Thursday, 4 March 2010

Badface Investigates - Fighting

I’m lying on the floor curled up in the foetal position and about six people are stamping on me. I’m too pumped up on a beautiful cocktail of adrenaline and concussion to really register any pain so my mind starts to wander. It’s really confusing down here, what with all the kicking.

I hope they get bored soon.

I should be seriously injured by now. Really, five or six people kicking me in the head and torso for a couple of minutes, I should definitely be in loads of pain.

I decide they are either crap at this or just not trying very hard.
That’s about when I feel one of my ribs crack.

I’m sure you’re dying to know what I did to deserve such uncouth treatment. Basically, I’m just skateboarding along surprisingly sober, when suddenly I feel two hands shoving me from behind and I slam into the floor.
(I realise three hours later that the fall actually broke my elbow).

I jump to my feet and turn to confront whoever pushed me. This little kid, no older than about 15 is standing there and before I can catch myself I’m raging at him and storming towards him. He’s all scared and seems to be actually shrinking the closer I get to him. I demand to know what the fuck he was thinking pushing me off my skateboard.

Anyway, just as I’m feeling all powerful scaring the shit out of this child, four of his mates step forward alongside him. Now it’s my turn to shrink. I manage to keep up the anger for all of about six words before I hear myself pitifully mutter, look guys I don’t want a fight.

I might as well have just asked them all to repeatedly punch me in the face, because that is exactly what they all do.

I’m trying to fight back by punching and kicking but it’s not long before I end up in that well known defensive posture - lying on the floor being repeatedly stamped on.

I could write a whole book on what it felt like for someone to break my rib by stamping on me but you don’t want to read that and I’m not keen on re-living it. Regardless, I howl in agony and driven by the pain I am somehow able to clumsily stagger to my feet. I have no idea how I’m upright but I grab my skateboard off the floor and blindly swing it around in a big arc hoping to make everyone stay back.

There is a loud crack followed by a scream that is too high pitched to belong to my prepubescent assailants. I nervously sweep my hair out my eyes and sure enough a girl is staggering around holding her head.


I start to try to apologise to the girl when one of the youths shouts something about me hitting his girlfriend and punches me in the face.

I’m really annoyed now.

I can’t believe they’ve made me hit a girl by accident. I grab her boyfriend by the skull and start punching him in the head as hard as I can. All while still trying to apologise to the poor girl - it’s harder than you think to apologise sincerely when you’re punching their boyfriend.

The boyfriend is fighting back of course, we’ve both got hold of each other and we’re sort of stumbling around continually punching each other in the head, all while craning our necks to try to keep our own faces as far away from each others fists as possible.

This is nothing like fights in the movies.

Inevitably I trip over my own feet and fall over, except I’m still holding his head as I do, and there is a very loud bang,

Straight away I’m back on my feet ready for him or one of his friends to attack me again. I‘m almost pulsating with adrenaline, my chest is heaving up and down for breath but I don’t feel tired at all, I feel like I could do this all day. Like this is the only thing ever worth doing. Fuck me, if you ignore all the bad bits, fighting’s fun. It’s cliché but I’ve actually never felt so alive. I’m staring at all these little bastards around me, challenging them, I’m ready to go again. I see the fear in their eyes.

Only they aren’t scared of me, they are looking down at their friend who is totally motionless on the floor. He looks exactly like a dead bodies do on TV.

All the adrenaline and misplaced feelings of invincibility flood out of me as it dawns on me that I might have actually killed someone. I stare at his lifeless body for what seems like eternity. I’m wishing really hard that I could trade places with him.

Be killed instead of a killer.

Two of his mates rush to him and start shaking him and calling his name. His eyes open and he looks around like someone whose just been woken up from a heavy drunken sleep. It’s clear that he has no idea what happened or where he is. I am so relieved that he is alive I can’t describe.

Everyone starts to back away from me and I start to cautiously do the same. One of them calls me a fucking dick and all I can think to feebly say back is, I told you I didn’t want a fight.


Sunday, 21 February 2010

Badface Investigates - Play Piercing

I look down at my forearm and there’s bright red blood running everywhere. Grinning uncontrollably I take a swig of vodka and pose for a bleary eyed photo. The girl taking photo puts the camera down and reaches for the vodka, which is running pretty low now, she looks at my arm and says, “I think I definitely put the needles in too deep, I‘m pretty hammered sorry.” This is my unorthodox introduction into the strange world of play piercing.

Basically how this happened is I got super drunk with this girl who randomly told me all about play piercing. As far as I could understand through the thick vodka haze you basically buy hypodermic needles off eBay then pinch a bit of skin and force them through. Sounded harmless enough, so I told her I wanted to try it.

With the benefit of hindsight I now realise I should have maybe asked some questions first. Simple things like, how long do you leave the needles in? Is it a good idea to do this why I’m so drunk? Also, and probably most importantly… why?

Still, aside from the mega bleeding from the combination of my boozed up blood being super thin and my boozed up play piercer shoving the needles in far too deep, my first experience of play piercing had been relatively painless, if you pardon the pun. Although, of course, alcohol is an aesthetic.

Partly due to being really drunk and also only having a pitiful four needles I figured that I should try play piercing again, but sober this time.

So now I am lying face down while this strange girl prepares to force the first needle into my back. She tells me to relax because it’ll only hurt more if I’m tense. On being reminded that it is going to hurt this time without vodka I tense even more.

The needle goes into my skin and literally pops out the other side, there is a slight tugging sensation in the middle. If you want to know how much it hurt, pinch yourself as hard as you can on the arm with your fingers nails, believe me you’ll stop before you get to play piercing pain.

I’m glad may head is buried in a pillow because I’m pretty sure I’m going through some of my more demented sex faces dealing with the intense pain, why the hell did I agree to do this? This is completely insane. Only one needle in and already I want to stop the whole thing, or drink some vodka, but I remind myself that would be cheating and brace myself for the next needle.

Of course just because I decided to be sober this time doesn’t mean my peircer is, after the second needle she casually mentions she may have had a bottle of wine before I turned up earlier. I look at my watch and it’s midday. Now I’m worrying not just about the sanity of play peircing itself but also of the person I’m allowing to repeatedly stab me in the back, so to speak.

More and more needles go in, I quickly lose count because I’m focusing on each individual painful little moment. I’m trying to relax but the second she pinches the skin I’m instantly consumed by anticipation and fear. It’s totally against everything normal to be allowing this amount of pain to be inflicted on me.

There are definitely over ten needles in my back now and we‘re getting into a rhythm, between breaks for her to drink wine from the bottle. Each needle is getting progressively more painful. Another one goes in, but this time instead of pain it’s just a feeling of euphoria, I feel like I’ve literally floated out my body - I probably made some pretty weird sex faces here.

My best guess is that needle was so painful that my brain just flooded me with endorphins as a knee jerk reaction, either way, I really liked it.

The girl lets out a little giggle. I nervously ask her what is wrong?

She says that I’m bleeding… and that she enjoys watching the blood run across my back. I’m not sure what part of what she said to be most alarmed at so I try to pretend she didn’t say anything at all and ask how close we are to being done. Sensing my trepidation she asks if I want her to stop. Despite my brain screaming yes, I hear my mouth saying that’s it’s fine to carry on.
I guess I’m trying to impress this slightly masochistic alcoholic now. Stupid pride.

After about an hour of wincing, cringing and flinching through the pain she announces that it’s finished. I want to see what it looks like but I’m pinned to the bed with pain, so she takes a picture and shows it to me. I count the needles… 38.

Then she tell me to brace myself because they hurt more coming out than they do going in.

Badface Investigates - Insanity

I’m sat bolt upright in bed. I have no idea what time it is but it’s very dark in here. Voices are circling my head whispering things that I can’t fully understand, I’m trying to listen to them for some clues as to how to make them go away but they all keep talking at once so I can’t make out a single thing.

Like I said, it’s pretty dark in here.

There are definitely several distinct different voices, none of which I recognise, except maybe occasionally my mum is in there. She always was a bit over protective.

Because they are all talking at once I can’t focus on them. They also seem to change the subject as I try to concentrate on them, which isn‘t very helpful. The closest thing I can liken it to is when you’re on a mobile phone with bad reception and a broken speaker bit, except I’m on six or seven, and mine are imaginary.

I become aware that I have something between my teeth right at the back of my mouth. It’s small and hard. It’s spherical, I figure it must be a ball bearing. I’m just wondering, how did that get in there? Then it starts to grow, really slowly. It’s pushing my jaw open from the inside. I’m really panicking now…

My thoughts are swirling uncontrollably and incomprehensibly, I want to scream but unhelpfully I’m paralysed by fear. Besides, what would I tell anyone who came to my rescue?

It gets to the size of one of those big marbles and it suddenly dawns on me that this is a hallucination, it can’t possibly be real. I just need to prove it’s not real to my brain and it’ll go away. I bite down as hard as I can, in the mistaken belief that my teeth will pass through the non-existent magical growing ball bearing.

Now I scream.

It feels exactly like I’ve bitten down on a solid metal object, and my teeth never touched each other. The unexpected pain is like my teeth exploding. All I can think is, that was nothing like the hallucinations people have in films, in films you can‘t feel hallucinations. Fortunately for some reason the imaginary ball bearing has disappeared.

I suppose I better explain how I got here. Alcohol. Except while all this is happening I’m stone cold sober. The problem is that it’s the first night of sobriety in about a year and apparently my brain isn’t very happy about it. According to the doctor I’m currently experiencing hallucinations caused by classic alcohol withdrawal.

As weird as it sounds, this is exactly how my evening played out.

I’m still reeling from the pain in my mouth, writhing about on the bed like someone whose been kicked in the unmentionables, when the bedroom door opens and my ex-girlfriend walks in all drunk.

As you can imagine this really isn’t a good time, I’m not exactly equipped to deal with her right now.

She stumbles awkwardly across the room towards me slurring some story about being at a BBQ nearby and popping over on the way home, although I can’t be sure because it‘s hard to understand her between all the other voices I‘m hearing.

I try to pull myself together long enough to kick her out the room and give my housemates a lecture about letting her in - it’s a long story. But she sits astride me and starts to flirtatiously stroke my chest. Her touch intensifies the voices in my head and their circling becomes dizzyingly fast. I feel drunk with sensory overload. But I’m sober.

She starts to unbutton my trousers, apparently undeterred by the panic and confusion that must be written all over my face. This is too much, I’m not having regrettable sex with the ex, especially in the middle of a psychotic episode. I freak out and try to push her onto the floor. Except my hand flies right through her and she disappears.

Before I’ve had time to fully digest what just happened a man leans through the window, which is closed, and puts a selection of ginormous carrots on the bed. An impressively large one about the size of a television catches my eye and I start to barter with him, before suddenly realising that I just hallucinated my ex-girlfriend so perhaps this night-time mutant carrot seller is also a figment of my apparently insane imagination.

Instant panic. I throw my head into my duvet and scream as loud as I can to block out all the voices. I scream and scream until it seems too ridiculous to continue.

I slowly emerged from my duvet cocoon nervously surveying my room. Everything was normal. The voices and hallucinations were gone. Also thankfully none of my housemates have heard me, they already think I’m a bit of a freak what with all the drugs I‘ve taken in the last year.

Relieved that my brief brush with insanity was only temporary I lay back and try to sleep. Then I notice that my mouth feels a bit weird, almost like there is something between my back teeth… oh fuck.

Badface Investigates - Shoplifting

Everyone knows that crime doesn’t pay, but I heard shoplifting is a great way to get things for free. This sounds quite appealing as I work really hard but somehow I’m still poor. Adverts have told me how to want things but not how to get them, it’s a tricky situation.

I remember the first time someone told me that they shoplift things. It was someone that I quite respected so I didn’t know how to react; disgusted or impressed? I was mainly jealous. It was something I knew I could never do, far too risky. All I could think was ways to get caught.

It quickly slipped from my mind, forced out by reason and fear.

Clearly it never left me completely because years later, in the present day, I find myself penniless and bored. So yet again shoplifting troubles my mind.

I decided to try a bit of shoplifting.

I set myself some simple rules to minimise my chances of getting caught; things like, never steal anything you cannot afford - this way if someone catches you there is an outside chance that you can convince them it was an accident and that you intended to pay all along.

The problem with setting yourself rules about shoplifting is that if you’re considering shoplifting then the chances are that you are probably not adverse to breaking a few rules.

So I decided sod the rules lets just do it.

So now I’m standing in a CD shop with three CDs in my hand. One slight problem is that they all have those, do-not-pass-go-advance-straight-to-jail tags on. This would never do. I browse the DVDs as a cover to carefully unpick the tags.

I’m trying hard not to look suspicious and to pick the tags off quietly. The illegality of my actions is starting to play heavily on my mind.

I’m becoming hyper sensitive to my surroundings, which is the exact opposite of shopping normally for me. It feels like I can hear the cameras straining to film my every move, I’m now certain that security guards are moving into strategic positions around me.

In a desperate attempt to stave off a panic attack I discard the removed tags into a bucket of poster. The inside of my head is approaching uninhabitable so I ditch the de-tagged CDs and swiftly exit the store.

Outside and out of sight relief washes over me, followed closely but disappointment. I’d just endured a spiralling crescendo of paranoia for nothing. I’d chickened out at the last hurdle.

Half an hour later and I’m striding back into the shop directly to the ‘prepared’ CDs, I picked them up and walked into the into the busy queue for a till. Bending down and pretending to retie one of my shoes I stuff all three CDs into my bag. I stood back up.

Nothing happened. No one mentioned anything, no security guards tackled me to the floor, no one was going to stop me. Now I’m waiting for what seems like forever just in case someone in the queue was going to say something under their breath.

They didn’t. I feign looking at my watch like I have to be somewhere then hurry towards the exit as if I’m late for something. Approaching the sensors every muscle I have tenses, I feel about a foot shorter than normal.

It suddenly hits me that I haven’t thought through what I’ll do if the alarms do go off.

I’m running through my options as the sensor approaches, then before I’ve had time to decide between fight or flight, I’m suddenly walking between them.

I’m still tense as hell six shops down the road, sweat is pouring off me, and then it hits me that I’ve actually gotten away with it. The relief and buzz is like a drug running all through my body. Except it’s way better than drugs because instead of killing me like drugs do, shoplifting has given me something. Not just some new CDs but a small two fingers to my crappy job, my ridiculous overdraft, and all that expensive CCTV they’ve put all over the high street.

My fears of getting caught almost stopped my altogether, but wrongly or rightly I powered through and just did it. In doing so I realised that all those security devices; cameras, tags, and guards, aren’t there to stop you breaking the rules - they are there to make you stop yourself from breaking the rules.


Badface Investigates - Being Naked

I’m completely naked in an unheated basement; about 40 female university students are staring at my ridiculous waif like body. This is so wrong.

Why do I allow these things to happen? I’m basically a rational person, yet here I am in another completely horrible situation of my own creation wanting to run away and hide.

What is happening here is that I got drunk and decided to become a life model. Half because being poor is a powerful creative force and half because I thought I’d never be able to do it – so I knew I had to try.

Christ knows why they call this life modelling – I wish I was dead. At least nobody looks at you when you are dead.

One factor I’d naively neglected to consider was that it is Fresher’s week at the university that I’m modelling for and people are a bit trigger happy when it comes to signing up for things during Fresher’s week – and unlike the rest of the year, they actually attend. The room is packed, people are sat on the floor because they ran out of chairs.

Being naked in front of these strangers is making my head spin violently with paranoid thoughts, my body temperature is out of control, even in this freezing basement I’m burning up. Between the spinning and the heat I feel like a woolly jumper in a washing machine. A jumper would be heaven right now.

I look at the clock and the hands are moving so slowly I swear they’ve stopped. Time flies when you’re having fun.

It’s about an hour in and the pose I’m doing is me sat on a chair with one leg crossed over my knee, my cock is resting flaccid against my thigh. Things are starting to feel almost normal, or rather it’s starting to feel normal to feel this horrible. Perhaps I’m achieving my ultimate aim in all this to liberate myself from the irrational fear of being naked in front of strangers. Maybe I’ve unlearned something taught to me by society since I was a baby.

Then there is a twitch against my thigh. Oh fuck, I think I’m getting an erection, hadn’t counted on that. Fuck, fuck, fuck! I’ve seriously got to stop thinking the word fuck – if anything it’s making things worse.

Blind panic. An erection right now would be inexcusable, not to mention literally impossible to hide. I try to think about boring things, ugly things, but they all turn sexual in my apparently filth filled mind.

I try to clear my head using a technique I learned from television where you imagine a bulldozer sweeping away your thoughts. Unfortunately, the bulldozer is driven by a bikini-clad beauty who take a shine to me and hops out the heavy vehicle to invite me to the beach, of course there’ll be sun cream and probably any other cream you care to mention.

I chalk that up as another lie television told me.

Another twitch. I want to check if this is really happening or whether it’s all a paranoid delusion. But I’m fairly certain that if I look down at myself one of the forty people looking straight at me is bound to notice.

I decide that it’s time for the anti erection big guns, sorry gran.

When even that turns erotic I know I’m doomed, also probably going to hell. I solemnly vow never to use my grandmother for such purposes ever again, for the sake of my sanity.

What helpfully happens next is I start having a panic attack. But completely internally, hot sweats, shortness of breath, walls closing in, the lot. All while trying not to let it show to these poor girls.

I’m seriously considering a fully naked bolt for the door. It takes everything, but I force myself to stay, fighting the overwhelming urge to run.

I slowly become aware that my leg has gone completely numb because it’s crossed awkwardly, which proves to be an excellent distraction from the possible erection. I distract my brain from sexual things like construction workers in swimwear, by thinking about the ridiculous pain in my leg.

Somehow, after what seems like forever it is unexpectedly over. I get dressed by the door as people file pass me awkwardly saying thank you.

Wearing clothes again feels amazing, like a really relaxing hug, the type where the world melts away and you are the only two people left, just floating in space forever. Perhaps that is a slight exaggeration, but it felt good.

I collected my pitiful payment and headed straight to the bar to piss it up a wall. No one even mentioned the almost erection, although (and this is probably unrelated of course) one girl did ask for my number.

It is safe to say that I have realised my reliance on clothes goes deeper than just protection from the elements. Clothes are most definitely a crutch.

A month later, to see if I’d ever get used to being naked I life modelled again. About thirty seconds into the lesson I realised I’ll probably never get used to it and that I now had to go through the two hours of torment all over again.