i have very good friends.
with whom i never have to walk on egg shells...
they never take me seriously unless, you know, it looks melodramatically serious. like me weeping for six hours for inexplicable reasons...
they think i am funny. and brave. when i am so not.
they aren't scared of me and tell me to shut up. i talk a lot sometimes. probably too much.
they drink whisky with me.
and keep all my dark secrets in forgotten places at the bottom of their hearts.
they don't hold me at gunpoint if we haven't communicated in years. it's not my fault she moved to iceland. or to the other side of the mountain. or to somewhere pointless like belgium.(no offence to anyone reading this from Belgium. highly unlikely anyway) or right next door.
they know i love them. and they still aren't scared.
you see. here's the thing. since i was about 1 i began scaring people. i didn't have teeth or hair for the first four years of my life. and i screamed until my face went blue if i encountered strangers or people i obviously distrusted. the choma farmer's wives called me "Dorothy's Mental Daughter" so i'm told. i think even my mother thought i was mental then.
then apparently i became funny. like hah hah funny, you understand. like standing on a dining chair swigging back champagne when i was 5 saying "i am going to drink champagne for the rest of my life". apparently this was very funny. i thought it clairvoyant. i meant it.
i was desperate for my older sisters' approval. which lead to some terrible accidents. like racing behind them on my three wheeler and them on their two wheelers, which were called after ponies. in fact they WERE ponies. mine couldn't be a pony because it was a tri cycle. y'know, only three legs. with a little white basket tied to the front. no. it couldn't possibly pass as a pony. still. i followed them everywhere. once they raced away from me, down the hill next to the house in lusaka. at the bottom was a large, very old and solid bougainvillia (sp?) bush. one sister raced left, the other right and i, undecided, continued straight at speed. this was very funny too. i always had to be the bridesmaid when we played weddings and be the one naked in granny's dahlias for liane to practise ethereal photography. i fought back. biting. tantrums. (watch this comment space...) but by god i loved my sisters. still do.
we were sent to boarding school in rhodesia when we were very little. i was 5. i was bloody brave. i still had my milk teeth. miss hall gave us cents when they fell out. and poked our backs with her cold bony finger if she caught us out of bed. i "got on with it". i remember looking out the dorm window at night watching the choppers coming back from "the border" because of the war. thump thump under the stars. and thinking how far away mum and dad were. as far away as those stars. faaaar away. but more than anything i remember my friends: armenell sandeman, my bestest in the world. our names rhymed. armenell and janelle. armenell's mum lived in a posh house in a posh salisbury suburb (so how come they sent her to boarding school? huh?), had a posh antique shop and a brother who was The Honorable President Clifford Du Pont of Rhodesia. her dad lived on a farm (not in a "hot" area, ish) with Sally The Bitch, who didn't really like any of us. but she was very pretty. prettier than armenell's ma. well. mrs sanderman was just Posher. but sally was sexier and meaner. armenell's tuck box overflowed with chocolates from south and FIZZ POPS. because her dad had a plane and they actually went South for Holidays. she won rosettes in the hols. she had orange hipsters and Rhodesia Is Super t shirts. she was rhodesian and beautiful. we loved each other. i guess we both felt stuck.
so i wasn't that scary then. i learnt how to make people laugh. i performed. and won eistedfords. singing irish lullabyes about lost sailors, if i rightly recall.
until i started going to teenage parties. funky town and blondie blaring. and well. i was just such a nerdy wall flower. i must have been. either that or just plain scary. simply no-one ever asked me to dance let alone schnogg. kerry mcilrath kissed everyone. i was tall and skinny. taller than anyone (except for my sisters of course) and won tennis games, camped in the garden and rode horses. and only had silver bangles. not gold ones. i spoke differently, coming from up north. all the seff efrican girls said "police poss the jem". and went to posh midlands schools. and wore gold. i went to the local catholic convent. to the extremely occasional teenage parties, i wore silver (home painted) high tops, knicker bockers and T shirts tied to the side, like the pony tail, and finished it off with heavy green eye shadow and lip gloss. LOTS of lip gloss. so did helen wilson. my next bestest. we found all the naughty bits in mrs wilson's cheap novels and concluded that sex was ticklish. we had desperate crushes on gavin and andre (his best friend) and mocked brett simes (who had a desperate crush on me). he once tried to touch my toe on the back of the landcruiser going to mtunzini to water ski. sis man. the best boys seemed to prefer little pretty girls. Little as in quaint girlie girls. sometimes i think they still do. once charles took me out to his vanette parked in the sugar cane to schnogg me, i thought. until he pulled "it" out and asked me to hold "it". i was aghast. i leapt out the car, and ran like lightening under the moon back to the party to helen. and kerry. and gavin and andre who were competing for penny (who was pretty and Little). and kerry. charles was just trying to get lucky, man.
stay with me, patient reader. i am trying to remember when i got scary. and can't for the life of me recall....what a diversion.
well. the point is my friends are exceptional and boy am i lucky. and not scary at all.
they are perfect.
chin chin to friends, i say.
so toodely toot than, You. bisous X.X.X. large scary ones....