My bottom used to be public domain. During the late 90’s, if you lived in Brighton, you could get an eyeful of it most Saturday afternoons.
I was a party girl extraordinaire in those halcyon days. The days when the hangovers were bearable and the Ecstasy was as pure as the white dove stamped into its chalky surface.
I had so much fun back then, I was reckless, extrovert and eager to please. Those character traits mixed with a serious fear of missing out meant I never slept. Friday nights fell into Saturday benders that stumbled into Sunday come downs. I always managed to carry on and be last woman standing, even if I was somewhat askew.
Those crazy nights were spent dancing, talking shit and trying to look inconspicuous when hiding from bouncers in nightclub toilets. Then home to watch the sun rise and plan the drinking binge.
I tackled the anguish of the odd terrible hangover by ‘drinking through’ it. I got to the pub as it opened, leant on the bar and ordered ‘a half’ and from there it was downhill. A semi-conscious amble around town led from one haunt to another. From pub to club to house party. I don’t know how or why? but those all dayers somehow always progressed into me exposing my blotchy arse to the municipality.
I’d be hammered to the point of blackout at 2pm, swept up into a world of drinking and friends. I had no understanding of time or life beyond the smiling faces of my mates. Nothing else mattered. We were a tribe that couldn’t be infiltrated, a land beyond ours was incomprehensible and totally irrelevant. We’d be falling out of pub doors onto warm cobbled streets, laughing and lurching around with no consideration of the people going about a normal Saturday afternoon.
But, on occasion, I had a sudden jump out of my bubble of booze and boisterousness. Moments when I came to, snapped back to reality and got insight into how I was perceived by others and by my community. It wasn’t a nice place to visit.
Once, I caught the glare of a unimpressed old lady who was wheeling her shopping bag behind her, she must have done her shop and was heading home from Tesco and there I was tucking in my Pat Butcher leopard skin silk shirt having just lifted my top and shown my nipples to my friend as a joke. We were cackling like a pair of drunken old witches when my eye caught hers. I didn’t know that old lady, but she looked offended and somewhat concerned? I guessed her first thought was…
‘The youth of today! Disgusting!’
I suppose young girls in her day didn’t flap their tits around for all to see, I mean, even a bit of ankle had men hot under the collar in her day. I must have been a real disappointment to her, a terrible representation of a young woman. But it was her look of concern that hit me in the heart. She was worried about me. She probably wanted to take me home and make me a nice cup of tea and put a warm blanket over my legs. I felt my cheeks blush when I realised her eyes were on me. I was so embarrassed, even though I was drunk I felt ashamed.
This judgment from righteous outsiders happened a lot. I’d be minding my own business, swan diving on a pavement or sinking a jug of snake bite during a drinking competition… when I’d notice sober person watching nearby. Sets of squinty, inquisitive eyes landed on me, innocent bystanders observing my madness. Faces I didn’t recognise gawked as I swayed from side to side spiling my pint.
Prying eyes hurt me somewhere deep within. I turned away and stuffed the pain back down from whence it came. I told myself I didn’t care what people thought of me, I dismissed concern with a deep breath and an extra shot.I cured my sense of self-hatred by ordering another round. I erased my humiliation with alcohol and my night continued.
“I’m having fun. Drinking is fun. I am fun! Stop giving me the evil eye you old bat!”
I went back to my gaggle of back slapping friends. The ones that applauded my tom-foolery. The ones that made me feel accepted. My night owls. They liked seeing extra skin, it was funny, I’m sure it was funny? My flesh flashing wasn’t seductive or sexual in any way, it was the opposite... it was a progressive message, a ladettes call to duty.
“Look at me, I’m a woman and I can drink, flash and screw around as much as a man, Fuck you all!”
I was a sort of feminist punk with tiny white tits and a pink spotty behind, rebelling against my femininity by becoming everything women hated about men. At least, that’s what I hoped, but my message of liberation got stuck down the side of the sofa with a few misplaced pound coins and a condom packet from a ‘consensual’ one night stand.
Being a lady lad made me do stupid things.There is one incident I still cringe over. You know when something sticks and taps away at you forever…
One Saturday evening, after a huge bender, I was getting belligerent. I had a crowd of my friends encircling me doing stupid dancing. I was arseholed. Falling over, knocking over drinks and slurring at anyone that would listen. Hot Chocolate -You Sexy Thing came on and one of the blokes we were with did some excellent hip pumping onto the ground like a possessed Chippendale. I couldn’t let his dance be the funniest of the night so I entered the circle, arms spread wide to make my claim. I did some extra thrusting, some rubbish break dancing and ended my jig with a full moon. Perfect! The crowd went wild… but as I raised my head from my bent position, my hand raised ready to accept high fives, I was faced with a family sat at a table eating fish and chips.
My lardy arse had eclipsed their battered cod. I’d mooned right there, within 20 centimetres of their dining table. It was 5pm. I could see the light of the Summer sun in the window behind them. I was mortified. I felt my face redden, I secured my belt, smiled and said,
‘Enjoy your dinner’
The dad grabbed hold of his nearest child’s head, forcefully twisting it around like an over zealous massage therapist, thus, averting the gaze of his uncontaminated offspring. He couldn’t bear the thought of his precious baby absorbing anything from this drunken idiot next to fried feast. He mouthed to me,
I went. Head bowed.
I had become the person you avoid in a lonely park, the person you pull your kids away from, the drunken unpredictable stranger you circumvent on the tube.
I felt dirty and sad.
Whenever this happened, when I flashed out of the pissed-up debauchery and witnessed my behaviour, I felt upset at myself and embarrassed,
I must look like a total maniac, I thought,
I just flashed my arse near some children,
This isn’t right.
I pushed those puritanical thoughts from within me. Those fleeting truths were too much to take on. So, I coped by drinking more and any questions that arose in my head about my behaviour dissolved as I swigged back another Redbull and Vodka.
And on and on it went.
I drowned out my own voice and Ignored the part of me that knew I should be kinder to myself. There was a smart side of me that knew I was acting like a twat to be liked. Putting on a show for others to enjoy. It wasn’t making me happy, but I was too far gone to stop. To wasted to consider change. Anyway, I liked getting wasted with my mates didn’t I?… what else was there?
I thought I had to be that bottom showing baboon forever.
Since giving up the grog my bum exposure has lessened. My cheeks are kept clothed, protected from the people. A few close family members still get to admire my soft wobbly privates, but the rest of humanity is spared. I feel no need to show my nether region off like a horny Macaque. I have no-one to impress. That monkey is as foreign to me now. I don’t know her. She is busy scratching her hairy arse in my past.
My body is more precious to me now. It’s cared for and loved. I was out of control for a long time. Sobriety gave me back that control and allows me to live without shame.
So, leave your bits in your trousers, your tits in your top and for god sake - don’t stay for just one more! Oh, and if members of the general public are yanking their scared children away from you then possibly, it’s time to reach out?
And don’t get to the point where people were bored of seeing your bum.
“Oh, there she goes again, that girl with her bum hanging out. Bless ‘er. She’s here most Saturdays - waving at cars and mumbling to herself…..the poor love doesn’t seem well”
Keep your bums under wraps people! x
pic - me taking care of my body by pretending to eat some green things - I stuffed a hazelnut swirl in my face straight after this photo. #chocolatevice