Hang Yourself – By @saphire_rose
By Saphire Favell
Today, a woman called Tracey told me to hang myself.
No, really. She did.
She just sat there. In her questionable blue M&S vest and slightly paunched belly and actually advised me to strap myself up and hang myself.
‘Bit extreme isn’t it?’, I replied between gobbles of beans molasses on toast and a couple of awkward side eyes.
‘No. It works.’
Lol k hun.
She says she woke up in so much pain that she ripped her bedsheet in half, tied it around her bed and her neck and then threw herself onto the floor.
At this point, as I am sure you can imagine, I was very confused and concerned for my safety.
‘No really you should try it, that’s how I got the feeling back in my leg. I’ve done it a few times now. I’ve been toying with the idea of investing into one of those Medieval upside down torture tables just so I can hang from my feet’.
She lent back into the wall, sighed and rolled herself a fag, And then blew most of it into my lunch.
‘And I’ve got to go to court later because of a fight I had with a couple of policemen a while ago. Very messy. Very stressful. And! I’m in the middle of an argument with Brighton council because they banned me from swimming but apparently I can go spear fishing. But how am I meant to spear without getting in the water?’
At this point I’m planning my exit strategy and wondering if I should call the police on this maniac.
And that’s when I realised. Bloody ‘eck. She must be pretty desperate for someone to listen to her if she’s literally making conversation with the back of my head. Poor gal.
So half afraid of being spear fished from behind and half relieved to listen to someone else’s turmoil I close my lappy, swivel myself around and give Tracey Big Beaker the hot seat. Tracey, it turns out, is a very busy woman. When not working she resides on a yacht based in Brighton (I guess that explains the spear fishing!?) and fought the police because they beat her up for being trans. She knows all about being upside down/osteopathy/backs/nerves etc hence the ‘hang yourself’ comment. FYI by the feet. Not the neck. Or something anyway.
Turns out that what Tracey clearly misses in the art of conversation is the fundamental step of setting up a story.
If Tracey had been a little clearer from the get go I wouldn’t have presumed her to be the new local serial killer. All I heard was ‘hang yourself, ‘fight policemen’, ‘court’ and ‘spearfish’. Doesn’t exactly make you think of rainbows and safety does it.
Which then made me think about our duty as creatives to deliver the full story to the consumer. There’s no room to be cryptic or illusive. You only have a mere few seconds to sell the whole story you’ve been conducting in your head for an eternity in a quick blink. That’s not easy. Which is why it’s absolutely essential to check with your peers, mates or tutors if they get your work. Most of the time they won’t.
So don’t be a Tracey. Be Opaque. Like tracing paper.