Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Hogwarts, Hole, Christina Agulera and The Irrational Mourning Of Sirius Black.

I wrote about things that happened to me mainly by the actions of other people when i was younger, but there's some other things that happened around the same time that were mine to have. Some of this stuff i haven't really told anyone about, and this goes through to later than i said in the last one. Basically, I can't seen a chronological line of memories. At all. It just doesn't work for me. I can't figure out why. Anyway. Here's some other stuff that went on around the same time.

I got Harry Potter books pretty much as soon as they came out. Earlier than other people. One christmas when i was maybe 10? I don't know. Certainly around that age. My aunty Kellie spent a lot of her life living in America. New York. So i didn't see her all that much while she lived there. But she always sent the most fabulous gifts on occasions. For christmas one year, she sent me the first four Harry Potter books, with the Cluedo game and a fabric bag of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans. The books were beautiful, too. The American ones in hardback, with the illustrations on cover and every chapter.  I suppose she knew how much i would love them, because i was always a massive reader. Anyway, so i read through the books like lightening. I loved them. They had a massive impact on my life. Both of my Harry Potter stories are really sad and pathetic. So don't hate me for it.

So, first one happened when i was eleven. Which is when the wizards that go to Hogwarts get their letters telling them they're going to Hogwarts. Probably my least favourite birthday. Not because i didn't have a good day, because i did. My family and friends were fabulous. Just because i waited. All day. I waited and waited and waited for my letter. It seems so utterly pathetic on reflection. Even then i remember feeling ridiculous, despite no one knowing that i was waiting. Anyway, the letter didn't come and i was really upset about it. That's pretty much what happened. It doesn't matter now.
My second story doesn't make sense without me continuing the story, so i may as well.

High school. I started at a rough, shitty Roman Catholic high school. Which was meant to be okay bus wasn't. My friend Matthew Peel got in a fight as a year 7 and a year 9 beat him up so bad during break time [with everyone around] that an air ambulance had to pick him up and take him to ICU. He didn't come back to school, but of what i hear he's fine now.

So now you know what the school was like, this is what i was like. I'd just started listening to music i like. My cousin had given me a copy of Hole's album Live Through This. I had a Nirvana CD too. I dabbled in Green Day [they used to be good] and Blink 182. But Hole was where it was at. I loved it. So i listened to it on my way to school. I was awkward, i read a lot, I'd had braces throughout my childhood so i was a nerd, I liked math and science and english and history. I wore a boys jacket with a patches of my favourite bands sewn into it. I was pretty much just a walking target.

I made some friends, got my first boyfriend but mainly just got the shit kicked out of me. It was pretty much 60% the shit being kicked out of me. So i got more excruciatingly shy. I didn't talk, actually. For a long time. I ran to and from school. We had an Au Pair who looked after us, which we normally had only during summers in my younger life, but now we had one for summers and one for after school. The after school was nice. My parents knew her, she seemed lovely. She lived really close to school, and so i started just running to her house after school, then we would go and pick up my brother and we'd all go home together. So i started doing that. Running to her house after school.

This isn't a particularly fond memory, and i don't like looking back on it. But this is how I'm going to deal with all of this crap, so I'm going to just go right ahead. After school, i was late to leave because i'd had home economics [basically cookery] last and it was a friday so I'd spent more time cleaning up. I was running about 10 minutes late. So i ran down to my Au Pair's house and she'd left to pick up my brother already. So, i had to walk past not only my school, but the rival, rougher school next to it. I thought that everyone would be gone, so i just walked. Pretty much the stupidest thing i've ever thought considering it was 20 minutes after school so obviously everyone cool was smoking down some alley, being general wankers. So i walked past both schools. Look, the details are completely insignificant. They kicked the absolute shit out of me. Not just that, but they used an array of phrases that they felt summed me up. They really laid into me about how i acted, how i looked, what i did and the beating itself was really, really bad. They might have been thick as shit, but they didn't leave a mark on my face. So after that lovely ordeal, i walked home. When i got home my Au Pair wasn't here. I was in year 7 and some shitheads had beaten the absolute shit out of me and i couldn't get in my own house. So i sat against the gate to our back garden and was just crying my fucking eyes out. Then the neighbor said i could come inside and wait, so i did. Turns out the Au Pair was worried that i hadn't turned up anywhere and was driving around looking for me for an hour before she checked the neighbors. I didn't eat dinner and went upstairs and then listened to whatever i was listening to. My parents got home and bollocked me for going missing for so long and going into the neighbors house, i didn't say a thing about my day and just sat and watched MTV. In a horrible turn of events, Christina Agulera's Beautiful had recently been released. I don't know if you've seen that music video or heard that song, but it just killed me. A few bars in and before my parents very eyes i just absolutely broke down. They must have known i wasn't crying about them because they immediately stopped shouting at me. I don't cry in front of my parents. I didn't as a child, a teen and i don't do it now. I'm not open about that sort of thing. So, when i had what can only be described as the cry of my life, my parents figured something was up. So they were really nice to me.

A few months later, we moved back to Germany. And i can't watch Christina Agulera's music video to Beautiful without crying.

Since the Christina Agulera incident [which my parents and i have had a mutual understanding to never speak about] I had been absolutely miserable. I'd flat out refused to go to school and had been forced there every day. My parents, to cheer me up, bought me the new Harry Potter book. The 5th one. I'd started reading it on the plane on the way to Germany. I was still miserable and i was moving to somewhere where i knew nobody again. This book was literally everything i had going for me. Actually, no. One particular character was a beacon of light in an otherwise dark world, but we'll get back to that. My nose was in this book all the time. When we first moved, we had to live in this hotel room for a while before we could move into our house. It was small, cramped, but temporary. And i was quiet and my brother would sit in front of the TV so there was no real annoyance. So i sat in the bedroom, reading my book. Let's get back to that one character who meant the world to me. Literally the world. He'd been beaten and cheated and people had tried to break his spirit and take his soul, but never succeeded. I could relate. An unbelievable amount. Yes, Sirius Black was pretty much everything i held onto while reading that book. If he could survive everything that life had thrown at him, then so could I. I was young, but i placed FAR too much worth into his character. I was too involved, on reflection. In case you haven't read the books, he dies. He dies a horrible death. He gets killed by the people that had trod on him and tried to keep him down and break his spirit. THOSE guys killed him. The ones that he'd fought long and hard against. So, as you can imagine i was a little upset.

No, i was absolutely distraught. My mum was in the next room while i was reading the chapter and my dad was at work. I cried hysterically. My mother had no idea what was wrong or if i was hurt or ill or anything because i was crying so hard i couldn't breathe, or talk. It took her an age to get me to say what was wrong. It was all pretty horrific. I mourned him. He was me. I died. It was totally irrational but I'd built it in my head and couldn't help it. My parents were increasingly worried about me, but they didn't have to be. When i started school, it was all a lot easier.

I know this has been literally the most depressing thing ever, compared to the last one, but this is the BAD part. The good part comes soon. It was just a horrible, horrible time for me and probably why I'm so miserable in general now. But I'm glad of it. These events were significant. Sorry if I've ruined your day, but i never asked anyone to read this. I said, this is for me to sort this shit out.

It started with a curry and a cobbled road...

This is going to be a little bit boring and probably not that well written. Also, I tend to make jokes when i get a bit uncomfortable. So. I'll try not to. 

My dad's birthday is exactly a week before mine. He really wanted me to be born on his birthday so that we could share it every single year of our lives. But, despite his driving my mum up and down cobbled streets and making her eat curry all day, it didn't happen. When i was born, i was little and quiet. Something that remained constant well into my late teens, and to some extent still now. My parents didn't have a lot of money, and we lived in a council terraced house on a main road in a town near Preston. From what i understand, my mum worked days and my dad worked nights for a long time. My grandma and my aunty Donna looked after me when my parent's couldn't. She has children, who i grew up with like close family. Millie, my cousin, is the closest thing to a sister i could ask for, and her brother Jordan is like an older brother to my younger brother. We're all very close.

I don't remember a lot about my childhood, and i think that's because i have had some vicious bashes in the head in my life, but i do remember my room. I had one of those plastic, toy car garages that you could elevate cars up on and then make them go down the slide. I don't remember a lot of other toys, so i assume that was my favourite. Anyway, it's just a trivial little detail of my childhood i suppose.

I've always had a thing for comforters. It started, apparently, with dummies. I used to have 3 at any given time, and i would alternate between the three of them like clockwork at any given time of the day. Constantly switching them in the same pattern. There came a time when i was 3 or 4 where it was a bit strange for me to have 3 dummies in constant use, so my parents [ever diplomatic] struck me a deal. If i left my dummies under my pillow one year at Christmas, i would get presents. Otherwise, i would not. So after church on Christmas eve, we all put them under my pillow and i reluctantly went to sleep. The next day, i was so happy with all my new presents that i'd totally forgotten about my dummies. My parents tactic worked. They always know me because my personality hasn't really changed that much since i was little. I still cling to comforters. The only reason i need glasses now is because i had glasses that i didn't need to wear all the time, but i did. Which made me prescription worse. And now I need them.

I digress. Again. Eventually, my little brother was born. All little, adorable and squirmy, but ultimately much louder than i was as a child. Much, much louder. Where i would sit in silence in my crib even as a small baby, he would wail and cry for my parents. Just a difference in personalities that has been apparent from childhood, though i love him dearly and with all of my heart. A small time after he was brought into this world, we moved into a slightly larger house. My father was no longer working nights and had been promoted, and my mother was doing well in her work too. The house was larger, but not that far away from the older house. We didn't live there for long, but i must have started school while living in that house.

First, i went to a sort of kindergarten. St. Pius' school for young children. There was a formal and very stiff uniform that i had to wear. All grey and yellow. I had to wear a hat to and from the school. I remember nothing of attending classes, but remember one traumatic day where i got locked into a toiler cubicle and the door had to be broken down by a male member of staff. The drama and helplessness completely overwhelmed me, and i had to be picked up from school by my aunty. I spent the day crying my eyes out in between loving jokes told with a smirk from my Aunty. After I'd finished my tutoring at St Pius' i went to St Francis Roman Catholic Primary School. A school in the middle of nowhere, which literally was a school building connected to a church. There were always less than 100 students in the years 1-6. Very religious. My first teacher was just the most lovely lady I've ever met. She stuck with me forever, and i can describe every detail of her crinkled smile and caring face. I could already read and write, but she helped me write in cursive and taught me a lot. She played mandarin, and little did i know then, she would go on to teach me to play guitar at a later age.

Then my dad got offered this promotion. It's really weird thinking how much this changed my life, on reflection, really. But, my dad got offered a job in Munich, Germany. Which is about 1017 (don't quote me) kilometers away from where my family are. He took it, because it's a fantastic opportunity. So, we moved there. We moved into a house in the country side and i started going to an international school called the Bavarian International School. It was a school just full of children from all over the world, all living in Munich for the same reason i did; our parents got offered jobs there.

I can't really describe how different an International School is to one in England. It's American. Lower school, middle school, upper school. Recess. Lunch break. Color, garbage, bathroom, aluminum. A flurry of foreign accents that all the student picked up on. All the classes were in English, and we learn German from the get-go. I went to the school for 4 years. The alien thing about schools like this is that 50% of the children leave every year, to be replaced with new children. They move home, their contracts expire and they get a better job somewhere else. The rat race, or whatever it's been branded. So when you make friends so easily, as you do at such a young age, they could be your friend for just a school year. Which i know has had a phenomenal effect on me as a person, which is highlighted by later events. But that's later. Let's talk about my first love!

Ah, Melanie. I often wonder what you're up to! I don't really. And you weren't my first love in a weird way. I've written about her on my tumblr once before, and now I have these horrible fantasies where she's just chilling and looking on the internet, and by some coincidence she reads my blog and is like 'THATS why we held hands when we went to go get milk and buttered bretzens! THAT SICK SON OF A BITCH". So, I'm going to try and explain this in a way that doesn't make me sound creepy. It wasn't creepy. Melanie was the girl that i was sat next to on my first day of school. She had really curly, long hair. Because we sat together, we used to have to work together all the time and we'd play in recess and things. Whenever we went on field trips we were buddies, which meant that we had to hold hands all day. So, i loved field trips a lot. There's nothing else to it, really. I just remember her as the girl who's hand i got to hold on field trips.

After four years, we moved back. Back to alien family and alien culture and english speaking people. My brother had attended a german Kindergarten and as a consequence, both him and i were bilingual from that age. Although, it faded from our memories very quickly after moving back to a society in which we never needed to speak German. We went back to the same school, both of us this time attending. I was in year 5. So my brother was in year 1.

The first day was hell. I'm not exaggerating. My brother and i couldn't fathom the simple school system. The different slang and the different people. They had all been together from year one in my year and i had been out of the clique for years. We were absolute and total outsiders, which was made clear to me very quickly. And my brother too. Not long into the first school day at all, i was rushed out of my Religion class and urged into my brothers classroom, where he sat hopeless on the floor, surrounded by toys. A picture of how i felt, if I'm honest. Anyway, it carried on like that for a while until we settled in. Rubbish, not garbage. Toilet, not bathroom. Aluminium, because aluminum was an absolute abomination, apparently. As was color. It's all a load of shit, really, isn't it? They knew full well what i meant.

Another thing we had to adjust to was the Roman Catholicism of it all. In Germany, we hadn't learnt religion. So it was all thrown at me, it was daunting. Reciting passages. Going to church. I was always very aware of how much chanting was involved in church. Repetition in rhythm, probably to make it easier to remember. Well, it bothered me. Also, i have a good memory for things like that. So within weeks of being back in England and going to church every week once at least, i knew the sermon off by heart. Something that was picked up on by my teachers, who maybe mistook it for enthusiasm. I'd learnt guitar at first in Germany. One lesson a week, taught by a man who had played up to how young i was by simplifying everything. Turning chords into animals. I didn't want to learn animals. G did not mean giraffe. I wanted to learn chords. So, i was taught, as i said, by my old teacher. We learnt hymns. I played guitar in assembly and at church. Hymns and religious songs. I also became an alter server. Yes, thats right. I stood on the 'stage' at church. Gave the priest wine. And bread. Rang bells. I was active in church life. I went to church every week on sunday. May i just say, i didn't get PAID for any of this. I wanted to do it. Well, no. My parents wanted me to do it. And my teachers. So i did it. I was super religious. There, i said it. SUPER RELIGIOUS. Thats all i can be bothered writing so far. I'll finish this off later. It's not in great detail, i understand that. And i haven't spoken about home life or what i was like. Just told you what happened. But, I'll clear that up next time.