Wednesday, February 10, 2010


You know you're in the midst of a major transition when you've got too much metaphorical shit on your plate, yet you don't have the time to get stressed.

Okay, that stressed.

At the moment, I feel like I'm in a real life version of Touch the Truck, except I'm the only contestant, and there's no truck - so really the only comparison with sleep-depriving gameshows where you can win a truck you've been touching is that good things await me if I can just stay alert.

Today, I applied for a mortgage. This is to pay for the flat I first saw four days ago and put one thousand pounds towards the very next day, just a couple of hours before attending a barmitzvah I didn't want to go to.

I thought I'd end up leaving said barmitzvah pleased that I'd done my familial duty, but I didn't. Instead I felt wretched, and crap. I couldn't have felt more out-of-place if I'd arrived dressed as a pig, drunk and pissing on my shoes as I sniffed coke off the tip of a bus pass and yelled, 'which one of you Jews wants a fight?'

It didn't help that the event was Black Tie and, well, I forgot. I was buying a place to live, okay?? Thus, I was the only man there in a light grey office suit, one that sliced violently into my guts because I have a) gained weight, due to being a b) cunt.

On the plus side, I wasn't the only one in restrictive clothing, having earlier forced my own father's pregnant stomach into his childsize dinnersuit trousers.

But that moment of schadenfreude was the only highlight. I was at first thrilled to see my Uncle, my father's brother with that same cheeky grin, after so many years absence, only to wish I was elsewhere as I watched him scan the room for anyone else just 20 seconds after I shook hands and started to talk. I was soon palmed off to people more my age who I last saw in 1986, indulging me as I sweated and talked about work.

I was sat next to a lesbian at dinner. This made a change as her opening words to me as soon as I sat down, and let me make this abundantly clear:- as I literally pulled my chair out from under the table and said hello, was some totally unnecessary comment about "her girlfriend", the gay equivalent of "Look, I've got a boyfriend, so don't even think about it."

As the food came out, no-one was particularly interested in anything I had to say, so I wound up brooding in silence as a viciously tight suit cut into my balls. I did attempt chatting as the lady to my left gossiped with the lesbian on my right, but it was clear they preferred holding a conversation over a strange man's head to letting him join in.

Then the speeches kicked in. Now call me old fashioned, but I ain't impressed with 13-year-old boys announcing to a dinner party that "Tonight, I am a man," particularly when three days earlier, he'd probably cried his fucking eyes out because he'd reached his highest ever level in World of Warcraft before getting killed by an elf.

Nor was I impressed with the boys that preceded him, telling us that they'd known the Barmitzvah for as long as they could remember (i.e. just under a decade), and that he's a stand-up kinda guy. He doesn't shave yet, but by golly if your balls are on the line, he'll kick some ass, presumably.

And as I watched his younger sister make her speech (she's 9), all I could see in my mind's eye was a middle-aged and heavily botoxed woman thrusting a plate at a waiter and bellowing at him to take it back.

The evening tailed off as I refused to dance, spent a lot of the time on my phone outside, and chatted to my Dad about dousing my anus with witch hazel gel to ease the bleeding. I did, however, drink a lot of scotch. It was a free bar after all, and possibly the only one in London (with the exception of other barmitzvahs) with no queue.

This made Monday back at work hell, and trying to negotiate a mortgage without my boss noticing wasn't easy, but then neither is pretending that my fat thighs haven't rubbed two vast holes into the gusset of my jeans. I can't wash them as the holes will get bigger, so I'm intending to by a new pair except I haven't, because I'm attending fucking barmitzvahs and buying houses and I'm overwhelmingly stressed but I appear to be on some strange kind of autopilot that's preventing me from breaking down again and crying.

And in the meantime, my American ex sent me some innocuous, bland email which I casually replied to, mentioning my utter disgust at her attempt to wind me up and/ or make me jealous. She somehow took the moral high ground over this, and now isn't talking to me.

But on the plus side, I've grown a goatee.