In a new regular feature, Alice ‘Aggie’ Romeril answers your burning questions about life, love, death, and sociopathy. To submit your own problem to our resident paragon of wisdom and truth, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or to remain anonymous just drop a comment on this very post. Today, she helps Laurie’s misguided soul onto the path of recovery.
I’m starting university next year, but I’m really uncool and have a turbulent past riddled with mild schizophrenia, short spells in prison and a generous helping of sexual confusion. I spend most of my nights heavily drugged, listening to Florence and the Machine and crying into a copy of Wuthering Heights. When my parents told me that a knife and a hoover doesn’t constitute a home liposuction kit, I realised that I need to make some changes. I’m going to read American Studies, because that’s pretty cool, isn’t it? But I have no idea what to wear or how to speak or what sort of friends to make or how to decorate my room so it says ‘hey, I’m cool, collected and sane’ rather than ‘I made soup with my dead cat and fed it to my family’. I know you’ve probably heard this sort of thing a million times before, but I’ll be super grateful if you help me out!
You’re right. I have heard this sort of thing a million times before — and that’s why I’m the right girl to help. Laurie? What kind of sad little name is that? Scrap it now. You sound like an interior designer. You need something that could pass as a prohibition cocktail or a gender-ambiguous cabaret act. Or maybe a tropical disease; the kind that requires an ancient encyclopaedia for diagnosis. In the hallowed halls of Britain’s red brick Universities, a spell in a cell is something that can be used to your advantage. Imagine the kudos you could gain over your home-county comrades down the corridor. Embrace your sociopathy, take it in your stride; accessorise it with oversized EVERYTHING and shakily applied burgundy lipstick. Frame your criminal record and hang it right next to that taxidermy cow’s head. You’re SO interesting! Right? You’re five foot five of beguiling female paradox. That ribbon in your hair? Cute! But did you steal it from the museum at Auschwitz? WHO KNOWZ? As for your friend Florence Welch, replace her with sprawling John Cage sonatas and conceptual Dada playlists. Also, catch-phrases are gold dust. Use them unapologetically. From now on your go-to insult is ‘basic’. Everyone around you is so fucking basic. Tell everyone english is your second language, and when they inquire into your aloof heritage, make one up. Tell them you’re princess of an exclusive republic that your parents founded in central europe to celebrate your conception. These kids fucking love birth rights. All hail princess Leptospira of the Perillan republic.