“But Really Though”
If you think about it, it being your life, every women has had moments of “but really though”. “But really though” is a interjection used when one is unsure that his audience believes what he just said, usually followed by an abbreviated retelling of said disbelieved topic. They are the “huh’s”, “what the fuck’s”, and “are you kidding me” moments that keep us on our already strained toes.
My feet are so damaged by my life, or was it that I used to wear Doc Martins barefoot in my early teens, that there is no pedicure that can ease their twisted snarled strain. There is no pretty shellac to beautify my toes. I carry with me in every step I take, a backbreaking load of baggage so heavy I don’t know how to start unloading it. My childhood best friend and I have been saying for years that we were going to write a book and call it But Really Though. I’m not sure what took so long, probably my unceasing insecurity because if you can’t tell already, I don’t think I can write for shit. Here goes anyway.
I’m just a small town kid who has been beat up, pushed down, smacked around, which ever way you look at it I’m not knew to this rodeo called life. As a child life was smaller and I remember running though the Nadeau’s cow field to my friend Nikki’s house and playing with our stickers or whatever else was in store. On day my brother told me there were surfs in that field and I believed him. I struggled to get over the electric fence carefully avoiding the cow dung wildly calling for Smurfette. And then life hit. My parents divorced.
I moved away from what was familiar like so many kids have to. My world upended and I remember feeling this angst in my gut always wondering if I was ok, without a magic mirror to look in and no psychic up my sleeve. I won’t have one of those till much later on. My Dad remarried and Sue was nothing like my Mom. She was simple and cared about him deeply but I despised the intrusion and pitted myself against her and wound up loosing in the end. But that’s a story for later on first there’s Scotland to tell you about.
When I was thirteen my mother was working for Digital Equipment Corporation with Nikki’s Dad in Westminster and worked her way up to a pretty prestiges position of European Personal Manager and thus off to Europe me, my nerdy Brother and overly important Mother flew first class landing in Edinburgh Scotland as a base for her to work from, and us to attend school. Forgetting all about the angst I felt in my chest over my parents divorce and fathers subsequent remarriage I was at a threshold of a new life and boy was I excited.
At the bus stop on the corner, the day I arrived, were these girls my age and they were smoking. Smoking Regal King Size cigarettes. I hate smoking. God, its different here I thought to myself. I wondered what else they got up to, and did I learn. They called my Miss America at first because I compared everything to America. I would advise against this when moving out of the country. The girls from the bus stop that I now called my friends sat me down in my living room and told me all about myself. I had never had anyone do this and I didn’t appreciate their honesty but I sucked it up, swallowed hard and wiped away the tears only to have them show me the love I was always seeking. Despite my over inflated ego and better then you attitude they loved me and I changed that day. I grew up and looked at things through another’s perspective and this skill alone will come to save my life.
I was invited by Carrie, Nichola, Celine, and Morag to go dancing at Buster Browns. Buster Browns is an underage nightclub in the cannon-gate, the creepiest part of this ethereal city. There is a bridge the North bridge that goes over the over the cannon-gate . It resembles a mythical poster of the gateway to heaven. The club is under that bridge, under the shadow of the castle. The streets are all cobble stones warped with ages of use clickety and always damp grabbing your heels as you slip. We waited in line while everyone was smoking and chatting away about the rose that OJ had Celine bring to me earlier in the week. She walked out of the schoolyard and rang my bell with a rose. I didn’t know what to think. I had never been approached by a boy’s request to meet. He asked to meet me and I said yes.
It was in the next breath that OJ was sitting on my couch on the third floor of our rented brownstone located on Comely Bank in the wee village of Stockbridge. He leaned over and kissed me. I liked it. I had a record player at that time. On it was looped on one song, Parents Just Don’t Understand by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. I’ll never forget that day. Although Celine lives in the South of France now, we are still in touch. Her memory of that day is as vivid as mine.
The suited man at the door checked our bags for any booze, which luckily, we had already downed like swallowing a vile sip of nasty cough syrup. We paid our 5 pounds sterling, got our hand stamp and in we went. Everywhere you looked there were burn marks. On every table, floor space, ever the bar area was covered in burns. That’s what you get with 13-year-old smokers I guess. I HATE SMOKING. The music was pumping and the place filled with high heels and brillo cream in no time.
I had on my favorite outfit picked especially for this night. I had on a furry bright purple short-sleeved sweater with my belly hanging out. I was very proud of my belly, still am. With it I wore 12-inch flares and Doc Martins no socks,hence the mangled feet. I begin to wiggle on the dance floor when a mist of this smell fills the air. My guess is they pump the place full of this chemically altered floral scent to cover the fifty million burning cigarettes. I see him. God did I think he looked smart.
Then it’s a blur. A fight broke out. I lost my friends. I couldn’t see him anymore. I felt it in the pit of stomach that something was wrong. From the odd smelling mist appeared OJ and he didn’t look happy. Was he fighting too? And then he pulled open my furry bright purple short sleeved sweater and poured and entire ashtray down the front of me. It was the burning ember from a half crushed cigarette that left me with a scar on my left breast. His way of breaking up with me…. Butt Really Though.