me. But 2000 is a mountain, another 500 is Everest.
Unsurpassable, unforgiving, unrelenting.
Start from the start.
Shave down the words.
Watch them dwindle, fill the space with ‘however’s’ and ‘furthermore’s’.
Get through the word count…
But this point is interesting.
I can expand on this.
Use another quote here.
Argue with the critic.
I’ve reached the summit and-
I’ve fallen off the edge.
3000 words- 500 too many.
Disaster, catastrophe, foolish, idiotic!
Wishing for a bigger word count.
I shuffle into my apartment with a hill where my back should be. This must be how Atlas felt when he carried the weight of the sky on his shoulders.
Somehow, my overworked feet carry me to my bathroom, even though they are fighting against me, trying to walk to the bed.
“Bed is the enemy feet”, I declare whilst reaching aimlessly for a light switch in the darkness.
Click. Flash. Light.
I feel my eyes squint in protest, as they attempt acclimatise to the bleak, artificial brightness that bounces off the bathroom walls. As soon as I greet my reflection, I immediately wish the light would shatter. What I look at (and what indeed looks back) is the result of 5 consecutive nights without sleep. The eyes are no more than bloodshot piss-holes in the snow, with inverted half-rainbows of purple and grey underneath them. The skin- like undercooked pastry covered with angry bursts of spots.
“You’ve gotta quit the third job Aislinn”
My reflection stares back with a blank expression, knowing as well as I do that quitting is not an option. I can barely pay rent as it is. I pick up a bottle from the side (let’s hope it isn’t bleach) and drink. My reflection drinks too- and I’m sure we can both taste the bitter dregs of a €5 bottle of wine.
The clock is mocking me. His twitching moustache turns uncaringly onwards, and the minutes pass by.
It’s 3am already.
I can see the bed in my peripheral vision- perfectly made, like it has never been slept in; I feel myself swallow down an overwhelming sense of fear and revulsion.
“Tonight is the night”, I say as I strip to my underwear- hating myself for the shake in my voice. From the window, I catch vision of the moon, half of his cratered face peeking out from behind a cloud.
“How are you Moonie? I didn’t see much of you last night- were you not in Ireland?”
The moon hovers silently- although I swear I could see him wink in confirmation.
We understand each other. Many dark hours we have spent sharing our troubles, and slagging off the sun. He doesn’t get much sleep either, as to why I’m not quite sure- he doesn’t talk much.
I’m about to procrastinate further- avoid the unavoidable process of ‘sleep’ and suggest the moon and I play a game, but he has fully disappeared behind a grey cloud.
I sigh and turn back to the dreaded bed. I reach out with my hands- heart thumping with anticipation- as a try to find the crisp, cold linen of the bed sheet. It feels unfriendly beneath my hands- even more so as I lie on top of it.
“Just close your eyes. Think about nothing.”
Exhaustion presses on me like sheet of lead, yet my brain won’t be quiet and let me drift off to sleep. I feel the familiar barrage of suppressed thoughts rise from the pit of my stomach like acidic bile that invades my brain.
I hear the clock ticking- imagine the moustache hands- throwing seconds of time away.
You- Will- Ne- ver- sleep- a- gain. You- Will- Ne- ver- sleep- a- gain.
Who would have thought that regret would feel so bitter and gut wrenching? It’s your soul’s way of saying “You’ve fucked up”. I close my eyes tighter- clench my teeth so hard they squeak.
What have I done with my life? I’m 32 and I’m stuck waiting tables, and serving pints to the drunkards of Belfast. If I’d have just studied that extra bit harder at school- paid attention instead of making an infamous name for myself as ‘the dumb hussy’.
I could have been a lawyer- I could have been something more to my parents than a disappointment.
I wouldn’t be so alone- only living to work, or to drown my sorrows in a cheap bottle of rosé.
“Sleep why are you avoiding me!?” I scream ripping open my eyes and searching for the clock- the hands tell me it’s 5:20 am.
I have to be up in less than 2 hours…
I feel the perspiration of panic line my body like another layer of skin, and I wonder why our worst thoughts and nightmares come to haunt us in the darkness of night.
Why does my brain betray me when I need it to shut up and sleep?
Think of nothing and sleep.
Think of nothing and sleep.
Think of nothing and…
‘Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.’
I open one eye with trepidation- I’m hallucinating. I must be, otherwise the blinking ‘07.00’ on my alarm clock would mean that I actually got an hour of sleep last night.
That’s progress at least!
I notice the sun has replaced the moon in the sky and his beams are pouring in through the window. He looks refreshed, and annoyingly jolly- like he’s happy to embrace the day, and does so with enthusiasm.
“Smug bastard” I mutter with a thick, heavy voice.