Tracey Emin: My Life in a Column

I'm only interested in men who inspire me. I wish a man over 25 would make a pass
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The Independent Online

As the mood quietened down a little, a very nice women leant across the table and said, "Tracey, I have an address of a extremely good dentist." I smiled really boldly and said, "So have I - it's 40 Harley Street. What's the address of your really, really good dentist?" "Don't get me wrong," she said "I was just saying that you look so pretty but ..."

At this point I went into a full blown Vicky Pollard, "Yeah but no but, you see my dentist says there's nothing wrong with my teeth." I then had to carry on smiling for the rest of the evening, aware that every American in the room with perfect dentures thought I was a freak. There is nothing wrong with my teeth, except the bottom ones are very, very sharp, and I rarely ever kiss anyone because my mouth is full of metal. And I am afraid to go out in forked lightning.

Nip and tuck

What's shocked me lately is the amount of people I know having nips, tucks, Botox, mini nose jobs, boob jobs, people I would just never expect. I think people can do whatever they want with their bodies, but I am surprised that these people are afraid of looking old. Every day when I look in the mirror there is something new I don't like. At the moment, it's fat, and I am determined to lose five kilos before I go to New York. I would also like to have my spine removed, washed in salt water and put back again, if possible before I go to New York. It's like wishing your arse smelt of lemon, imagine what lemons would smell like.

Sometimes it doesn't matter how old or how young you are, like it would be really great if a man over the age of 25 would make a pass at me. I look at them and I say, "You just don't get it, do you? I am old enough to be your mum," at that there little eyes open wide and I realise I have just said the worse thing possible. I have resorted to "Now sod off and go and do your homework."

What is it with boys and women? They wouldn't stand a chance intellectually, socially, morally - in all ways, I would whiplash them to hell. Why are people interested in fucking people who are not up to their intellectual par? I am only interested in men who inspire me, who turn me on mentally as well as physically, the perfect pen pal.

Well preserved

My recent news is I have replaced the mental replacement programme (she is not a thespian and the concerts and cinemas were getting a bit much) for the self-growth liver replacement programme. I asked someone, "How do you get rid of wrinkles?" and they said, "Stop drinking alcohol."

No, seriously, I have worked out why I drink so much. You know those high-flying businessmen - the company directors, chief bankers, the hedge-fund guys - the ones that like to go to baby clubs and secretly lie around in giant cots wearing terry-towelling nappies, sucking dummies and wetting themselves, simply because they can't cope with the amount of responsibility they have in their daily life? Now me, I wake up at five in the morning. I never stop thinking. I never stop working. The only time I do is when I am drunk out of my skull. When my main priority is getting home safe, getting up the stairs, getting into bed and not vomiting in my sleep.

I am just too bright for this world. But I want to be happy. Unhappy liver, unhappy kidneys means unhappy blood, which means sad broken heart. I am too good for all of that and, for the age of 42, I am pretty wrinkle free. Old bird well seasoned. Last week when I said I was going to sort myself out, people always assume the negative. I am getting ready for my show in New York, which opens on 5 November. Given the choice between passing out in a restaurant or cosily sitting on the floor of my studio and making drawings, I know where I would rather be. In fact, where would you want me to be?

Oh, I forgot to say I passed my driving test (with five minor points). That's what I was doing when I said I had to sort my life out. I have never passed a test in my life for anything (apart from the odd pregnancy test). When the examiner said I'd passed, I just sat there in the seat and cried. Small step for meercats, giant step for Tracey. Come on, boys, let's drive.

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