Saturday, 19 September 2009

Shop Girl Eyes Wide Open

Let me tell you how to outmanoeuvre a mosquito.
There’s no need to chase it around the room brandishing a rolled up newspaper.
When you hear one buzzing in your ear, don’t switch on the light.
Simply shine the light of your mobile phone against a wall.
The mosquito won’t be able to resist the allure of that lit space.
It will land there, over and over again, until you have succeeded to splat it with your nearest weapon, in my case, a folded bank statement.
The mosquito I annihilated last night was enormous and would’ve made a great blood donor.
I rolled it up in a tissue and dropped it in my empty sherry glass.
“That’ll put you to sleep,” Mum had said, about the sherry.
But it didn’t.
I sat in bed reading the last pages of Isabel Allende’s book, ‘Paula’.
It’s so honest, so personal
She wrote it while her daughter was in a coma with the intention of giving it to her when she woke up.
It’s about her family history which takes the reader through Chile, Venezuela and finally, California.
I’ve never cried so much reading a book and it definitely wasn’t the sherry.
Love, pain, family, adventure, magic – her writing gives birth to a life, so vivid, that I found myself in bed dreaming eyes wide open, reliving it.
I think I’ve fallen in love with her.
She’s a romantic, like me, and irrational. She’s impulsive, makes mistakes, but it doesn’t matter because inside her is this infinite well of love for her family.
I imagine her home is a warm place, where everyone is welcome, where voices in Spanish and English, exchange stories around the kitchen table, in a space filled with the delicious aroma of cooking.
THIS is the vision I have of my future home.
It’s irrelevant that I don’t like cooking, or that I couldn’t write if there were people in my house all the time, something which would drive me nuts.
My publisher must be despairing as she reads this.
“Blog about your book!” she said.
And here I am writing about someone else’s.
I don’t sleep for a few hours after I’ve finished the book.
I think.
I savour moments in the past.
I think about the future.
Occasionally I fall into the present again, and I remember I’m supposed to sleeping.
But I can’t let go of the pictures in my mind, the questions I have.
The next morning I wake up late and rush, rush, rush until I’m nearing the shop.
In the newsagent I buy an exercise book.
Maybe I’ll sleep if I write a diary again.
I wrote a diary for ten years and only stopped when I started the blog.
Yes, I’ll write for me again.
I’ll write badly, with long sentences and lots of superlatives. I’ll be soppy, grumpy, passionate, angry, happy, over the top.
And after I’ve exhausted all the words in my head, just maybe, I’ll fall asleep.


A Growing Obsession said...

This post is about everything that's important to me and my life:

1) how to kill a mosquito

2) a merry tipple... though not sherry

3) reading

4) writing

5) family

6) visions of a perfect life (that you will unquestionably attain)

Perfect. Can't wait for Shopgirl Diaries...

Vinz said...


Funny post..
interesting read..!!

Oli Benet said...

I don't know what a superlative is but im a superelative innit!

Nice entry, don't forget to drink when you cry like a big baby as you need to hydrate and drink liquids.