girlsdontcry's Diaryland Diary

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My kooky flatmate Lisa.

I used to share a flat with a masseuse, for a bit, and I remembered her recently, no doubt after going for my massage. It was not long after I'd moved to London, in my year of living with strangers.

It used to be that I couldn't forget her, I'd see her face in every redhead that passed by on the street. Because I was paranoid about running in to her. She was nice, she was just too much hard work for me to be completely comfortable with.

She was the first pothead I lived with, and I think that however many years of dedicated smoking had taken their toll on her. Man, if I think I'm paranoid -- she used to run around the flat in a panic when the phone started ringing and then make me answer the phone and this absurd pantomime would ensue where she tried to figure out who was on the phone and whether or not she wanted to take the call.

Her name was Lisa. And her masseuse career was dodgy in that she was signing on for unemployment benefits while she was earning money (I don't know how she managed to get the dole in the UK, because she was from New Zealand). That contributed to her paranoia, along with trying to avoid our nutty German landlady because she hadn't paid her rent.

I was, I guess, pretty na´ve but trying to act cool when she told me things like the fact that one of her clients was a really attractive Arab business man who was interested in her, but that it would never work out because he only wanted anal sex. She was the kind of person who'd offer to lend me books about men (you know, those self-help kind of books) and tell me about Chinese love ball things (or whatever you call them, I can't look that up, I'm at work), and she wasn't like the people I was used to.

And I remember her holiday -- she kind of disappeared for several weeks, and came back with dysentery (well, maybe it wasn't that bad, but it was bad), after spending her holiday with a tribe of Bedouins. Primarily, I think, because (so she told me) Bedouin culture involves smoking dope. To cure her dysentery, she got all these Chinese herbs she cooked up in the kitchen, which smelt absolutely foul but seemed to do the trick.

She gave me a Thai massage once, which was really amazing. Where you walk on someone. She was good at that. And she was really nice to me -- she said we'd move out of our crappy flat to a nice place in Primrose Hill. (This flat was really really awful, it's all coming back to me. The Japanese girl downstairs used to come in to use our toilet because she didn't have one.)

But that was the reason I was afraid of seeing her again. I just used to look at this 33-year-old woman (I was 23 at the time) and think how I didn't want to end up like her, renting a shitty flat and all of that.

I was having in a conversation (or was it a competition) about who had the bleakest view of the world, and I just remembered something I pretty firmly believe: You always end up becoming what you don't want to become.

1:09 p.m. - 2002-09-18

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