Thursday, October 2, 2014

EXTRAORDINARY WORLD

Many people feel it's not acceptable to write too much about your own life. For years, I was told by newspaper editors who I respected greatly not to be too confessional in my writing, and I listened to them. But my life has been so bleak and absurd and violent, full of too many depressing stories to keep hidden, that in July of this year they finally began to spill out.

First, I wrote this piece, which touched on my violent childhood, the fact that I was attacked and suffocated while pregnant, and the threats I received during the atheist bus campaign, leading to my nervous breakdown. I explained that I take an anti-psychotic, an anti-convulsant and an anti-depressant every day, and will probably have to for the rest of my life. Since then, I have briefly mentioned how violent my father was during my childhood, how I was anorexic, and how I self-mutilated during my teens. (I am now estranged from my parents and brother.)

But until its publication today on the Guardian Music blog, I had never written about the most fantastical element of my childhood: the fact that, between the ages of 16 and 21, I was friends with my favourite band, Duran Duran. They let me hang out with them in the studio, laughed and joked with me, listened to songs I wrote, and let me come to all their gigs for free. After my childhood, it felt wonderful to be accepted by the people I most admired in the world. I was suffering suicidal ideation at the time, and the band's acceptance gave me hope that life could get better.

So here is the piece: http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2014/oct/02/duran-duran-ordinary-world-dream-of-meeting-them-different-life

When I first wrote it, I sent it to my best friend. He replied "Its biggest problem is that it sounds so improbable, like a highly embroidered teenage girl's fantasy. If I didn't know better I might doubt its authenticity. But that's just your life... I've had a lot of time to get used to the hyper-reality you inhabit, but others haven't! There's nothing you can do about that, though."

Though I wasn't overly worried about proving the story's authenticity, because of all the photos and paraphernalia I had kept from that period, I was very cautious about it. First I sent it to Simon Le Bon, to check he was okay with it. In response, he took me out to dinner. I hadn't seen him for five years, and it was lovely to spend an evening with him. 


                                     

Next, I contacted Riazat Butt, the Guardian's former religious affairs correspondent, to check that she remembered receiving the letter from Simon. (She did.)

And lastly, I spent an afternoon with the girl who stuck the maths compass in my back at school and was one of the worst bullies. She was lovely, and now has a child my daughter's age. We talked about the bullying, and it felt oddly freeing to be able to look back, aged 34, as our children played together, and to think: it's okay. It was all okay in the end. 
































12 comments:

  1. Omg Ariane.... what a schoolgirl dream.... how wonderful. Me and my buddy Bev are so jealous. Especially the pic of u and her 1st love Nick Rhodes!!! My fave was John Taylor. X

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  2. I have to confess, I never liked Duran Duran much, hope you don't hold it against me.

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  3. Thanks Lisa! Nick Rhodes is lovely. I actually never met John Taylor as he had left the band when I knew them.

    Guillaume: Of course not!

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  4. Hi Ariane! I am deeply touched by your sad childhood story, and the fact that Duran Duran helped you and saved you in so many ways. Amazing story! I'm a big fan of DD music, and I feel that I could be a fan of your own writting, so honest and yet lovely. It's kind of a miracle having the chance to bury the hatchet with a former bully. By the way, I also listened to The Lovely Electric. I hope it will make it. Sounds great! Greetings from Buenos Aires! Edison

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  5. I have loved DD since I was a kid in the early 80's. Their Pop Trash album remains one of my favorites. My hat's off to you for having contributed to it. You are very lucky.

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  6. *squeal* You literally lived my dream. While I was going through my own hell of preteens/teens when I found Duran right at the time when you were hanging out with them. (Medazzaland and Pop Trash our my records) I survived by daydreaming and imagining exactly what you got to experience. Excuse me while I deal with being happy that they actually were accessible and kind and sad that I don't live in England so it didn't happen to me! *shakes fists* Okay back to cultivating my fan fiction....

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  7. @Edison: Thank you so much for your kind comment. I'm really pleased you enjoyed the piece - and very glad you enjoyed our songs! Wishing you all the best from London, England.

    @T-Bone: Pop Trash is great, isn't it, especially Someone Else Not Me? I do feel very lucky (though my contributions never appeared on the album).

    @Erica: I think Medazzaland is much underrated (it and Pop Trash aren't even on Spotify!). Sorry you went through a similar hell to me in your teens. Not living in England means you've escaped our terrible weather (unless, of course, you live in Scotland...) Nice to meet a fellow Duranie!

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  8. How awesome is that?!? Being pals with your favourite band when you were young. I'm totes jelly m'goat!!

    I used to regularly contact JR. Goldman (who taught guitar to Head and Munky from Korn). Just have a daft laugh or discuss weird politics.

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  9. My apologies if my anonymous MILF comment in that now-deleted entry had anything to do with your removing of the whole thing. Sorry.

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  10. Oh gosh of course not - please don't worry! I just realised I didn't have time to upload every entry so decided to delete them. You can see them if you follow me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ArianeSherine

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  11. wow... great posting... keep blogging ariane, your blog is amazing, i'm blogger too. today i was create a posting about 2016 isuzu dmax australia in my blog.

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