What the fuck am I doing?
People keep asking me, "What are you doing now? Where are you living? When are you moving to London?
I don't know, I don't know, I don't know.
When I first came back to Manchester, I stayed at my mum's house for three days, then I had to get out. It's not that I don't like my mum, but I was sleeping on a mattress, wedged in between her wardrobe and her desk and my stuff was everywhere and she kept asking me when I was going to unpack my bags and put my things away and I wanted to scream:
WHERE SHALL I PUT MY THINGS????? WHERE DO YOU WANT ME TO PUT MY STUFF??
I couldn't look for jobs because I left my laptop in London. My mind felt all messy and there was always my stepdad's electric guitar screaming out around the house, because he likes to practice in the hallway outside the little office where I sleep, not in the garage where I wouldn't be able to hear him.
Then there was the dog.
When we got home from Cambridge, my mum pulled up outside the house and gave me a manic smile.
"Right! Here we are!"
She was talking in a shrill, sing-song voice and looking excited, or anxious, or both.
Then I realised... The Dog. I was about to meet The Dog and my mum wanted it to go well.
My stepdad's cat was sitting on the wall outside the house, simultaneously sulking and relaxing in the way that cats do. As I passed him, the cat looked me in the eyes and we exchanged a look, a look that said, "Fucking dogs eh?"
I walked into the house with trepidation and was running out again, screaming, in ten seconds flat, after feeling two huge paws on my shoulders. I didn't even see the dog until I was safely outside, glaring through the window with disgust as it stood up on its hind legs and nuzzled mum's hair, probably trying to find a vein it could rip out.
It was huge and it was only three months old.
Dogs are a lot of hard work, aren't they? I couldn't go one cup of tea without somebody yelling GET DOWN, GET DOWN or telling the dog it was a BAD NAUGHTY DOG. It wasn't even allowed in some of the rooms. When I woke up in the mornings my mum told me that I had to completely ignore the dog- that's what they'd told her at Puppy Training.
Hum. Seemed to me that instead of having a huge monster galloping about the house and having everybody ignore it... They could have saved all that cash, not bought the dog and visited me in Paris instead. (Or bought me a birthday present. I can't bring it up or I'll sound like a spoilt brat... but I didn't get any presents from anyone in my family this year, have I done something wrong? Is it because I always forget to send Thank You notes? Is it because I got horrendously drunk at my cousin's wedding? Forget it, I'm not even arsed. I'm going to take all the money I would have spent on Christmas presents for everybody... and buy a bag of crack with it. "No more turkey for me, mum, I'm fucked. I mean stuffed. I mean on crack.")
Those first three days at my mum's house were spent sulking under a dark grey cloud of my own making- I had no phone grumble grumble no job grumble and my stuff was all over England grumble grumble.
Then one night, my mum passed me the home phone.
"Hi darling, it's Clare. I hope you're enjoying doing nothing," came clipped tones, marching along the telephone wires all the way from London, "Because it ends tomorrow. I'm coming to Manchester this weekend to sort your life out."
I was terrified, but relieved. The next day I met Clare and Amy in town and we took the metro (the tram in Manchester is now called the metro!) to Amy's new flat, five minutes from Piccadilly. It's lovely AND Amy and her boyfriend pay the same rent for a two bedroom flat that Clare pays for her little room in London.
That night Amy had to work, but Kayt came over (so strange how both her and Amy have ended up living in my home city) for 'supper' as Clare calls it. Kayt and Clare decided to 'wake me up' to my situation by telling me how worried I should be as I have no job, no money and no prospects. By the time Amy came home from work I was just about ready to jump off her balcony, but she had good news- they needed bar staff at the restaurant where she works, so she'd told the manager about me and he'd said I could come in for 'a chat'.
Excellent- I could stay in Amy's spare room, work in the restaurant until September, then move to London with a bit of cash in my pocket.
Amy told me that Fernando (he's Spanish) was really nice but quite pervy. She said I'd be sound if I wore a skirt and a bit of lipstick- BAHAHA! I'm a feminist and I would never do that.
I did it though.
I borrowed a tapestry-style pencil skirt from Clare, which I wore with a silky blouse and embellished sandals. On Saturday evening we accompanied Amy to her evening shift, as instructed by Fernando.
We got to the restaurant and a serious-looking man called Clive was the manager. Amy told him that I was applying for the bar tender job, so Clive sat me down for 'an interview'. He looked like he meant business. He asked me for my CV.
"Fernando told me I didn't need to bring a CV..." I said, looking over Clive's shoulder in the hope that Fernando would suddenly walk through the door, clacking marraccas and singing, "Nice skirt! Can you make Sangria? You're hired!"
Sadly Fernando didn't come to my rescue. Clive asked me lots of questions which I think I answered very well, considering I wasn't expecting a formal interview, then he told me to go home and email him my CV. He mentioned they were interviewing other people. I emailed my CV the next day but didn't hear back from him. Pfft.
On Sunday, me and Amy went to the Asda and bought lots and lots of food. Me and Amy planned what meals we'd cooked over the next week and I got all excited, thinking about food I hadn't eaten for months and months. We also bought everything we needed for a roast dinner- Kayt was coming round and so was Beth, my only Manchester friend still living in Manchester (she's moving to London too next month). Clare was shopping in town and she said she'd brought me a little present for 'being a good girl and sending my CV off to places'.
We got back to Amy's with all the shopping and I asked if I could check my Facebook on Amy's laptop. There was a message from my mum, sent thirty minutes ago. It said:
Call me ASAP.
My first thought was, shit, what have I done wrong. Has mum found something incriminating among my open suitcases? I called her from Amy's phone.
She said my stepdad had left her, as in she'd gone out for a few hours and returned home to a note- he'd left her for somebody else, a woman he has known for two weeks. (I know what you're thinking, but we know for a fact that he really had known her for just two weeks.)
My mum told me not to write about it on my blog, but how can I not mention it? It was a pretty cataclysmic moment. Amy mixed some whisky with brown sugar for me and I sat on the balcony with my drink in one hand and a rare daylight cigarette in the other, in shock. Fucking hell, how must my mum feel?
I got the next train back to Northern Mill Town and I've only left twice- once for a night out with Amy and Kayt and then last week I went to London for three days, for two job interviews.
Both interviews were for 'hospitality temp agencies' i.e. odd-job waitressing gigs. I sacked off the first job interview for No Reason. I went for a drink with Olivia instead and the whole time I felt sick with guilt, I have no idea why I did it. People tell me I'm being stupid when I voice my worries about being a Fuck Up, but they are real concerns. I feel like I have no control over my actions. One minute I'm going to an interview, the next minute I'm having a pint instead and I don't know why.
The second job interview went well- although the guy was thirty minutes late and I first I thought my whole trip had been a massive waste of time and money- and I can now sign up online with the agency to start getting work. Except... I haven't signed up yet. I don't know what I'm doing. Do I want to move to London straight away, just to do odd waitressing jobs? Clare is going away for two weeks and has said she will give me her keys, but I don't know what to do.
I just don't know.
I really don't know what to do. I don't want to do anything.
Me and my mum have been watching cheesy rom coms, drinking wine and eating crisps. My belly has now become a sort of pet to me, I know it's chubby and annoying and it follows me everywhere I go... but I've grown fond of it. I picture it like this:
How can I get rid of that little cutie?
In all seriousness though, I feel like a sad little pudding and I don't know what to do with myself.
Obviously I want to move to London, but should I wait it out up North for a bit? Should I get a shit job round here, so I can save up some money and stay with my mum for a bit longer? Part of me thinks there's no point wasting time in Manchester, because we all know I won't save money anyway and if I want to be in London, I should just go, right?
But should I go, like, tomorrow? Am I just getting cold feet?
Am I wasting time going up and down the country? On Friday my Megabus took almost NINE HOURS from London and in the end our driver ABANDONED us at a service station. He said he needed to take a forty five minute break 'by law'. One and a half hours later, he still wasn't back.
England- what a crock of shit.