Martha-The Rewrite Chapter Sixty Four
“How could this have happened Gems?” I sound a bit frantic and there is tightness in my chest, that old pal, high anxiety.
“Marth, it’s not a big deal, relax.” Gemma seems way too relaxed. And when has telling someone to relax ever fucking worked?
“Why didn’t you stop me?”
“Because it was no big deal Marth, that’s why.”
“I looked ridiculous, like a clown at a funeral.” Gemma laughs.
“Darling you were very insistent that you wanted to wear your leopard print tight trousers so I thought what the fuck.”
“Exactly, they’re what I wear if I want to go out and get fucked, not for a meeting at a solicitors.” Gemma is laughing hard now.
“Oh babes, it was worth it just to see your mum’s face, absolute pure disgust” I laugh too. She’s right, mum was fucking mortified. Jimmy comes back from the bar with two pitchers of cocktails that probably cost fuck all as we are in the affordable resplendence that is spoons.
“Are you feeling fully ok now Marth?” I don’t know how to answer truthfully. I have never felt like this before. This was another relatively small episode and rather than feeling beaten up, I feel a few degrees closer to what I imagine is normality. Though my normal is someone else’s fucking weird I guess. Stresses, like wearing the wrong trousers, float by and don’t stick around, gnawing at me.
“I’m ok Gems,” is all I can think of to say, she doesn’t want a full status report. Jimmy sits down next to me and I have an urge to touch his beard. My fingers gently scratch, pull and rub the hard hair. Jimmy stops pouring the drinks and looks at me and smiles, like a proper big smile, not one that I have seen on his face before. I mean, he does smile but not like this.
“You like my beard doncha Marth?” I guess I do. I feel a bit self conscious and withdraw my hand to concentrate on my drink.
“Let’s drink these and go, I want to get out of fucking Chingford.” All three of us drink in unison and the glasses are refilled by Jimmy’s massive hand.
I watch a lot of shit on YouTube, mainly music but sometimes I get sucked down rabbit holes. There was a spiritual teacher bloke I used to watch a lot. Usually I would swerve all that shit but this guy had such a sweet way about him that I was hooked for a while. He had a lovely laugh too and he was funny. He talked about us not being our thoughts, that they are like a mirage, a false self or something and that our true being is crowded out by the constant stream of chatter in our nuts. I had nodded in agreement at this, whilst also listening to the constant stream of actual chatter in my head that was trying to tell me that this was all bollocks. I waited eagerly for the remedy, the awesome shortcut to banishing the shower of shit that infects me. He spoke of presence and observing the thoughts rather than identifying with them. I then decided he was a fucking idiot, how the fuck do you do that if your mind is a continual flow of thoughts, how do you step away from that? It’s easy for him, I thought, he doesn’t have my mind, his mind is probably all shiny and clean, not this grimy cesspit. I turned him off in a rage. Stupid little gnome man. But today, on the train as I was waking up, I almost got what he meant. There were thoughts but they were like little spaceships that just happened to be passing through my airspace. I could laugh at them or just let them drift on by. It didn’t last long, not nearly long enough but even now as the thoughts take a stronger hold on me again, they don’t feel as powerful, like they have had their voltage turned down.
I slept for most of the train journey back, at least I guess I did. We piled into a taxi at the station and even though we had only been to fucking Chingford for a few hours, I felt an enormous relief at being back home. Gemma wanted to go out and get hammered but I wasn’t in any sort of mood for that. She went off looking for Martin and Jimmy came to mine. When we got back, I made bacon sandwiches for us both and cuddled up next to him. My chattering mind had chilled the fuck out a bit. I let my eyes close and in the blackness I watched the spaceships floating by.