Cringe.

For a while during my mid twenties I thought I wanted to be a stand up comedian. Hilarious, I know.

My reasoning was that my physical appearance couldn’t become a hinderance in the same way that it had been when I was attempting to be an ‘actress’. If you sit in the grey area between size 12 and 16 as a lady, it’s quite hard to get work. Even if you’re good.

I was average and a size 16, so stand up obviously the way forward.

There’s a night that runs in Brooklyn called Cringe. Fundamentally people go and read from their teenage journals in front of an audience. Willingly. Hilarious, I know.

It seemed to me that this was somehow my ‘in’ to stand-up. I would be my material.

I only read once. It was fucking terrifying.

A few months later, Sarah Brown the founder of Cringe, emailed asking for contributors to a book she was putting together after the success of the event.

This was mine.

“I WANT CURLY HAIR AND TO BE HAPPY.

This is my first entry thingy and I’ve decided there’s going to be no more bullshit from now on. I think I might actually be able to do this, I will, for the elephants, they’re cute.* I’m going to write when I feel like it and have the time cos otherwise I will read this in a couple of years and think ‘damn I was boring fuck.’

*My diary at the time had an elephant design.

***

I went to the markets and Shrin’s birthday which were both pretty cool but I just feel totally depressed. Ashlie lost it to Simon, it really makes me wish I had someone to sleep with. I don’t even think I’d care if they didn’t care about me.

Oh yeah and David is a complete asshole I wish I had never met him. He can’t see past the fact that he had to pay to come down here so no matter how he acts I’m supposed to excuse it because he bought a fucking plane ticket? Why are boys such assholes.

I’ve been loosing it completely recently. I don’t know whether I am generally fucked up or it’s just being a teenager that makes me upset.

I really want a boyfriend. I want someone to think I’m sexy and funny and talented and intelligent cos no one else does and it’s not right to think that about yourself. I hate my family. I want curly hair and to be happy. Suicide is the only way.

These entries were written in 1999 when I was fifteen. I had moved schools that year from Queensland to New South Wales (in Australia). The transition was hard and I had trouble fitting in…Hence the angst.

David was a boy I’d had a crush on at my previous school. he flew to Sydney to be my formal date. I had really wanted to lose my virginity to him but he wasn’t remotely interested, so I lied to all my friends back home and said he’d tried it on. After this, David didn’t want to be friends anymore which was shocking to me at the time… I was outraged that he had had the audacity to say I was ungrateful for him (or rather his parents) paying for the plane ticket to come and be my date. I was awful.”

My entry was edited for submission to streamline to the story. The reality was much more convoluted than what is presented here.

At some point I will regale you with the story in it’s entirety but it’s worth noting one theme runs consistently throughout anything that happened to me between the ages of 13 and 20.

I was awful.

The book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cringe-Toe-Curlingly-Embarrassing-Teenage-Diaries/dp/184317345X

London Cringe on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/CringeUK

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