"Tight equipment is not something to shout about but then neither is a tenner pad."
I was in the loo pondering the wisdom of my mother despite most of it being as useful as a three cup bra.
She had me confused about many things.
I grew up thinking the G spot was a new marker pen, and a scrotum was French for a sausage roll.
According to her public loos had more germs than a cesspit, and sitting on one led to the plague. By the time I was ten I was a master at hovering over a toilet like a spaceship.
I could hear the rattle of a loo roll in the next cubicle followed by a long-suffering “shit”.
“The Argyll” was not great when it came to loo paper.
I pushed a fist full under the wall, not an easy thing to do when suspended like Yoda above a toilet.
“Cheers,” huffed my pal.
She, having spent the last few hours listening to me rabbit on about a death scene in my latest sci-fi comedy was fed up to the back teeth.
Plying her with wine hadn’t helped. If anything it just confused her. To her comedy was anything with Hugh Grant in it.
“I thought you wanted to be funny?” she yelled from the next door.
I stumbled regretting that third glass… or was it a fourth?
“Death is funny,” I shouted back.
“A dying Alien coughing her last phlegm is as funny as a shopping list.”
I counted one, two, three…
“You’re doing it again aren’t you?”
I didn’t answer, you had to do it five times and I had lost count.
“I knew it,” she snapped with a flush.
“Intermittent peeing” was another of my mother’s mantras. "It keeps everything in good working order” she used to say and I was doing my best- daring gravity to do it’s worse.
Seeing double had that effect on me, suddenly the state of my equipment was on a par with world peace.
A tap splurted on.
“So much for Bellydancing,” said my pal.
Three or was it four?
“So much for your sneeze freely promise.”
“What?” I said.
The hand dryer blasted on.
“Laugh without pads…”
Finally five… I sighed and flushed.
My years of body hating started early, back in the days of beauty pageants. My parents picked holes in the contestants like a judge at Crufts Dog Show leaving me fretting in front of the mirror.
Bellydancing changed all that, along with the odd man who knew what he was doing….
My pal eyed me as I appeared safe in the knowledge that all was still working.
"So why all the pee holding?” She said.
“You have to cover all angles,” I muttered.
A few drinks later we were sitting at the table shouting over an eighties’ band killing a Madonna song.
The singer was ancient. He had the look of someone who’d been around the block way too many times to remember.
His half-hearted gyrates were as mesmerizing as a car crash.
“Like a virgin touched for the very first time ….”
Bellydancing made me feel my body was not only ok but a delicious piece of equipment designed for pleasure.
My mother had as much concept of that as the singer had of virginity. My mother thought a middle-aged stomach should be hidden away like a toilet brush.
“Why do mothers do that, rise from the grave and drag you back to a time of confusion?” I said.
“I never did like Madonna; too many dark roots,” said my pal.
“She hated my belly dancing,” I said.
“What? Madonna belly dancing? Don’t think so.”
“I was talking about my mother,” I yelled. “She had no idea about dancing for pleasure…”
My pal gestured I can’t hear.
“Or connecting with your body; hip circling…” I yelled.
“Touched for the very first time….”
My pal shook her head with a “still can’t hear”.
“And as for pelvic pleasure…” I shrieked.
The singer stopped.
My pal snorted a laugh as the whole bar stared at me with a “what so great about your pelvis” look.
She topped up my glass with a who cares snigger, turning to the very thing she had been avoiding all night.
She sipped her drink and in the dark light of the Argyll read what I had been working on all day.
The poetry of an Alien woman who had done many things and leaves the world celebrating the memory.
The Ramblings of a Dying Woman.
I love my body, from the deliciously farting bowels to the breast that gave me pleasure. It has devoured food so delicious I drool, to bed-diving so spectacular my pelvis lubricates at the thought and a heart that loved so much that it ached.
My body has been there for me through thick and thin. Crying when I needed to, dancing until it dropped, and laughing with gusto, turning a bleak day into a comedy sketch.
Even frail and old, wheeled about in a chair, my body has not let me down. With gums that fill with juices at the mere smell of sweet hemp, to full thick hair that delights in the stroking of my lover.
I love my body and those I shared it with.
I give in to its passing with gratitude and thank the gods of the galaxies for designing such a miraculous and efficient machine to live in and another to share it with.
She read it three times, mouthing each word, occasionally looking up with what I thought was an impressed look.
Then over the massacring of “Pappa Don’t Preach” she yelled…
“I thought you said you wanted to be funny?”
Rise of Manifesto The Great” is out 30th of March