Is there a person you should’ve thanked, but never had the chance? Is there someone who helped you along the way without even realizing it? Here’s your chance to express your belated;gratitude.
I have a lot of people that I should thank for a plethora of reasons, but perhaps not for the reasons you may be expecting.
To my first Dance teachers, thank you all so much for acknowledging my talent and my future potential, but thank you also for not pushing me the way I should have been pushed and challenging me the way you should have. Whilst I thought that I was excelling, I realise that I wad in an environment that was incredibly limited and I should have had the courage to move to a capital city much sooner that I did in order to truly experience a real Dance culture and discover the challenges and improvements I’d been seeking for so many years.
Thankyou to all those cunts throughout my childhood who bullied me, and made my life a living hell and a constant struggle. Those of you who pushed me you far resulting in depression and suicidal tendencies. Thankyou for forcing me to go through some of the most horrible and painful years of my life, day after day, showing me that I truly am quite resilient and can overcome any obstacle that life throws at me. Because of you, I’ve become the strong independent person I am today.
Thankyou to the people in my day to day life who continue to disappoint and let me down, and show their unreliability. You are the reason I generally dislike people, and the reason I chose to keep everybody at an arm’s length. You’ve taught me that the only person I can and should only ever count on is myself, because if something doesn’t work out, I only have myself to blame. It’s solidified my independence and self reliance, and I’m comfortable with that.
Do you hold grudges or do you believe in forgive and forget?
Correction… I can and WILL stay mad at you for as long as I feel like it…
Give me a reason to hold a grudge… any reason… any reason at all… regardless of how minor it may be, and it’s like setting something into concrete – I’ll hold onto that grudge for as long as I need to.
Hi, I’m a Scorpio, and I’m the wrong person you want to be pissing off. Ever. For me, holding grudges is something that just happens . Naturally. Like learning to walk, or brushing your teeth at night. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always held grudges against people, even when I was a kid. I was always of the mindset that if you’re going to piss me off or upset me, then I want nothing to do with you.
Do you believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Or do you think there is a basic standard of beauty that everyone agrees upon?
**WARNING: Contains stereotypes and generalisations**
I vaguely remember watching a Comedy Debate a couple of years ago on this exact same topic… I guess it probably would have helped if I had been paying attention more, then I could have relayed the messages from both sides of the debate.
There are so many different ways in which I could address this, so let’s just see how this all unfolds, shall we? I think I’ll break it up into a few different sections.
Is there a basic standard of beauty that everyone agrees upon? Yes and no.
Let’s take this whole concept of beauty back to the most iconic of them all, Barbie.
Barbie has gone through quite a number of changes over the years, but looking at the image above, it’s quite obvious that she’s had a bit of work done. Poor old Babs was stuck with that 50’s-esque body type and some people felt that she needed a bit of a change. So off she went to hospital, had a few ribs removed and come out looking like a brand new bitch.
The problem with Barbie is that although she may be one of the most fashionable ladies in the history of, well, ever, the fact still remains that some view her as a negative role model for young women. Girls all over the world have looked up to Barbie and told themselves that one day, they too will be just like her – blonde and plastic-fantastic. And unfortunately, some make it their life’s mission. Everybody knows somebody like this – the blonde dyed hair, the fake breasts, fake lips, constantly covered in fake tan. And they no doubt have their own version of ‘Ken’ – the tall guy with rippling muscles everywhere that can barely string a sentence together.
This brings me to my first topic:
Beauty and Fitness
Now that it’s the era of the gym bunny – these Ken’s and Barbie’s probably spend their lives at the gym, toning up the rest of their body in the pursuit of what they consider ‘perfection’. But to some people, the ideal of ‘perfection’ doesn’t necessarily equate to ‘beautiful’. Have a look at these lovely ladies and all their, um, fakeness. Some might consider them to be beautiful. Others, however, might assume that they’re all dancing down at the local Oompa-Loompa strip club for when Willy Wonka’s minions feel like a boys night out and wanna blow a wad (of cash!).
Some of the Barbie’s probably also do something called ‘Bikini Modelling’ which is apparently, a thing now… but basically it’s just these gym bitches parading around in a couple of strips of material which is smothered in diamantes and sequins in order to attempt to cover their pikachu, whilst they parade around in those ‘glass’ hooker heels. to show off all the hard work they’ve put in at the gym – and probably all the food that they haven’t been eating in order to help ‘shred’ those last few pounds.
Oh, I totally forgot – they’re also the type of person who is probably so narcissistic that they feel the need to constantly take selfies and share them on every type of social media account they have… just so other ‘models’ can message them and say ‘OH MY GAWWWWD… OMG GAWD YOU LOOK SOOOOO HAWT…’ and then flick their hair and give a little duck-face.
Let’s face it, she looks like she’s a heartbeat away from pole-dancing lessons.
I’m in two minds about this. Yes, I think it’s great that you’re going to the gym and working on your body etc… but are you actually fit?? Yes, you might spend 3 days a week working on your legs, but can you actually run? I’ve seen far too many people at the gym who look ‘fit’, but are actually quite the opposite. And to be honest, I secretly enjoy it. I love nothing more than going to a high-intensity interval class and seeing some muscled up jock there as well, and then see him struggling during the first track of a 30-min class, only for him to give up by track 2 or 3. Now, I’m not exactly a beacon of health and fitness myself, I’m somewhere in the middle. It just goes to show you that yes, you can spend every spare moment you have, of everyday, in the gym targeting each and every muscle group on your body, so you too can get to a point where you can’t buy regular clothes and you have to walk around holding invisible briefcases, but when tubbly ol’ me goes into a class with you, you’re expected to be able to wipe the floor with the rest of us, because you look the way you do. Nobody is anticipating on seeing you, not even half-way through the class, collapsed on your bench wondering if you’re about to have a coronary.
Like I said earlier, we associate muscle with fitness, when really it’s just strength, not actual fitness. Next time you’re at the gym, just take a moment and look at the people who are in a group fitness class. Look at their body types. They may be sweating and grunting and have their ugly concentration face on, but do you consider them beautiful? Now go for a wander down to the free-weights area and check out the people there and their bodies. It’s okay, I’m giving you permission to perve. Do you consider this group more beautiful simply because of their dedication to muscle definition? If you just said yes, don’t you think that sounds a bit shallow?
And don’t get it twisted, this is NOT what I mean by ‘cardio’.
There’s also a couple of different types of bodies that people consider fit. For example, the ripped guy who’s trying to look like The Hulk… some view him as fit. The triathlete / runner / cyclist etc. Some view them as fit whilst others just think their skinny. Yet, those who are simply swimmers, are a different body type all together. ‘Fitness’ (and I use the term loosely) comes in all shapes and sizes, and all are considered beautiful to all different types of people. To these people, the athletes, their bodies are treated like machines. They are all about the biomechanics of how their body works, how it needs to perform and how they can improve that performance. It’s no longer considered a body, it’s a machine. And to be an athlete is something that requires pure dedication, which in turn, becomes a thing of beauty (especially if it’s on film and being shown in slo-mo… moreso if it’s a hot guy without his top on hehehe).
An ex-boyfriend of mine was once part of the Victorian Institute of Sport, and I remember him telling me stories about some of the people who live there, and how much dedication they put towards what they do. Specific sleeping, eating and training patterns that would seem ridiculous to the average person, but is considered normal to those at VIS. He would tell me stories about the punishing training they put themselves through; the pain that they have to experience almost constantly all in the belief that it might earn them a gold medal, or better, Olympic medal. You might seem them competing at a national or even international level doing something that they’ve dedicated their lives to. Completely tortured themselves in the process, and there’s no denying that that’s not something truly beautiful.
I don’t think I could possibly continue writing any more if I didn’t at least address the most obvious topic – Ballet.
Ballet, I think would have to be regarded as the most beautiful form of dance in the history of the world. It’s so elegant and graceful, and let’s be honest, those skinny bitches know how to fly around on that stage and make it look so effortless. I remember when I was younger reading an article about fitness and sport, and there was a study done between all different types of athletes. Sprinters, runners, swimmers, footy players, soccer players, basketball players etc and a male ballet dancer. They were put through a series of drills to measure endurance, cardiovascular activity, Co2 etc, and who came out on top?? The ballet dancer. That article then went on to talk about how dance in general should be considered a sport, because dancers are a type of athlete… well, that, and dance is beautiful. Art in motion. Emotive.
They’re also a bit obsessive. The hardcore ones have either inhaled a bit too much hairspray over the years, and had their hair-buns pulled a bit too tight, because they are all striving for the same thing – perfection. The problem is, that like most sports, the pursuit of perfection is never easy. It’s long and it’s painful, but the result is beauty.
HOWEVER, this type of beauty does come at a cost. Especially for ballerinas. What is the cost?
How beautiful do you think ballet is now? Does it change your views at all? The phrase ‘pain is beauty‘ is no truer than right now. The ballerina, let’s face it, will go through the gates of hell in order to achieve ‘perfection’, but unfortunately, their concept of perfection may be rather different to yours or mine. These ladies, literally, torture themselves all in the name of dance, art, grace and beauty. Yes, the end result can be simply breathtaking, however, there is a trade off. That image above, is the trade off.
So everytime you see a ballerina doing this:
…I want you to remind yourself of this:
In this instance beauty certainly is in the eye of the beholder, because we don’t see underneath. We don’t see the mangled feet, or the bloodied pointe shoes. We don’t see the bruising, or the contorted joints. We don’t see the tears and the pain. We just see the elegance floating on the stage in tulle.
Beauty and Image
That is Rick Genest a.k.a. Zombie Boy. He is covered from head to toe and everywhere in between with tattoos. Most of it is all anatomical – bones, organs, veins etc. Most people would look at him and feel uncomfortable, or even scared, simply because of his tattoos. But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s still a human being like the rest of us, he just looks a little different. Why should he be judged on what’s on the outside, rather than what’s on the inside?
Some people would consider him ugly, yet others consider him living art, and yet he’s achieved quite a lot. He’s been featured in Theirry Mugler’s fashion shows, he’s done makeup campaigns, he’s even in the Born This Way video for Lady Gaga.
People wonder why others go to such extremes with tattoos – in today’s society, it’s quite common place to see people with ‘sleeves’, or tattoos on various parts of their bodies, and even that in itself has people divided, and I for one have seen some really ugly tattoos and some that are truly beautiful works of art. I might not necessarily agree that it needed to be tattooed, but it’s still a form of art, and art is considered to be beautiful, right?
I came across the following video when doing some research on Mr Genest, and came across a video campaign he did for DermablendPro, which is truly remarkable:
After seeing him covered in tattoos, and then seeing him with ‘normal’ looking skin, it’s quite a dramatic change, and almost makes you question why a person would do that to their body.
Personally, I think it’s fascinating, and I believe that he is a walking, breathing work of art. The amount of work that has gone into those tattoos, the detail, not to mention the cost and the pain, it’s all in the name of his image. And like the saying goes, ‘pain is beauty’ – or does that now only apply to corset’s and stiletto’s?
Beauty and Fashion
This brings us to the next topic – beauty and fashion. Hands up those of you who always dreamt about being a supermodel. Yeah, me too. I would sometimes dream that if I were born a girl, I’d grow up to become a Glamazon as well. Tall. Toned. Legs for days. I’d have an incredible body, and I’d use it to make a fortune.
As a kid who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, it was the time of the true supermodel legends – Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen, Eva, Herzigova. Gorgeous women who drove men wild with lust and drove women wild with jealousy. They were everywhere you turned – commercials, magazine covers, interviews, billboards on the sides of buildings etc. The world was obsessed with them and couldn’t get enough of them. They were the epitome of beauty. Ladies went to the extreme of drawing on a mole that looked like Cindy Crawford’s.
Imitation is the highest form of flattery, dahhhlings.
But then something happened, over the years the modelling industry took a turn for the worse and started to give off the image that only emaciated young girls could be models, and for quite some time, some designers would only use these types of girls in their runway shows. That was considered beautiful. Some skeletal bag of bones who looks like she’s been wrapped in couture and sent down the runway in a pair of stilts. Sorry, no. Not in the slightest. (Sidenote: if you’re looking for a laugh, do search for videos of models falling down. Guaranteed to make you feel better!)
Now, let’s fast forward to 2013 / 2014 and shine a spotlight on Carmen Carrera. Carmen is the first transgender model. I had never heard of Carmen before, until I saw her walk in the Marco Marco show.
Check out the full show:
When it comes to the modelling industry, it can easily be summed up in one word:
However, have you ever really looked at a fashion show, and studied the models, rather than the clothes? The models seems to all look the same, especially the male models. They all just seem to be clones of each other – they have the exact same body type, the exact same chiseled jaw, and the same blank expression that tells us there really isn’t much going on upstairs. I put them in the same category as all the other hot guys – you can stand there and look beautiful, but please, for the love of god, don’t say anything.
The other issue I have with the modeling industry is that even now, even after it’s cleaned up its act a bit and now actually wants people, rather than bags of bones in Manolo’s, it’s still giving people, primarily young women, this unhealthy view that in order to be accepted, you need to look like a model. You can’t achieve anything unless you skinny. You can’t be in the media. You can’t fit in with the cool kids at school. Boy’s won’t talk to you etc.
What a bunch of crap!
This, however takes me to my next topic:
Beauty and Weight
Women who are overweight, have always been made to feel bad about themselves, mainly due to mainstream media. It’s plastered with skinny bitches, and they’re always shown to be having fun – they’re on the beach with their (skinny) girlfriends, splashing in the water in their bikini’s and then get approached by a group of guys (ie: gay male models); or their on jewellery commercials, getting earrings, and bracelets from their male-model boyfriend / fiance / husband (again, gay!). Their the ones at fast food restaurants, stuffing their faces with a burger or fried chicken, and having a great time.
…but where are the plus-sized girls?
Why is it that even now, even in 2014, plus-size is still something that isn’t being accepted by the media. Despite the campaigns by various groups to have more ‘bigger’ girls in mainstream media, it just doesn’t happen. What kind of message is this sending to women? As a gay man, to me this says ‘you’ll never be this happy unless your skinny. You’ll never get these kinda of diamonds, or meet a man this attractive, unless your skinny. You’ll never enjoy fried food like this, unless your ski-…’ actually, I think that if you’re a bigger girl, you’re more likely going to enjoy that fried chicken soooo much more than some skinny bitch.
In my search for images of plus-sized models, I came across this little gem:
Who says that bigger women aren’t beautiful, or can’t be beautiful. Can you sit there and look at a plus-sized model and say she doesn’t look beautiful? The key word being model. She’s a model. It’s no longer a word for anorexic bitches on stilts. It’s expanded. It’s diversified. However, there needs to be more light shone on plus sized models to give them the attention, and the recognition they deserve.
I sit here and look at society and think that it must be really tough for anybody who’s a size 12 or bigger, because fashion in it’s purest form is targeted only to those who seem to not like eating, or prefer the taste of their fingers after each meal. What kind of fucked up message does that send to women? No wonder the ‘dieting’ section of supermarkets and health food stores etc is rapidly expanding. It’s like society’s way of giving the skinny bitches an All-Access Pass to life, whilst letting all the bigger girls wait in line behind the velvet rope. How is that fair? It’s high-school all over again. Where the skinny bitches are the cheerleaders fucking the quaterback of the football team, and the bigger girls are hanging out together eating their feelings. And why do they have so many feelings? Because of the skinny bitches being such haters.
Just look at her, curves in all the right places. She is BEAUTIFUL!! And anybody who thinks otherwise, can get themselves well and truly fucked.
Now, having said that, I have to address something. Being somebody who works in the health and fitness industry, there is something to be said for bigger girls feeling sorry for themselves. They too have the ability to lose weight, but it requires effort. It requires changes to diet, it requires exercise, it requires persistence and dedication, and not many big girls have that drive. They would like it to happen, but they want the results without the effort. Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that.
In my experience, I’ve had a number of bigger girls cross my path and I just love the fact that they’ve decided to get active and do something about their weight.
Now, before you start hating on me, I completely understand that everybody has their issues. You might struggle with your weight, it could be a thyroid problem, it could be a genetic condition, but you can’t just sit back, give up and accept it. Well, unless you’re truly happy with how you look and how it makes you feel. If you’re happy to own your size, then good for you. I’m talking about the other ones, the ones who are bigger and unhappy and just lazy. The only one you have to blame is yourself. Yes, I know that you feel like crap because of whatever reason, and yes, I COMPLETELY understand how eating that entire cake is going to make you feel better (trust me, I do it too!) but at the end of the day, it’s not doing you any good.
I only look at this from a health perspective and nothing more. It’s not healthy to be overweight, and any medical professional will tell you this. The problem however, is that what is considered to be a ‘healthy’ weight range, is still considered to be overweight. And that’s wrong. Have you ever checked your Body Mass Index (BMI)? It’s a calculation of your weight and your height and gives you a result. If you want, you can check it out here. I just put mine in, and because I’m 1kg out of the range, I’m considered overweight. For me, that’s somewhat upsetting, but at the same time I just brush it. My weight is always up and down, so I don’t really focus on it. If I’m happy, I’m happy. I know there’s room for improvement, but I’m too lazy to put in even more time at the gym for my own gains. i’m too busy working full time and teaching my classes.
For me, when I teach a class, I love the feeling that it gives me when a bigger person can come to me and thank me… thank me for a class, thank me for putting a smile on their face, thank me for helping them ignore life for an hour, just so they can sweat and dance and have some fun. I love that. I love it because it’s reassurance that I’m doing something right. We don’t often get real feedback like that, but when we do, we treasure it. I’m not there for the social aspect. I’m not there to see friends (it’s nice though). I’m there to positively change people’s lives, and make a big enough impact on them so they’ll want to come back again and again.
The one pet peeve I have about the gym are the posers. Those people who come to the gym, and stand there and stare at their own reflections in the mirror the whole time. Yes, I understand that when using weights you need a mirror to check your technique, but heaven forbid that those last couple of squats you did put a few hairs out of place.
You just just get the fuck out. Right now.
Or the people who do classes, and are always in the front row, doing the same thing. They probably have terrible teqnique, so sense of direction or timing etc, but they just stare at themselves the entire time, completely oblivious to what’s happening in the class around them. OR, they’re the people who go in full-makeup, but don’t want to sweat.
Sorry bitches, if you’re coming to my class, you’re here to work. Please don’t turn up and waste my time if you’re not prepared to actually do something. If you wanna go put yourself on parade for everybody to look at, go be a beauty queen.
Beauty and Events – Eg. Pageants
Beauty pageants. Ugh. Just the concept of a beauty pageant is so ridiculous to me. Basically, it’s a competition only for the pretty, skinny bitches. But it’s a competition to see who’s the prettiest! It’s nothing more than a glorified popularity contest. The only difference is, that these bitches get a cash prize, and the opportunity to parade themselves around the world, telling the world ‘Look at me, I’m the prettiest bitch in the WHOLE WORLD (Miss Universe)”… and then they can go off and blow every guy who says their pretty. I loathe these things. Miss America, Miss USA, Miss World, Miss Universe…
However, without them, we wouldn’t have things like Miss Congeniality, and train-wreck TV shows such as Toddlers and Tiara’s, and of course, Honey Boo Boo.
As much as HBB is one of those shows you just hate to watch, it’s like a secret indulgence. Like when you drive past a car accident, and you just want to stop and have a look, but you know that you shouldn’t – this is how I feel about HBB – you shouldn’t watch it, but it’s so bad, it’s good.
For those of you who don’t know, HBB is a pudgy little girl who does ‘Kiddie Pageants’. Which, are pretty much one of the worst things for a girl to get involved in – well, unless you’re anorexic and your overbearing parents (usually the mother) have tens-of-thousands of dollars to just throw away on costumes and glitter (OMG the glitter!) in some vain attempt at getting you to win the local popularity beauty pageant.
What I love about HBB is that she’s not the skinniest, she’s not really that talented, nor that intelligent, and she sometimes refers to herself in the third-person, and she doesn’t really give a shit. That certainly doesn’t stop her from entering these ridiculous competitions, and in a way, I actually kind of admire her for doing so, because it says to the other tubby kids out there ‘hey, if I can do it, then you can do it too!’ I’m not saying that it’s necessarily easy for her to enter these, but she enjoys herself, and hell, she’s got her own ridiculous TV show out of it.
This is what I like – the overweight people with the fuck you attitude. The ones who aren’t afraid to put themselves out there, even if it’s going to open them up for ridicule.
There needs to be more of this. If the world is going to insist on continually promoting these skinny-bitch pageants, then why can’t full-figured women enter them as well. What has happened to our society where we only want to promote and focus on the pretty thin girls. Like I said before, just because you’re pretty, doesn’t make you smart. Anybody can parade around in some hooker heels and a bikini (See – Bikini Models), but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can string a sentence together.
Beauty and Intelligence
Well, wasn’t that just a lovely little segue? Paying so much attention to the media, I am of the general view that pretty people are only that – pretty. Pretty certainly doesn’t mean intelligent. As is the case with the youtube clip above, you could be trying to win the vote for the prettiest girl in all the land, and you might not necessarily be able to construct a sentence, but men don’t care about that. As long as you stay thin and pretty, and don’t talk, they’re happy. Oh and as long as you blow them on command and make them a sandwich afterwards, everything will be great.
Hmmm… anybody else suddenly feel like we’ve travelled back to the 50’s??
I am fortunate enough to know a number of people who have both brains and beauty, because, well, generally the two don’t go hand in hand. Well, that’s not entirely true. They do go hand-in-hand, it’s just that it’s actually quite rare – like unicorns.
But I think in society nowadays if somebody is quite good looking, there’s almost a pre-conceived notion that they’re a bit simple. I know that whenever I have somebody who’s really good looking comes up to me and actually deliver a proper sentence, and manages to do so without a grunt, or a hair twirl, or a pout, I almost die of shock. And don’t even get me started on the use of ‘LOL-speak’ – i’ll end up in a table-flipping rage. Seriously, USE A PROPER WORD FOR A CHANGE!! WHY IS IT SO FUCKING HARD… soz, i mean uze props wrdz 4 a chng. Y s it so fckn hrd?
Just. Kill. Me. Now.
I’m not saying that pretty people can’t be smart, I just think that my personal experience is that pretty and smart people are quite rare. They’re an endangered species. We need to get them all together and start a breeding program for them, so they can multiply and we can release them back into our dysfunctional society. I also think that there are a number of smart-pretty people who are just dumb. They do dumb shit. They ask dumb questions. The stuff that makes you wonder how they manage to make it through the day without killing themselves, or killing others. I think these people are everywhere. You can be academic and book smart, but still not have any concept of common sense. I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt and just assume that they’re actually idiot savants, because if they’re not, then they’re just dumb, and that’s so much more disappointing.
There was this one woman whom I used to work with. She was attractive, highly intelligent, was doing her Masters in Law… but she’d ask me the most stupid questions. But she had been working at the same place for a number of years, and still had to ask things. Where did we keep the pens? How do I send a fax? Can I email a book? (Okay, so the last one is actually true! It reminds of the scene in Mean Girls when the guy leans in and says “Last year, she asked me how to spell ‘Orange'”) so it is actually possible to be quite intelligent, but still so dumb at the same time. Needless to say, we didn’t necessarily see eye-to-eye very often. I had my moments where I would point out stupid stuff she said, immediately after she had just asked it… then it was ‘on’!!
Beauty and Self Esteem
Thanks Xtina. You’re one of the people who has always been scrutinised because of your fluctuating weight. One minute you’re skinny and then suddenly you’ve ballooned to twice your size. But you know what, even overweight Xtina is still beautiful, regardless of how slammed she is in the media. And it doesn’t affect her ability to sing either, because that girls has some pipes on her. And really, why should anybody give a fuck about your weight, when you can sing like that. This is another reason why I love Adele. She’s a bigger girl, and she’s got an incredible vocal talent as well. Her’s is in a much lower register than Christina’s, but it’s still beautiful and incredible.
Ahhh, Dem Lovato. So pretty, and yet such a mess. From punching a dancer, to self-harm, drug addiction, rehab… you sound like you need to be hanging out with Lindsay @ Rehab. You can braid each others hair and talk about boys… and who can get you the best coke. Demi, to me, seems like another one of the manufactured Disney bitches who, yes, looks pretty, but has been built up into a superstar without actually having that much talent. Oh, so you say she’s been in a successful TV show, and sold millions of records? Yes, well that would be because of the Disney brain washing machine + gullible youth of today = overnight success + millions of dollars. Hell, they could market a lump of shit, and everybody would want to buy it – it’s the age we live in. Teens and tweens going batshit cray-cray over some overrated ‘celebrity’ and having this overwhelming urge to own anything and everything with their face on it.
Just like Pokemon: you gotta buy it all!!
So, if you look at the above for long enough, you might start to think that Demi seems a bit forced in what she’s saying. Yes, girls, you ARE beautiful, but only because my agent tells to say so. I personally think that you’re all peasants and you’re beneath me. If anybody should be doing something about self-esteem issues, it SHOULD be her. She’s one of these girls who’s got problems, but is also int he public spotlight, and that shouldn’t be deterring people from whatever shit they’re going through, if anything, they should be owning it and shining a light on it, and telling the rest of the world, ‘well, hang on a sec, actually, I kinda feel like shit for this reason and that reason’.
Whatever happened to people actually helping people??
But this is about beauty and self esteem. And the first thing that springs to mind is high-school. High-school is such a cruel place for anybody who doesn’t fit a specific mould of what teenagers are supposedly meant to be. But because everybody is so different, AND because society has become so multi-cultural, it opens itself up like a gaping wound, just waiting to have salt and lemon juices smeared all over it.
Enter the topic of bullying. Who remembers the fat kids in school being picked on? Yep, I certainly do. I was friends with them. Did any of you actually stick up for them when they were being bullied? Can’t say I did, and I feel shitty for not standing up. Back then, I was also the one being bullied. I got bullied for being a dancer. I got bullied for being smart. I got bullied for having a big nose. I got bullied because of my name (!!). But worst of all, I got bullied for being gay. For being flamboyant. But it wasn’t just from the boys, it was from the girls as well. The girls who I actually expected to at least be some kind of ally, and yet they turned on me without a second thought.
It’s hard growing up in the country, surrounded by dickheads.
And as a result, I turned out like this:
I felt sorry for anybody who was different. Just like in Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion, our school also had an A-Group. They were all the popular kids, with wealth parents who bought them everything (Read: divorced), who were all good-looking, great physiques, and really bad attitudes. Basically, they were a bunch of cunts who took far too much pleasure in destroying other people’s spirits.
And the worst part of it now, is that this type of bullying is no longer confined to the playground. It’s online. It’s cyberbullying. It’s fucking sad. If you’ve never been bullied, then you truly have no concept of how horrible people can be to one another. Yes, sticks and stones my break my bones, but your nasty words will destroy my spirit. And the problem is that people aren’t willing to talk about the problem; parent’s aren’t prepared to take it seriously; schools don’t want to get involved; and at the centre of it all is some kid who’s full of so much pain they don’t know how to handle it, and are more likely to suffer in silence and do shit like self-harm (Hi there, Demi Lovato!) or worse, take their own life.
Nobody, NOBODY SHOULD EVER BE MADE TO FEEL LIKE THAT. To tell somebody you don’t like them, or their not worthy of being around you because they’re different in some way, is one of the worst things you can ever say to somebody. You might laugh it off, but these kids have real emotions. You’re just simply a horrible, nasty person with a blackened soul. If anything, YOU’RE not the one worthy of their company. Yes, you may have your clique of skinny bitches, with your platinum-blonde hair, super-jock boyfriend and drive a convertible, but you have no substance. You go out of your way to knock people down in order to make yourself feel better, but where does it get you?
You might not like somebody because they’re overweight. Or because they’re cross-eyed. Or they’re disabled. Or they’re not as financially secure as you. Or because they’re a different race. Or because they don’t speak English very well… but who cares. Hating on them is not going to achieve anything. You don’t have to like everybody, that’s totally fine, but you don’t have to go out of your way to make sure they know that you dislike them. All you need to do is accept that they’re different, and move on. The least you can do is acknowledge them as a human being, and respect them for who they are, where they are and what they have. Maybe, just maybe, you could go out of your way to try and have a conversation with them? It’s not going to kill you, and who knows, you might even find that you have something in common with each other.
So much time and effort is spent on people trying to bring people down, even as adults, but let’s face it, it’s still just bullying. It’s still high-school, except we’re all just older. Some people haven’t learnt lessons, they’re just older bitches. Some people will never change.
But regardless of who you are, where you are, every single person is beautiful. Some have beauty both outside and in. Some others… just outside. All you need to do is acknowledge it, and take a small step to make your world, and somebody else’s world, a little bit better.
And if I’ve just wasted all this time writing this damn post, then at least I’ve shared it with the world, and left you with one last image for the day:
You get to redesign school as we know it from the ground up. Will you do away with reading, writing, and arithmetic? What skills and knowledge will your school focus on imparting to young minds?
I wasn’t a fan of school, probably because I was bullied and none of my teachers cared enough to step in or reprimand my tormentors.
If was able to completely redesign school, it would involve a complete overhaul.
I would make english, maths and health the only mandatory subjects, but I would structure it like my senior years in highschool whereby everybody had to pick enough subjects to make up 12 ‘units’. That way, all students would be free to choose the topics that they want to study throughout their high-school years. You wouldn’t be forced to study science, or geography, or history if it didn’t interest you.
There’d be better systems in place to deal with disruptive students and those with learning difficulties… basically I would take everything that was completely wrong with my high school and do the complete opposite so that it would actually function properly…
…and I wouldn’t end up sitting in the back on an English class full of dickheads who think it’s entertaining to throw a pot of glue and bananas at high-speed ceiling fans so they explode all over the class room, and everything, and everyone contained therein.
I wouldn’t force people to learn useless mathematical formulae that will be completely pointless for majority of students once they finish highschool… I’m looking at you trigonometry… You still never told me what x was…
I would have a zero-tolerance approach to bullying. I would have a school counsellor available every day, rather than just once or twice a week.
I would make P.E. mandatory and make it 3-4 times per week. Given that the world is talking about an obesity epidemic, and that it’s a major problem for children and teenagers, I’d be introducing major changes in an attempt to combat this problem. If the school had a tuck-shop / cafeteria, then it would only serve healthy and nutritional foods. There would be no sugar, and either natural sugars, or specific types of sweeteners would be used as subsitutes. We would have a smoothie bar, and nutrition would be a part of the health curriculum, as would healthy cooking classes, in order to give students a better idea of healthier meal choices they could be making and creating on their own.
I would introduce a system whereby every student can have three half-day study leave passes each month. Had a late night and didn’t finish your assingment that’s due tomorrow arvo? That’s okay, use a study leave pass, skip your classes for the morning, spend it in the library and finish your assignment, and pick up your homework from the morning at the same time.
All years would be able to have all homework tasks delivered via email, or school intranet, but all classwork would require to be handwritten. Only essays and assignments will be allowed to be typed, in order to provide a focus on creating humans with legible handwriting. For those with illegible handwriting, they would be required to make it part of their core English subjects.
There would be better behaviour management systems in place to remove disruptive, unsettled and delinquent students from the classroom to allow them more one-to-one attention, counselling and testing.
You have a secret superpower: the ability to appear and disappear at will. When and where will you use this new superpower? Tell us a story.
I remember when I was younger, I would often write stories about a boy who could either make himself go invisible, or, had the ability to fly. Sometimes even both.
I vaguely remember one of these stories I wrote, was about a boy. I remember that I wrote it for a creative / free writing assessment task. I still remember the day I wrote it. I was in my english class, full of dickheads. Somebody had thrown a small pot of glue at the fan on the ceiling, and it exploded, and lumpy, chunky translucent globs went flying all over the classroom. It was all over the walls, all over the floor, and all over the students. They, the bullies, thought it was hilarious, so they did it again. Then they followed up with a couple of bananas. When the teacher walked in, she was beside herself. She demanded to know who was responsible, but everybody was too afraid of the bullies to say anything, so the whole class received lunchtime detention for a whole week. That afternoon, after school, I went and told the teacher who was responsible. She said she would keep it anonymous.
She obviously didn’t understand what anonymous actually meant. She turned around and told them that I was the one who demonstrated the most confidence to stand up for my classmates, and that they should all thank me for getting them off lunchtime detention.
Although I wrote it about 13 years ago, and I don’t have an actual copy of it anywhere, I can still pretty much remember the foundation and structure of it. It went a little like this:
He was different to all the other boys in his school. He liked dancing. He liked reading. He loved art. And writing. And drama.
He didn’t like football. He wasn’t interested in getting into trouble. He wasn’t into sports, either. A lot of the time, he would fake an injury or an illness just to get out of P.E. (Phys. Ed.) class. Sometimes, he’d even forge his mum’s signature on a note, because he was that desperate to not be involved.
He didn’t like school that much. He had a very small, close circle of friends. A lot of the other kids would pick on him. Daily. Everyday he would be bullied. They would call him names. Constantly.
Every. Single. Day. Multiple times a day.
Sometimes he’d be thrown against a locker. Or have food thrown at him. Or he’d get his books knocked out of his hands. Sometimes the bullies would take his backpack and play keep-away and then throw it in the bin. A lot of the time his belongings ended up in the bin. Once they threw firecrackers at him. Once they threw a bomb bag at him, it landed on his backpack and exploded – some white substance went everywhere. It smelt like rotten egg and went solid like PVA glue. It ended up in his hair and he had to have it cut out.
He made complaints to his teachers, and they did nothing. He made complaints to his school principal, who also did nothing. A couple of teachers suggested that he was bringing it on himself. That he was causing it. One teacher told him he was just being ridiculous. Another teacher told him to stop acting like a child. One teacher actually stopped and sat down to listen to him, and as soon as they asked what was wrong, he broke down into tears in front of the teacher. They took him down to the Deputy Principal, and later that afternoon, all the bullies were called into his office.
Nothing happened to them. They were given a stern talking to, and basically told to never do it again.
The next day, they attacked.
They threw glue at him just before the school assembly started; threw water bombs at him just before he walked into class; filled his backpack with flour; stuck all the pages of a textbook together; cut a giant hole in the centre of a workbook; broke into his locker and threw the contents out onto the floor in the hallway. All of this happened in front of multiple teachers, who all turned a blind eye, and quickly looked the other way.
Out of sight, out of mind.
Sometimes he would wake up in the morning, and dread having to go to school, because he knew what would happen. Sometimes he’d find himself crying in the toilets. Sometimes, he’d feign an injury, just to go to sick bay and get sent home. He hated school. He was miserable. Sometimes, he would come home from school, fall onto the bed, and cry into his pillow until he fell asleep. Sometimes he would just refuse to go to school.
In his dreams he was strong, and he had magical powers. He could make himself invisible. In his dreams, he would stand up to his bullies. He would shout at them to stop, and confront them. He would be able to turn invisible, and then avoid their attacks. Initially, when he would retaliate, it started off simply by pushing them into each other, or knocking their heads together in cartoons. Sometimes he’d push them into puddles, or throw rubbish at them. The rest of the students would all see it happen. They’d all witness these bullies getting their just desserts. They would all cheer and he would be the hero.
As time passed, the dreams progressively more violent. He would turn invisible and start shoving them into walls, or picking them up and throwing them in giant rubbish bins and close the lids on them. Soon enough he was wielding weapons like metal bars, tree branches and bricks. Breaking noses, and arms; dislocating shoulders and smashing knee caps.
Soon enough his dreams stopped taking place in the school playground. He’d turn invisible and follow his tormentors home. Silently observing the interactions they had with their families. Trying to understand why they were full of so much hate towards him. Why were they constantly victimising him? The worse the bullies acted, the more deadly things were in his dreams. Sometimes he dreamt about turning invisible and harming himself, just so he could write their names in blood before he died. Sometimes he would be invisible and floating. Watching over them as they slept, smothering them with a pillow, or stabbing them when they were alone. Watching them die slowly, and painfully. Oh so painfully.
By the time he graduated high school, the dreams were all the same. They were all about death. Either his death, or the bullies death. And they always died violently. The last dream he had, was of one particular bully, the ring leader of the group. Again, he was invisible and floating, but he had developed super-human powers. He was now able to lift and move objects just using his mind. He didn’t understand how he could do it, he just knew that he could. He had a vision in his head. The Ring Leader had gotten into a car, and was on his way towards the school. It was the middle of the night, and there was nobody around.
As the ring leader drove up the hill, towards the school, He used his powers to drop a petrol tanker truck out of the sky, and drop it on the car. Crushing it instantly. He floated down to the ground, and became visible. He stood there waiting for somebody to come out to investigate what all the noise was, but nobody appeared. No other cars drove past. It was as though they were the only two people left. The petrol was gushing out of the truck and all over the car, pouring in through the shattered windscreen. The Ring Leader was screaming out for help. His eyes, blinded by blood from the cut on his forehead, he was trapped in the drivers seat.
He started laughing to himself. The Ring Leader heard the laughter and called out for help. He just kept walking closer and closer to the car. He crouched down to get right next to his ear and softly said ‘well, well, well… it would appear that you’ve gotten yourself into a spot of bother Mr Tinder*.’
‘OH GOD, PLEASE HELP ME!! GET ME OUTTA HERE!! I CAN’T SEE!!’
‘Well, see, there’s the problem. I could help you. I could easily make all of this stop, but you’ve been a very bad boy, Tinder. A VERY BAD BOY. And bad boys don’t deserve to be helped. They deserve everything you get.’
‘WHO ARE YOU? JUST GET ME OUT OF HERE!!’
‘Sorry, Tinder. That’s not going to happen. I’m going to stand here and enjoy watching you die. This is what you get. This is your karma. This is what happens when you spend years tearing somebody apart, destroying their spirit day after day, week after week, month after month, and think that it’s okay to do so. You are nothing but a vile excuse for a human being and you do not deserve to even BREATHE the same air as me. You have made my life a living hell every single day, but not anymore. I’m freeing myself from you. You’re nothing but a demon, and it’s time for you to go.’
And with that, he snapped his fingers and the car erupted into a giant fireball. At the flames engulfed the car, he heard nothing but screaming. He turned his back and walked away.
Let’s just say, that when I was younger, I have found myself in several not-so-pleasant situations. One of them quite serious, to the point it involved the police and somewhat of an emotional breakdown, but that’s not one that I’m prepared to share right now.
Hmmm, actually, now that I’m thinking about some of the other hair-raising situations I’ve been in, I’m not entirely sure I’m comfortable talking about them either… Perhaps because they’re the kind of situations that generally you wouldn’t really want other people knowing. Kind of like a secret shame that will probably go with me to the grave – well, unless I write my memoirs on my death bed, and then everything will be out in the open. And boy wouldn’t that be full of juicy details!
Allow me to tell you the story of one of the times that I went back to Redneckville during school holidays…
SO, from memory I was home at mum’s place for the Christmas break. Seeing as how it’s summer here in Australia in December, and this was 10 years ago, and the country, it was one of those times where, during the day, the temperature would peak around 44-45 degrees celsius, so yeah, it was HOT!!
Now, I think this particular evening, my best friend at the time, B-Girl, and I had gone out to catch up with a group of her friends from high-school. I knew them, but half of them were all cunts to me in high school and bullied me for several years, so I would have rather watch them fall off a balcony to their death, or at least hideous disfigurement, than spend an entire fucking evening with them.
SO on this night, B-Girl and I head out to this wine bar we used to love going to (not that I actually drink, but it was just a cool hip little venue) and we’re upstairs on the balcony with these people. I’m doing my best to ignore half of them, (whilst visualising various ways I would like to see them die or seriously injure themselves) when all of a sudden a fight breaks out. A couple of the guys had called out to a bunch of guys on the street, being the smartarses they are, and then all of a sudden 3 or 4 of these guys were up on the balcony having a confrontation.
Some of the girls were trying to diffuse the situation, but the drunken arrogant wankers weren’t having a bar of it.
Voices started being raised; guys were getting in each other’s faces; girls were failing at calming anybody down and were leaving the balcony; and whilst all this was going on, I couldn’t WAIT for the punches to start being thrown, because I knew these guys would end up getting their arses kicked… and I was going to enjoy watching every minute of it.
…sure enough, within a matter of seconds, the first punch was thrown, and all hell breaks loose.
Now, if you’ve never actually been witness to a punch on, let alone a group punch on, then it’s an surreal event. The sound of knuckles hitting cheekbones and eye sockets. The whack sound that it makes as skin slaps skin. Watching bottles go flying, chairs go flying, saliva and hair everywhere – it’s like it happens all in slow-motion, just to ensure that you are able to visually take in everything that is happening in front of you. I’m actually surprised that there wasn’t a glassing incident.
Sure enough, security come bounding up the stairs and pull the guys off each other, and take the 4 guys from outside, back downstairs for questioning, whilst a couple of security guys remain up on the balcony to confront the geniuses who just had their arses handed to them.
Sidenote: the BEST bit of the whole thing was when Dumbfuck The Ringleader turns to me, and has the nerve to say to me “oh, and what about you, fucking fag, you didn’t even step in to fucking help us at all”. After taking a moment just to process the mind-numbing ridiculousness of that statement, and who it was coming from, I looked up at Dumbfuck and calmly responded, ‘I’m sorry, but did you just say what I think you’re saying? You, the one person who made my life a living fucking hell all through high school, YOU, HONESTLY THINK THAT I WOULD DO *ANYTHING* to help you. Let me make this abundantly clear to you, I’m actually quite disappointed that you aren’t being carted away in an ambulance right now, because lets be honest, nothing would make me happier. As for what just happened, you fucking brought that on yourself. You think that you’re going to get through life being able to hang shit on people and there not be any consequences? You caused that fight. You threw the first punch. You’re the reason Druggy Long-Hair has a possibly broken nose, and you have the nerve to stand there and feel pissed off AT ME, for not coming to your defense. WHAT A FUCKING JOKE. YOU ARE A FUCKING JOKE!! If anything, if I did actually choose to be foolish enough to get involved, I would have been on their side instead, and I would have fucking glassed you right in the face, and then maybe pushed you off the balcony onto the footpath and hopefully shattered your spine, but I made the choice to not get involved. (Police arrive upstairs) and look, now the cops are here, and I’ll gladly give my statement, and making it abundantly clear that those other guys were merely defending themselves. You started this. You deserve the consequences. I hope you fucking die.’
And then I left.
I walked back downstairs and gave my statement to an officer, along with a couple of others, and then B-Girl and I left.
…and we’re not even at the scary bit yet!!
SO, after all that drama, B-Girl and I went went a couple of doors down to the servo for a late night ice-cream, and then I decided to walk B-Girl home. By this stage it was about 2 or 3am. We were walking along this road which runs parallel to the horse-racing field, and as we approached a motel, we saw a couple of dogs walking towards us. As we continued along the footpath, the dogs walked under a streetlight, and we both realised that these were big dogs… and I mean BIG DOGS. I’m not entirely sure of the breed, but it was like the size of full-grown German Shepard, but a lot more fierce and aggressive.
B-Girl and I stopped. Then the dogs stopped.
They were watching us. We were watching them. B-Girl whispered, ‘holy fuck. What are we going to do?’
‘I dunno. Maybe we should cross the street?’, I replied and we slowly walked across the road. Although the dogs were at the other end of the block, we could see them quite clearly.
The dogs crossed the street as well.
‘Oh. Holy. Shit.’, I whispered, ‘Now what the fuck do we do?‘.
‘Maybe we just turn around and walk back towards the Main Street, and they will just go somewhere else?’, suggested B-Girl.
We turned around and started walking back the way we had come, and then we heard barking. Not like a normal dog bark, but the kid of bark you really don’t want to hear at 3am, when you’re on your own and you’re not the best runner. We stopped, and held each other’s hand. ‘What do we do? B, WHAT THE FUCK DO WE DO? OH MY GOD, THEY’RE GOING TO ATTACK US! WE’RE GOING TO BE FUCKING KILLED!!’. Clearly, I’d already decided this, and had given up all hope.
‘Let’s walk through the motel and lose them’, suggested B-Girl. We turned and crossed the road, and walked back towards the motel and walked through the entrance. ‘Worst case scenario, they follow us. I say we lock ourselves behind the pool fence, because they won’t be able to get in!’. Just as I said that, we saw the pool fence. A small child could easily fit through the bars of the fence, so a giant man-eating dog could definitely fit in there. We instantly scrapped that idea.
Behind the rear of the motel, the carpark opened out onto this vast area of empty land. Part of it had been turned into a kids playground, and the rest was all vacant land which ran behind the entire blocks houses. We started walking through there, and figured, we couldn’t hear any barking, the dogs must have just kept on going down the street. Right??
So very, very wrong.
As we’re walking through the dead dry grasses on this land, we see one of the dogs come back out on the footpath. It stopped. Barked a couple of times, and then sat there, watching us.
At that moment, the most terrifying thought was WHERE WAS THE OTHER DOG?? I couldn’t see it, and I couldn’t hear it. My mind started racing a thousand-miles and hour. The dog approached the grassed, and I picked up some big rocks and threw them at the dog. I must have hit it because it let out a yelp and walked off. Feeling somewhat relieved, we continued across this area of land, and turned left into another street.
2 blocks from B-Girls house. THANK FUCK FOR THAT. Feeling that we were home-free, we started to have a little giggle about how scared we both were… then we heard the breathing behind us.
Half a block away from us, just near the corner was one of the dogs. It began barking and then growling. Shit was about to get VERY real, VERY rapidly, and we were both trying to work out a strategy for avoiding it. Then it started walking towards us. Oh fuck. As it approached the block of land, the other dog joined him. Oh double fuck!! THEN, they started running towards us.
By this stage we both know we couldn’t outrun them. The next house we passed, we ducked into their side walkway, and ran into their backyard. At the backyard, there was a small grassy patch, a woodshed and a garage. We jumped into the woodshed, and like clockwork, the two dogs came running into the backyard. They came running right up to the screens on the woodshed, gowling and barking like crazy.
Suddenly a couple of lights in the house turn on, and the outside light turns on.
The dogs stop barking, and start at the backdoor of the house. A man walks out and picks up a shovel. He starts swinging at the dogs, who start going wild. Oh great. Now we get to witness a guy being attacked and mauled to death buy a couple of crazy dogs. Perfect end to the night.
B-Girl and I look at each other in terror and we hear this almighty WHACK!! Immediately followed by some yelping.
‘You kids alright in there?’, asked the man. ‘THey’re both gone, so you can get outta my woodshed if you please. It’s quite late, afterall!’ WE explained what happened, thanked the man and continued back on our way to B-Girls’ house. Walking along the footpath, we hear a dog barking.
By now, we’ve decided on a very quick walk back to her place, and I’ll either just stay over or catch a taxi back to mum’s – a couple of blocks away.
Just as we approach B-Girls street, we hear something behind us. It’s getting louder and closer, and all very quickly ‘Fuck this. I’m not taking any chances. B-Girl, we need to fucking move. Let’s just fucking run!’. And run we did. I kept looking behind me as the dog started getting closer and closer, and then before I knew it, we were running towards B-Girls front door – watching the front yard like a hawk through the windows of the lounge room.
Sure enough, both dogs have found each other and they walk straight past B-Girls place.
‘Do you wanna just stay here the night, or do you wanna catch a cab?’, B-Girl queried.
‘No, I’ll just give it 10 mins and then I’ll walk home. It’s quicker and much cheaper. I’ll be fine’. Needless to say, those 10 mins became almost 30minsbefore I actually seriously considered walking out that front door. ‘Coast is clear’, I ploclaimed. I gave B-Girl a hug and a kiss and closed the front door behind me, and set off back to Mum’s place.
So, this took a REALLY unexpected turn as I was writing. Me, being me and getting too involved into details and tangents wanted to at least develop some character bio’s for the 4 people in the story. What I didn’t anticipate was the background stories that developed as well. But I thought rather than just ignore it, run with it and get all these ideas out. It might not necessarily answer the prompt as well as I would have liked, but hey, it’s something. And something is better than nothing. I know there’s some unresolved details in there, but when I get some more time I might work on it a bit more to develop the story further.
You’re set to play poker (or Scrabble or something else . . .) with a group of four. Write a story set during this game. Or, describe the ideal match: the players, the relationships — and the hidden rivalries.
BACKGROUND: Nick & Adrian
Both Nick and Adrian joined the same banking company roughly around the same time and have both worked their way up the corporate ladder to their current roles. At various points they had even applied for the same role, so although they’re work colleagues, they are also both fiercely competitive. Having both previously worked in sales, they both have a tendency to become quite ruthless, and have, on occasion, even sabotaged each other’s attempts in order to further their own achievement.
After working together for approximately two years when they first joined the company, they, along with the rest of their teams, were sent interstate for a national conference. On the very last night of the week-long conference, all the staff attended a gala dinner in support of a major charity their organisation sponsors. Nick and Adrian were sitting on opposite tables and had both had a few drinks and were enjoying their night. Both had won an award each during the night – Nick for Most Valuable Portfolio – Junior Team and Adrian for Junior Investor of the Year – Mid-Tier. Despite them both achieving such excellence in such a short time, they always maintained a healthy banter between each other.
After all the speeches, they decided to sneak off outside for some fresh air. Despite his award, Nick was still pining for his (then) ex-girlfriend who broke up with him a few months earlier. (He was too career-driven and she felt neglected and didn’t want to play second-fiddle to Nick’s career, so one day when he got home from a business trip, he found the apartment, minus all of Sarah’s belongings. He told her that he’d change but she told him it was over. He was devastated.)
Adrian tried to console and comfort Nick as friends do; delivering those standard lines like “It’s okay. You’ll be fine. You’ll meet somebody else and fall in love and forget Sarah ever existed”… blah blah blah. He hugged Nick and kissed him on the lips.
‘what the fuck are you doing?’ Nick said, pulling himself away from Adrian’s warm face, ‘I’m not a fucking fag!’
Adrian, wiped his mouth, his eyes wide open. Uncertain of what he’d just done. ‘I… ah… I…. I don’t know what happened. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean it. I’m just used to kissing my gay mates like that’.
‘fucking, WHAT? you go around trying to pash all your mates? What the fuck is wrong with you?’
‘No, it’s just… it’s hard to explain. You wouldn’t understand. I’m really sorry. It’ll never happen again. I think I’ll just go. I’m sorry…’.
Adrian walked off feeling utterly humiliated. Why did he do that? He went back inside to his table and began chatting to others to distract his mind and ignore what just happened.
20 minutes later, a cold, wet Nick plonked himself down on the chair next to Adrian.
‘Shit! Nick, you’re fucking drenched…’
‘Yeah, it’s been raining.’
‘Well why didn’t you come inside? dickhead. Why would you stay out in the rain?’
‘Ads, can we talk for a sec?’. Nick was feeling really confused, and didn’t know what to make of what had happened between them.
‘Um, why don’t you just go upstairs and have a shower and go to bed. I’ll organise a wake-up call for you in the morning before we leave.’
‘But, Ads, mate, just for 5 minutes…?’
‘Nick, look, I’m sorry for what I did. We’ve both had too much to drink. I think it’s best if you just go up to your room and sleep it off. We can talk tomorrow if you still remember.’
Nick sat there for a moment staring at the back of Adrian’s jacket and then left the table. He got up to his room, and stood in the doorway. The sound of the water dripping off his clothes onto the tiled floor filled the silence. Without thinking, he walked into the double shower, turned on the water and slumped onto the floor. His mind was racing. Completely fixated on that kiss.
‘What does it mean? Does this make me gay? Surely not, I like chicks? I’ve fucked heaps of girls. No, I’m not gay. He had such soft lips! Kinda like a girl. It was just like kissing a girl. And he’s gay, so he’s pretty much a girl anyway, so it’s no big deal. No, it’s fine. Nick, stop being a dickhead. It’s not like you haven’t kissed a guy before! Remember last years Grand Final when Deano gave you a bear hug and planted one on ya? But he was doing that to everyone. Come to think of it, he kept smacking my arse? Actually, he smacks all boys on the arse? Fuck, maybe Deano’s gay? FUCK!! That cunt’s seen me naked and everything. Oh my god, what if he’s fully gay for me or something? Mental note: avoid Deano!! But I’ve seen him naked too… but that’s not gay, right? RIGHT? we all shower together after every game? That’s what guys do, don’t they? Nothing gay about it? Right? What if I am? What if I don’t like girls at all? Well, that’s stupid, you’ve had a number of girlfriends, so you can’t be gay! Remember Amber? Best fucking sex of your LIFE. She’s a chick. And that was almost every day. You’re not gay, you like girls. Stop being a dickhead.
Why the fuck are you wearing a suit in the shower?? WAKE UP TO YA SELF!! GO THE FUCK TO BED!!’
And with that, he turned off the water, took off his suit and left it on the floor of the shower, wrapped himself in a robe and walked out to his bed.
He looked at his phone. Half a dozen missed calls and a couple of text messages. Adrian.
12:49am: Nick, really sorry bout b4. r u ok?
12:51am: Hope ur ok. r u bk in ur room?
12:51am: I’ve ordered your wake up call 4 5:45am, and another one for 6:00 just in case
12:54am: Let’s just forget about it, and pretend it never happened. c u tomoz.
Nick layed down on the bed, staring at the ceiling.
R u awake?
Yeah. u ok?
u wnna tlk?
Within minutes there was a soft knock on Nicks door. There was Adrian, in a pair of trackpants and a t-shirt with some small rips around the collar. They both stood there in silence for what felt like hours, looking everywhere except at each other, before Adrian asked if he could come in.
‘Oh, sure, yeah, of course, sorry.’
As Adrian walked into Nicks hotel room, he could feel the tension building. It was already uncomfortable enough, but he and Nick needed to talk things out and get past this.
‘Do you want a tea, or coffee or something?’ offered Nick, as he began to fill the kettle. ‘I’m gonna have a coffee. I need something to wake me up’.
‘Oh, thanks, yeah, I’ll have a coffee as well. White. 1 sugar.’
They sat at the small table in an uncomfortable silence listening to the kettle boil. Just as Nick got up to make their coffees, Adrian excused himself to go to the bathroom. He walked back out with a puzzled expression on his face as he looked over at Nick, sitting at the table with two steaming cups of coffee in front of him.
‘Um, Nick… why… why is your suit on the floor in the shower?’
It was 5:45am. The phone was ringing.
‘ugh… hello’, Nick struggled to get the words out as he tried to clear his throat.
‘Yes, good morning, this is your wake up call…’. Nick groaned and squinted as he looked at the mess in his hotel room. He needed to be packed and ready to go in the lobby by 7:30.
‘Can you confirm if you still need your six a.m. wake up call as well?… Sir? Sir? Are you there?’
‘Um, err, no. No, I don’t think that will be necessary’, Nick replied. He slowly put the phone back on the hook and turned to see Adrian in the bed next to him. He lifted the sheet.
Just as he feared.
Both of them.
BACKGROUND: Jemma & Scott
it was 2003, and the uni semester had just finished. Jemma and Scott were both studying their Exercise Science degrees. Jemma had aspirations of becoming a physiotherapist and focusing on sports rehabilitation; whilst Scott was wanting to become a Personal Trainer and from there become a functional strength coach and work with some high-profile football teams.
Until this point they hadn’t exchanged any more than half a dozen words to each other in the three-and-a-half years they had been studying the same course. She always sat down the front with those who were eager to learn, whilst he sat down the back with all the other jocks, making fart noises and looking pornography on their iPhones.
They were both invited to an end of semester party at Brad Richardson’s parent’s beach house. They had already gone away and left Brad home by himself. Like any twenty-something, he lied to his parents about staying home, and instead, planned a big beach party instead. They weren’t home – they’ll never find out.
The party was a typical uni-student party. Loud music, alcohol, vomit. Except this was on the beach, so there was also a bonfire. Steve and a couple of his mates were sitting down by the fire chatting to a couple of girls from another uni. They were all really attractive, tall, slender. Steve and his mates found them to be rather intimidating. One of his friends, Ryan, was at this party with one goal in mind: taking home the hottest chick at the party. He wasn’t going to let these girls intimidate him, like they did the others. He quickly determined which one was the leader and went in to work his magic.
“Well, you’ve gotta be the ring leader of this lot, because you’re the most beautiful’, he said with an air of confidence in his voice.
‘you have GOT to be fucking kidding me. Is that the best you’ve got?’. Stacey was beside herself at his self-assurance.
‘No, not kidding, but we CAN be fucking later if you’re lucky. My name’s Ryan, but you can call me Ryno, y’know cause i’ve got giant hor...’
‘Wow. You’re disgusting. And I’m leaving. *ugh* pig!‘, Stacey interrupted as she stood up and brushed the sand off the back of her legs. ‘Girls, I’m going to get a drink. Coming?’, and off she walked towards the house. The other 2 girls looked nervously at each other and the other boys, and then stood up and quickly followed Stacey along the sand.
‘DUUUUUUDE, that was smooth. I can’t understand why she didn’t give you her number straight away. You’re SUCH a catch!!’, joked Steve. ‘Better luck next time, eh!’
‘Whaddya mean? She fucking WANTED me. It was written all over her face. She wanted the Ryno BAAAD!! Just wait, she’ll be back. They always come back!”
‘Sure. uh-huh.’ said Steven, turning to the boys and rolling his eyes, ‘she must want you so bad, hence why she ran off. Probably to go vomit because you’re such a charmer, hehehe’.
‘Oh, fuck off. More than I can say for you. Who are you fucking tonight? Your hand? At least I’ve got game. You just watch!!’
Ryan left the boys sitting at the fire to go find Stacey up at the house. Steve and the boys waited until he was out of earshot to start making fun of him, laughing and carrying on about his vulgar performance earlier. Their laughs were soon interrupted by an eerie silence.
‘SSHHH. Do you hear that?‘ Steve sounded concerned. ‘What happened to the music? I can’t hear anybody. I’m gonna go check it out. Anybody wanna come with me?‘None of the others offered to join him, so he set off across the sand. As he approached the path through the bushes up to the house, the music started blaring into the darkness again. He felt a slight sense of relief, as he had started visioning all different possible scenarios of what he would find when he got to the house.
Would they all be dead? Would they have all disappeared? Maybe there’s a serial killer on the loose and he’s the only survivor? Maybe the house had been attacked by aliens? Maybe everybody had been arrested and taken away for being too loud and disruptive?
It was at this moment, Steve realised he had watched too many movies. He climbed the stairs leading to the outside deck and said hello to a couple of people he recognised from his class, and went to go find the drinks fridge. In a quiet corner, Steve could see Ryan leaning into a different attractive girl. He was mentally undressing her, and she was playing with her hair, ‘What’s the best she’s pregnant by tomorrow?’ chuckled Steve to himself as he kept walking.
He found the drinks fridge, grabbed a couple of bottles, and turned to go back to the beach. As he walked into the lounge room, four guys walked through the front door. These guys were big. I mean B-I-G. They were all at least six-foot five and completely solid build. They were all from the university rugby team. As soon as Steve saw them, he knew why those girls on the beach had looked familiar… they were the girlfriends of these guys.
Feeling quite nervous, he quickly left the room and went to go find Ryan. He’d gone. The girl he’d been talking to was now talking to Jemma and another friend of theirs. ‘‘Scuse me, but have you guys seen Ryan?’ Steve asked with an axious quiver in his tone.
‘Is he your friend? He’s fucking disgusting. Last I saw him, he was going to talk to Stacey’.
‘…fuck. Okay, ah, do you know where he went, I kinda need to talk to him!’. There was a sense of urgency in his voice. If he didn’t get Ryan away from Stacey, and Stacey’s boyfriend saw them, he’d be visiting Ryan in hospital. They just needed to leave the party and go home. Or go out. Just go ANYWHERE. Anywhere but here.
Steve left the girls and set off searching through the house in an attempt to find Ryan, whilst also trying to avoid bumping into the Rugby Boys. Room after room, door after door. Nothing. They can’t have gone far. Maybe they went back to the beach?? Of course, the beach!
Steve raced down the stairs, out across the back deck, and down the stairs to the beach path.
Steve went flying backwards onto the sand. As he opened his eyes, he looked up to see Brett Mossop and the Rugby Boys standing over him. “Whadda we got here, fellas? Look, it’s little Miss Stephanie. Didn’t recognise you without your tampon, fag.”
Steve winced as he tried to sit up, ‘ahhh, fuck Brett, that fucking hurt. What’s your problem?’
‘ooOOOOoohhhh, look out, Stephanie’s a bit cranky. Must be that time of the month. You on your rags, Stephanie? Got a bit of sand in your vagina?’
‘Fuck off Brett. Why don’t you go find Stacey’. Steve stood up to leave, but Brett grabbed the back of his shirt. ‘Not so fast, cunt rag. What do you know about Stacey? Where is she? She told me she’d be here, but I can’t see her. WHERE IS SHE?’
‘How would I know, I just went to get some drinks. The boys and I are just chilling out down on the beach. You’re welcome to join us, if you want?‘ he said, in some vain attempt to ease the situation and hopefully get Brett off his case.
‘Ya hear that boys, Stephanie wants to take me down to the beach. You wanna get me drunk, or something? Huh? Faggot! Fuck off. You see Stacey, you tell her I’m lookin’ for her!’
Steve quickly took off down the path. As he cleared the bushes and headed towards the fire. The boys were there, talking to the girls from earlier. He raced over to the group, ‘Holy shit. Brett’s here. And he’s pissed. And he’s looking for Stacey. Where is Stacey? And where the fuck is Ryan. If Ryan’s with Stacey and Brett see’s them, he’s gonna fucking kill him. We need to find them. NOW!! NOW!!‘
The conversation stopped and they all jumped on their phones. Jemma called Stacey whilst Steve called Ryan.
Down the beach, in the darkness, the sound of two phones could be heard ringing amidst the sound of the crashing waves on the beach.
‘oh. fuck.’ Steve slowly gasped.
‘I swear to god, if he and her… oh god, just the thought of it makes me want to vomit‘ added Jemma, full of disgust.
‘Do we go down there? Do we wait here? I don’t know…‘ questioned Steve.
Jemma, put her drink down and stormed past the boys. ‘I’m so sick of her BULLSHIT!! I’m gonna fucking kill the bitch, myself!‘
As Jemma stomped her way across the beach, she, and the others heard a scream that stopped her in her tracks.
And then another.
‘OH MY FUCKING GOD, STACEY?? STACEY, ARE YOU OKAY? STACEY?!! WHERE ARE YOU!?’ Jemma screamed into the darkness. Behind her, the rest of the group were running to catch up to her. Something was wrong.
All she heard were the waves on the shore.
Steve caught up to Jemma. She grabbed his arm as tight as she possibly could. She was terrified. She was shaking. So was he.
They heard a rumbling in the bushes and a dark figure emerged. Jemma let out a squeal and turned into Steve’s chest.
‘AAAAAAAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! You should see the fucking look on your face right now!!’, chuckled Ryan as he walked down towards them. ‘Yeah, what a bunch of fucking girls. My cat’s got more balls than you do!!’ added Stacey, following behind.
They had planned this whole scenario.
‘Are you kidding me? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!??’, Jemma was fuming. ‘I’m gonna kill her. For real! Let me go, Steve.’
‘Jemma, just calm dow…’
‘I SAID LET ME GO!’. Jemma elbowed Steve in the ribs and marched up towards Stacey. SMACK! Jemma slapped Stacey right against the face. ‘WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? YOU THINK THAT’S FUNNY? I ALMOST HAD A FUCKING HEART ATTACK THINKING SOMETHING HAD HAPPENED TO YOU!! THINKING YOU’D BEEN RAPED OR WORSE, MURDERED, AND YOU THINK IT’S A FUCKING JOKE?!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?’
‘OW! You fucking BITCH! Fuck, it’s just a joke. We were just having some fun, no big deal.’ Stacey held her hand on her cheek. Even in the moonlight, you could make out the faint outline of Jemma’s hand on her face.
Steve interrupted, ‘Well done guys. Jokes over. It wasn’t funny. Ryan, mate, you need to leave. Brett’s here. Oh, and Stacey, Brett’s here. He’s looking for you. Have fun explaining that mark on your face when he finds you with Ryan! C’mon Jemma, let’s go back to the house’.
Steve, Jemma, and the others turned around to leave and go back to the house, just as Brett and co. were walking down towards them. Without saying a word, they walked right past Brett, and continued on to the house.
Steve took Jemma into the bathroom, ‘Are you okay? You really lost your shit back there. I thought you two were besties, or whatever’.
‘Well, we are, or were. I’m not sure. She pulls this kind of shit regularly. Typical. Mum and dad’s little angel is secretly the bad girl. Please. What a fucking cliche!’
‘So, then why are you friends with her, if she’s such a bitch?‘, queried Steve.
‘Why are you friends with Ryan who, lets be honest, is practically a rapist?‘
‘Point taken‘. Steve let out a small laugh at the irony of their friendships.
‘Hey Steve, thanks for before. I know that we’re not friends or anything, but, well, thanks. Nice to know you had my back.’
‘Well, kinda. You’re a bit of a crazy bitch when you wanna be. At least I know you’re not a complete nerd.
Jemma, playfully punched Steve in the arm, and they both looked at the floor of the bathroom. Slowly they both looked up and locked eyes.
KNOCK-KNOCK. ‘Is anybody in there?’, came a voice from behind the bathroom door.
‘OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE, I’LL BE OUT IN A MINUTE!!’, shouted Jemma at the door. ‘God, you’re so moody. You must really have a short fuse!’, giggled Steve.
‘No, I just have no patience for bullshit and wasting my time’, said Jemma just before she grabbed Steve by the collar and pulled him in for a kiss. Steve suddenly knew where this was going.
…back to his place!
Games Night in the Hudson-Holt household started the way it always had.
Nick Hudson (31) and his, now, fiancee Jemma Holt (30) had spent the afternoon making platters, cleaning the house and preparing a couple of tonight’s meals. The Hudson-Holt were The Entertainers. They always hosted Games Night, and when they weren’t, they were entertaining clients, or having business dinners. Their weeks were go, go, go from Monday to Friday, and yet there were two things that they always made time for that were not negotiable: Date Night, and Games Night.
This particular night, they had invited a new couple to join them for Games Night. Adrian Anderson (36) was an Investments Manager at the same bank as Nick. He was bringing his current boyfriend, Steve (29) who was a Person Trainer at the local gym.
‘Nick, just don’t worry about it, just answer the door… I’ve still gotta fill these tart shells and get them in the oven, and THEN go and change… SHIT… um… you get the door while I go change. Just don’t go into the kitchen!’
Jemma, still in her pyjamas, raced across the hall to the bedroom.
‘NICK!! THE DOOR!’
‘Jemma, I’m still not dressed. I’m NOT answering the door in my jocks. I need to put a top on!‘
‘Stop being so precious!’, Jemma snarled. ‘Hurry up!! Don’t keep them waiting, it’s rude!!‘
KNOCK-KNOCK? ANYBODY HOME?
‘JUST A SECOND!!‘ shouted Nick, doing up the fly of his jeans as he ran down the hall, sliding across the floorboards in his socks as he reached the front door.
Nick unlocked the front door, and standing on the other side of the flyscreen was Adrian and Steve, both wearing jeans and well-fitted checkered shirts that showed off their muscle definition.
‘Guys! So glad you made it, welcome! Come on in. Jem’s just getting changed and will be out briefly‘. Nick extended his arm to shake Steve’s hand. ‘You must be Steve, Adrian’s told us nothing but great things about you‘. Nick led them down the hallway which opened up to their open-plan kitchen / dining / living area. They sat down on the couch whilst Nick went to the kitchen to get some drinks.
Jemma stumbled out of the bedroom whilst doing up the zip in her dress, walking straight past Adrian and Steve and into the kitchen. ‘I thought I told you not to be in here, I’ve got tarts to finish!‘
‘Babe, I’m just getting some drinks for our guests. Perhaps you might like to say hello?‘, Nick said is soft, but smug tone.
Jemma slowly turned around with a big grin on her face, ‘Sorry. Hi. Adrian, so nice to see you again.‘
Adrian Stood up and walked over to give her a hug and a kiss on the cheek. ‘Jemma, I’d like you to meet Steve. Steve, this is Jemma.‘
Steve leant forward to put his drink back on the table before he stood up and walked over to greet Jemma. As they locked eyes, a chill ran down their spines.
This wasn’t the first time they’d met.
‘Steve, so nice to finally, ah, meet you. I’ve heard so many great things about you… I feel as though I already know you.’