So it’s been a few days since I’ve had an opportunity to post more than a quote or two or a brief update.
I’ve been writing in my head, but haven’t had the time nor the inclination to pour it all out.
The last few days have been a blessing.
I got to go to work at a busy publishing company, and haul out my rusty graphic design skills… long buried and not nurtured beyond web design (a beast of a different coat, believe me) and I did alright.
The guy who organised the job for me, (a friend of tamale‘s) was very sweet to me over the few days, and the guy who I was actually working for was also kind… but there was this moment.
Actually, it was a few minutes after I arrived on the job, and when I pulled him aside and asked him how much I was going to be paid. He told me, “I wasn’t actually expecting to pay anyone.”
I had to explain to him that I spent the last of my money to come up to London, and I was bordering destitution to closely for me to come and spend three days in London just for ‘work experience’.
Later, I told Ms. Tamale’s friend, what many people who know me know: Big Mami don’t work for free. Even as a little girl and I used to cut my grandfather’s toenails, I did it for quarters. I am thirty years old, and I have never ever worked for free. Even if it’s a little bit of money, people have to pay me for my time and effort. Besides, I’ve done too much in life to do something only for ‘work experience’.
Seems Ms. Tamale’s friend had told him I was looking for ‘work experience’, but he (boss-dude) agreed to pay me, without any fuss and although it wasn’t much, just 70 pounds a day, it’s enough to get me through most of December when I get it.
So I sat down at the desk outside his office and worked hard for the three days I was there and well.. I’ve already told you how it went.
I was hoping that I’d get to come back next week, but today he (the boss) told me that they didn’t need me, but he assured me that he was pleased with me and would try to find a place within the company that I might be able to fit in. He also told me to keep calling him every few weeks, and he’d call me for sure if they were short or some freelance something came up.
I don’t mind, what I was doing wasn’t the most ideal situation, but ideal or not, I was glad to have something purposeful to do, even for three days.
You can’t imagine how good it felt to get up and get ready and go to ‘work’. It was actually relaxing in a way, never mind the work was boring as shite.
Say what, I was glad for the opportunity.
Here’s my other news. I had a date last night.
Yes, I did.
I’ve been chatting with a Nigerian guy, a political activist whose actually been banned from Nigeria and whose working from outside his country to improve and better his community and he’s an interesting man. What’s most impressive is his level of consciousness and his committment to his community. He’s not bad looking either, and he has a great sense of humour and great taste in music. We listened to Sunny Ade in the car while we rambled around trying to find our way to Marble Arch.
We went out for Chinese food and talked and laughed and it was nice to be out with a man. I had a good time, and I enjoyed myself.
I’m interested in him, but it’s much too soon for me to really say more.
So tonight, Wildegirl/Mahie and her Serbian roommate (who is a sweetie pie) have gone out liming and I am alone, completely enoying the experience of blogging from an internet connected Mac. (Trust me, working on a slow ass PC running XP has been unpleasant to say the least.)
I was too tired to go with them. I’ve been to sleep late every night this week and up at the crack of dawn every morning. I’m knackered.
Wildegirl/Mahie is a good girl. She’s been so good to me since I’ve been in London and has been the only source of fun I’ve had since I’ve been here. I mean, she’s been a good friend and there for me in more ways than one, and I marvel at her being only twenty.
This brings me to my one sour note.
Ya’ll remember my story when I first came up here, and the circumstances regarding my going down to Kent. If you haven’t, go read it here.
You know, it’s only when you need them that you find out who your friends are. When it looked like there was a possibility that I might go back to work at the publishing company next week, I was a little worried because I didn’t want to outstay my welcome at Wildgirl/Mahie’s.
I mean, if it was going to stretch out into weeks, with all good intentions, I didn’t want to impose myself on these young people. (I know, I say it like I’m soooo old.)
So I called up monilove and asked her, if I could stay with her. Her flatmate was going to be in St. Vincent for about a month, and she (monilove) was going to be in the flat on her own. We’d already made plans to hook up the week of Christmas so we both wouldn’t have to be alone (or stuck in Kent with unpleasant people).
I also have a problem. My cousin invited his sister, his girlfriend has invited her aunt and niece to England for a month starting two weeks from now. So I needed somewhere to stay during that period. (I mean, I not anybody important right? It doesn’t matter where I actually sleep right?)
So since she was going to be in the flat alone for three and a half weeks, I figured it wouldn’t be no scene for me to stay with her over that time.
When I suggested it to her, she was actually sour. She said, about the possiblity of me sharing with the two of them until I could find a place of my own, “Well that really didn’t work out the last time did it?”
Then she tells me she’s going to New York for a week during her annual holiday leave. I suggested to her, I would hardly burn the house down while she was gone.
Then she says that she’s been cooped up in the house with her flatmate, her flatmate’s mother, stepfather and sister for the last three weeks and she was really looking forward to being on her own, and having some space for herself alone.
Well I guess a little thing like a friend needing somewhere to stay in a pinch shouldn’t really get in the way of space and ‘aloneness’.
Chile, I was so upset yesterday after this conversation, I just couldn’t get my mind off of it. That entry I wrote earlier, when I left that house and went down to Kent, was very ‘understanding’ but I held back alot of my real feelings, worried that if monilove ever strayed here and read it, she would be upset. However, I was actually very, very fucking annoyed by the hipocrysy both of those girls showed when I was there with them.
I was seriously pissed off by the disrespect they both showed me by telling me how to spend my money when they both spent their money however they wanted. When monilove was short with the rent, and the other one being left by her boyfriend (who incidentally divulged a great many things to me before he left that only made sense when she pulled that whole scene on me) choosing instead of facing up to their own responsibilities and their own behaviour that caused them to be short on the rent, taking out their insecurities and frustration on me. This was something I didn’t feel I could confront. At least not then. But I was very angry by what they did. I felt it was unneccessary and out of place, but you know, I was in their house and I was hoping to salvage the relationship between monilove and myself.
Monilove is a girl I hired TWICE to work for me when she needed work. I paid her out of my pocket at great sacrifice, and she actually didn’t do much work in either situation. Yet we became friends and well I thought we were friends.
Except, between the way she and her ‘best friend’ her flat mate treated me when I was staying with them before, and with yesterday’s conversation I have to really sit and think seriously about whether we are friends or not.
Strangers in this country have done more to help me in the three months I’ve been here than monilove, who professes to love me and care for me like a sister.
I say, if that is sisterhood then I really don’t need that brand of it.
Again, in the space of two months I find myself bitterly disappointed in monilove. I think she should know better. I’ve helped her more than once without thinking about it, without keeping score of who owes what to whom and for her to spurn me this way is in my opnion, deplorable, immature and selfish in a way I wouldn’t think her capable of.
The person I knew in Barbados, who I spent weekends with and hung out with, and who I considered one of my closest friends, is not the girl I found in London, and what’s more I think her deceptive, dangerous ‘best friend’ with whom she’s happy to tell anyone she shares a brain with, is a bad influence on her.
When I got back to Marble Arch last night after work, Mahie’s Serbian flatmate and I talked about it, and she told me I was welcome to stay with them as long as I needed to, no one in the house had any problem at all with it, it was ‘no scene’ (Mahie’s favourite utterance). They both told me I could come and stay with them any time I needed to as well, and well that was a relief. A great relief.
I am still more than a little upset over this turn of events with monilove. Maybe it’s my fault for thinking her kind of sisterhood was like the kind of sisterhood I’ve shared with other close friends, keffi for example, eyaniev for another example, ezebaby for another… all of whom would take me in if I needed a place to stay and who HAVE, no questions asked, no pressure, no drama… nothing.
I mean, I could list other complaints about the character of this girl; of both of them. Things I’ve noticed since I’ve been in London, but you know when you care for someone their faults and character flaws become part of their unique beauty and you learn to accept them as they are.
I still care for monilove, and what happens to her, but as of yesterday I don’t consider her to be a friend. I consider her someone I used to know and someone on whom I cannot rely. I think it will take me a long time for me to even have a conversation with her. I have written her off. For me to do that, as the people who are my true friends know, you have to have wounded me deeply and she has done that.
It may not seem like much to some, but I needed a friend to support and back me up and she simply hasn’t been there for me, and when she has made even paltry attempts to do so, it’s been with a closed heart, watching, griping and complaining all the way.
So although she may not know how much she has hurt me, because I have steadfastly refused to confront her, I would rather wait until my heart has stopped burning before I can say anything. To say anything so close to both blatant displays of immaturity and selfishness, is to react and I have had to learn the hard way not to say things when I am hot. I lose my ability to be eloquent and calm when dealing with things when I react.
Mark my words though, monilove will need me one day. She will come to me with a plea for help, and I will help her without thinking. However, when I do stop long enough to think, this experience when I was not strong and forced to be dependent on my friends (new and old) will come flooding back. THEN is when I will sit her down and remind her why when a friend comes to you in need, it is to help without thinking because blessings flow from the kindness you bestow, not from the false security you hoard to yourself.
So there it is… my three days in London this week.
I’m back down to Kent in the morning, because everyday I spend in London is costing me a pound and a crown (HAHAHAHAHA! Big Mami make joke…) and well in Kent I can stay in the house and go nowhere and thus conserve the little money I have.
I’m going to get paid from the publishing company in a couple of weeks, so until then the little I have has to last and last.
I am not looking forward to it. Truly. The thought of having to spend time in the aridity of the house in Kent, despite the beauty and pleasantness of the lake, is not an experience I look forward to.
Spending time with Mahie and her crowd, is the warmest personal experience I have had, with only one or two others here and there.
I shall miss that. I will. I like the time I spend here with them.
I hate depending on my cousin for somewhere to live, for anything at all. However, at least he will not put me on the street and that is at least some comfort.
I go to finish reading The Amber Spyglass, which I might add, is highly recommended to one and all. It’s ostensibly a children’s book, but Philip Pullman is one of the most engaging writers, and this story amazingly compelling. This is the second time I am reading the trilogy of His Dark Materials, and it’s as good as the first time. (Again, Mahie lent me the books the weekend I passed through and stayed with her the night of her flat warming/house burning down lime, and my Red Bean Pelau experiment.)
Alright, allyuh… this was an update. Allyuh cyan say Big Mami ain’t telling yuh whatta gwan, oui?
When ya miss me ah gone.