Posted by: Vicky V | October 24, 2009

Spiritual flu symptoms

I said Suze, look, I’m going to drop the whole Bernard situation, like a bag of knives. She choked on her gin with a slice (hold the ice) and was like a) that’s an unsual thing to drop, all I can say is don’t lose your toes in the process and b) what are you, ill? Where’s your fighting spirit?

I said Suze, the truth would stir up a hornet’s nest in the office and make things so uncomfortable that I’d have to leave. This would be problematic because although the economy is sprouting some green shoots (whatever that means, the last time I saw a green shoot was on my rotting bulb of garlic) the jobs market is still dire and it would be hard for me to find anything to pay the bills. Besides, I said, I have elected to pick my battles.

But she was all like come on Vicky, you can’t let bullies get away with stuff like that. This is a battle worth picking.

Nothing like a best friend to put your spiritual flu symptoms in the spotlight. Maybe she was right. Where was my fighting spirit?

I went for a walk along the river to see if I’d left it there. Maybe I’d bump into the cast of several romantic comedies all trying to do the same thing.

I took my place on a bench near Waterloo Bridge and waited for Jesus or alternative non religious spirit guide to turn up and give me the answer to ever lasting happiness. Some time passed and it occured to me that maybe I actually was in a film of my own life and here I was, at the bit where everything is a bit rubbish for the heroine –rented flat that smells of beans, no boyfriend, painful unrequited love, no career prospects, an identity crisis and podgy tummy – until a man with broad shoulders and the same set of modern issues as me rocks up to my bench with a bag of caramelised peanuts, Surfjan Stevens on the stereo and spare pair of cashmere gloves to deal with the biting wind of Autumn and life in general.

When I could no longer feel my feet and internal organs, I elected to leave this rather slow film on the basis that it could take years for Jesus and my future husband to find me here. Unless they had both been sitting next to me all along, disguised as a mad tramp (speaking in tougues) and a kid with a death wish (ketchuppy fingers near my new J Brand jeans, I don’t think so buddy).

Then I looked at the booksellers under Waterloo Bridge and I thought, one day those people had an idea to sell some old books under a bridge. I don’t know what the circumstances were that led them to make that decision; why they chose books over cakes or clothes or religion or stress tests at London tube stations. The point was, they had an idea and from where I was standing it looked a whole lot better than office nemeses, the smell of the office fridge, mad bosses, empty staplers and commuter’s armpits at 8.32am every morning.

I have ideas. I just need to find the centrifugal force in my salad spinner, the bit where I’m the sun and everyone else are the planets that orbit around me, the film where I’m Robbie Williams and everyone else is the audience and sound mixer and the person who puts Fijian water in my dressing room.

So I went to a shop in search of my inner salad spinner and purchased a mat, some comfortable clothes, a candle that smelt like cut grass and some ear plugs in preparation for some hard core meditation.

I can’t say my first attempt at zen like calm was a box office success. I concentrated on the words “battle”, “salad spinner” and “planets” until I fell asleep and dreamt of a sci-fi scenario where King Radicchio kicked the crap out of his arch nemesis Sir Iceberg before they both got blown to bits.

Nevertheless, I decided to try meditating again in the hope that one day it might bring me closer to the bit in my film where everything starts going right. “Going right” would be me (aka the heroine) turning on my Christian Louboutins and riding into the sunset with an impossibly handsome young buck, having wowed all her friends and family with her major achievements…. I have a feeling Buddha might find this all a bit materialistic so I might just keep it to myself for the time being.

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