This week I’ve been getting the feeling I belong to a cult. The Westerners cult.
My aunty was a member of a sex cult once. This is not that type of cult.
Instead, it’s just a group of people who happen to be white and happen to speak English. I don’t know who the leader of the cult is as yet, but I have a feeling it’s not me. And whereas I can fully accept that there is some higher spiritual being who is directing my life (with such inconsideration), it enrages me to think I am answerable to another human. This is why I’m single.
Since the cult formed, I feel like there’s been a lot of answering, a lot of justifications. No, I’m not in a bad mood, I’m not coming to dinner because I’m just not hungry. I sense that I am no longer an individual, but rather a tripod leg. I unknowingly went to Vegas and married all of my friends. I guess my plan of dying a lonely old spinster has gone right out the window.
Aside from the cult being completely sexless, the additional problem is that it has morals. There are unspoken rules.
When I lived alone, the only person I had to answer to in the morning was the mirror, oh, and you know, sometimes the occasional guest. And my mirror was quite generous when it came to my lifestyle. It didn’t give me that frown or raised eyebrow if I accidentally brought a stranger home, nor did it judge me if I didn’t fancy meeting my friends for dinner and pretended to be sick. My mirror has seen some ghastly sights in its lifetime and is quite comfortable with my frivolous antics. You know why? Because if I’ve had an exciting night of passion with a man I met in the taxi rank, I go to the mirror in a morning with a big rosy red smile spread right across my face. The mirror does not condemn such a smile.
Everyone in the cult seems to have eyebrows. They have one which moves up and down and synchronises with me speaking. It’s perfectly okay for the Cowboy to make paedophilia jokes and tell me that all British people have bad teeth, but I happen to mention I want to get laid and those eyebrows get seriously agitated. They also get pissed off if I have more than two cigarettes in the space of an hour or if I talk to strangers. Speaking to ‘the others’, those who are not part of our cult, seems to be the greatest infidelity. But if they think they’re getting in the way of my spinster destiny then they are wrong.
There’s something to love about everyone in the cult. Panjita is my best friend, I just wish people would stop treating us like we’re lesbian life partners and accept that we are two separate people. Canadia is one of the loyalists, so obviously she deserves some respect. Turns out, Mr Arty Farty’s blog is actually much better than mine, when he’s not criticising my teeth the Cowboy is pretty funny and even the dude who came to Taiwan for a free colonoscopy has his good points. But sometimes you can just get suffocated by all that creativity, bowel cleansing and child pornography humour. It feels like everyone is competing to be identifiable in the Western cult. I just want to be able to choose what movie I watch on an evening without having to get acceptance from seven other people.
Now I have to be very careful about what I’m saying here. I perhaps made the mistake of sharing my ramblings with those I know. Now I guess it’s turned into the Bible of who and what I am. All I want to say is please don’t kick me out of the cult. I NEED YOU. Just wanted to be clear on that.
However, I do think it’s time we started seeing other people. Before we turn into the cast from friends. Which is why I have started meeting strange Arabs off the internet. And I can see your eyebrows doing that Irish jig they’re so fond of right now, but please listen, the mirror said it’s okay, and that seals the deal. The day I go to that bathroom and I’m greeted by frowning schizophrenic facial hair, I promise to review my behaviour.
And as it turned out, the Egyptian man from the internet we were all so worried about in fact has a thick Southport accent and is whiter than most Spaniards. He was just a fellow cult-breaker, looking for a friend outside of his circle. I know you checked for Jesus sandals at the front door when you came in from the pub at 5am, but despite what you may think of me, I wouldn’t bring strangers home when I live in a glass bedroom, the whole exhibitionist thing doesn’t do it for me. Plus, you basically told me I wasn’t allowed to buy a vibrator, so I know the rules.
It just felt amazing to be with one person. A person with whom I could chain smoke and chug a bottle of Taiwan beer without envisaging myself ending up in hell. We sat there and put the world to rights, criticising the government and the British education system without having to pretend to know what the hell we were on about. I could talk about my camel toe without judgement. He genuinely found it funny, as funny as a camel toe can be. So for the first time in a while I felt like Po. Pissed as a fart sat by the lake in Taichung park, which we had to break into because it was sealed off with crime tape, and not an eyebrow in sight. Not even from the Taiwanese people who walked by. They just took out their cameras and asked us to make the peace sign.
I now feel like I’m on the way to finding the right balance between Cult-life and Po-life. Perhaps I can pretend to have morals when I’m in the cult. Maybe I’ll buy some nicotine patches. And a patch for my mouth, just so I can keep all my crude sexual comments to myself. Then, when I’m out there, meeting kidnappers off the internet, I can just be the dirty, Taiwan beer drinking whore that I am. I think it sounds like a reasonable compromise.
That’s why I should be meeting my male friend again, unless he stands me up. Then I guess the camel toe jokes were too much for even him. Plus, I met a Taiwanese girl for a language exchange. Why have just one lesbian life partner when you can have two? She teaches me Mandarin, I teach her French. Now I know that my French skills are somewhat questionable, but we started with the alphabet, which I think I can manage.
If it all fails, and the Cult do decide to kick me out, then I guess I could give my aunty a call. Because I’m from a family who openly discuss dildos and organised gang bangs. My mother and my nana are currently in Spain, getting matching tattoos and throwing up over the stairwell.
I guess when you’re away you realise, however fucked up they may be, your family are your family. We all inherited the same shit teeth and chain-smoking is our family sport. We’re the cult of fuck-ups, and our mirrors are always satisfied.