I saw her. The pale, gingery goddess with crystal blue eyes.
My heart pumped in my chest, I tingled all over with that warm fuzzy feeling. I got goosepimples on my skin…
WARNING – CRINGEY BLOG CONTENT
The following blog entry is from the perspective of my virginial, awkward teenage self.
This happened back in the 2000’s. Our phones weren’t smart – neither was I.
As you have read before, I had decided to become a gothical emo. A year later from this decision, disappointing facial hair had now grown, and I adamantly refused to shave the fluff.
My theory was that if I shaved, it would grow back into a scary full on man beard I would never be able to get rid of.
My new ambition was to become a charismatic and popular rockstar – despite not knowing how to play any instruments.
I suddenly had a social renaissance at Brockenhurst college.
I could wear what I want! Well t-shirts advertising Iron Maiden. Which would be snuggly encased in a TK Maxx leather jacket. Said jacket was worn so much, I was briefly known as The Fonz.
Out went the Matalan red fleeces and T-shirts with sound effects (the only clothing I’ve ever worn that comes with it’s own battery pack.)
On went the tight drainpipe trousers (with great difficulty), black shag bands and dangling chain then went around my jeans pocket for no reason whatsoever.
I wouldn’t get told off for not turning up to college. GTA: San Andreas ruined my education.
Everyone was friendly. I could call teachers by their first name!
I had gone from shy wallflower to someone who would just sit next to someone on the college bus and strike up a conversation. I was giddy and no doubts could stop me. My confidence was growing at a great rate, but my decisions, like my unbeard, were ridiculous.
I aimed to be part of the Goth clique at college. Not by talking to them, but by dressing like them and listening to their music. My logic was that my alternative aura would naturally pull me into their black-cladded, growling ensemble that looked like an economy Lost Boys mixed with the Addams Family.
I decided not to have my hair cut for about 14 months. It grew into an unkept mane with the colour of mocha, of which wrapped up in a burgundy bandana. My Dad said I looked like Jim Morrison. Looking back I looked more like a poor man’s Tarzan.
At the time girls were confusing and elusive, yet I yearned for a girlfriend. I would see prancing couples at college. I’d think what is the boyfriend saying that is so magical? What is he doing?
Everyone was banging on about Natasha Bedingfield and Britney, but my dream girl back then was Amy Lee.
Women were confusing. I lived in a town where the average age was 70 and fun was outlawed, and any women my age were mostly likely pregnant or were aiming towards their first ASBO.
At the tender age of 15, I kissed a girl at a fireworks display at a country house in Tring, a town North of London. Emma Selway, a brunette, caught my eye under a canopy and we got chatting. I wasn’t sure what I was doing, but we ended up cowering under a flyover bridge, hiding from the a obnoxious downpour of rain. Our lips connected, and in shock of actually kissing someone, I spluttered out the classic line:
“…I can’t believe this is happening to me.”
I don’t know how she laugh in my face at this confession. I thought this romance could prevail, though she lived two and a half hours away down the M3. Perhaps next time I could take her somewhere more romantic than a concrete overpass.
We maintained a quasi- relationship over MSN Messenger, I felt overjoyed when she was waiting online for me. Sadly after a few days of naïve romance, she left me for a go-kart racer.
There was then Mia, a girl from Winchester. She was very lovely and talkative, we could have a potential future, but there was one stipulation.
We never actually met.
My love life was pretty much dead. Maybe my destiny was a microwaveable Meal for One or I could order a Thai Bride.
I went to visit my Nan in Wales over Easter and we’d just popped to see Auntie Vi. She wasn’t even an Auntie. Vi’s accent was so thick with Welshness her voice sounded like she swallowed a cheese grater. She always gave me money so I could buy sweets, as would many of my Nan’s friends, but I instead saved it enough over the years to buy my own Playstation. My inner businessman started to salivate when any of them got their purses out around me.
I was wearing a grungy black T-shirt with a mud design, the fashionista that I was, with my mocha mullet flowing and my Will-from-Inbetweeners spectacles on. On the way home, I passed a ginger girl. She had a slightly pale complexion with ocean blue eyes. She was very pretty, and I think she just smiled at me.
Oh my god.
I loitered around the town centre and later saw her with two African girls perched up near some steps
“Hi” they said.
I almost did a double take. Were they speaking to someone behind me?
I meekly waved, too awkward to stop. I kept on going.
Just before I went around the corner, I heard their high pitched Welsh accents calling me back.
“What’s you name”
I introduced myself and we sat around talking for ages on various walls, pavements and benches. The redhead introduced herself as Jodie. I just couldn’t take my eyes off her. Cute little freckles and a smile that could make even Michael Myers melt, she was also trying to become a goth. She spoke about her favorite bands who I pretended to be interested in. Luckily she didn’t challenge me on my lies.
For some reason, my accent changed to some weird hybrid of Scottish and Irish. I felt so self conscious with my posh English tones that bizarrely I tried to emulate the Welsh accent when I spoke, but results were clearly varied.
Anyway, the next day I was so excited, I couldn’t even sleep. We had exchanged numbers, and messaged through text speak.
Wuup2? xxx was gr8 2cu 2day. ttyl x
You see, Facebook hadn’t been conceived yet, communication in the last decade was sparse. Our Social Media Lord Zuckerberg was to busy playing beer pong at a fraternity house to steal our souls forever via social media.
My skin was trembling in anticipation at seeing Jodie. Butterflies fluttered around my stomach as I saw her with her friends. I hadn’t felt this euphoric since we had a week of inset days. I was being powered by the warm fuzzy feeling™.
We were later both sat on the edge of a power grid in the middle of a car park. I had managed to pluck up the courage to hold her hand. Luckily she used some initiative and pulled me toward her and we kissed. Luckily I’d stopped wearing braces the year before.
Over the next few days, the rain came, I cussed dramatically at the opening heavens. I didn’t see her for days. I messaged and called her but to no avail. I left cringey answer phone messages like ‘Are you coming out again… ever,’ but to no reply.
I was annoyed, and I gave my friend my phone in frustration and defeat. They had a go calling Jodie, she answered! I dived across and excitedly grabbed my Nokia 3510, almost foaming at the mouth to hear her squeaky welsh tones again.
I went to hers and she introduced me to a band – Him. Him had recently introduced a new genre – Love Metal to the world (what’s next? Affectionate Rap? Cuddly Dubstep?), and infected the Kerrang channel with soppy lyrics.
Their symbol was a heartagram – a satanic pentagram merged with a heart.
Happy songs included ‘Join me in death.’ It was the band at the time which made hormonally-enthused girls fall into a euphoric trance over the Finnish lead singer.
Considering he just looked like he’d been excavated from the Arctic Circle, he was this generation’s Edward Cullen or Justin Beiber or Paul Hollywood.
I went to a Him gig, where the lead singer, Ville Valo, spent the whole night being attacked by various pieces of ladies lingerie thrown at him by lovestruck fans. Nothing beats singing whilst submerged in G-strings.
Their catchy music transcends time and I end up feeling like a confused, socially unliberated teenager again.
Me and Jodie also had our own song, as decreed by her friend. The lyrical genius that was Eamon. No not Eamon Holmes, but a pint-sized rapper who was allergic to grammar. Bubbling with extremities, it went straight to number one in the charts simply because a whiny guy was determined to include fuck and hoe in every lyric. Eamon takes his Bae, Frankie, for a pepperoni pizza and rejects her after she cheats him, but wants him back. I feel the same about the European Union, but hey ho.
Bizarrely, there was also a ‘Fuck you right back‘ response video where Frankie tells him he’s an asshole and deserved to be cheated on.
No wonder my generation turned out to be bonkers, with these role models.
Compared to Peter Andre’s creative nadir – Insania – which came out the same time, it was a lyrical genius.
I couldn’t get enough of Jodie and on my last day in Wales, we dramatically ran towards each other down the street and gave each other a massive hug and a kiss.
I couldn’t wait to see her again.
Half term was 6 weeks away, so I carved the number 42 into my hand with a biro. 42 days until I could see those mesmerizing eyes and those cute freckles.
Many writing, smudging and washing of my hand followed. My long hair had reached my shoulders. My predicted AS Level grades were plummeting.
My journey into Gothical Rock imploded. I started to collect all the HIM albums, each with an obnoxiously gothical album title.
Nauseously titled abums included ‘Deep Shadows and Brilliant Highlights’ ‘Razorblade Romance,’ and ‘Greatest Love Songs Volume 666.’
It had 66 tracks. Clever.
Whilst stalking Jodie’s Myspace profile, I began to like a band called Hawthorne Heights, their hit song contained the lyric ‘Cut my wrists and black my eyes, so I can fall asleep tonight or die.’
What the fuck were they smoking? Surely crap like that should have a Samaritans hotline on the back of the album cover?
Yet I wasn’t a gothic. I was an alternative. Or something. The word Emo had not entered the lexicon yet, but I was probably the first.
Watching through the window, or cradled around my Nokia, with its eternal battery life and Snake game a comfort, I stumbled around college then played video games in a lovestruck stupor. The beep of a new messages sent me into an excitable frenzy.
The days on my hand got into the 30s, and then the 20s. My hand was a constant inky smudge. Then something happened. Out of nowhere I got this message.
"hey how's it goin? today I met this mint Him fan. And he just asked me out! x'
What what? With no experience with women, I didn’t quite get it. Was this a bizarre way to make me jealous or was she actually going out with someone else?
My older self would have told her ginger ass to jog on. However, I was a fool back then and probably would have told her I loved her and made her a mix tape.
The next day. My heart was beating as soon as I heard my phone beep. It revealed:
"I've met someone and I am with them now and can be with you no longer. KIT, Jodie"
I staggered back and collapsed on my bed. I loaded up Final Fantasy – video games provided an interactive world of escapism. Playing blitzball and attacking killer cactuses was a nice distraction from feelings and emotions.
Then the following happened.
"I never want to see you again, EVER'
My brick phone fell out my grip and almost indented the laminate flooring.
I was speechless.
I had gone through a rollercoaster of naïve glee, to utter confusion, to complete shock and jealousy that week. The last message cut deep.
The only way I could regain any sanity was to write…. poems (oh god).
Weeks of moping later, I called her. My mum had gone into Homebase to find some discount patio slabs whilst I waited in the car. I was met on the phone by enthusiasm.
What had happened to the Mint HIM Fan? Fuck it. Apparently Jodie wanted to see me.
It was back on ! I was tempted to resurrect my hand ink tattoo. I later got a message to ask me if I was still coming up again.
I arrived in Wales, barely said Hi to Nan before I legged it to the park to see her. I suddenly got a weird message
"In the park shagging James hard as fck. "
I was very confused. When I arrived she seemed friendly . She was with her friends, one of them circled around us continuously with rollerblades. Perhaps he was James. Or Mint Him Fan.
Her African friend took my phone and read one of my text messages from a mate. My mate ended each message with the word FUCKER. Bizarrely, she interpreted this as me having a new girlfriend, but I quickly established this wasn’t the case. FUCKER looked like a potato with hair for starters.
Me and Jodie’s reunion wasn’t as harmonious as our dramatic hug a few weeks back. Despite drowning in a metaphorical well of naivety, I was still surprised we hadn’t quickly rebooted our love affair.
Then along came Benny.
Not much to shout about, he looked like he worked in a Fish and Chip shop, and was all over Jodie like a wasp near Tango. She was engaged by this newcomer, and I was confused why this guy was more attractive than I. To be honest I did smell of a dreaded concoction of second hand smoke and Lynx Africa.
They flirted the whole day in front of me in the park, hugging and wrestling and kissing.
I couldn’t really process Jodie and Benny. My younger self did not know what was going on. The last I heard was they were all going camping together and she was going to wear a Moulin Rouge costume. She mentioned something about a finger.
I stumbled around, teary eyed. A hormonal mess.
I bumped into African friend near the park, and I showed her some of my amazing poetry. It was a peculiar feeling showing some of the writings that I had written about Jodie. I pretended they were about someone else. There was also an anti-50 Cent rap which I composed, my new found songwriting ability traversing across the genres.
I buried myself into Him’s music in sadness. I tried to get all my friends into them but they couldn’t understand the melodic masterpieces such as the The Funeral of Hearts -(where angels cry blood). I then remodelled my entire room, and covered it in posters. Literally the whole wall was a mass of alcoholic rockstars, nubile women and horror films, it was a gothic puzzle.
I was the Kerrang! Picasso.
I couldn’t hate Jodie despite everything. Girlfriends did follow, but this first one bit me hard.
Moral of the story is, if you are a naive young teen, don’t expect anything from the Town Bike, even if she smiles at you.
I should have listened to Eamon’s masterpiece….
Fuck you, you ho…
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