The Very Metal Diary Of Cleo Howard

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October 1997

Wednesday 1st October

I went back to school today. Everyone is being really nice to me, even people who are usually bell ends. None of the teachers are nagging me for any homework. All the niceness is just reminding me of the fucking huge horribleness of not having a Dad any more. Also, I don’t want to become known as that sad girl whose Dad is dead. I don’t know what to do right now Dear Diary, everything feels weird. I think I just have to carry on as normal but nothing feels normal and nothing normal matters to me right now.

I read up to where the class is in Brave New World this evening. There is a bit where children go to the hospital where people die so they don’t get scared of death. No one would write a diary in Brave New World because they are encouraged to spend all their time with other people. At the start of the book I thought it was a good place to live but I’ve changed my mind.

I listened to Faster Pussycat’s “No Room for Emotion”. I know they are glam but Taime hits the nail on the head; “I’ve got no, I’ve got no room for emotion, It’s like a cloud dripping radiation right on my head”. It’s from a mix tape that Lizzie made for me and gave me today. She hasn’t put any Bon Jovi on it. She said she wanted to do something nice for me.

Thursday 2nd October

I didn’t want to get out of bed today. I felt like if I stayed here and didn’t see anyone or do anything then nothing could go wrong. Mum came in and asked me if I was ill. I said no. I was late to lan’s and had to change really fast. He hummed the Benny Hill music while I changed. I’m not sure why. He’s strange but adorable.

Friday 3rd October

When I got home from school I could see Mum had been crying. She pretended to be okay. I had just ice cream for tea and Mum didn’t moan. Have all the rules changed now?

Saturday 4th October

I left to go to the pub just as Blind Date was starting. None of the men on offer had long hair. When I got to the Green Man loads of the men had long hair. There were so many hotties Dear Diary, including T-Reg. I think it’s true that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone, as Cinderella sang. School is duller now he’s not there. I sat next to him for most of the evening. Just smelling him makes me smile. He said I’ll ace my GCSEs and so will Ian and Jenni because we turn up and we’re smart. He said the teachers don’t want anyone to fail, because it makes them look like bad teachers. He worked in a house this week where the woman had left her naughty knickers on the bed so he could see them and she made him and his boss a cup of tea and Boasters biscuits. I haven’t even given him a biscuit, let alone shown him my knickers. Mopey Dick said the charms of an older woman are manifold.

Sunday 5th October

Manifold just means numerous or varied Dear Diary. I watched my Red Dwarf videos. Poor Lister, it must be rubbish being the last human but he is having more fun than Ann Burden did in Z For Zachariah. I got up and did some English coursework because I didn’t want to think about nuclear war. My brain seems to get stuck on topics at the moment Dear Diary, I have one troubling thought and then it hangs around for ages if I don’t try and squash it.

Mum said Dad would be proud of me, beavering away at my homework. She has started talking about him a lot. She never used to mention him. Since I heard Pop Will Eat Itself’s “Beaver Patrol” I no longer think of big toothed mammals when I hear beaver. It’s Mrs Slocombe’s pussy all over again. I have a badge which says “I’m a Butlin’s Beaver” which I’ll probably never wear but will keep forever to remind me what it’s like to have a happy family.

Monday 6th October

Brave New World has now got Shakespeare in it. There is a savage who is not part of the Brave New World and he has read all of Shakespeare. I like that in Brave New World contraception is all sorted out and babies are grown outside women’s bodies and having sex is just a pleasant activity. We could do with some of these ideas being reality right now (the bit about deciding people’s social class and abilities before birth is maybe a bit troubling, but not much more so than when they split us into separate Maths groups based on ability at the start of school).

Mum has stopped making me come straight home on Mondays and Fridays. I tell her I’m going to the library to do my homework sometimes (and sometimes I do go to the library), other times I hang around in town or walk in the park. Today I went into town with Shot. She needed some safety pins for a T-shirt she’s customising. She said you can’t buy decent punk clothes anywhere in Reading. She said when she’s eighteen she’s going to go out in London wearing just black masking tape over her nipples, like Wendy O Williams. She said Wendy O Williams gets misunderstood and what she does is not about sex, but is really about power.

I had cherry pie filling out of the tin for tea. I got my period today. I’ve just looked back and I didn’t even have a period in September. Everything about that month was wrong and screwed up.

Tuesday 7th October

Donna Harlow told me she thinks she might be pregnant. All of my reading of problem pages has paid off. I know exactly what she should do. I told her she has to do a test as soon as possible. This is not one of those problems that will get better if you leave it. She said she can’t afford to buy one. Her options are a) borrow the money to buy one, b) steal one, c) go to her family doctor (she won’t do this, her Mum would go abso-batshit-apeshit-lutely mental crazy if she found out, she goes to church every week and thinks all sorts of stuff is a sin and doing it most definitely is. I gave Donna the fifty-seven pence I had on me.

Wednesday 8th October

Donna’s cousin has bought her a test. She’s going to do it tomorrow morning. Ian came round after school. We didn’t bother with Kerrang! this week because there was too much Green Day. Shot hates Green Day. She says they are punk-lite and commercially appealing drivel. Mum was at work until eight. We had chicken and mushroom pot noodle and listened to Machine Head.

Thursday 9th October

Donna is not pregnant. She said she is going to be really careful from now on and as soon as she’s sixteen (next month) she’s going to go on the pill. I asked her what it’s like having sex. She said it’s rubbish at first and it hurts a bit then it gets better and then you want to do it all the time. Her boyfriend isn’t at our school. He usually uses a condom but once he didn’t have any so he said he’d pull out and he forgot he wasn’t wearing one and didn’t pull out, leading to Donna fearing she was pregnant.

Brave New World has now got too much Shakespeare in. The savage has gone a bit bonkers because of all the Shakespeare in his head and he’s called the girl he loves a whore. I know what it’s like to be driven mad by Shakespeare becuase we had two essays on Macbeth to do last term.

Friday 10th October

I watched Ben Elton on telly tonight. He gets very worked up about trains. The last train I went on was actually really brilliant but it was years ago and we were going on holiday to Butlins. I got a chocolate bar from a machine on the platform. I can still remember the noise the machine made when you pulled out the drawer of the chocolate bar you wanted.

Saturday 11th October

Mum said some of my pants were getting tatty so she gave me some money to buy some more. Me and Jenni went to C&A and I got some red lace ones and some black lace ones. You can sort of see my pubes through them! Mum made a really strange face when I showed them her. She said she thought I was going to get some cotton ones, like the ones that have got tatty. I wore my new pants to the pub.

Shot looked amazing tonight. She was wearing a customised Dr and the Crippens T-shirt, a leather skirt and lime green fishnet tights. Bob said he’d love to get caught in Shot’s fishnets. She said she prefers men not boys! Wendy O Williams dated Lemmy and I bet if he’d been in the Green Man tonight Lemmy would have fancied Shot.

Dazza said Goths and black metal heads are compatible but black metal heads and Bon Jovi fans are not (although I happen to know he has snogged Ella). Ella wasn’t out tonight. She has a date with the cute guy who works in HMV and wears nail varnish and eyeliner.

Sunday 12th October

I’ve swapped tatty pants for tarty pants. Hooray! The thing I like best about writing a diary is that if you think of something clever to say the day after you can say it, whereas in real life you can’t.

I walked through Prospect Park and under the big oaks. It felt very calm and still underneath the canopy of the huge old trees. I had Type O Negative’s October Rust album on my Walkman.

I wish I could have a normal Sunday with Dad but that’s gone forever now.

Monday 13th October

In Brave New World there is no senility which would be great for Nanny Brooks. Also, most people aren’t individuals (like at our school when everyone wears the same top from Miss Selfridge) and those that are stubbornly individual get sent to an island. This could be a great place but there is no heavy metal in Brave New World. Our homework is to finish reading the book. English homework doesn’t always feel like homework to me and this is one of those times.

Jenni, Ian, Matty Bateman and I went to the fair in Prospect Park. We went on the ghost train and had some candy floss. We saw loads of people from school. Charmaine Payne asked Ian to go on the big wheel with him. He said he didn’t like heights so Matty went on with her.

Tuesday 14th October

We went to the fair again. I wish we hadn’t because we saw T-Reg and he was holding hands with a girl. He said hello to us but didn’t introduce us to his companion. Ian tried to cheer me up with some fruit nougat. When I was on my own this evening I thought about something the vicar said at Dad’s funeral. He said “We’re born into sin and we die into sin”. That is bollocks, don’t blame me for stuff I haven’t done. I have enough trouble with Mum at the moment. She is alright one day and then really arsey the next. I finished Brave New World and it ended with the savage killing himself. I wanted him and Lenina to have sex but they didn’t.

Wednesday 15th October

When I heard Concorde fly over today I wished I could just fly off somewhere. One day Dear Diary, it’s going to be me on that plane, going somewhere exciting very fast. I’ve never flown anywhere but it looks amazing. Maybe if I do well in my A levels (yes, I know I have to get through my GCSEs first) I could become cabin crew on Concorde. Minty said she thought of doing this but decided to go to university instead.

Gods list (international)

Glenn Danzig

Pete Steele

Christopher Lee

Dave Lister

Rob Zombie

Dave Mustaine

Elvira Mistress Of The Dark

Rob Newman

Barry Thompson

Tank Girl

Jonathon Davies is sort of fit but maybe only because he looks like Rob Newman who I have fancied absolutely forever?

Gods list (Reading)



Jenni’s Gods list (international)

Robert Smith

Andrew Eldritch

Trent Reznor

Pete Steele

Kenny Hickey

Johnny Depp

Kiefer Sutherland

Marilyn Manson

Tommy Lee

Nick Cave

Jenni’s Gods list (Reading)



Thursday 16th October

We did a weird thing in English today. Miss Wallace told us to write where we’ll be in one, two, five, ten and twenty years. How am I meant to know? I don’t even know what’s going to happen tomorrow, I’m not Mystic Meg. This is what I wrote Dear Diary:

In one year I’ll be sixteen. I will be old enough to legally leave school, to leave home, to buy cigarettes and to have sexual intercourse. I hope I’ll have seen Alice Cooper in concert and been close enough to the stage to be covered in fake blood.

In two years I’ll be doing A levels. I want to take English Literature, Sociology (probably, it’s what Jenni’s Dad teaches and it sounds okay but I haven’t done any of it yet) and Psychology (which is lots of writing essays). I will be almost old enough to buy alcohol.

In five years I’ll be working in a shop like my Mum does probably and I’ll have left home.

In ten years I’ll probably be married and have children.

In twenty years I don’t know.

I will be thirty-five years old in twenty years, almost as old as Mum is now. She often says her life didn’t work out how she expected it to. I’m not sure that I want to get married. I’m not sure that I want to work in a shop. I do like the idea of working in WH Smiths or in Thorntons though. The only things I’m sure about are that I want to see Alice Cooper and I almost definitely want to have sex (but it has to be with someone worth it).

Friday 17th October

Some bits of school are easy Dear Diary, like Textiles or English or ignoring the nonsense that Carina Norman comes out with, but some things like Maths are much harder. I hope I don’t fail Maths because it would be embarrassing, but I’m not sure it’ll affect my future career because a) I don’t know what my future career is, b) I’m very unlikely to pick a career that has loads of Maths in. Jenni told me today that there is some Maths in Psychology called statistics.

Mum bought me a Curly Wurly.

Saturday 18th October

Mustaine is dead. I cried. That goldfish has taken some of my deepest darkest secrets to his watery grave. I hope goldfish heaven is full of lush plants and loads of friendly fishes to swim about with. I’ve just remembered I don’t believe in heaven. Where is my Dad?

I went to the pub to drown my sorrows (two Malibu and Diet Cokes) and something brilliant happened. I saw Barry and he asked me if I wanted a drink sometime, just me and him! He asked me for my number and gave me his number! We arranged to meet on Friday night!

Sunday 19th October

I spent all day wondering what to wear on Friday. I want to look sexy but not like I do it on first dates.

Monday 20th October

Today I feel angry and horny. Bruce Dickinson and David Baddiel were on Never Mind The Buzzcocks tonight.

Tuesday 21st October

Mark Dobbs had a copy of Mayfair today in Maths. It had the word “bazoomas” on the cover. It’s a pleasant sounding word, I like the “zoom” bit in the middle. I feel really anxious today, like someone else I love is going to die. I know that’s stupid, but I just feel scared. I’m trying to distract myself. I wish I was somewhere cool, like at the Whiskey a Go Go, drinking JD with Lemmy, instead of stuck in Reading where mainly bad stuff or dull stuff happens (with the exception of Barry of course, except he hasn’t happened yet, but he will on Friday. I can’t believe I have his phone number, technically I could just ring him up and say hello).

Wednesday 22nd October

Ian and I went to see Betty on the way home from school. She asked me how I was feeling. This is the first time I’ve seen her since Dad died. I started to say “I’m very well thank you, how are you?” But I just started crying. She hugged me for ages and told Ian to make us a cup of tea. She said when she lost her Alf it broke her heart. She told me the sadness would always be there, but little by little, each day would get easier. She told me to come round any time I wanted a shoulder to cry on or a cuddle.

Thursday 23rd October

Carina Norman was trying to get the girls in our class to admit if they had ever done a blow job today. No one would say because they knew full well if they said yes they’d be branded a slag and if they said no they’d be called frigid. She gave up asking me fairly quickly because she got no reaction at all, I just pretended not to hear her. Donna Harlow asked her if she had and she said she’d say after someone else did. Jenni said “Always a follower, never a leader”. Carina asked Jenni if she ever had and Jenni said it was none of Carina’s business. Matty Bateman lent me his 2000AD to read in Maths.

I had a new fruit today at Jenni’s. It was called a physalis. It looked better than it tasted.

Friday 24th October

I met Barry after school. It was great apart from at the start. I think he thinks I’m in the sixth form. I think he sort of assumed I am because he’s seen me in the pub and I didn’t say anything because I didn’t know what to say. If I told him I wasn’t he might think I was telling him in case he was going to have sex with me tonight and then I’d look arrogant, like I think he would obviously want to have sex with me. Also, we were in a pub and the bar man was nearby so I couldn’t say I was fifteen. He took me to a quieter pub than the Green Man so we could talk. I had thought about all sorts of potentially awkward conversational stuff Dear Diary, like suppose he says he likes a shit band or suppose he asks me if he can come in when he walks me home, but I wasn’t prepared for this. I also didn’t tell him about my Dad. I already feel like I’ve got a big Rob Zombie style cross on my head at school, marking me out as that girl with the dead dad that might go mental. I found out that my teacher had told the whole class what had happened when I had a week off.

The pub he took me to for a drink was lovely. It had leather chairs and a chandelier. There was hand cream in the toilet. I had a vodka and lime (a bit more mature than a Malibu and Diet Coke I thought, Dear Diary). I let him do most of the talking; he told me about the people he works with, about his Mum (his parents are separated but he sees his Dad still. I told him my parents were separated but didn’t elaborate), and about his plans to eventually do up houses and rent them out. After we’d been talking for a few hours he kissed me! On the mouth! He tasted of lager and Embassy No. 1. Apart from me being my stupidly shy self I had a great time. He kissed me again by the massive hedge up the road and said he’d take me for a drink again. He’s going to ring me on Wednesday.

Saturday 25th October

Jenni asked me if I was still in possession of my chastity after last night. I told her I was but maybe not for much longer because I’m going to see Barry again. I told her all the details about last night. She told me she really, really likes Lex but knows he’ll be going off to university. I think she should just snog him anyway. He was out tonight and he always talks to her. She also really, really likes Dazza though. She thinks she should pick one but she can’t.

Sunday 26th October

The clocks go back today so I get an extra hour of weekend. I feel like I’m wasting it. Nothing seems important any more except going to the pub and Barry.

Monday 27th October

Today I mostly listened to White Zombie and felt restless.

Tuesday 28th October

I stayed up late writing my English coursework and while I was doing that I wasn’t thinking about my Dad being dead or about Mum being annoying or all the other niggly stuff in my head. It’s really good to focus on something intensely and exclude everything around you for a while. I actually want more English homework.

Wednesday 29th October

Kerrang! is full of Ozzy this week. They’ve spoiled it with a Bon Jovi poster though. Barry phoned me. Mum was out when he rang so I could talk fairly normally to him. I’m seeing Barry not this Friday but next Friday, which is ages, but he is working a lot and I’m going to a party at Jenni’s this Friday. Barry could only meet me on Friday because he’s doing overtime and I’m not allowed out late during the week. He said he’s looking forward to seeing me again!

Thursday 30th October

I went to HMV with Jenni. She bought My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult’s A Crime For All Seasons album.

Friday 31st October

Today is Jenni’s favourite day of the year (apart from Christmas, her birthday and Easter). Jenni’s parents are letting her have a small Halloween party while they are out at their friend’s fiftieth birthday party. Mum said I can stay over at Jenni’s, this is brilliant because it means I won’t miss any of the party. Jenni invited me, Ian, Lex, Mopey, Dazza, Shot, Ella and Lizzie to her party. She made bat shaped cookies and pizza. Ella suggested we play spin the bottle. Jenni got to kiss Lex! He looked too happy to be a Goth. Dazza looked sort of gloomy. I wonder if they both know that she likes them and both wish the other wasn’t there as competition?

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