I’m a tourist not a traveller. I don’t need to defecate in a dunde to enjoy myself. I can manage in dead glamorous hotels with a barman who makes the perfect martini and a bedroom blacked out better than Dracula’s coffin. But, like Freud, I feel anxious before travel even when my destination isn’t deprivation. He called it Reisefieber; I call it fear that my Louis Vuitton suitcase will be stolen. It’s all I have left of Granny Black. Apart from her rubies and pearls and spare teeth.
The first time my bag was snatched I was on holiday with Gang of Four: Maddie, Daddy and their two drunk doppelgangers. As we came out of the airport in Spain I saw an old guy with osteoporosis escaping with my suitcase. Maddie sank her teeth into him while Daddy grabbed his arthritic legs. Red faces all round when it turned out that old Salvador was our driver. Honour your father and mother; unless they are torturing an OAP. If there was any chance that Salvador’s still alive, I’d send him a bottle of Fountain Super HA for his joints and a tube of Sheald to fade the bite marks on his face.
Next time I was traumatised in transit was on my way to a party hosted by the Aga Khan, whose grandfather was married to Rita Hayworth. Men go to bed with Gilda and wake up with a hangover. I went to Africa with a copy of Gilda’s dress in my bag and woke up to find it had been replaced with an incontinent gecko. Where’s the can of Swat Not when you need it?
The Aga Khan didn’t even buy me a racehorse but a man in the desert did offer Dangerous a thousand white horses for me. Maddie wants her “turn” with Dangerous because “familiarity breeds contempt and he must be ready for a replacement”. Dreams don’t always come true. Thank God. My husband does not want to swap me for my mad mother. But the paranoid tick tock had started: what if over-use makes me immune to NIOD?!! Now that I’m hooked; could I live without perfect skin?
Of course the God known as Brandon keeps inventing new NIODs. I’m up all night worrying that I’ll die of excitement before CAIS 2 and other new things come out. It’s ok because I just slap on some FM in the morning and look like I’ve had one of my 14 hour sleeps. But when I went to consumptive cottage last week I left my NIODs sulking in my Soho bathroom and took TO with me; which I don’t often use on my face. Squalane and Rosehip oil I use on my hair; EUK and NMF on my body.
During my week without NIOD, no strangers stopped me and begged to touch my skin. But I was walking on a deserted moor most of the time. Travel is an escape from real life, an opportunity to be somebody else. When I lived in Kampala I told everybody that I don’t eat sugar. When I wanted a cake I had to go somewhere nobody knew me and eat tiramisu under a table. In the village pub, I pretended I don’t drink alcohol so I had to take my own vodka with me; my version of a detox diet.
The Brontes died nearby but they didn’t have a Higher Nature Salt Pipe. Mindlessness is the new mindfulness so I sat by the log fire inhaling salt for at least five minutes every day. It’s supposed to be 25 mins but that’s impossible with my short attention span. The pipe reminds me of my Persian Princess friend whose mother makes her practice with a carrot every night after dinner.
To you a carrot is just a boring vegetable but to the well-mannered mother of my refined friend it is a teaching aid to “prepare her for marriage”. Where I come from, root vegetables go into a stew. In some cultures you can wear enough kohl to kill the street but painted toenails are a sign you’re a slut. Maddie may be a husband thief but at least she has never beaten me with my Salt Pipe on a Sunday night for tiny acts of evil I might do next week. The Salt Pipe defo clears congestion but the downside is that if a fat man farts, I smell it before anyone else.
When Grandfather Money’s suit was dirty he bought a new one. He couldn’t stand dry cleaning fluid. I can’t stand stinky people who lift their arms and point. Yes I mean you, Stinky Pits, who insisted on pointing out Sylvia Plath’s grave without the manners to use Inhibit deodorant for a few months first. At least I had my new addiction 1001 Remedies PurAir in my bag. If sanity had a smell, PurAir would be it. Better than sniffing glue; though most things probs are.
I pure love the ancient village of Heptonstall, but I wouldn’t like to be parked there for eternity like Plath even if people do leave pens on her grave. Her adulterous ex has a plaque in Westminster Abbey while Sylvia’s next to a church where the vicar’s knickers are permanently in a twist about all the literary tourists. I’m “Sylvia Plath with a sense of humour” according to the Herald newspaper.
If I kill myself I’ll have to use laughing gas. But I’ve missed the deadline for dying young; outgrowing suicide with a little help from Magnolia Rhodiola, Sage Complex, Ginkgo Biloba and magnesium flakes – the closest thing to Valium in a bath.
Like me, Sylvia was mingergenic. There isn’t a good picture of her except the one in the white swimsuit during the platinum summer when her American smile seems to laugh off ECT and the necklace of blackheads on her nose.
Could Mastic Must have saved her? Probs not. Marilyn Monroe, whose luminous photogenic skin ensured her immortality, died the summer before in sunny LA walking the tightrope between glamour and despair. Suicide works in mysterious ways. Plath’s talent or Monroe’s beauty couldn’t save them. Of course mediocrity wouldn’t have helped either. Are you running away from something or running towards something? And why when walking on the moors is it always possible to imagine controlling the future when you definitely didn’t control the past?