As I walked home across Blackfriars Bridge the other day, wondering if the woman in front of me was a human being, I realised that sugar makes me weird.
To be more accurate, it was actually as I was sat at my desk afterwards vaguely considering putting the tweezers I was holding into the plug in front of me that I snapped back to reality, but I was vaguely aware it was weird at the time.
When I was in primary school I was obsessed with a series of books called The Mennyms. They were books about human sized dolls trying to go about their existence like normal people and not get discovered and they were blooming brilliant. Just thinking about them now, I want to rush home and dig them out of the garage and read them all over again. My absolute favourite Mennym was Soobie, who struggled to fit in most of all because his fabric was blue. It is because of Soobie that I am still the proud owner of a blue doll from Year 6 needlework. I had to pretend to really want a blue cushion to pull that one off – we were only allowed one piece of fabric for the year so most people went for peachy/pinky flesh tones, but this was the height of my mania so I planned ahead.
(Writing that paragraph I have been struck by two further asides:
- I was taking said needlework class at the turn of the century. From this sentence alone, it’s not actually possible to tell which century I mean – this is true of so much of my convent school primary education.
- It’s probably a bit racist that we were meant to choose pink for our cushions so we could make flesh coloured dolls. This didn’t occur to any of us at the time – I think two Chinese kids were the extent of our ethnic diversity – but I am proud of ten year old me for being weird enough to not stumble into casual racism.)
Cut back to 2012, and evidently my Mennym-love has been lurking in my subconscious because here I am, staring at a woman in front of me, seriously considering if she could be a doll. My sugar-addled mind thinks the evidence is good – her skin seems impossibly soft and even, her hair could conceivably be knitted delicately from fine wool. “If only I could see her face,”I tell myself, “the eyes will give her away.” Sadly, or perhaps fortunately, we quickly reach the point where I need to either turn off to head home or actually begin following this stranger. Thankfully for all involved I make the right choice, but I do catch a glance of suspiciously glassy black eyes over my shoulder as I walk away, and my inner-child’s heart soars.
After nearly electrocuting myself with my tweezers I traced my sugar high back to a particularly sickly Starbucks I had treated myself to after the second pensioner hair encounter. As I entered sugar sobriety, I had a similar realisation to the one readers of this post have enjoyed – sugar makes me really weird.
I don’t usually have much sugar, a fact which at this stage is probably both relieving and telling (Yesterday I had a mocktail at a bar mid-afternoon and had to have a sit down when I got home because the sugar had given me a headache.). However, my edgy new London lifestyle is clearly exposing me to such hardcore substance abuse. Next thing you know, my frappuccino won’t even be a skinny.