So, it turns out my address doesn’t exist.
Only my life, man. I swear to God.
I should explain. My new (shiny! awesome!) apartment is number 17a. The tattoo shop below me? Also number 17a. Which’d explain why I’ve been getting all their mail. But they are the 17a officially registered with the Post Office, which means they legally own the right to that address.
I, on the other hand, cannot get a phone line installed because BT — British Telecommunications, holder of all phone lines — goes by the addresses registered with the Post Office, and refuse to install anything in an unregistered house.
Ergo, I cannot get a phone line.
Ergo, I cannot get an internet connection.
Ergo, I am losing my mind.
I’m stealing a friend’s internet right now. Between work, couch-surfing, dog-sitting, and my friend’s father being rushed to hospital after a bout of vomiting, collapsing, and seizing (seizing, because this month sucks), I’ve slept exactly one night in my own bed this week. I’ve spent the last few days at my friend’s place, providing moral support and generally getting underfoot. (I’ve been very helpfully picking raspberries, buying flowers, and hugging people a lot. I also called the ambulance and stayed relatively un-panicked while everyone else — except the nurse!daughter– worked themselves up into an understandable lather.)
(I’ll admit, I panicked a bit later. But quietly and on my own.)
(I should also mention: it looks like the father is going to be fine. He’s still in hospital, but hasn’t had a seizure in a few days, and all his heart tests have come back clean. We’re waiting on blood tests and CT scan results. The current theory is Addison’s disease, which’d be brilliant because it’s manageable with drugs and non-fatal. Scarier theories include mini-strokes — he’s had three already — and other neurological awfulness. We’re holding out for Addison’s disease.)
Randomly, I went to Pink Picnic today, which is Huddersfield’s version of a pride parade, except without the parade. Basically, a whole bunch of stalls and tents set themselves up in a field for a day, along with a stage and a few fairground rides, and everybody has Pride. It’s kind of sweet and soggy and pathetic and very, very British. There were also a few fabulous drag queen acts, including one lady who got up on stage dressed in a black PVC mini-dress and a pair of enormous red feather wings and sang ‘Stand By Your Man’*. I went with one pansexual, polyamourous friend who wore a giant rainbow flag-cape and rainbow cowboy hat all day, and a kinky MtF transgender acquaintance who wore a PVC stretch top, rubber face-gag, and a giant leather-pride flag-cape.
We got stared at like you wouldn’t believe.
Still, it was lots of fun. I went in jeans, a military shirt, and bought a pride ribbon and a rainbow bracelet. Mostly I got cruised by gay guys. I also saw the most drop-dead gorgeous butch in a grey shirt and low-slung jeans; I’m still kicking myself that I didn’t have the guts to talk to her. I just sort of… admired her from a distance.
I had to work this evening, so I didn’t get to go to the after-picnic party. But I did find out about a new (ish?) gay club that’s within walking distance of my place, and apparently pretty awesome. I plan to acquire a backbone and check it out. As soon as I remember the name, anyway.
And, while I’m on a roll, tomorrow looks to be exciting. I have to call my landlord (again) and shout at him about renting me an existential apartment; I have to call my garage (again) and yell at them about not calling me back; I have to pick up a mystery package I didn’t order from the post office; and I have to dog-sit for my dad.
Note to self: purchase throat-sweets.
(Okay, I’m kidding about the shouting. I don’t shout if I can avoid it. I speak firmly, with conviction, and stay excrutiatingly polite until they realize I’m also being entirely inflexible. It’s amazing how well that works.)
Oh, I forgot to mention: There were absolutely no butch!pride things at the picnic — which wasn’t terribly surprising — but they did have bear pride things, so I figured what the hell, it’s close enough, and bought a keychain/bottle opener. It’s sleek, made of steel, decorated in the bear!rainbow — lots of browns and tans — and has a little black pawprint in the corner. Sterling! Manly! Tough! Supportive of body hair! I like it, even if it does keep poking me in the hip.
* She advised people to sing along with the lyrics of their own choosing, which included ‘Stand On Your Man’, ‘Sit On Your Hand’, and if you were a straight man, ‘You’re In The Wrong Field, Buddy’. I adored her.