Monday, 19 April 2021

Englishman in New York

 If I had to choose a song that describes my life better than any other, it would have to be Sting’s “Englishman in New York”.

It’s not even half 4 in the morning, I’m up, after a terrible night (or... part of a night), and I’m watching a YouTube video my brother sent me earlier... Sting, singing live, recently, this song that he knows I hold very dear to my heart. And how could I not?! It’s a gem! The soft, caressing music, the exquisite sounds of Bradford Marsalis, the simple yet always recognisable melody, the intensity of the drums there almost at the end, the singing voice, soft as velvet and unlike any other... and those lyrics... a simple poem about life itself...  this song is just beautiful! I was 14 years old when I heard it for the first time and it made an impression like nothing ever had until then! Being different?! Not following the norm?! How preposterous!! But... how exciting at the same time! “Be yourself, no matter what they say” became my mantra. I was the only fan of Sting’s in my high school (except for my chemistry teacher, Mr M, lovely man!) and I got bullied a lot about my queer tastes... couldn’t care less! Even at that so very young age, I knew... I was going to go my own way, I was most probably going to be an alien my whole life (I felt I had been thus far already...), I was going to drink tea...

Years have passed... so many years... I have seen Sting singing this song live over again and I have sang it with him, I have listened to it alone more times than I can count, I have seen the music video (David Fischer, so you know...) so many times and every time I discover something new, I have spoken about it, joked about it, got misty eyed thinking about it... And, yes, for more than two decades, I too am a legal alien, I too drink tea and not coffee, I too have found myself walking alone down Fifth Avenue, thinking a walking cane would come in handy... and I too have always been myself no matter what they said. 

It’s been a challenging few weeks, maybe you have guessed it, my silence is never a good thing... I’m not going to talk about it... I’m choosing to smile in the middle of the night and share with you this warm and fuzzy feeling “Englishman in New York” has always given me... a song that is definitely “better than shoes”, a song that will always be special to me! And I will always be myself, no matter what they say...

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

do not disturb, I’m having a moment...

Middle of the night, woke up from a bad dream that had me clench my teeth to the point of getting a headache... clearly nothing “better than shoes” there... I’ve learned to live with headaches over more than a decade and although sometimes it can be quite debilitating, to say the least, tonight it’s not one of those times... it’s ok... But, I did wake up and after browsing a bit to pass the time, I got up to have some tea and feed my furry love who was getting anxious on the bedside table next to me... he’s still a baby and going 7 hours without food is kinda his limit... or so I think... not sure... could be I’m overprotective...

So we got up for breakfast, I had my tea and browny, he had his chicken breast in broth jelly (he’s a bit picky with his food... I don’t blame him... other “premium” brands of cat food we tried, stunk up the room...) and we came back to bed as per our usual routine. This is my favourite time of the day because it’s when we do our cuddling and our petting and we both fall asleep again after having showered each other with some good old TLC! Today was no exception... we had with us his little toy mouse, we just named him Max, and at some point while playing with Max who slipped under the duvet, I lifted it to find him and Luci, rather timidly I should add, crawled under it and... found heaven! He curled up next to me under the duvet and purred so loudly, I thought the neighbours were going to start banging on the wall! I don’t think I have ever seen him (or, more correctly, see a bump under the duvet shaped like him...) look so happy! 

And here we are now... I’m writing this post while my headache is already so much better (the healing effect of happiness...) and he’s sleeping next to me under the bed covers... and I’m thinking that the title of this post is very appropriate for both of us! He’s having his moment and I’m certainly having mine! Feeling him so peaceful and trusting next to me is warming my heart! Over the last 7 months that we live together, I have learned that the love for (and of) an animal is one of the most precious things in life! Of course, being a “cat person”, I think they are the best but, I also see my friend M’s love for her little cocker spaniel and I must admit that that’s something too. At the end of the day, it does not matter whether you love cats or dogs or both or... I don’t know... cockatoos! What matters is to make the decision to have them in your life! I made the decision and it changed me forever! A “forever” built up by moments like this one... “better than shoes” moments! 

Monday, 8 February 2021

be my Valentine...

With Valentine’s Day approaching, I started pondering... see, the thing is, I’m 46 years old and I think I have actually “celebrated” the day with a paramour only 3 times in my life. With my first ever boyfriend, when I was 16. He was adorable, he was in love with me but I was long before in love with another boy... so, it only lasted a couple of weeks, I broke his heart because I did not want to pretend, he deserved better. Then, when I was at uni, with my then boyfriend who surprised me with a single red rose he brought me saying “I know we are not a conventional couple but let me be conventional just for tonight”... endearing... he broke my heart as it turned out... And then, if I’m not mistaken, only once really in almost 11 years with my ex partner when he surprised me with a bouquet of red roses... he hated the day, like most holidays, he hated giving any gift that was only meant for the other person and he would not enjoy it too... I loved him and endured... stupidly... and I don’t miss that at all!

So, yeah, I don’t know how I feel about the whole thing... let’s see... yes, every holiday is “manufactured” and “serves commercial purposes” (as if everything else doesn’t) and yes, “if you are in love you should show it everyday not once a year” and blah blah blah... but honestly, I see nothing wrong in getting a card (preferably a funny one...) for the one you love or a bunch of flowers... c’mon... it’s just a gesture, it’s sweet, you don’t need to splurge, as is the case with any occasion, it’s the thought that counts! Make your special one feel special, show them you care... nothing wrong with that! Or just take the opportunity to tell the one you like that you like them! It’s ok! We are never too old for that! A couple of years ago, I got a ❤️ texted to me on Valentine’s Day and it put a smile on my face for the whole day! Ok, later it turned out I was not special at all and the guy had sent it to everyone he knew... that kinda hurt... retroactively... but still, I think that to let someone you like know you like them on 14.02 is not a lame move, it’s cute! And we don’t have nearly enough cute things in our lives! I’m all for cute! It keeps us young! 

Yeah... so, is Valentine’s Day “better than shoes”?... mmmm... can be. Not as such, but it can be. And there’s nothing wrong with that. On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong if you get no card, no flowers, nobody tells you they like you or you have nobody to kiss on February 14th. It’s all ok! Really! It says nothing of your real worth and it certainly is no reason to be depressed and/or go nuts about it on social media! Girl, please! I mean, it’s only a day... it can be special but if it’s not, it only lasts 24 hours like any other day and then it’s over... I guess, in the end, that’s the thing: it’s a day that can be special so you should hold on to it for as long as you like but if it’s not, just let it go and move on... Simple, no? Phewwww! I guess it’s clear to me now!