It’s fair to say I don’t know how to be an adult. Not in the usual way, that sort of knowing wink to camera shit. Ho ho! I’m so ditzy I shouldn’t be old because I haven’t grown up yet! Tee hee! Aren’t we all the same!
No. I am not. In my case, I’m still actually living the life of a child. Because I don’t think they should get all the glory. The berks. Ever since a wakeful nightmare in about er….1988…where I lay awake, staring blankly into a murky, cold ceiling, I mused upon how terrifying it would be growing up. How would I deal with the change? How would I talk to people and do a jobs? Find a woman?
I never worked that out. I’ve not moved on. I shambled from the school gates, uniform crammed full of the hasty scrawls of felt-tips, signatures of the schoolmates that I would no longer inhabit a space with, learning stuff.
Thing is…I never changed those clothes. I’m walking around in a child’s clothing. I’ve got that uniform on. It’s several sizes too small, and it stinks. Twenty-two years later, I’m walking around in a school uniform, collar tight and choking, stained and rancid shirt. Stuffed in, sores and all, like a pineapple in a sock. I look ridiculous.
Not really. I did have to change clothes. When I finally lost my virginity. I had to hack myself out with a tin opener. Hardened, brittle shells fell off that day, clattering to the floor in a sickening lump of cloth.
It’s fair to say, she was impressed. “Have you been wearing that uniform since you left school?”, to which I replied, yes, as I picked shards of shirt from my grey, mottled scrotum.
I walked the streets, not knowing how to eat, or to take fluids. I ate Spectrum tapes. I drank Marmite. Not after dilution. Just as it was. I didn’t know the difference between liquid and solids. Often, I would simply throw it into my mouth, choking and retching into the noon sun.
I wore trousers on my head for a year. I thought that was the look. Head poking out of one end. Arms, uneasily stuffed through the other leg. It was a disaster at job interviews.