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  • Writer's pictureAlex Sim-Wise

The Brain Edit - C


In case you are new, The Brain Edit is my batshit blogging experiment where I try and catalogue my brain the same way I would my house - alphabetically!


Note: I started writing this in September last year and THAT is both how big this category is and also long I have procrastinated on writing it. To be fair I have gone through a lot in that time (mostly Covid) and I did always intend to come back to this but I think my initial aim of a blog a week may have been a tad ambitious, especially keeping in mind my rampant perfectionist tendencies and the weird place I have to go to to write. Another part of it is that I was so bummed out with B being Boring that I started to question whether this is all a worthwhile process, but having gone back and read a few I think it’s worth another go.



OKAY, let’s see if we can smash a bit of C out to try and make my way through this (bloody massive) project. Gawd, what was I thinking? It’s alright though as no-one actually reads this.


Who reads a blog nowadays? We’re all too busy cry wanking ourselves into oblivion over our electricity bills and collective obsolescence in the face of A.I..


C is such a massive one as well, so many things we could cover; Cringe, Cocaine, Cults… but lets just start with:


CAKES


Everyone loves a cake and I have baked many a cup and birthday cake in my time but my favourite is probably the spread bumhole cake I made for my husband’s 30th birthday, or a cock cake I once made on a whim because someone at the pub I worked at mentioned it was their birthday and I randomly said that I could. So I did and it was EPIC. It was an iced red velvet cock cake with veins and pubes and a happy little face on the bell end. I even put cream cheese frosting inside the balls and up the shaft. If you’re gonna bake a cock cake you have to go ALL IN and do it balls deep. It tasted amazing.


A cock cake with veins and pubes and a smily face on the bell end.
The legendary cock cake.

My grandma taught me to bake when I was a child and it was always my favourite thing to do. Many a summer was spent in her sticky kitchen making cakes and pies and biscuits. She was so good at baking that she didn’t use recipes, she made most of what she made on sight, which is something that I can only aspire to. I don’t think she would approve of the genital cakes that I make but I still remember her creaming the butter and sugar for me in a brown bamboo mixing bowl when my hands got tired. I think of her every time I bake and it makes me miss her so much, but her baking presence also makes me happy that she passed her skills on to me. Cake immortality!


Recently I realised that the reason I like baking cakes is because it is one of the only things I can fully concentrate on and lose myself in. The same goes for knitting. I like how it is a process where you have to get every part right, otherwise your mistakes are obvious, which adds the kind of pressure that I work well under. The same pressure you get from an imminent deadline that forces you to hyper-focus, except this time it’s relaxing.


Also: fun fact. I love baking cakes but I don’t really like eating them, something about the sweetness and the texture grims me out a bit.


CHEATING


Cheating is a big fear of mine, both doing it to others and being on the receiving end of. I guess because I grew up with it happening in my family and saw how utterly destructive and devastating it could be. Of course, in my twenties I had plenty of experiences of being cheated ON - one particular boyfriend, let’s call him The Cheater, had a running count of at least eleven instances (that I knew of), from which I would always take him back because our relationship was disgustingly codependent. I actually have a theory on it that no-one ever talks about or admits, but if you are someone who has abandonment issues, the buzz you get from winning someone back after being cheated on is like crack. I spent my whole twenties in rubbish relationships because of that buzz. I can still feel it now, it felt SO GOOD, but it was hard won, and the lows you have to reach to experience it are, in hindsight, totally not worth it.

When it comes to cheating on other people I have only done it once in my life and HATED it. I would put it up there as one of my top ten worst most horrible experiences, not because of the person I cheated with but because of the fact that I was actively hurting someone by doing it. I guess I just wasn’t expecting it to make me feel abjectly terrible inside - it honestly hadn’t crossed my mind. I thought because said boyfriend had cheated on me (a lot) that I would feel fine or even good because they deserved it. But no, it doesn’t work that way. At least not for me. However, I’m glad that I have experienced doing it because it has made me never want to do it again.

So there you go - my thoughts on cheating, of the relationship kind. My thoughts on cheating in life (like in tests) are pretty similar in that I won’t do that either. I hate being dishonest in general, really. It’s probably the Autism but I find it painful and difficult to lie.


CHEERLEADERS


Oh god, cheerleaders. Where to start? I have long held a fascination with cheerleaders, probably due to all the American teen movies I devoured as a kid. Before they were pedo predators on Netflix, cheerleaders were alway seen as the sexy, pretty popular ones - something that I absolutely was NOT - so a special interest was formed.

As with some of my other special interests, as a teen I created this inner narrative where on some other plane I was actually a wildly popular American cheerleader and when times were tough I would retreat into this mental world. I was so obsessed with the idea that I actually I wasn’t some awkward unpopular chav that would wear nude shiny tights with Reebok classics that I begged my parents to let me go to America for real.


Which bizarrely, is exactly what happened.


Chunky baby Sim-Wise
Me, living the American Dream

When I was 17 I was sent to Grove City, Ohio to go and be the world’s laziest Au Pair and while there I got to meet some actual real life cheerleaders. And let me tell you, they were EVERYTHING I had built them to up be and more. For a start their names were ACTUALLY Madison and April, and they were ridiculously tanned and petite and beautiful, just like the films. Madison was blonde and April was brunette and I met them at a pool party at Madison’s house and everything was like a dream. I was so excited to be there. I remember going to the party wearing all new clothes that I had bought from the mall with my au pair money (XOXO black tartan mini skort, Steve Madden mules and a Fiorucci t-shirt). I felt so pale and awkward, but as I walked into the kitchen her older brother who was a college footballer checked me out and I was so thrilled and embarrassed and vaguely terrified that I accidentally walked into a wall.

I lived in Ohio for two months and in some ways (like the pool party) it was everything I expected and in other ways it wasn’t. As I was from England I was considered the local oddity and got taken on a lot of “dates” with guys and girls who ran the full popularity spectrum: cheerleaders, basketball players, band geeks, nu metal kids… but they weren’t like UK dates, we would literally just drive to the mall or somewhere and hang out.

I noticed that even though the kids I met were the same age as me, they acted a lot younger and more childishly than I had expected. To me they acted like they were 13 or 14 and it was difficult to find things in common as language differences was a MASSIVE barrier. Early on, in an attempt to impress, I made the mistake of telling Chris, the captain of the basketball team, that I was a “party girl” back home (what was I thinking? I hate parties) and he went totally weird and distant on me before I had to explain to him that in the UK “party girl” means you like going to parties before HE explained that in the US it means you are a rampant slag. Then we had a joke about transatlantic differences and I taught him what “Wanker” meant and he taught me the word “Queef”.


Everyone my age there was a virgin, even Chris. Having grown up in the Coventry environment where sex was widespread and my friends were shagging, drinking, and/or pregnant from age 12, I found the American emphasis on purity and chastity kind of wild. The only people who were actually shagging were the nerds. So, despite my exoticism and that initial interest from the college footballer, Ohio was a very sexless time, which was probably for the best. However Ohio DID introduce me to high school football games and the possibility that I might have ADHD, so there were a few positives. Basically if you have ever watched Friday Night Lights and wondered if high school football games are really like that, I can attest that yes they are and they are possibly the most exciting teenaged social event that I have EVER been to.


After my return from Ohio I was so entranced by American football and cheerleaders that I started plotting ways that I could bring a bit of it to the UK. Which in true Sim-Wise style went totally tits up, so I will save that for another blog.


CHILDREN ( as in Robert Miles’)



Literally only added this as it came on while I was writing this but I have a vivid memory of being in my best friend Lee’s bedroom with her blue 90s striped duvet cover listening to this song when it had first come out with us both rocking back and forth and pretending to play the piano and it being so weird and funny and emotional that we started crying. Just full on bawling to Robert Miles’ Children.


OMG, didn't he die? Now I am sad.



CHRIS REILLY

I can’t believe I am putting this in as it’s a real person, but I think it Is key to understanding my psyche. Chris Reilly (always the full name in my head, never just Chris) was the first person that I kissed that I actually fancied. Only trouble was that I only realised this AFTER we had kissed, which was kind of good in a way as if I had realised before I wouldn’t have been able to do it, but bad because it meant I would never be able to do it again. Or at least not for a while until I had aged a few more years (I was 15) and built up a bit of fake confidence… which in hindsight makes me wonder whether I did actually fancy him, because years later I did kiss him again and it was awful.

But I mention Chris because he was the start of my obsession with the unattainable. Many crushes would come and go after Chris but the ones that stuck were the ones I couldn’t have and I think there is probably a lesson in there somewhere in that as soon as I got them I lost interest. There was nothing particularly special about Chris, he was just shy and tall and dark-haired and played football. I find it funny now as my husband looked a lot like him at school and was shy and tall and dark-haired and played football. I definitely have a type and I often think my husband is the amalgamation of everyone I have ever fancied. The final level boss. Like if all that Cum DNA created a person (see: Cum).



CHRONOLOGY


It’s quite possible that I am obsessed with chronology - I love nothing more than knowing the order things happened in. You know those pictures you see of autistic children where they have arranged all their toys into a neat ordered colour coordinated line? That’s how my head would LIKE to be with chronology. Everything in its year, month, date order.


Ahh… the DREAM.


Unfortunately I also have ADHD so that kind of order is near impossible.


Trust me, if I was more organised and could remember everything in my life it would all be in there like some demented Panini scrapbook. I can just imagine holding it up: “…and THIS is the time all of my friends spat on me.”


CLASS


Alex Sim-Wise dressed in a Benetton jumper, Adidas jacket and kickers shoes.
Me dressed up as every "Townie" girl in 1996

As a British person I am fascinated by class. It’s just so weird and pointless and British. Also, having ingratiated myself into a posh people clique at university, it was then that I realised that there is basically NO difference between people of different classes (they all just want to get wasted) just a coded list of pretences. Now, I like a code, as a code is a pattern and a pattern is something that can be learned. So here is what I learned:


Can you learn to be a different class? Yes.


Can you escape the class that you are? No.

Basically I don’t think that you can ever really escape the class that you were born into, because you can’t change your upbringing, it’s in the past. So no matter how well you do or how much money you make, your upbringing will always define you.


As a side note, I was born working class and I am proud to be working class, but I like pretending to be other classes as I think it is fun.


CLUTTER


Imagine, if you will, a very cluttered library or a hoarders house and that is what parts (not all) of my house and all of the inside of my head is like… and also what I am trying to avoid by sorting everything in my head the same way that I would sort my house - into nice neat containers. I dunno if it will work, but it’s worth a try!


I hate clutter. Hate hate hate it. But I also find it hard to avoid, because if you have ADHD you have to be able to SEE stuff to know that it is there - which leads to piles of stuff, which leads to bags and boxes of stuff, and ultimately rooms of stuff. Fucking STUFF. I hate it and have literally spent the past year trying to get rid of it all to varying degrees of success.


BTW as a FYI there is a direct correlation between the state of someone’s house and their mental health, hence why firefighters have to refer people to social services if their house is too cluttered. It has it’s own scale and everything. Basically, the way public services see it, the more cluttered someone’s house is, the bigger the health risk and the more likely they are to have emotional issues.


So there’s that.


COCAINE


I never had that love affair with cocaine that everyone else I hung around with in the noughties did. If anything I thought it was a bit overrated. I did it for a bit of course, but I don’t think there was ever a point where it didn’t low key terrify me. Just the idea that one line could randomly kill you was enough for the FEAR to inhabit me every time I did it, so we were never a 100% good match.

I did my first line of coke in 2007. I was in a messy relationship with the cheating guy (mentioned above) whose entire life and social group (and one could argue, personality) revolved around doing lines of coke, preferably ones he hadn’t bought. I guess I wanted to see what the fuss was about and was in a sufficiently miserable place where my desire to self destruct outweighed my considerable drug phobia. So I did it and remember my heart racing and being able to stay up all night and that was about it. After that it essentially became a massive part of my social life for the next year. Every night we would go to a gig, find the afterparty, find someone with drugs to cadge off of, find someone’s house for the after-afterparty, stay up all night being insufferable twats dancing and watching YouTube videos, pass out on someone’s couch at 9am, wake up at 4pm and repeat. There was a big group of us and it was all everyone did. The vampire life.


I guess I did it because I liked feeling like I belonged to a group, and it was fine as long as the coke was communal. But then I moved away from that particular group and started buying my own coke and doing it alone in toilets. I told myself it was for “confidence”, but I had never needed it previously. It became this secret crux, something that I needed to socialise rather than something that was good to have but not totally necessary. That was when I knew I had to quit.


As my friendship group changed from indie boys to metal munters, so too did the drug of choice, and suddenly everyone was doing Mcat, Ketamine, and MDMA. I never liked the idea of Mcat, it made the people who took it look deranged, but I did a lot of Ketamine and MDMA to predictably bad ends. Truth was drugs made us all dull, and I look back on those times with those groups as a big black hole. Sure it was fun and I got a bunch of mental photos out of it, but I wouldn’t go back there if you paid me.


COCKS


Alex Sim-Wise with cocks painted on her face and forearms
Casual standard cock-inspired party attire.

I love a cock but I have this running joke with my husband that all women have cock amnesia - that we can’t remember what cocks look like aside from the current one we are sucking. I don’t say that to pander to his ego, I just think it is funny.


I only remember vague things about cocks - I remember one that was leaky, one that was brown, one that was long and pale like an undercooked bratwurst and one that looked like a button mushroom - all head and no shaft - but I don’t think I could pick any of them out of a line up.


It’s funny because men spend so much time worrying about their cocks when actually women don’t give a shit. Or maybe I am just saying that from the confident vantage point of someone whose fella has a big one (humble brag). Or MAYBE size doesn’t matter and the only cock we DON’T want is one that is curved upwards, because that bastard will hit the cervix every time and ain’t nobody got time for that.


But seeing as we are on the subject of cocks, and having just watched Betty Blue again, I would just like to add that I LOVE seeing cocks in films. Fucking love it. Flaccid or hard I don’t care, I love that shit. I reckon 99% of cinema would be improved if it had more cock in it.


Don’t want to see that shit in my inbox tho, no.


COMICS


See Copying.



CONSPIRACY THEORIES


I don’t necessarily believe in conspiracy theories - I would never sit on the internet arguing that 9/11 is an inside job - but I do believe the royal family is a bunch of pedos and I am open to most theories being true. Having seen how fucking batshit and shady the modern day celebrity system is, I don’t hold out much hope for that world, nor do I believe that humanity is basically good, because it’s not.


Hope for the best but be open to the worst is my motto.


COPYING


My ability to copy is a quality that I now recognise as my ability to mask. I always found it strange that I found it hard to create something original myself but I could copy other things or people very easily. I think it stems from an exceptional eye for detail and a deep discomfort with being myself, because myself was always weird or too much… so I would find people that I liked or looked up to - usually famous people like Britney or J-Lo - and mirror them as a way to cope and/or fit in.


Later on this developed into boyfriend mirroring - where I would become the person I thought they wanted rather than the person that I actually was. I would develop the same worldview, interests, even sense of humour, to the point where I would start to lose myself and forget who I was. If I am honest, I probably started doing this with my dad. He was hyper-critical and forever finding new hobbies and interests (bowling, horse-riding, skiing, airfix models) that I was expected to join him in, that would then be abandoned after a couple of months. It made it really hard for me to stick at stuff, partly because a lot of the time I couldn’t carry on with a hobby even if I really liked it because I had no-one to support me in doing it once my dad’s initial interest wore off, and partly because, well, I have ADHD.


If you have ever lived with a narcissist then you will know the importance of keeping them placated and of keeping them happy, even though it is an impossible task. Growing up my dad had a very grandiose opinion of himself where he basically saw himself as better than everyone. In his eyes he was always more intelligent and more cultured and he was always ready with a cutting remark for those who were not. I grew to dread those remarks so I tried to be the cultured well-behaved child that he wanted, essentially to avoid verbal and physical abuse. I learned to copy and mask in my own home and while I don’t have to do it with my husband it has been a hard habit to get out of.


Also, when you peel back the layers of fake interests it can be hard and quite sobering to see who you really are underneath it all. It can make you feel like you have no real interests at all, which is tough. I was actually surprised by how many of my interests were fake or no longer relevant. Comics were a big one. The only comics I actually like are Tank Girl, Junko Mizuno, and Junji Ito, the rest was all boyfriend-led.


COVENTRY


I’ve written a lot about Coventry, much to the chagrin of my mum and the people I grew up with. I get it, it tries, but by all accounts it is not the best place in the world, especially not in the eighties. It had a certain small town dog eat dog mentality back then that even now I don’t think it can shake.


I feel a strange pride in coming from Coventry though - it being the hard faced place that it is. I found it character-building. No matter how well you do, someone from Coventry will always try to bring you down a peg or two so I never felt like I could get too big for my boots. I remember at the height of my modelling career going back home to the Old Clarence Pub to show the lads I grew up with my modelling portfolio and being rinsed for having “prickly nips”.


The Coventry that I grew up in was rough, poor, and violent. I saw scenes and put myself in situations back then that looking back were absolutely mad. Even now when I look up people I grew up with, nine times out of ten they are in prison. It’s no wonder that it’s not my first choice place to go back and visit. But I do miss it. There is an honesty in rough people that I like. I find them easier to be around as you know what you are getting. They either like you or they don’t. With more well-mannered people it is hard to tell, they can be more duplicitous and that I struggle with.

Growing up in Coventry made me less afraid. It made me always stand up for myself in a fight. It made me more empathetic and aware of people from different ethnic backgrounds, but it also made the culture shock of going to a posh school in London (and later university) REALLY hard.



COVID


What the fuck is Covid? Other than this thing that has made me absolutely terrified of BREATHING. FFS.



CREDIT CARD COMPANIES (also file under: CUNTS)

As you can see why website is looking quite sparse of late - that is because credit card companies and payment processors are cunts and have deemed the content in my shop “pornographic” despite it very much NOT being pornographic. So fuck them in their stupid beady eyes. As if they are not into internet porn and being shat on.

I mean, honestly. Come ON.


CRINGE


Alex Sim-Wise cringing so hard she is on fire.
Me, cringing so hard I am on fire.

As a child and as a young adult, I used to cringe a lot. I am naturally quite a thoughtful, introverted person prone to awkwardly breaking wind or making social faux pas and for years I would feel the embarrassment of those micro interactions to my very core, until over time I guess I must have grown hardened to it. I literally cringed so much that my cringe function broke, and I became somewhat immune. Now nothing really embarrasses me. Well, not the things you think would embarrass me anyway. I shit myself in public very early on with my husband and don’t remember being embarrassed about it at all.


The only thing I worry about now is interactions and whether I said or did the right thing, because conversational skills are not my strong point.


CULTS


Fuck me this is getting a bit David Icke. Having said that I did go through a phase of reading his weirdo forum. I guess I just like knowing stuff. That’s why I would hate being in a cult. I like reading about them though, I don’t really know why. My current “special interest” is Mormon cults. I find Mormon men really attractive? Maybe it’s the snazzy uniform or their tendency to kill their entire family in fits of rage. The fittest one is that one in Physical. I don’t know why but I find repression so sexy, maybe because I am (secretly) massively repressed myself.


CUM


I once saw this woman argue on YouTube that as a woman you keep a little bit of the DNA of everyone you have ever fucked inside you and while I know it is probably bullshit, it really freaked me out. Imagine that? The way they argued it was so convincing, but I can’t find the video or remember the argument now. I hate the way weird shit like that just sticks in my head.


Cum is so funny looking anyway, I find it simultaneously repulsive and hilarious. It’s like mother nature’s joke. Did you know that when you get it in your eyes the reason it makes them so sore and red is because your eyes are really similar to your eggs and the sperm is trying to penetrate them? I mean that could be bullshit too, but it’s food for thought!


As a side note: I actually like getting cum in my eyes. I am one of the 0.1% of women who enjoy it. I have no idea why.


CYCLES


My brain works in patterns and cycles and it has taken me YEARS to firstly acknowledge that I have them, and secondly figure out what they are. My special interests follow cycles too - they are: Twin Peaks, Rose West, Walt Disney, Bioshock, Bettie Page, Amelie, Martha Stewart, Fred Rogers, Freemasons, Tank Girl, Mormons, Playboy, Marilyn Monroe, child stars that died, Silent Hill, Chippendales, baking, cheerleading, and New Urbanism.


I am currently on a Chippendales cycle, thanks for asking.


In addition to my special interest cycles I have certain private life cycles that make me prone to spiral into depression and while I’m actually in a pretty good place at the moment I am always looking at ways in which I can improve. A lot of staying on top of depression cycles is figuring out what my triggers are when they are not always obvious. I don’t know what these depression cycles are linked to - whether it is the moon or hormones or periods - or whether it is just the way that I am. For me, two of my biggest triggers seem to be dreams and music so I try not to dream or listen to music too much. I know if I start lurking on certain people or making complicated spreadsheets or listening to individual songs repetitively that I must be on a cycle, but sometimes it can take a while for me to realise it is happening. My husband usually notices before I do, because I turn into a ghost.


The only way I can explain the ‘ghost process’ is that if I get scared or if I feel so much that it gets overwhelming, I completely retreat into myself so that externally I become a blank shell. But of course I don’t realise that I have turned into a blank shell because my mind is so active and constantly thinking to the point where everyday life becomes a secondary dream state. I am only present internally to myself, not externally to other people, and real life gets completely zoned out. This mind tunnel is the same place that I have to access to write, which is why I try to avoid doing it, even though the results can be positive.


So that’s it - C. I hope you found it interesting.


Sim xx

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