I awoke the other day and noticed a red blood blister on my stomach. Claire helpfully informed me that this was an “old age spot”, something I’d best get used to. Thankfully liver spots are still some way off, though if time keeps escalating in the manner it has of late then I’ll expect to find some hiding behind my ear by 8 o’clock next Thursday. I’ve also found that I can’t eat yesterday’s bread for breakfast any more because I have problems chewing it. I blame it on the fact the bread has no preservatives in it. You wouldn’t be shown up like this if you were eating Mother’s Pride, but then who wants to eat Mother’s bloody Pride? As with everything in life, it’s all about those swings and roundabouts.

But still, I’ve joined a gym now, and if I can’t stave off these tell-tale signs of decay then I can at least attempt to conjure a perverse illusion of fitness best exemplified by Sir Iggy of Pop: sinewy bod like a whippet, boatrace like a baseball glove. That’s the look everybody should aspire to, and if you’re looking for inspiration then Renée Zellweger in Chicago will show you the way.

My gym is a budget one – which is a rare thing in Paris – and I look forward to making friends with the hard men that frequent it just as soon as I can speak French better. There’s one who’s a dead ringer for Samuel L. Jackson with the body of The Rock, I think I should definitely be pals with him. Then there’s another who resembles the Incredible Hulk with’s noggin. I watched him fascinated the other day as he looked on baffled at the TV set when The Cure were on. They show videos in the gym though it’s usually Justin Timberlake or something. He couldn’t take his eyes off the weird little skinny goth people in a wardrobe. I could see why he was baffled, though they were one of the first bands I truly related to when I was a kid, probably after my Beatles and Howard Jones obsessions. I was indie through and through then and it made me realise what a fickle sod I am going to a gym now. Why if I’d stuck to my true course then I’d be living in a shed next to a cliff somewhere near Sennen and keeping warm in the winter in a chunky jumper with blimholes with cats and spidery hair and black painted nails listening to… The Cure. The internet has ruined everything. Fuck you diversity!
I need to speak more French, and there’s talk of a conversation exchange taking place tonight that I’m being dragged along to. I managed to watch the first episode of Les Revenants without subtitles the other day and I muddled through and just about kept up, but we probably would have struggled with the others (we found them on the internet with subtitles and voila! it became much easier). I nearly got a job teaching and made it back for a second interview, only they realised I’d be unable to do it given that my French is still sketchy. It was vaguely humiliating at the time though rather than let it crush me it’s given me something to work towards. They’ve left the door open as it were… or at least that’s what they told me. That’s how you let someone down gently, none of this truth about blood blisters nonsense.

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