I’m alone in the living room. The final of The X Factor is on and my husband refuses to watch it with me. He refuses to watch most of the programmes I enjoy. I understand, but it can get a bit lonely. Tonight it feels lonely.
I decide to knit while I wait for the results to be announced. I made a start on a cardigan for Briar months ago, and it’s been sitting unfinished and ignored for weeks. I’d already crossed the halfway point, and I’ve been urging myself for several days to get back into it. Finally it’s happening. I’m doing it. I pick up the needles and the wool and I sit up a little straighter. I move the cushions aside so there is room for my elbows. I look over what I’ve done so far, and I take the time to reacquaint myself with the pattern. Right. I’m ready.
I’m working on a white stripe and it feels as though I’m going a thousand times slower than I normally would. The needles feel awkward in my hands, and the pinky finger on my right keeps cramping up. I have to stop every ten stitches or so to shake it out, and because I can’t knit if I’m not looking at what I’m doing, I’m constantly pausing to look at the TV. I don’t know why I’m bothering. I wish they’d just hurry up and announce the bloody winner so I can go to bed.
I’m a couple of rows closer to finishing the cardigan and someone is about to be booted out of the competition. I know who I want to win and I want him to win so badly that my heart starts beating a little faster. I put the knitting down and I lean forward in my seat. I have an excited yet anxious feeling in my stomach, and as the host continues to pause I remember...
We’re at the New Zealand Idol auditions, and I’m waiting for my number to be called. We’re just here for a bit of fun, a bit of a laugh really. I don’t think I’ll get in, and I don’t even really want to get in, but I’m here anyway. Karl isn’t auditioning, but he knows I wouldn’t have come by myself. He’s my support person.
I know my number is going to be called soon, but Karl keeps wanting to go outside for a smoke. I keep telling him no, and asking him to please just wait with me, and so he does. I can see he’s getting a bit antsy, but that’s not my problem. I have an excited yet anxious feeling in my stomach. He said he’d come to the auditions with me, so he needs to stay with me. It’s only fair. It's the only way I'll keep calm.
Someone calls Karl’s name and a couple of people I don’t know walk over to us. They start chatting away to Karl and ignoring me, and of course within two minutes they’re offering him drugs. I don’t know how this happens. Everywhere we go Karl runs into someone he knows, and every time it leads to drugs. Usually I don’t mind, but today I do. I just want him to wait until after my audition. After my audition he can do whatever the fuck he wants to do, but I have to stay here and wait and I want him to wait with me. He said he would.
Karl tells me he’ll be back soon, and he goes off to the car park. My number is called straight away. I stand up and I feel sick to my stomach, and I wish we hadn’t decided to get high and stay up all night last night. My head is pounding and my heart is pounding and I wish I’d had a shower and washed my hair and put some nice clothes on. This was supposed to be fun, but now Karl has gone off and left me here alone and I don’t want to do it anymore. I don’t want to be here.
I get called into a room and there are three strangers sitting behind a desk. They’re not the real judges. They’re just three regular people. They ask me my name and they tell me to sing and I don’t know what to do. My legs are shaking and my mind is racing and I can’t leave the room until I sing something. I feel like I’m sitting up on the ceiling watching this crazy girl muddle her way through the first verse of a song.
The judges stop me and they thank me and they tell me they won’t be calling me back. I walk out of the room and I’m humiliated and I’m nauseated and I’m angry. I’m really fucking angry. I can’t see Karl anywhere. I should have known. I should have fucking known he would do this to me.
There are TV cameras everywhere and they’re filming everyone as they make their way out of the auditions. I can’t be on TV. I can not be on TV. I’m freaking out. I turn and I run. I run behind the cameras and out into the sunshine. I run across the car park and back to the van and I unlock the door and I climb in. I sit in the van and I cry, and when Karl finally comes back and asks me what happened I cry even more. I really fucking hate him sometimes.
Excited yet anxious
He tried to make me feel better by taking me to a pet shop, but then I cried because I couldn't have a puppy.