Snowcase #34 • 22 October 2007 • The SnowBlog
Paula is unable to stop herself writing, much to her family's obvious irritation. She lives atop a Brecon Beacon and blames her inability to be sensible on the thin air.
In 'The Adventures of Xanthe Culpepper', Xanthe loses both husband and job to younger women in the same week. Everything seems to be ending. In fact, her adventures are just beginning. The Adventures of Xanthe Culpepper
I never objected to being cut in half. Didnt bother me. Disappearing into a tacky lacquered wardrobe I could handle, too. Even being strapped to a giant target and having knives thrown at me was all right, once I got used to it. But dressing up as a Bird of Paradise and having my tail feathers set on fire was a step too far. A girl has to draw the line somewhere, and thats where I drew it. Above my tail feathers.
Paying your dues, the Ringmaster told me. Everyone has to do it, he said. Not flamb feathers necessarily, but stuff like that, on the way to what they really wanted.
Dues is one thing, I told him, a barbequed bum is another.
Of course he didnt like being said no to. What man does? But it was late in the season, ticket sales were down, and I was the pick of a poor bunch. He knew he couldnt afford to piss me off completely. I knew it too. When youre seventeen you know everything.
Now Im thirty-one and I wonder what happened to that ballsy young woman. Here I am, sitting on a damp, empty, sunless beach in Cornwall because I cant think what else to do. Thats exactly how my life feels right now; damp, empty, and sunless. Thank you, Gavin. And thank you, Water Wings Ltd. First my husband dumps me for a younger woman, then three days later my boss does the same. Not that anybodys admitting thats whats happened. Gavin says he fell in love, didnt mean it to happen, and couldnt help himself. Bollocks to that. Love my arse. Lust is more like it. If he doesnt like women with small boobs why did he marry one? At work I was told the department was being downsized and my job didnt exist any more. Funny how perky little Savannah is now doing exactly what I used to do, only with a different job title. Even more bloody hilarious that she turns out to be the bosss new squeeze. As if all that wasnt bad enough Gavins being a prat about selling the flat, and Ive been done out of any redundancy pay by being offered relocation. Sorry, but I just dont fancy Milton Keynes. I ask you, its enough to make any girl wonder where she went wrong, isnt it?
Any girl except Laura, that is.
This is ridiculous, Xanthe, she tells me, Theres no-one here, Im cold, Im wet from this sea sodding mist were sitting in, and if I dont find a loo soon Ill be even wetter. What is the bloody point of all this soul searching and navel gazing?
I have to at least have a stab at working out where I screwed up, I say.
You had one feckless jerk for a husband and another one for a boss. Simple. Mystery solved. Can we please go home now?
Author: Paula Brackston