I Have London Tourette’s
Ordinarily I am mild mannered to a fault; barely able to say ‘pssst’ to a budgie let alone ‘boo’ to a goose. This has changed somewhat recently. The pressures of living in London, haplessly navigating the thick fog of selfishness and emotional incapacity, have made me uncharacteristically aggressive. This is coming out in short, sharp bursts of London Tourette’s.
A large woman (think ugly and humourless Dawn French) smashed into me on the South Bank recently and as usual I apologised immediately; guilty for my own existence as if I were a crack in the pavement the council had neglected to repair. Upon said apology she turned, looked me dead in the eye and sucked her teeth. Ordinarily I’d just walk on feeling worthless but this time I yelled ‘RUDE BITCH’ as she walked away. Much like my pubescent teenage erections at school I don’t know where it came from and I couldn’t control it.
Later, when the man on the little Tube speaker declared ‘move right down inside the carriage’ to a packed platform that resembled a well dressed cattle stampede I yelled, again without intention, ‘fat lot of fucking good it will do’. Some laughed, some looked on in pity and some tutted. I cared not, me, whose ultimate desired superpower has always been invisibility!
It’s not just strangers that cause the onset of my unique disease. I’ve had the worst flu of my life recently and my colleagues have demonstrated the emotional capacity of a houseplant, calling me a thousand times yelling out requests like belligerent Madonna fans screaming for an encore.
Growing up with several terminally ill cancer patients I put health above all else and will strive to lessen the burden on those that are ill. Selfish, career-obsessed Londoners would rather see me buried in my own trough (I’m convinced I had swine flu – man flu more likely) than let their timings slip. These recent bouts of selfishness have had me yelling ‘for fuck’s sake’ and ‘selfish c*&ts’ at short, uncontrollable, intervals. It’s all pouring out of me, like a repressed housewife who’s embarked on an illicit affair.
Had I remained in my native West Midlands I’m sure this little defect would have developed in old age, yet London has once again been the catalyst for oddness.
It’s strange, socially unacceptable, but weirdly liberating. I’m also pretty sure that an accompanying twitch is developing which I will embrace whole heartedly.
Image by antjeverena courtesy of Flickr