The Scream.

Posted by Jeni in Ad Infinitum | 27 January 2017

I drove to Ashdown Forest. Just me, in my little red car. A smattering of East Sussex drivers,driving slowly in well maintained old cars. My irritation started to bubble.

'MOOOOOOVE' I shouted. I felt a stirring.

I was driving to the middle of a forest, which is populated by walkers and dogs. I thought I would like to experience the primal Scream.

So I screamed.

Now as a child I always wanted to scream in a Hammer Horror kind of way. But I've always had a contralto cum baritone cum basso voice so soprano squealing wasn't in my DNA. I should have known then that I wasn't made to be a maid.

I screamed again. Opened my mouth and let out a roar. I tried expletives out of the window, but it didn't need words, just an open throated wail.

I could feel my solar plexus open. I screamed again, then again, and soon, despite my earlier musings I let out a soprano scream so piercing that the windscreen nearly shattered.

I screamed past the two pubs. I screeeeemed past the Army Camp, I bellowed at the turn off to Duddleswell Tea Rooms, I was sobbing and screaming, wailing and weeping. By the time I parked the car I felt nauseous. Literally sick to my stomach.

Rachel Riley, the numbers genius on countdown, can't bare the word 'Tissue' It makes her feel sick. The touch of the tissue paper and the association. She would have hated me, for the past year tissues have been my staple pocket mate. At least four man size sheets folded under my pillow, in my dungarees, in all of my pockets. I have a big box in the kitchen, one in the sitting room, two in the bedroom and a couple of boxes in my car.

When I climbed out of my little red car I had three tissues rolled up in my fleece pocket.

It was bitter. The ground still hard. I left my poles in the car boot. Two pairs of socks, lilac wellington boots, thick pyjama trousers, a thermal t-shirt, Jim's 70's fleece and a puffy gilet that should have gone to my nephew but he didn't want it.

I walked to the right. Down the hill, gingerly marking the frozen rivets in the mud. A vast view of frozen ferns, and gorse. Lulu, a scrappy Norfolk Terrier jumped up, a welcome gesture. I walked up the hill. Speaking out loud to myself. The gilet hood amplified my sounds. I said affirmations, I mopped up my tears. Then left at the top of the hill. Past the little water hole, over twisted tree roots, my lilac boots zig-zagging over icy puddles and then........

I saw the ground coming up at me. My wellington boots had let me down, literally let me fall down to the ground. 'Noooooo' the terror of breaking something again. My hands slid along the hard earth. My left knee skidded on stones. Ripped a neat 90 degree tear in my trousers. I rolled over, all four paws in the air like a cat. I rolled around on my back. I had bruised my hip but nothing wa broken. My palm was bleeding. I could pass it off as stigmata. My left knee was grazed, like an 8-year-olds. I used up two tissues to mop the blood. Only one left for my tears.

I walked on, nothing was seriously damaged, after all footballers dive and srape all the time. I walked back on myself, couldn't find the pathway through the ferns. A big shaggy English sheepdog followed by his big shaggy master came out of the thicket. And there was my little red car.

My hands were frozen, managed to unlock the boot. I slid into my seat and examined how many tears were waiting. Interestingly I was all watered out. Nothing left. I had screamed and cried enough.

I threw the tissues away in the Supermarket bin. Shopped for avocados and beer and arrived home bloodied.

This morning the wounds are healed-ish. The cat's shouting for food. Can't do my yoga cos my palm and knee are untouchable, but I will go out for another walk, wearing proper shoes. Just round the houses. I'll take bread for the chickens and dodge the slippery mud. The ground is softer, and after all that screaming, so am I.

Jeni Barnett tells of her scrumptious time at Good Food Live in her first audiobook! Download NOW from iTunes

Comments

1. At January 28, 2017 2:27 PM Lindy wrote:

Now then the thing that struck me is that your screams appear to have been ignored and did not draw any attention from anyone in the woods, that is scary.
You are so accident prone, do please send the oosband out when he returns to purchase rolls and rolls of cotton wool to wrap you up in before you venture out of either front or back door. X

2. At January 29, 2017 5:41 PM June wrote:

I think I might try that Jeni, the screaming not the falling!
After Trumps's endless tweets i think we all feel like screaming!!
Great blog, just like the old Jeni, always painting pictures with words. Thanks.

Much love darling girl
June

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