HELLO I’m back in Berlin finally and really missed it. It’s so much warmer than Edinburgh and so cool and great !!! I am totally exhausted and destroyed !!!!
Wednesday night I went and performed at Four Eyes, a comic storytelling show on Dieffenbachstrasse. Although Andrew and I were both totally knackered from travelling and weren’t sure if we could make it, it was definitely the right call. Such a kind and cosy and funny evening with a lovely bunch of people!
I told a story that I hadn’t 100% worked out before I told it so I figured it out this morning and thought I’d put it here for you to read, as part of a weekly story on the blog. There is some sex in this story (ew gross!!!) but I have signalled when it happens. A fun fact is that I had to deliver this story in front of a child !
THE MAGIC CROP-TOP
This is a Cinderella story about being young and starry-eyed and also a really great crop-top I used to own.
It was 2015. I was newly out of university, back living with my parents, and not at all famous. I wanted to make films, and had a real talent for telling people this.
When I wasn’t telling people I wanted to make films, I was working at an auction house in London as a lowly admin assistant, bringing forms and files to tall and willowy consultants with skin and hair that said “my dad owns land!”. Meanwhile, I was small, greasy and always wearing oversized men’s shirts and jackets and trousers, looking like an oiled-up Danny DeVito by comparison.
In other words, I was firmly at the beginning of my rags-to-riches story.
One night, while traipsing back home to Chorleywood after a long and exhausting night out drinking, my phone buzzed: an email from a Prestigious Film Festival about a networking event.
“Get your tickets to the Independent Filmmakers Ball!”
A push notification … from my fairy godmother?
Rather than a pumpkin or a handful of mice, all I needed to go to this ball was £22.50 and something to wear.
I chose something brand new that I was super excited about: a long-sleeved, backless crop-top, all-black, which I wore with a long black skirt. I would only ever wear black because actually, I was a very complicated person!
I could hardly wait. The ball was to be held the following Wednesday night, the most magical night of the working week. I finished up at work before quickly changing into my outfit in the toilets while the cleaner rolled her eyes at me.
Heart fluttering in my chest, I made my way into the ball, hosted at self-confessed nightclub, the Café de Paris. I just knew that tonight would be a night to remember. It’s like that line in The Lord of the Rings, “Tonight will be a night to remember.”
That’s when I saw him: Jake.
I’d met Jake in passing at another event earlier that year. He had a large and chiselled head like a really big block of marble. Something about his tall frame and cheekbones made me think that maybe we were meant for each other…?
At the Independent Filmmakers Ball, Jake was undoubtedly the prince, but if the prince also helped to organise the ball. Clothed in a tuxedo, he was seated at the entrance at a table covered in tarot cards. He saw me immediately, shot me a dreamy smile, and handed me one. I turned it over: it was the Star. He leaned in close.
“You can exchange it at the bar for a free can of organic cider!” he said.
Thank you, magic crop top !!!
After spending twenty minutes walking around trying to look very elegant and important while scanning everyone’s faces for famousness, I floated over to the bar. I met a make-up artist and 200 teenage men in anoraks trying to hand me business cards saying that they were writer-director-producer-actors. I didn’t have any business cards so I just scribbled my details down on pieces of paper alongside a sketch of me waving my arm, you know, how successful people do.
I handed over my Star card in exchange for a drink as Prince Jake had told me to. The organic cider manufacturer had sponsored the event, a shrewd move because their product tasted truly awful. Needless to say, I drank three of them, because nobody wanted to finish theirs. As I shuffled around the dance floor with the 200 anorak boy-men and the one make-up artist, I craned my head looking for Jake. He was busy darting from one group of people to another, and otherwise looking like a scaled-up plastic groom on a wedding cake.
I was getting anxious. At midnight, I’d have to get my last train back to Chorleywood and it was looking like the specialness of the night would never come. Although I’d had a nice time, where was the magic? Where was the romance? Could the Independent Filmmakers’ Ball just have been … a regular networking event?
The clock ticked away as my purse filled up with business cards and the raffle came and went. I didn’t win anything in the raffle, which wasn’t that surprising, since although I have participated in every raffle I have ever been at I have never won anything apart from once in 1999 when I got a £10 voucher from the local pet shop. You can’t buy a hamster or especially not a magic talking lion for £10 from Chorleywood Pet Shop so my mum spent it all on dog food.
It was almost time to go and I prepared myself to leave …
… and then Jake lolloped into view, in slow-motion, the club lights haloing his magnificent and gorgeous head. This was the moment I’d been waiting for.
“H-hi!” I shouted over the music.
“Hey,” he shouted back. “I’m so glad you’re here; I really wanted to talk to you for longer when we met, but I was busy. I’m sorry.”
“It’s fine,” I said. “I understand.”
“Do you -harmumarmum- attractive?” he asked.
“Sorry, what?” I yelled.
“DO YOU THINK I FIND YOU ATTRACTIVE?” he said.
Seems like a weird thing to ask me.
“Oh!” I said. “um. I don’t know?”
“What does THIS tell you?” he said and kissed me. No teeth, all tongue, quite (7/10?) slimy.
He lolloped away again to sort something else out with the event.
The clock chimed; I had missed my last train.
Magic crop top … what does THIS tell me?
My head was swimming. I’d need to find somewhere to rest for the night, but I couldn’t stay at any of the anorak people’s homes, I barely knew them besides drinking their horrible organic ciders.
There was only one person to turn to …
“Jake, I know this is an imposition but if it’s okay, could I maybe please crash at -”
“I’LL GET MY COAT” he yelled back.
Jake whisked me away, out to a big suburban house that looked a lot like a youth hostel on the inside. Jake lived in one room with no decorations or personal photos like a handsome + normal diamond in the rough, or maybe a serial killer.
I thought “this is fine.” The magical crop top would not have led me here for nothing!
I made to fall asleep in all my clothes but instead made out with Jake a lot which was quite nice.
[a bit with sex is coming now.]
[if you don’t want to read about the sex you should stop now.]
[okay, well, here goes]
Then Jake thought it would be an idea if we gave some sex a go and … well.
Jake was just rutting away like his life depended on it, in total silence, his eyes all bulging out of his great big head.
As I lay there, I knew that the Prince had turned into a frog. And this frog was not fun to have sex with.
It was very uncomfortable especially because he looked so angry and red while being so quiet, like maybe he was being strangled, so I mumbled “could you please – could you maybe talk to me, a bit?”
He growled, “Your pussy’s so tight and wet, I wanna fuck you in your pussy”
“PLEASE STOP, PLEASE STOP TALKING NOW!”
Jake finished having sex with me.
[the sex part is over now]
[you can read again. all you missed was: the sex was bad and gross!!!!]
Then Jake said he needed to wake up at 5am to go to his second job as a yoga instructor and I thought “wow I didn’t know I could hate you more?”
I slept as far away from him as I could for three fitful hours. At 5am, we got up, he pulled a beanie hat all the way over his head and I struggled back into my clothes from the previous day. As I strained to yank my tights back on he breathed, “you’re so sexy”.
“Oh, God,” I sighed.
I was seething, especially since I was going to be something like two and a half hours early for work before the office had even opened yet.
Just as we were about to leave – I couldn’t wait to get away from him – he said, very quietly, and a little sadly: “Today’s my birthday.”
Literally what more could you want from me at this point????? You already had sex with me????
But I just said “Happy birthday?” and walked out the door.
Epilogue: unexpectedly, I flippin’ CRUSHED it at work that day. Jake asked me out that afternoon and I rebuffed it. At first I felt a little bad because it’s not his fault that he is really gross, but then when I saw him again, at another networking event a year later, he warmly embraced the friend I’d come with and t-o-t-a-l-l-y ignored me. Looked straight through me as though I were a ghost he’d never even met, let alone one he’d had sex with.
The moral of the story is that magic crop tops maybe aren’t a thing. I have a magic playsuit now and that works much much better!