Sunday morning when he finally popped the bubble of last weekend, he said he wanted to take a few days to do some college work. He hadn’t done anything lately, something about erotic distractions….
Of course, no problem. Cool. Me too, I have to… wash some clothes. Sheets, mostly. I need to do some things.
Clean my house. Bring my shoes in for repairs so I can walk normally again and not worry about the awkward metallic clunk every time my right foot hits the ground. Get my hair trimmed, not cut… he likes my long hair. He likes it but it does get in the way. Just a trim, just a correction of the shitty layers I cut myself one insomniac night when I watched a youtube tutorial of how to cut your hair by making a high ponytail.
I have things to do too, of course, I am an independent woman.
Oh not a night alone, though. Or two or three… Ark.
Amazing how quickly I’ve come to rely on his smell at bedtime. The morning kisses with work tugging me out of bed, fucking work… and coffee together and talk to you later… and walks me to the bus stop and I get a kiss goodbye at 8am in the queue with the other miserable drudges who woke up and pulled on their Zara woman pant suits in their box rooms with peeling wood effect lino, with only their dejected reflections for company.
I board the bus with a smile but the corners start to sag as the bus trundles closer to work.
Sunday afternoon I missed him pathetically and called around for some company. Some friends were on their roof drinking wine, ooh a nice distraction from my lovesick insanity and paranoia that now he is finally sick of me. Clambered up the rusty fire escape and sat near broken wine glasses swigging from bottles of sunwarm rose until the wine was finished and we moved on to a pub. Running to the pub to empty the bladders, and I bump into Antoine and his friend, a slightly moody and high maintenance French man totally unlike him in personality and even Frenchness. Oh YOU! Hi! I chattered my day and took my leave, really need to peee…. see you in a minute.
Came back out and he was gone. Hmph. He texted me to say he was just leaving then, talk to you very soon…
I couldn’t help it, I felt a pang of holy shit, he is sick of my company… he wants out. That’s it, it’s too much… fuck… But it’s not fair, he has been the instigator… he was the one who made it ok for us to see each other so fucking often. Maybe he is bored of me. Maybe some of my anecdotes were boring, maybe all of them? No, definitely told a few excellent stories. But I talk a lot, it has been tough keeping the crazy locked up while letting all the rest of me out… hard to be so relaxed with someone and yet maintain the interest, mysery…… illusion of class…..
Well he’s probably just going to work tomorrow, wants to go home early… stop being paranoid.
Stayed out dancing til 2am. Walked home pissed, clutching my mace in one hand half convinced I was going to be sexually assaulted any minute. Woke at 7am, threw myself out of bed with an urgency only a hangover can give. Normally I lie there and overthink everything and make myself late or get a taxi and usually when I get a taxi I am still late… hung over I ricochet across the room get dressed in my most elegant dress to counteract the three day old sex hair I have been calling “the Brigitte Bardot look” in homage to my French lover and my poor hygiene. Yes, even after sex. I had a shower today though, so that’s ok.
Shuffled to work with bloodshot eyes and the conviction I was sweating wine from my pores. It mingled with used pheromones and spilt ashtrays to create an uber-smell, a reek, an, as we say here in Ireland, “bang”.
I smelt like Charles Bukowski with a vagina.
Caught sight of my hair in a shop window. Oh jesus, that’s not Brigitte Bardot, unless maybe she was once raped by bigfoot. Smooth smooth smooth… lick hands and smooth morning breath on my matted locks.
Feel convinced the whole office will fall silent and watch me cross the room with looks of horror as I settle in my place shaking and emmitting vibes of the debauched. No one looked up except my posse, the Italians and the Germans. They called me hung over but it seemed an insult to my condition.
I stared at my screen for a while as the hot and cold flushes alternated and then my eyelid started twitching something fierce. This has happened a lot since I started work at the office. It is usually annoying but tolerable, but on Monday it was just too much to handle. I sat with an eye covered and strained the other one at white screens and white desks while fluorescent bulbs taunted me from above. Gaaah!
Tried tying a scarf around my eye and head like a concussed pirate. Oh the shame, I go to so much effort to dress classy in this job, every day… and here I am with a flowered scarf twined around one eye and smelling like the person with the empty seat beside them while 10 people jostle for standing room.
I can’t do it, this job. I can’t do it normally, I can’t do it with a hangover, but today I have a hangover and an eye tic and it is not possible.
It is just not possible. I approach my boss and tell her I have this eye thing and can I go home because I just can’t look at a screen. She is understanding about it and says that’s fine, and I don’t have to come in tomorrow just get rest, come back, be rested, and if the problem persists see somebody about it and if it’s a lasting problem then well we will need to talk about it, like reducing my hours or something.
A way out! A way out! Yes! Yes please…
Thank you thank you.
I collect my stuff and gambol out of there like Bambi on the first day of Spring.
Freedom! Freedom! Broke, broke freedom.
And I didn’t notice this monring because it was so early but it’s a glorious day. A friend texts me and suggests we drink by the canal. Oh fuck, you’re in work. Sorry. Actually… I am not in work any more. We pick up supplies and spend the day sitting on an opened out sleeping back by the canal drinking cans of cider (him) and a measuring jug full of cheap wine and expensive strawberries from the supermarket (moi).
We drank there from midday til the sun stopped heating our spot and went home, stoned and tipsy and happy.
What a wonderful day. The only thing was, I wrote to Antoine inviting him to join us. I know you are probably busy today but just in case, it is a beautiful day, we are out by the canal if you would like to join… I mentioned my classy fruit wine punch but left out the part about drinking it from a plastic measuring jug.
He replied, sorry, I’m busy today. Talk soon…
Argh. Maybe some standoffishness is due to the fact that he texts in Engilsh, not his first language….
But that’s not a good message. Is it? It’s not good. I would have sulked and moped and left it til he called me next, maybe two tortuous days, maybe three… who knows. But I was not sober so I wrote him AGAIN.
Later, around 9. I invited him over, but in a very casual way… well, as casual as you can be after having been told “I’m busy” two or three times recently. I was pretty casual. Fuck it, he’s leaving soon, it’s not like I need to worry about the long game. I freaked as soon as I hit send, though.
WHHHYYYYY did I do that?
But he got back to me quickly, yeah I can come over at 10 if that’s ok.
A frantic, jubilant rush to clean things and dispose of the used condoms I swore to him I would dispose of as soon as he left… two days ago. Clean clean clean. Makeup! Some makeup.
And then he was in my place, and he was sweet and he seemed happy to see me and he was kissing me and affectionate and it was all fine, all perfect.
At one pojnt he said to me, I have to tell you something.
And in that moment I felt a stampede of possible things he might say.
“I don’t like you any more”
“I met someone else and she is prettier than you and also blonde.”
“I have aids”
“I am leaving tomorrow”
“I was only being with you for a bet, I bet I couldn’t get an ugly girl with a shit personality to fall for me in 2 weeks and now I just won the bet”
All these thoughts, yeah I’m paranoid but still, I knew he would definitely tell me something I didn’t want to hear…. it made something weird happen in my body. The blood rushed to my face and neck and I could feel myself blushing madly.
Oh yeah? Go on, tell me… I tried to compose my face in a serious, understanding, unshockable, beautiful and interesting expression. But my face was bright red, so it probably didn’t have the intended effect.
He told me…. and it was hard to understand exactly the point he was trying to get across, because the language barrier is raised high and impenetrable, when you talk about important things. It’s very easy to understand and communicate with a non-native speaker, or in another language, when you can stop and ask and repeat and rephrase to get there in the end. But he speaks about something like this, I can’t stop him and ask “exactly what do you mean there, can you just say on a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you like me, and exactly how many days a week do you want to see me so I can plan my entire life around your schedule until you go?”
He said he has been a bit weird the last couple of days, he said… we have been seeing each other for nearly 3 weeks now (umm, no, it’s like… 2 weeks and 3 days. But I’m not counting, so whatever)
And usually when he is with someone, around 2 or 3 weeks he starts to lose interest, he panics, he runs away. He wants to run away, because he is afraid of something big, or what it might become.
And his instinct… his old habits… tell him to run, run away… and that’s why he wanted to take some time to get work done… even if the girl is cool, even though you are so cool… I still have this instinct. But you… you are great. I am fighting my instinct because I am just so at peace with you, you’re great.
(Fuck, I want clarification. Does he want to jump ship? I didn’t even get to finish a blow job in its entirety. That is my deal clincher. Fuck…Does he not want me any more? is he bored? Or just being like… I’m fighting my instinct for you because you are so amazing? Be patient if I get a bit distant because like a school of murderous dolphins, you rock my boat?)
I smile and nod empathy and aloofness. I don’t know how to extract more information from him, maybe if I say the right combination of words he will tell me I’m great again. Maybe if I dig and poke I will look clingy and needy and desperate. Maybe I will evoke a clear but awful answer to all my questions. I smile and nod and his fingers are intertwined with mine, such long fingers and he’s feeling my hand and I’m feeling his and I want him to want me so badly, I want him to fall for me desperately and unequivocally.
I want him to throw away all his good sense and optimistic plans and say, fuck it, what will WE do?
But I’m a mad bitch like that, I learn nothing from my mistakes. Such a good thing in the long run that he is going to France. I have enough sense not to move to France and nonchalantly stalk him before sneaking past him in the boulangerie one day and exclaiming, “Sacre Bleu! What a surprise! What are YOU doing here? Shall we… get some brioche and have a catch up?”
Don’t look at me that way, I totally have more sense than that.
But look what happened to me, look how bad I got it. He’s 21 and he’s never had a serious relationship, and I’m 24 yes only 24 but I have a failed marriage and a mortgage and bitterness and two long term boyfriends who made it to the sexless mark in the relationship and longer, too, and I’m here playing lovers with him like it’s something we can really do.
He’s clever, very clever, maybe he’s as clever as me, maybe more. But that’s something, I haven’t met a man who was clever before but who didn’t annoy or bore me. He’s fun, he’s funny… language barrier shmanguage shmarrier, we laugh a lot. He gets it, he gets me. The sex is unbelievably good.
WHAT MORE COULD I WANT?
Of course he can’t be emotionally mature, of course not. But then, it’s pretty mature to actually come out and say all the things he says. I just wish I understood it… his actual state of mind. Because he said two conflicting things and I don’t know which one is the final decision and which one is the doubt.
Anyway we drank wine, I fretted about whether I was being too clingy but he was all over me anyway, it was lovely… we smoked a joint and had hyper-sensitive sex with intermittent giggling and a shared finish.
We slept intertwined and woke up bum to bum, and we had sex when we woke but it was a bit stunted by the morning breath paranoia. Can’t really heat things up too much when you’re afraid to open your mouth lest morning breath poisons the moment. It was good, pretty good… probably the worst sex we have had so far. Still good though. I worried a little. Are we running down that hill?
Coffee and breakfast and cigarettes and watched an episode of a comedy series together. I have to go… I have to go.
He stayed another hour.
Have to go, have to go…
Sure, of course… Would you like some soup before you leave? I’m having soup… I made homemade soup before he arrived last night but then didn’t eat any. We ate the soup and I hoped it was good and he liked it. I liked it but he is French I feel like they need things to have cream or meat in them in order to be tasty.
I apologised for the soup and he said it was good soup.
I have to go now, I have to go. Sure.
Sure, sure, cool, I have to do stuff too.
He didn’t go.
We kissed some more and it began to feel like the stirrings of something. I offered him strawberries, I have fresh strawberries. Or a blow job?
I just feel like I should offer you something, I’m being a good host.
Ok… well, in that case…
I wouldn’t mind a few strawberries.
See, he’s funny.
I gave him a blow job, a no holds barred high quality “please don’t lose interest” blow job with lots of spit and hand twisting motion and embarassing sexy looks up at him.
He stopped me violently and told me he wanted to make love to me. “Don’t do that so well, you will make me finish… I don’t want to finish like that, I want to make love to you…”
The sex after that was incredible. Rough, passionate, beautiful, intimate. Wonderful…. Afterwards I lay motionless for a few minutes with my sweaty hair thrown over my face, head buried in the couch pillows, legs straddling couch, breathing and thirsty.
We drank milk, this is what he does after sex, he drinks milk… I thought eww at first, but then I tried it the other day and man, that is perfection. We drank milk and smoked and smiled at each other in silence and then he said that was Cool, and I said yes it was amazing, and then we lay together and talked and I tried to talk in French and I was terrible but he liked my cute English accent and I managed a few phrases that made sense, patched together from songs he played for me. He finally left at 4 and I was happy and at peace, I know it is ok, he just shared his train of thought with me last night, that’s all… and I appreciate it and I told him he didn’t have to come over, and I totally get it and he said no, no, it’s fine.. I wanted to come over… so it’s ok.
And he said he would see me very soon, and he said we have to watch this film he was talking about, but then we spoke about this word in French, Adieu, and he said it means goodbye forever, and he said “I will be saying that in 2 weeks when I go”
And that stabbed me but it’s true, but it cut into the lovely moment together and it hurt me. I sort of have this giddy hope that he will fall for me like my ex husband did, he just wanted a bit of fun and I was willing to just be the bit of fun, but he fell for me and when he left me he realised and wanted to be together again, forever, forever….
So I know it’s possible, and I’m a pretty violent kind of infection if you manage to catch me. I’m not everybody’s cup of tea oh boy oh boy… but when I get in there and lay my eggs it’s good fucking luck to you…
He can’t have met many women like me, I am pretty special. And I am really low maintenance and I give great head and he thinks I am classy and I am a good cook. He seems pretty crazy about me but then he did say he has never wanted to keep a relationship going because he wants to be free and be himself and whatnot… so I don’t know. I am confused, but also deeply satisfied and feel wonderful about myself, and also not, also not…
I hate my job and he is the sunshine on my cloudy day, and he leaves in 2 weeks and he will say Adieu then, and he will probably mean it because he’s 21 and hot and women flock to him and no matter how special and unique I may be (sorry, am!) he doesn’t KNOW the painful truth yet about how rare it is to meet someone that sweeps you off your feet like that. When I was his age I… got married. Hmm… But when I was 20, 19, 18… I thought suitable men were like buses, like bachelors on SATC, they came along in furniture stores and parties and bars and looked bright and promising until some hidden fault appeared mid season. I thought I just had to be out there….
but I’ve been out there for a while now and this is a golden ticket, this thing I have with my loverboy.
I had to peel back a lot of wrappers and deal with a lot of disappointment to find this one and now I’ve had the tour of his chocolate factory… no, gross… end of analogy. I have not tampered with his chocolate factory. He’s not that kind of boy, thank fuck.
So there’s the lay of the land, lots of amazing intense loving sex and I’m half way through it, and I want more more more and I have to give him his space and let him come to me, yes he will, I know he will.. but time is running out and all I want is to fall asleep with his long lashes tickling my shoulder and his lips just barely registering a last kiss on my back.
And I hate my job.