The Last time I saw Dick

The last time I spoke to my husband was a year ago, he contacted me- first time since the separation hearing- because he got a letter informing him that he had to pay property tax on our flat, and it wasn’t fair. As I read his name, there was a flood of emotion. Not hatred, not hatred. Just the memory of when his name went with mine, when we were tied up together. His name, his name, the name I was forced to sign after my own on the act of sale when we bought the apartment, even though I didn’t take his stupid name because I didn’t want to, and I already had my own double barrelled name anyway. But they were all men around the table.

There was the ancient white haired notary, impeccable, ivory hands like a pope’s, latest in a long line of king’s lackeys, Oh the money that man skims off the top. The cream of my life’s earnings. Then my father, shaking hands and knocking his fist on the table, asking if it’s mahogany, one piece? What a table. One solid piece of wood. One of these for the office, eh? Waggling his eyebrows at me. So alien to us, the legal, the formal world. He’s a businessman, there’s a certain amount of respect for him even though he’s scruffy and unconventional with bitten cuticles and a battered leather briefcase. Me, dressed up nice, makeup, well groomed for an Irish woman but not quite up to Italian standards. I was just a little girl to them, playing house, peering over the shoulders of the men. And there we were, my dad, my Papi, who was getting more estranged from me every day, and my husband, and then the owner, a weasly man waving his hand sickly to indicate all the properties he owned, who regarded our odd little family with some disgust. Foreigners, and an Italian who didn’t drive or dress in the style he could clearly afford to. Those men, they just looked at me blankly as I said I didn’t want to sign his name after mine on all the documents.

Why should I?  I elected not to take his name when we married. Isn’t a signature something important, something expressive? How could I SIGN a name that isn’t mine? They just looked at me and said “that’s how we do things in Italy.” I said no, it’s not my name. There were so many pages in that document, each to be signed. Each page. And it wasn’t my name. But my dad said this isn’t Ireland, this is how it goes here. I bristled. The little notary added, trying to help, trying to move it all along, because his time was more money than I could imagine, he said “it’s so we know who you are, who the document is talking about.” Without my husband’s name at the end, presumably, I could have been anyone, anyone. I wonder if an unmarried couple buys a house, how the hell anyone knows whose name that is, with the female name, the name unattached to any man mentioned. Who is she, if not someone’s wife?

But this feminist blather, I couldn’t even begin to verbalise. I was outnumbered, and making too much of it, so I swallowed the bile and gracelessly signed around 80 times, 80 times, like I’d been a bad girl, 80 times to drill it into me, Abby Natascha Di Gianni Flicker in Garcia Ramirez, over and over as the men watched until I had hot tears stinging my eyes, and I fell into a place where the words had a beat, and it drummed through my fingers, Abby Natascha Di Gianni Flicker in Garcia Ramirez, again and again and again and my fingers cramped and seized up, it wasn’t fair, nothing was fair, I was buying a lousy little apartment that needed work, and I was the only one of us with any money at all, and I was putting my every penny into the notary fees, to pay the little man, and the estate agent fees, so Graziella could have her Jimmy Choos, the odious woman, almost deformed by her sense of style. Blue mascara and perma tan and frosted lips, and everything so bright and lifted, a sad caricature of youth.

All my money, my grandparents’ generous gift to me, into this apartment with this man, and I loved him still then, but then I know that I had learnt to love alongside hate, too. Stubbornly, because I didn’t want to let go of love wherever I found it, it was too intoxicating. And I sort of always hated him, from the beginning, when he was awful and cruel and used me. And made me feel stupid, or invalid, or like a silly woman, when I was so much cleverer than him. Perhaps that was why he did it.

So I handed over the money, all those thousands, I never saw money like that before or since, and the notary thanked me but it was nothing to him. It was just some kids playing house, plankton, and he had such big fish. But it was all the money I ever had. And then three years later, a year ago, maybe, he emails me, this man whose name I signed with mine, his name brings me back to that table made from one piece of mahogany and impregnated with the metallics of sweat and money. And after his name, after I let myself float off into venomous memory, it subsides, and I can read the message.

We haven’t spoken in so long, it’s surreal to converse with him. Scary, because for so long he’s inhabited a world that’s unchangeable, fixed- that is, the past, but now he’s writing to me and I remember how volatile and poisonous he became, so I’m very aware that this exchange now is not fixed, this is all being written as I write, as I choose my reply. Choose carefully. He holds some power still, to fuck with my life. So I read and reread, and think before I type. He says they’re asking him for property tax, but it’s not fair, because he doesn’t even live in the apartment, so why should he pay? Oh, fair. That word. What is fair? Who teaches us the word, even? What use does it have? The last time you could judge a thing to be fair, I believe it was a birthday party and somebody was cutting the cake with Pythagoras theorems and a spirit level. I point my index finger at the computer screen and its neighbours squeeze tight into a fist. It’s a strange gesture, I’ve never made it before. But I must be physical, or I’ll burst something in my head. My jaw is clenched too.

Oh you you you… Not fair. Not fair to leave me with the whole mortgage, and all those old bills, and never pay, knowing if you don’t I will, and if I don’t, my father has to, because he’s our guarantor. And all the money I put in, and all the money my dad put in, and then you say it’s not fair I get to live in the apartment.

When I told my lawyer, the bitch with the sexless frame stamped in Versace, when I told her he moved out, and never paid me another cent, she told me firmly, you’re a fool. she didn’t think much of my dad or I. She was polite to him, and talked to me like I hadn’t just got married too young, but more like I’d come over from Estonia and given my passport and money to a man in a van who claimed he was a modelling agent. She glared at me as I spoke, her jaw sharp enough to castrate, and I never knew if I was giving her too much information or too little, but she thought I was a damned fool for not trying to get anything from him when we split, and not just that, but to lose money too.

I asked her if I could sue him for the money he owed me, but she said no, there was no point, it would cost more to sue than I’d get back. And he could just skip the country anyway. That wasn’t fair. Debt is an awful thing, it hangs around your neck like a bag of rocks, and it hurts because it’s heavy but also you remember when you picked up those rocks, and you remember that you made that choice for yourself, back then, and you didn’t care it would hurt now because it was good then. It was hard to be stuck in Italy for a year on my own, with a separation, having lost my closest ally in the country, and custody of all our friends, and with my little sisters wanting to cheer me up but lacking the tools, because they were too young. And with that debt, but it was worse still because it wasn’t my debt, and I hadn’t picked up the rocks.

They were his, him, the man with the name, the name they slapped on me, and he left when he wanted, he moved on as soon as he was ready, he met a new girl, kept the visa from our marriage, met his new girl. An Italian. She’s older than me, less attractive, simpler looking. The kind of girl a man would go crazy to love, because she’d make him happy. Not me. I don’t make men happy. I drag them down, and up, and down again. I’m sweet sometimes but then maybe too sweet, and then I’m all claws and pathos and I need, need need. And I’m not sure of anything but I’m passionate about it all, passionately optimistic, but nihilistic, and obsessive and compulsive and impulsive and lazy and hopeless and full of scorn. A woman like that, all simplicity, grounded, real; god, I’ve looked down on that kind of wman but she could make a man happy.

I don’t feel jealous, no, he’s a stranger now, I look at his face and I don’t even know if I remember anything about him, anything I used to know, his secrets, his face, the lines… Oh yes, but there were lines under his eyes, in a sort of network, I remember looking at them, scrutinising his face and thinking he’s older than me, he’ll die first, and I’ll be so lonely without him. But that was another face, and another version of me. there isn’t a grain left of the girl who loved him or cared if he lived or died. I’m not jealous, not of that petty, greedy, mean bully. I’m not jealous. It just feels sad, sometimes, that the people who aren’t good enough for me, supposedly, well, they’re much more capable of finding happiness. Simplicity, and perhaps humility. I find it harder now,because I want so much, and I start to wonder if all my self satisfaction isn’t just self soothing, and maybe i don’t have anything to offer a man after all.

Maybe I’m just young, and men are attracted to me, and I’m intelligent, so I tell myself I’m this full package, this wonderful woman, too good for most I meet. But I’m lonely, now, sometimes. Not in my own thoughts. It’s the physical space, it starts to feel like time for me to move on, onto someone, try it again, more sensible this time, less of a fool, or a different kind of fool. I’m not jealous he moved on, I’m just sad that he’s better at it than I am, that I’m the one still recalling these moments with anger because he’s the last person to share my life, and I haven’t found someone to fill that space since, not really. And tonight, he wrote to me again, a year since we last exchanged some curt, emotionless words, and tonight he asks not for money, but for information. When are we getting divorced? When can we apply? Can we already? Are we good to go?

It occurs to me, he wants to marry his girlfriend. I tell him October. We’ll need a lawyer. A lady told me we could share one, if it’s amicable. I snorted.

Amicable, like our marriage. He never hit me.

He never hit me. But I took a fucking pummelling.

Tonight I tell him October, and I’m about to say we need a lawyer, but I choose not to. I don’t need to enter a discussion with him now. I can’t bear to let him back into my reality. He’s boxed up, fixed, sealed, he stays the same, in the past. If I engage with him now, I can’t… it’s all old. It’s all been pored over, I’ve woven all my own justifications around the past, processed everything, and now I’m firmly in the right, and I didn’t hurt him, no, he deserved it. And anyway I was hurt too.  And he got a visa, and I got his debt. So it’s all set in stone, and let it rest. Please.

But sooner or later i’ll have to not just engage, but speak face to face with him.

With husband. Dick.

The last time I saw Dick was Italy, two years ago, and I had lost weight and given up smoking and I felt so good and happy to be casting off the things that held me, that saddened me. I wore a blue dress I’d bought before our wedding, that I’d considered getting married in but it was a bit tight and then it got too tight altogether as I put on weight.

I had never worn it before, and he didn’t know it was nearly my wedding dress. But I knew, and it gave me a secret power. I wore it confidently, looking great, looking much better than I looked on my wedding day. I felt better. I felt free, or closer to it than ever. In the pit of my stomach was a little twisted piece of pleasure, because I was wearing a dress I couldn’t wear while we were together, and now I was better, a better version of myself without him. We met outside and walked in, the Palazzo di giustizia, big awful hideous eyesore, reminds me always of the Ministries in 1984. Minitru, Miniluv… We walked past staircase A, B, C… it’s a huge complex. A path runs all around, and it takes ages. Lawyers everywhere. The invisible strings of money and power whipping past as heels clicked neatly. Ball stomping heels.

We made small talk. Waited outside the courtroom, finally were ushered in. An old man, a beautiful old man with crinkled eyes and an appropriately gentle smile for us,  in a little room. He was the judge, apparently. I expected an amphitheatre of a court room. Of course it wouldn’t be that. It was a little office. We sat in rows facing the judge. Mari Angela, my lawyer. Dick. Me. I remembered our wedding day. The stony faced registrar asking do you, and Dick bellowed “ABSOLUTELY.” And I was embarrassed, a little, and annoyed that he did it and not I, and then I was going to be the boring one who said I do.

But the judge read our statement made nine months before when we had really split, and the terms of the separation, which I craned my neck to see because I remembered his tears falling on the page and a sick part of me wanted to see the smudged writing. We agreed and signed, and I signed my own name, and then the judge said you are now legally separated, and I wish you the best of luck. And his eyes were on mine as he said that, and I got a feeling of his wishing me well, specifically me, and his understanding, in those eyes, of what I had escaped from, the sad stifled life. I felt he must see so many couples do what we did, and he must catch these glimpses. But his eyes sought me out, and I thought he recognised me and understood. And I felt the whoosh of freedom, and my mouth stretched out into a grin, and I begged myself to stop grinning, to switch it off, go back to the sombre divorce face, it was so rude, so cruel to grin, god, no, and Dick there looking sad and lost. I couldn’t stop smiling so I smirked, but that was awful too, so I strained and strained and covered my face with a hand and scratched my nose, desperately. But the smile leaked out anyway and I was just grateful my body didn’t break out into a dance, or leap into the air, because it felt like it might have.

Oh, to be truly free. October, October. How long will it take and how much will it cost, to get there?

To finally leave him behind, Dick, his name, his face, his part in my life.

Notes on the child I used to be

When I was a little girl I was obsessed with sex. 

I didn’t know exactly what it was but I had scattered clues gleaned from older children, careless parents whose bedroom doors didn’t lock, my mother’s “female health” book and a tattered Mills and Boon found somewhere.

My best friend and I hid behind the curtains in the window of my living room and pored over line drawings of penises and vaginas and wombs in profile. Giggling. Snickering. Terrified of being caught looking at bold things. 

Sometimes there would be a little boy over to play, his parents friends with mine, and we might play doctor. I don’t remember very much except that I thought it was fun to play doctor and I didn’t feel at all weird about cold plastic stethoscope or thermometer.

I wasn’t clear about sex, about bodies, about intimacy… but I was very aware at a young age that you couldn’t be too eager or make suggestions. I knew I would always be more weird than other people and so I took a passive role, delighting if someone else’s mind allowed for us to do something bolder and more likely to get us in trouble. I’m not necessarily talking about sexual activity, I wouldn’t really call playing doctor or playing “more realistic” house, sexual activities. But across the board, I was adventurous, curious, and only behaved myself if there was a real risk of getting in trouble.

I dreamt of sex as a child. I wasn’t molested or corrupted by any adult, but sex was on my mind. It wasn’t a bad thing, in my mind. It was an exciting, mysterious part of adult life and like all things adult and prohibited I wanted it immediately. 

I was an impatient child. I snuck cider from my mother’s glass when she wasn’t looking and pretended to smoke cigarettes made from rolled up note paper. My mother noticed I loved those candy sticks a bit too much because they looked like child-sized cigarettes in a box, and I wasn’t bought them any more. I wanted to be an adult. 

At this point I didn’t share my thoughts with my friends. Again, I was aware that somehow I was weirder than most. Maybe I wasn’t afraid of the places my mind would go. I wasn’t afraid of where my thoughts might lead me, until I was 12 or 13 and developed the very real fear that if I let my imagination run wild, I might find out I was a lesbian.

I loved breasts. I thought about breasts. Hard nipples, full breasts.

I couldn’t tell if I was just jealous of people who had them- my modest handfulls didn’t come in until I was eighteen, and they didn’t really get that nice round shape until I was in my twenties. They were high up but droopy, with big soft nipples, very big for a white girl I thought, and formed a pyramid shape. I hated them. 

So I thought about breasts. I wasn’t sure if I just wanted to have them or if I wanted to hold them. But I was a teenager and the real worry, the idea of how AWFUL life would be if I were a lesbian… the idea lodged itself there. I started to close my mind off at the edges, keeping my thoughts inside the box for the first time in my life. Afraid, terrified that in one more way I would find myself to be different.

I was already an atheist, my parents weren’t married, I was unbaptised and my family was international. I spoke three languages and I didn’t have brothers or sisters. All together, I was the weird, strange child. I didn’t want to be more strange. God, it was hard enough building myself up to resist the mere fact of being different…. in ways that would later turn out to be positive, mostly.

I didn’t want to be a lesbian. I wished at night. PLEASE DON’T LET ME BE A LESBIAN. 

But breasts were lovely, and I thought about them. Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears came out with their first albums. Christina was pure and sexy in a genie in a bottle. I thought about her. The lines between being her and touching her were blurred in my fantasies. I didn’t know what I wanted.

there was a mounting sense of frustration.

I thought about my friends sexually. Not my girlfriends- that was a sort of taboo. I thought about the boys I played with, who I was playing with less and less as it became clear that sooner or later we would have to part ways and become awkward teenagers. 

I thought about them at night.

I was maybe eight or nine, and I had this dream….

Of a dungeon. It was’t a dungeon really, it was nice.

Before I figured out how to masturbate, I guess my frustration was so high, I learnt to control my dreams. Sometimes I could choose to go to my dungeon. At night I would wake up in my dream. In my bed. The wall against my bed was made of jelly, but only I knew this. No one could pass through it except at my invitation. I would slip through the wall and find myself in a dungeon. 

Stone walls, a fireplace. Fur rugs. Candles on the walls. A huge round bed covered in red and purple and black drapes. This was my aesthetic vision when I was a child.

In my dungeon I was an adult woman, curvy, beautiful. Long, thick hair like a 1970s star. Big breasts. HUGE breasts. I went naked in my dungeon or else I would wish myself into beautiful dresses. Sometimes I would wish myself into clothes that were just corsets or rope wrapped around me, squeezing my breasts and my skin… 

I have no idea where I got these images from. Perhaps vampire movies? Probably vampire movies.

In my dungeon I would be like a goddess.

I would wish dozens of men to come and queue. I would inspect them one by one. I was rude to them. No, no, no… Go home. Stop wasting my time.

Then I’d kiss one. Yes, you can stay. Maybe. I sometimes wore skin tight catsuit type outfits. I was a sexy, adult dominatrix. I kissed all the boys I liked, and then I’d fuck them. Usually when I was just about to fuck them in my sexy adult body in my sex dungeon, the alarm clock would go off and I’d wake up in my stupid little girl body with my stupid little girl life and I had to put on my uniform and go to school and talk to my little girl friends about Harry Potter or Pokemon or whatever we were into at the time. When I put on my uniform I had to take off my pyjamas and I had these little girl titties that were so awful, just flabby nipples. God I hated looking at myself. In my dream I was this sex queen. In real life I was just this awkward girl with puppy fat that was far too young for anyone (that wasn’t a paedophile) to want to fuck her, and of course in real life I wouldn’t even think of actually doing anything sexual. It was a separate, secret part of my mind.  I didn’t actually WANT someone to have sex with me. I just wanted to be an adult already and have men fall at my feet and worship me and do what I said.

In reality little boys, little freckled stupid boring boys, would tell me to shut up because I talked too much and when they finally started fancying girls, they treated me like a boy and talked about my prettier friends. 

It took me so… fucking… long… to get where I dreamed of being.

And now I’m older I don’t WANT to stand before I queue of men, deciding which was yes and which was no, and demeaning them all with my power. And yet I could. Because I’ve grown up. I don’t have those massive breasts I dreamt of as a child but I have a woman’s body and I’m comfortable in it. I’ve battled my thoughts and those edges of the box, I’ve come to terms with my love of breasts and I know I’m not a lesbian. And if I was a lesbian, I wouldn’t give a shit. I’ve started digging into the darker corners of my mind and what I find there isn’t scary or disturbing. It’s just me. I’m not afraid of what I’ll find there. 

Since I started to dig deeper, beyond my pure and simple love of a good ride, I’ve found myself in interesting situations, exciting situations. I’ve been dabbling in BDSM. I haven’t reported on that because I’ve been quite consumed with it and haven’t felt inspired to write a report of being tied up and spanked….

I just felt like writing this now. Maybe I’ll write about the other things, but this is what I felt like writing so here it is.

Half assed pledge to do less whining

Ebbs and flows, ups and downs.

Last week I felt great about myself and shit about where my life was going.

Today I feel shit about myself and not too worried at all about my life.

I have a lot of friends, a lot of people I enjoy, I’m still young enough to start something new and then when is anyone too old for anything? Whenever I beat myself up about my life and where I am it’s because I’m comparing myself to other people- other people whose lives I wouldn’t want anyway. I’d happily take their friday night putting 60 euros into a pub till without thinking is that nice wine too expensive, how will I pour this naggin of whiskey into my empty glass without anyone noticing, should I leave now or how will I get home, I can’t afford a taxi? 

I’d take THAT part of their lives. But I wouldn’t put in the 35 hours a week of sitting on a swivel chair in an air conditioned room for minimum wage and someone else’s interests. 

I wouldn’t do it for long anyway. 

I had a dream last night I was in a call centre and I was so fucking miserable throughout the dream. I had a dream a few nights ago that my parents’ dog and cat had turned rabid and wanted to kill me and I spent the whole night trying to lock my pets in a room without hurting them while they tried to tear chunks out of me. And that wasn’t my worst recent nightmare, the call centre one was much worse. 

I should stop eating cheese so late at night and maybe have a nice sex dream instead.

And then lately I’m getting sick of sex. Not sex itself, just the… I’m getting sick of the people I don’t care about. I found myself having sex with my fuckbuddy recently purely because I had eaten a lot of cheese that day and I don’t want to get fat. I enjoyed the sex but frankly the cheese was a lot better. I’d give up sex and just eat cheese all day except the two must go together or I’ll be fat. But then would I even need to be skinny if I was just living a sexless life with only the cheese witnessing my flabby midriff?

I’m not having any deep thoughts here. GOOD. FUCKING GOOD! 

I’ve decided to stop being so morose all the time and just shut all the bad thoughts away and be happy because my life is totally sweet right now and if I occasionaly got up off my arse I could make something wonderful with my time.

I’m doing a little bit of work for my dad’s business online and it turns out when I don’t have to deal with customers face to face or get up early I’m actually quite motivated with this retail thing. It’s not much money- shit, it’s barely any money. But it’s good to do something and it’s good to feel like I’ve done something useful and even a hundred quid is a fucking big bonus for me right now.

I’m going to buy a pair of shoes because at the moment I only have two pairs of shoes.

Two pairs of wearable shoes. I have lots and lots and lots of shoes but they are all high heel deals which I bought when I had lots of money and a little less sense. I only have more sense now because having very little money is great for sharpening the wits. You start to find savings everywhere.

I’ve always been a massive snob about mould. But when it’s me buying the bread and me paying for the bins (well, no, it’s me trawling the streets at night looking for a skip to throw my bins into, but still.) then it’s a different story. Yesterday I scraped mould off three bits of bread and ate the bread and it tasted exactly the same as normal bread. And I probably killed an infection, I’m bound to have some kind of infection.

And then there’s cooking, if I just cut back on elaborate grocery shops for making myself special treats all the time I could afford nice wine and a pair of shoes. 

Anyway. Main thing is, I’m going to stop being such a crybaby about being poor and lonely because I’m poor because I choose not to earn a shitty wage doing a shitty job, and I’m lonely because I choose to live alone and I like living alone 85% of the time.

End of.

No more whining. I’m a grown up! YES I AM!

(This is me psyching myself up, it’s not a statement of fact)

I said, that’ll fucking do, pig

I clicked publish and my phone rang. My friendly neighbourhood fuck. He was around the corner in his car, on his way back from doing some dodgy dealings or other… I won’t elaborate because when we’re talking dodgy it’s not really cool to be sharing other people’s information, whether or not my blog is anonymous.

I lashed on a quick extra layer of makeup and trotted down to him. He was sitting there listening to dance music and I got in and he said we were going for a spin.I guess his parents spotted me sneaking out the last time. They lecture him on bringing girls back, probably because he brings back a lot of girls.

He drove to an industrial estate nearby and parked in between warehouses in a secluded spot. On the way I felt him through his tracksuit pants and he said I could go down on him but only once we were inside the industrial estate. I did it for a while as he drove slowly around, my head down low, because I find men who can drive very attractive, and situations that are slightly unusual or dity extremely so. Then he parked and I gave him some of that top shelf head I reserve for those times you know are going to stick in the memory. I normally don’t make such an effort but lately I’ve been really going for it, taking advantage of what I see as a chance to hone my skill and get fit. I told him about my foray into gambling and he said just hearing about it made him feel like hitting the casino.

My imagination immediately ran amok throwing me images of myself in my new furry jacket over my shoulders wearing red lipstick and my hair up smoking cigarettes out of long holders while men in suits growl “what’s your favorite number?” and then give me a 1000 chip as a thank you for making them lucky. I said I’d go with him for the laugh and determined not to spend any money…. I toned down my expectations a little. I arrived in the casino and his fingerprint was read. I showed my id and filled out a form and gave my fingerprint too, and then we went downstairs to a very modest and smelly room full of tables of middle aged asians and eastern europeans with big bellies.

The bar gave us free drinks and Tony and I made for the roulette table. It looked just like the one that tormented me online and I was dying to throw down a twenty and put some foolish bets on the table. But I didn’t. I drank my free wine and watched Tony place 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 euro down at a time and triple his stake. I was seething, I wanted money. Money was all around me. People were earning money by guessing numbers and I wanted it too. But I wasn’t prepared to put down the 20. And I knew I’d lose it. I knew what would happen was I’d get 20 euro and feel like I had loads of money to bet and then 5 euro on black would lose, then another five would lose, then I’d be down to 10 and I’d throw that on black and I’d lose and I wouldn’t even get to make more bets because that’s all my money.

So I stood and watched the guy whose dick I’d just sucked triple his money and I wondered whether he’d give me a few chips or not, and if I could somehow obtain something for nothing, by giving him my money to bet? I decided the thing to do would be to go there on a weekend night INSTEAD of going out to a club. Sure, the atmosphere is lousy and it smells like body but if I could get free drinks and just bet the sort of amount I’d normally spend on a night out anyway, it wouldn’t be a loss if I lost, it would be a reasonable use of an evening. And I might win something.

To be continued, probably. The table was quieter than in the movies. A few words in Romanian or Polish, a scramble from everyone to place and move their personal coloured chips around the table, covering what looks like way too many numbers to actually win, ever, a few lame efforts at quips from the stout Englishmen and my partner at the table muttering what’s your birthday, throw me some numbers, but refusing to put any money on 9. I kept saying 9. He said you have to change number or the odds are against you. I don’t get how that makes sense but then he was betting all over the table and winning every couple of spins.

The bets down, the dealer waves his hand over and says no more bets and then the number is up on the sign and the dealer’s arms are all over the table sweeping the losing chips across the table down a hole where they clack clack clack and quickly appear back in neatly ordered coloured stacks. And Englishman throws down 50 euro and wants it in two 25 euro chips, not 1s or 5s like everyone else at the table. He shrugs and throws a chip on black, wins, doubles his investment and then leaves the table saying “I facking hate this game anyway.”

My partner mutters after him “then don’t fucking play, you sap.”

When he’d tripled his money we left and drove to meet someone, again to make infuriatingly quick money, and I pretended to be happy for him while I chewed on the bitterness of someone else having something I wanted. On the drive he wanted another blow job and I said excuse me but this isn’t some selfless act, I want sex now not to be giving back to back blow jobs. We parked in a fairly hidden spot and he sat on the passenger seat and I sat on top of him and gripped the dashboard with my hands to help my embarassingly weak legs. Afterwards, and I guess during, I thought maybe this isn’t an equal opportunities arrangement any more. I can feel my grip on power getting feeble very quick and the self deprecating dirty talk I spewed out indiscrimately two nights ago becoming reality. I’m not getting attached… he’s not my type. But I am getting attached nonetheless. Less attached to him as a person as I am attached to the initial position I held a few days ago. When we first slept together I was calling him at 4am drunk and using him as a place to stay, and I was finding some of what he said very annoying. He was always there and I never felt used, I felt like I was using him. I called him at the end of a night when things didn’t work out with whoever I had my eye on…

Now I’m hoping he’ll call and I’m always available. I find myself leaving nights early because I’d rather go fuck this guy than hang around another hour spending money and listening to drunk people. I don’t want this to get serious and I’m sure he wouldn’t be interested in something more serious anyway, and I really… the thought of wanting something else from this guy… no. Absolutely not.

But I’m impressed by him nonetheless. He knows things, he knows secrets, he knows his way around. He knows things that I don’t know, and that’s a huge attraction for me, always has been. I want to soak up the knowledge like a sponge, through my softest tissue.

I find  myself giving him crazy good head because he told me I’m amazing at it and kisses the back of my head when I do it and feels my ass and tells me that’s perfect, that’s great, oh fuck yeah baby…

I get to feel superior to women who are shit at that, and I get to feel confident that I have great skills. I like that.

But I’m being too nice to him, he’s getting too much out of me for too little return. I need to start using him back a little. I can feel myself slipping back into my old man pleasing ways and I am not happy about it. What next, bake him a cake?

Oh god, today in the car I mentioned something about making pies. I was trying to impress him with talk of my pie making. I need to put a stop to this madness before it’s too late. He dropped me home after the brief fuck and I found myself hoping he’d bring me back to his and we could fuck again and maybe I could get something out of it, clamp him between my thighs and then roll over to sleep like I did at the beginning when I had all the power…

But I went home. And I saw my student neighbours’ light on, so I knocked and they were up and I sat in their apartment for a while chatting and listening to their studenty talk. One of them is very sweet but says “like” every second word. It made me extremely conscious of how I use “like” for every fifth word. They had all these plans for painting the walls and putting in shelves and I just sat there thinking aww it must be their first place away from home or dorms. We smoked a joint and I wasn’t sure when was the time to leave so I left when I started wondering that. Friendly guys, probably around 20, but I’ll be glad to have them to knock into sometimes when it gets boring. Also, it’s a lot warmer in their place. I can’t tell if I was maybe a bit drunk to make a good first impression… I was a bit drunk. I told them about the casino but not about the rest of the night.

And I went upstairs to my own place, my nice pretty apartment which is colder than the guys I meet online, and I remembered I’m lonely and I’m only not lonely at weekends and I’m so lonely I’ve grown somewhat attached to this guy who I recently in the throes of passion told he could use me for whatever he wanted etc. I was just saying that for penis enhancement reasons, now I’ve wound up making good on my offer and falling from independent sexually liberated woman to somebody’s sex slave. No no no, this will not do.

Somewhere I was feeling really good about myself and having a mini sexual awakening, exploring the rougher, dirtier hemisphere of me and totally marmalading it. I roleplayed handing over the reins and with that seem to have actually given them over. I’m not sure if the correct course of action here is to cease all shenanigans with this guy (but I wanted to get in shape and also, he’s so HANDY to have around and I do enjoy the activities…) or can I find my way back to that sweet spot I started from, where I was just getting mine and if he happened to get a fuckload of pleasure too then great, but inconsequential. I felt respected and I felt equal, regardless of the demeaning positions I might have found myself in.

Maybe it’s still exactly the same and respectful and equal and but I’ve just discovered that I’m not comfortable roleplaying this close to the bone.

We shall see. But I really wish I knew how to do this stuff better. The only two profiles I seem to adopt with men are clingy and sweet and loving and accomodating OR disparaging and making it very clear I’m not interested in him and pretending to forget their names or something.

 

That’ll do, pig in the city.

My new apartment is cold. An old Georgian house, formerly some wealthy family’s town house, later divvied up into dingy flats by a seemingly retarded or psychotic contracter. My apartment is nice, bright, big, with windows that reveal autumn leaf covered branches. I’ve filled it with my things, put pictures on the walls and colours wherever I could. It feels wonderful to be home again, in the way I only can when it’s just me. No one else in my fridge using up the last eggs, no one else stinking out the bathroom, no one else knowing what time I get up at, or who I go down on.

But it’s cold. A previous tenant insulated the various draughts with sellotape. I peeled up a lot of the sellotape to clean the grime out, and because I thought it looked stupid. Now I find myself taping it all back up, but with gaffer tape this time.

But it’s still cold.

Around the corner and down the street, I have a guy. We used to know each other vaguely but only started talking a few months ago when I put up a new sexier profile photo. He’s good looking and funny and decent, and a good fuck, but he sounds and dresses a bit too… north Dublin for me to see in a more serious capacity. He lives a session-based life like the one I flirted with a few years ago. I say I flirted with that life but more truthfully I let it fuck me pretty hard and then ran away to a cleaner duller life in Italy. So we get along, we have a laugh, but it’s not something I want to go back to.

He lives in a flat out the back of his parents’ house. It’s handy, I call him at 2 or 3 or 4am when I’m coming home from a club and he’s usually awake and we talk briefly and then fuck until we fall asleep from exhaustion. There’s a clear understanding that neither of us want anything more, that both of us are sleeping with other people, and that neither of us is trying to impress the other. It’s purely selfish, both of us claiming to have sore backs to avoid being on top for very long. Kind of perfect for me right now to have all the sex without any more complication than the awful sneaking down the garden path the next day without his parents spotting me.

And it’s got to be good for me. I’m more relaxed, I’m presumably on the way to losing the few kilos I put on over the last few months of unemployment. When i go out with my friends I’m purely there with friends, not scanning for men or desperately trying to make something happen or stalking any hot barmen. Well, I’m still scanning for men. I can’t help it, I’m attracted to so many people… but the desperate edge is gone.

And lately I seem to be more attractive to men. I’ve been getting free drinks, free stamps into clubs, and all kinds of rules bent in my favour.  It can’t be my looks- I’m drinking a disturbing amount of alcohol and my skin looks tired and I have a scattering of spots on my forehead. It takes about an hour to get enough hot water for a shower so I’m not great on hygiene either. Also it’s so fucking cold in this apartment, the thought of having to be wet and naked with this amount of sodden hair down my back is enough to make me shrug and say what’s the point, sure I’m only going to get dirty again later. But something about me- perhaps the fact that I feel quite happy despite being broke and unemployed and cold and smelly- something is making people treat me nicer than ever.

Maybe I do look great? Nope, I look wrecked.

Today I went for an internet date. The more I do things that weird me out, the less anything seems weird.

A message from a guy, American on a holiday in Ireland… he suggested monday day drinking. I thought fuck it, maybe interesting. Met him and realised my interpretation of his profile picture was generous. Well, he wasn’t bad looking. But there wasn’t anything attractive to me. He just had a… face. Just a regular face. I guess if we had chemistry it would have rearranged itself into a sexier arrangement but we didn’t have chemistry.

At first we interrupted each other and drank beer. Talked with ill timing about travel, meeting people, cultural differences… I had to keep the conversation afloat and I did, because he was buying me beers.

But I wasn’t in the greatest form.

Mostly because I’m annoyed with myself.

Yeah, over the last few days I have acquired what I hope is a transient addiction to online gambling.

I know. I know. It’s the last thing I need in my life. But the ease of winning at roulette and hopping off before you lose again… it’s tempting. so tempting. The first time I played I wasn’t spending any money at all, just using a 5 euro deposit I made on a poker site 6 years ago. Free game, right? I played and won 30 euro. I should have taken the 30 euro and been very happy, but instead I bet it all and lost and then added another ten and another ten and another five and won ten and withdrew the ten out of good sense and decided to cut my losses and then found myself depositing and losing another five.

So ok, I haven’t made a very dramatic loss compared to the probably potential for online gamblers. I have lost what, 20 euro? 25? Whatever. But I’m so poor right now and I’m so annoyed with myself for pissing money away like that when I really, really need money.

So I was on this date and I was just thinking about how I wish I had money, and the American’s eyes kept flicking up and down, down to my tits which were not on show at all but obscured by a loose overshirt and a scarf. But they kept going there anyway, and as we drank more the conversation got better. When there was a lull we caught each other’s eyes and laughed, and although we both laughed, he asked me “what are you laughing at?” and I said “a funny joke I heard earlier.”

So here’s the joke.

What’s the difference between jam and marmalade?

You can’t marmalade your cock up someone’s ass.

 

Maybe you’ve heard that before.

Here’s my own appendix.

What’s the difference between relish and marmalade?

You can’t marmalade jamming your cock up someone’s ass.

 

I told the American my jokes and he laughed. He asked me a few times, what do you wanna do next? Go somewhere else or stay here? He mentioned his idiot friends were back at his hotel. I told him there was an electrician calling to my apartment today. But really, I had no interest sexually. Nice to talk to but nothing between us.

And then we went to a different bar and he told me he was going to the bathroom and a few minutes later as I called my fuckbuddy and didn’t get through, and then called him again, I noticed the gap between the two calls was about 15 minutes. The American had gone to the toilet and not come back. He had taken his bag with him which he hadn’t done on previous bathroom trips. Odd, huh.

I don’t mind too much because I didn’t like him either, but it’s pretty rude and I did put some effort into making the conversation work a bit.

Also I always feel a bit violated and used after puttng in the work with the conversation, sharing my stories and memories and my excellent joke that I came up with and now some fucker with no manners is probably telling everyone my joke and that’s what annoys me.

Conversely, I don’t feel that way about people I’ve slept with. Only the people I talk to.

 

Anyway. I’m just pissy because I gambled and lost money I desperately need. I’m an idiot.

Like I need more vices…

Ugh.

 

Well, that’s it for now.

I told everyone I was moving into the city so I could have some personal space to write and get my act together but here you go, I’m just fucking people and drinking every day and gambling.

I don’t know how I’ll get someone decent to think of me as girlfriend material….

 

I think I may call in to my neighbours, these two very sweet college students who have an apartment with a fireplace which may be warmer than mine. I wonder am I too drunk to talk to neighbours? Ahh, they’re students. It’s fine. It’s totally fine.

I’m just really damn cold.

My first real date and my foray into online whatever it is-ery

I went on my first online date the other day.

I’m not really looking for anything right now- my head’s full of problems and resolutions, life changing decisions and life avoiding hangovers. The last thing I need is a boyfriend, and for the first time in my life I really mean it. 

I’ve sworn off men countless times, like the halfhearted alcoholics swear off the booze every morning they wake up with a sense of having gone a little two far the night before.

I’ve never sworn off drink because I won’t even insult my own intelligence with that kind of clearly bullshit declaration.

But men… probably bolstered by a long talk with a girlfriend where we expand upon the myriad reasons men are shit and we are strong independent women they could only possibly reject because we are TOO intelligent and TOO interesting for them to handle. They’re intimidated, we say. They want a dumb bimbo to make them feel like men. You deserve someone special, we both deserve someone special. If only vaginas weren’t so gross and complicated…

And I say I’m sick of them, I’m done with men… wait until someone special comes along.

And two weeks later I’m in the arms of someone making excuses for him while our skin cools. 

Putting him high up on a pedestal where my standards can’t reach and examine his dandruff of a personality.

 

But this time I felt all the cynicism of my past few years condense into a pure solid truth.

I’m sick of men. 

Yes, some day, meet someone great, yes, sure, whatever.

Some day.

But for now? No thank you. I don’t need the headfuck.

But I have this profile on a dating site, I made it when I was in France. I used it as my own personal ego booster.

Every day I’d wake up sick of men, and every day I’d check my fan mail.

Sure, it’s mostly “hey sexy what u at baby xxx lol ;)”

And some of it is “Id fuck de arse off u”

And some of it is less appealing all together..

But I have one nice photo up there and I get a constant stream of impersonal compliments that tide me over while I’m at home in the middle of nowhere, without even a couple of builders to walk past and make me feel like an attractive woman. 

Sad, yes, I know. But effective! 

I just check my mails… I reply to some of the nicer ones. Not nicer looking… they’re all pretty low rent. But some are sweet. I reply graciously, get into the odd conversation, and then make excuses when they offer to meet for coffee.

Some get angry. No reply for a day? “WHAT A SHAME I THOUGHT WE HAD SOMETHING YOU’RE JUST LIKE THE REST OF THOSE GIRLS I MEET I THOUGHT YOU WERE SPECIAL YOU’RE OBVIOUSLY NOT.”

Some I consider meeting, and pore over their photos. You just can’t tell, though. Photos are weird.

One day I clicked like on someone because he had a nice smile and a casual, friendly profile. He liked me first, I just felt like returning the compliment. No interest in a date, not really feeling that way right now as I said.

I’m off men.

Except for this guy I’ve been fucking, but that’s just… excercise.

 

Anyway, this guy writes to me, friendly, nice, interesting. Like me, a kind of multicultural mix and non-standard background. He asks me for a coffee… I say, sure why not.

Because I’m bored and why not? Anyway I’ve never been on a date.

So we fix a time, I make it in way too early. Walk past Topshop and see a sign for sales… I shouldn’t, because I’m broke, but I’m way too early and shopping feels right. Imagine going shopping for underwear and having this stranger on my date ask to see what I bought and me say just underwear, and then he might think I’ve bought special underwear for the date, like a freak… I wonder if he’s weird? Mightn’t he be really weird? We did meet online….

I’m sidetracked by the dresses on the sale rail. Pick up a handfull of things that are too big or small and still too expensive anyway. As I make it to the dressing room I find out they’re closing and I can’t try anything on. Good. That was close…  

I’m at the bar first, and I’m suddenly hyper aware of my posture, my arms, what I’m doing with my coat and my handbag. What if he’s weird. What if he’s ugly. What if he poached those photos from someone’s facebook page and now I’m about to be accosted by some middle aged ugmo… What if he thinks I look nothing like my photo. Am I underdressed? Is my coat too serious? Am I flashing too much leg?

I’m jerking my limbs around trying to get into a casual pose for when this guy appears. I’m doing a crossword at the table outside. He’s not a smoker, but I make the decision to smoke anyway because come on, I don’t even WANT a man, it’s just a casual meeting. No need to change things about myself for someone I haven’t even met and don’t really even want to meet any more. I’m feeling so uncomfortable and considering getting up and running away.

He arrives suddenly. “ABBY? Abay?” 

“Abby.”

“Is it you?”

“Yes… it’s me.”

Suddenly the whole thing is weird. It’s like a job interview but we’re in public and it’s a job interview not for an unemployed person and a company needing assistance, but for two people who can’t get dates on their own.

Not that I am one. But this is my first real date. So yeah, count me in that category.

He doesn’t look… his photo had this big warm boyish smile. He looks more tired, more… maybe it’s an older photo. 

His accent is kind of strange. He seems like someone I would maybe be friends with but not… 

I’m afraid by smiling at him and being warm and friendly I’m going to give him an impression I’m interested. 

Then I remember I’m not required by law to sleep with anyone I smile at, and decide to be nice and friendly and let HIM deal with the rejection he’ll get if he tries anything, instead of my preventing it with a condom made of bitchiness.

I’ll just be nice. Maybe we can be friends?

He sits down and starts talking. “Were you waiting long? Do you want a coffee? Oh, you have one… I want a coffee. Do you want a beer? I’ll get us two beers.”

I sit there while he gets us two beers. I’m embarassed. What am I doing here meeting a stranger, I’m attractive enough to meet someone in real life without putting all my hopes and dreams and sexual preferences into a questionaire first. 

We drink our beers, he’s very chatty. As chatty as me, even. We talk about ourselves, our hopes, our dreams. He’s cold… we go inside. 

I want to stay outside and smoke but like most smokers in the presence of a non smoker, I’m keen to pretend I don’t actually need or want to smoke, I can take it or leave it, it’s just this thing I do sometimes and nowhere near as often as I really do.

We go inside but every table is angled towards a massive flatscreen tv showing sports.

Do we want to go somewhere else? Yeah, actually… I have a bar in mind. But it’s a bit far…

I tell him I have two places in mind, one is close and nice, but the further one has this drink I love. 

We’re going there, he says.

We walk to this bar I really like. It’s not very well known, and as he’s foreign (but of an English speaking nation) I feel sort of like I’m fulfilling my role as a local by taking him some place a little less obvious.

The bar is cosy and there’s a smoking area that’s just as warm and pretty to sit in.

We sit outside and he sits on the bench beside me. He has one of my rollies. I feel bad for corrupting him, I say, but really I’m delighted to not have to feel so shit while I smoke and he doesn’t. 

I introduce him to my favorite drink. He’s not a big drinker, but he loves my drink. 

We talk about science. Physics… we each have some little physics fact to teach. He’s an educated person, and I’m not. It feels good to have some bits of interesting knowledge to share with someone clever. It’s intimidating being around a clever man, I’m not often in this position and I don’t often feel humbled by someone’s intelligence. But it feels good. I have just as much to talk about as he does, and I loosen up. As we talk we find we have a lot in common. I’m really enjoying talking to him and I’m studying his face, thinking, yes… he is attractive. He’s attractive when he laughs and smiles. 

He starts to get tipsy from the two beers, and it’s a turn off. I can handle my drink, and a man who can’t… it feels a bit embarassing. Especially in Ireland, it’s stupid but it starts to make me tense up again.

He leans in to kiss me and I stop him. 

Sorry, I’m just… I don’t like pdas. It’s nothing personal, I just don’t like to kiss people in public.

Ok, I just don’t care what people think…

It’s not that. I just feel weird… I come to this bar quite a lot. I’m sure no one is even looking but it makes me feel awkward.

Ok, I understand… I don’t want to make you feel awkward.

He tries again later but I’m just really enjoying talking to him. I don’t want to ruin it with sloppy half drunk kissing in my bar.

I say no. I start to check my phone. The last train home is in an hour and a half. And then I have a long walk…

I mention the last train. 

No reaction. He says he’s feeling pretty drunk, he hasn’t drank anything in ages. 

He wouldn’t let me pay for any drinks so far, and we’ve had three or four pints each maybe.

I’m a tiny bit tipsy. Tiny bit. I’m kind of embarassed that he’s drunk after this little. I drink a lot faster too…

He asks if I’m feeling at all drunk. I tell him I probably am drunk, and that I get to this point where I’m convinced I’m sober but really I’m not.

I go to the toilet and trip over the bin in the ladies. Ah, I guess I am a bit drunk. This makes me feel better about him.

Back at the table I tell him I must be more drunk than I thought. But still I am sober enough to know I have to get the last train.

He offers me to come back with him. He only lives a little bit away, and we could watch a movie.

He’s such a generous, sweet, non threatening guy (seemingly anyway) that I think, fuck it…

I don’t care. I can always not sleep with him if I’m not into it.

We get a taxi back to his place and he apologises profusely for his house. It’s just temporary, he says. 

I don’t care. 

He has nothing to drink except some tequila. I drink most of the tequila and feel myself catching up a little in drunkeness.

Outside we share a cigarette and he grabs my face and kisses me. He’s a great kisser. I’m really enjoying myself and enjoying his company. He’s a great, great kisser. We pull apart and grin at each other through the haze of drink.

I didn’t think of him as someone who might be up to my standards sexually, but that’s a great kiss.

 

We go up to his room and he apologises for his room and I wave it all away, I don’t care. It’s sparse enough, not many personal effects. All his stuff is in his friends’ houses. He points to clothes in his wardrobe and says he didn’t want to wear anything too fancy on a first day. Didn’t want to give too eager an impression.

I look down. I’m wearing a skater skirt and t shirt tucked in. I look pretty nice but it’s casual for a night out.

Me either. I didn’t want to dress up too much. We giggle at the fact that we met online. I finish my tequila sitting on the edge of his bed. He puts on music and asks if it’s ok he takes off his jeans. I shrug, I don’t care.

He takes off his jeans and jumper and gets on the bed beside me. We sit cross legged facing each other and talking, and then we kiss and it’s passionate as fuck and he crushes his body against mine and pulls off my clothes and his hands are all over me and it’s all totally unexpected from this mild mannered guy who I spent all night talking to about science and growing up in the countryside. 

We fuck.. and it’s intense. He’s rough but respectful, he fucks the shit out of me but it’s not the woman-hating kind of fucking. He knows exactly what he’s doing and again I’m surprised by him, he seemed so romantic and not the kind of guy to press his hand on a woman’s throat while fucking her relentlessly. 

But he does it all very well. Just the right side of scary rough. He slaps me hard on my ass and squeezes me everywhere tightly and it’s absolutely exactly the righ amount of everything. 

We do it again and again that night. Falling apart drenched in sweat. Snuggling up together, his hands tracing gentle patterns across my body, whispering secrets and memories. I’m so happy and comfortable there with him.

He’s good to talk to. He likes my stories. We’ve done totally opposite things in our lives- he’s doing his second degree, and it’s in a very difficult subject. I’ve been married, I’ve been here and there and living life like a computer game character with endless save points. But we have a lot to talk about.

We fuck again, again, and again. At some points he can’t stay hard with a condom on and I protest but the let him inside naked just for a second even though I know it’s not just a second, it’s so good without a condom, oh fuck it’s so good, that’s amazing… but no, oh, no, stop, you can’t, seriously, stop. 

I stop him and make him put on a condom. And then sometimes it’s amazing and sometimes he can’t stay hard. I don’t care because I know that night is an all you can eat buffet of sex and the only thing that matters is we don’t run out of condoms.

And speaking of all you can eat, he really did treat me to some excellent times. I could tell I wasn’t going to cum, skilled as he was, because I just wasn’t able to, sometimes I can, sometimes I can’t. But I thought I’d fake him a nice courtesy orgasm because that’s what I do, otherwise they’ll just keep at it until they get sick of it and I’d rather never have a man get bored down there. So I did one of my finer, more elaborate productions for him and he just ignored it. Huh.

Eventually I told him to stop, put on a condom and fuck me, and so he did. After he came, and wow, he came noisily and with gusto, he flung me back on the bed and went down again. Because he wanted to taste me again, he said.

We did this all night. At 7am his alarm went off and we decided to go to sleep for a while. He was supposed to get a flight at 10 but he said, (I suspect he’s rich) that he hadn’t booked it yet and could always get another flight.

I tossed and turned for hours and woke him several times. At 12 we woke up properly and lay with our limbs entwined. I played with his hair far too affectionately for someone I’d only met. He stroked my body and told me I had a perfect body. I said oh, I feel like I’ve got a bit flabby since I’ve been unemployed. He said, “what are you talking about, you’re perfect. This is what women’s bodies are supposed to be like.”  We talked about everything and nothing.

We had sex again. Then we found ourselves playing with each other, and playing with ourselves at the same time. We both came although a little out of sync. He marvelled at the fact that he was able to do that with a stranger.

“We just met last night… isn’t that crazy?” he said.

“On the internet” I replied.

“No, don’t say that…”

“Ok, in real life. If anyone aks, you’re my friend from real life.”

“Right. That’s what we’ll say.”

We finally got up because we were so thirsy despite cup after cup of water. Every time I said I was thirsty he got up and went downstairs and brought me back a cup. This, alone, is the most gentlemanly  behaviour I have ever encountered. Sad, huh…

We got dressed. Downstairs he stood in the kitchen making coffee. As I entered the kitchen via three little steps in the doorway, I sat down. 

“I like that there are steps here.”

“I like you in my kitchen… So I can look at you. You’re beautiful”

We grinned at each other like two kids about to get dessert.

He had to go into town to get his bike and eat something… Did I wanna come? I said sure. I had to get a train home anyway.

I worried… this is some guy I’ve just met, and I’m weird about things in public. How is it going to be in my home city, walking around in daylight with this guy…. I hope he doesn’t hold my hand.

There in his kitchen I could kiss him passionately and hold his body against mine and think of how lovely his dick was, the first time in ages I’ve come across one with a proper natural bush… nothing excessive, but definitely not trimmed. Just soft and springy and not intrusive like I would have expected. The last guy I was with had shaved his and it wasn’t pleasant…

But I didn’t want to go outside with him and have our intimacy on display. I guess my line about being weird in public wasn’t an excuse not to kiss him, but a legitimate issue for me.

I’ve always had it really, but then I usually don’t walk around with guys in daylight anyway. I usually just bring them home and kick them out.

And they very rarely ask me to go for lunch or anything, they would probably bring me home and kick me out too.

We got the bus into town together and he insisted on paying for the bus for me too.

We walked around, he chose a fairly pricey place and we sat down and ordered.

We had been talking about steak on the bus and so I had a steak sandwich, it wasn’t one of the most expensive things on the menu though, I wasn’t being as my mother would say “cheeky.” I watched him and thought about the things he said last night, and thought he doesn’t dress expensively, he doesn’t seem interested in money, but he clearly does come from money and he certainly has enough of it not to have to worry. He bought me lunch, we talked easily and lightly, and then he walked me to the train station where I finally got to treat him, because we went for a coffee and there was a minimum charge to use a card.

He said he wouldn’t make me awkward by kissing me goodbye but he’d be back in December to continue his studies (he’s doing a final year) and he’d love to see me again. “Don’t forget about me while I’m away…”

He said we could kiss like the french, one on each cheek, and he’d write to me sometimes.

At this point, I was a little bit smitten.

The sex was unreal, to start with, and the conversation was stimulating and positive and interesting. He gave me compliments, good ones. And he was generous and thoughtful… 

So there. He’s gone for nearly two months, but he’ll be back. 

I have no idea how much of my interest is because of the sex and… the possibility that he’s rich….

But it was a great night, a great afternoon, and I feel very unsure of myself now.

Also I have this strong suspicion that he’s completely lying to me about everything and it’s all a big massive play of some sort. Or that I’m just so damn bored right now and so unused to an intelligent, generous man, that I just totally got overeager.  

But that could be entirely because of the last guy I got all smitten with who was totally playing me. I’ll tell you about that guy soon. It’s a good story. I’m just too tired of typing now. 

But anyway. Whatever happens, or does not, guess what happened?

My dream came true. I got a man to buy me steak, and he didn’t even get in my pants because of it. He had already got in my pants then so the steak was not necessary. Result! 

And I’ve faced my fear of dating.

So, I’m Living at home again

The weekend was fun and messy.

I have to get some structure back into my llife because it’s flying past, only ever punctured by the three day weekend.

Unemployment doesn’t suit me. I came home warily, moved back into my old room and stared at the window I stared at for 9 years, feeling like a teenaged hermit crab who crawled home no richer but wearing a slightly more dented coke can.

The room has been repainted, recarpeted, and filled with my mum’s work stuff. But over the windowsill there’s a shelf with assorted toys and objects I collected. A broken magnifying glass, a ceramic moose piggybank, a bicycle made from wire by one of my dad’s friends from the market stall days. A purple wooden cat that sits on a wooden bench and used to hold a fishing rod. The tiniest sample of all the crap I collected over a childhood.

And then all over the floor, my current collection of stuff. It’s not entirely my fault, I have no where to put my clothes really. A few shelves that are the wrong depth and shape for anything to stay neatly folded. Or maybe it would be if I folded things and didn’t just stuff them into crevices. So it is mostly my fault, because I’m just using this place as a crash site and recovery tank.

I’m not a sentimental person usually, I don’t pick up little bits and pieces of things and get transported back in their timeline. But this room, different as it is from when I was a teenager, the bed the wrong way around, my feet towards the window and not the door… this room is smothered in memories. Nothing ever actually happened in this room. I never did anything here but play lego alone or computer games alone or sometimes smoke joints with my friends and watch episodes of the simpsons and try to make Beatles songs be about drugs.

So nothing really happened in this room, but the memories are there nonetheless. The way I felt, how miserable I was with my life and myself…  There are millions of memories of the person I am and how at odds I felt with my inner and outer lives. I came here and lay back and thought about things and worried and cried and couldn’t sleep with excitement or couldn’t sleep with hung over shame and regret.

This room reminds me of how little has changed in me since I was 14 and didn’t have a clue about anything. I haven’t really developed, jesus how did I make it so long without growing up? I have lots of experiences, sure, I know a lot more about things… I have a thicker skin, thank fuck. I no longer feel out of sync with myself.

I let myself do the things I like to do, and don’t beat myself up about it afterwards. Although I’m not sure if that’s emotional maturity or just that I’ve desensitised myself to shame after so many years breaking my self imposed moral code.

I worry, just a little bit, that I might be screwing myself out of a future with someone nice and decent and stable…

I’m making myself too sexually experienced, for one thing. That’s the main thing actually. I’m worried I won’t meet someone who can be ok with that, and I mean, I’m just about to turn 26.. if I’m still single in 5 years, just imagine what I’ll have done in those 5 years.

And I don’t want to have to lie. I’m worried sometimes, that the more I go in this direction, the more ok I am with the way I am, the more I embrace sex as completely natural and the more different people I embrace it with, the further I go down a very very specialist path that maybe doesn’t have that many kindred spirits down the end.

It should be a good thing, shouldn’t it, to be happy with who you are and at peace with what you did last night, but I am a little scared of what that acceptance will lead me to over the years.

Is a bit of self reproach necessary to keep your feet on the ground? My last boyfriend, the Frenchman, accused me at one point of being too hedonistic. He went about his life with a picture frame making memories just so, just right, to fit with his aesthetic vision. And I just thought everything was ridiculous and nodded and made the right clever sounding noises so that he’d keep fucking me like that, but sooner or later he had realise I’m only skin deep, and underneath I’m just a bundle of organs and flesh and and the only way he ever penetrated beneath the surface was when he literally penetrated me with his fleshy organ. Because I find that kind of thing amusing.

And anyway, none of it really matters. It’s just life, we all just talk about things that matter to us and none if it makes any difference to anything. So I should be really happy to be fine with all of the chaos because there’s no way I’ll ever see it another way. Maybe my attitude is right, maybe there’s a purity and truth to the squalor. But it doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong, because other people will take it how they want and I guess they’re all right too. And I’m feeling a little distance grow between myself and other people.

I need a fucking job.

I am for the first time in my life, really enjoying being single. I’m loving it. I’ve never looked better, I’m just not in a great place with my life, I don’t have a job and I live with my parents. And I’ve been unemployed for a few months now, so I’m getting more and more comfortable doing nothing.

And at weekends I find myself letting it all go…..

And the weekdays are recovery from the weekends, and the weekends a break from the tedium of recovery. And so on.

I spent most of the day looking for jobs and looking for somewhere to live. I don’t particularly want to work in some crummy office again but it looks like I’d be lucky to get a cummy job in an office as there seems to be some kind of recession going on in this country. I’ve started reading the news a little lately and apparently, the world isn’t doing so well.

Crazy.

Anyway, I was trying to improve my cv a little and because I can’t do things for too long without getting bored and going off on a pointless tangent, I had a sudden WHOOSH of inspiration. Not useful inspiration. I just thought, hey my cv is pretty crap, but it’s still a million times better than the reality of what I’ve done with my life.

So I rewrote my cv in an honest version, which I will supply below. Before you think, that’s gotta backfire, I have renamed this version DONTFUCKINGSENDITSAFAKECV.doc

So don’t worry about that.

If I was more honest on my cv….

I shouldn’t have done this because now I just feeling really really shit about myself and how am I going to get a job with this attitude? What a stupid idea. I should write a good cv now to make myself feel better except I can’t because I’m living in my childhood bedroom and it’s FILTHY and I haven’t showered in days and my mum is in the next room and I just got given out shit to for drinking whiskey in my room by myself and I said “I didn’t, it must have been all of us the other night” but my stepdad doesn’t believe that for a second and neither should he because I made myself three hot whiskeys last night when they went to bed and then I ate a half a block of cheddar which I was at least truthful about when questioned.

I’m a goddamn mess.

Anyway here’s my stupid honest cv I wrote while I was supposed to be actually writing a cv that would help me get a job.

Abi N Flicker

Email: abinflicker@gmail.com

Education / Achievements

English Teaching Qualification

Decided to move to France to teach english as teachers have great working hours and holidays, and was really attracted to French men at the time.

2008 : Was one of the top CSRs of the quarter in my office. Did I mention there were 50 top CSRs in every quarter and it was pretty much a turn-based award ?

2006: Classical Civilisation. Picked this course based on playing age of empires. Dropped out in the second semester when I realised that age of empires gave me no advantage.

2005: Leaving Certificate.

Took 6 subjects, the legal minimum, three of which were languages I learnt at home, one (art) which was literally the easiest subject available, and the other, maths, I spent 5 years in school studying at higher level only to sit the easier ordinary exams because I didn’t want to have to study.

Employment

2013

Barmaid and waitress in a bar in France. I got this job while extremely drunk in the bar. The owner’s pervy friend told me I had a great ass, and I said I was looking for a job.

2012

Telemarketer. Honestly the worst thing I’ve ever done. The worst. I hated this job so much, I took about three weeks of sick days in 6 months. I called in sick Thursday, Friday and Monday one week because Ireland had a surprising bout of warm weather.

2008 – 2012

Retail. Basically where I started blogging while ignoring customers. I got this job because my dad gave it to me. I made quite a lot of money in this job and blew it all.

2007- 2008

Customer service representative. I answered phones. After six months of this I applied for a promotion, which I got despite talking about gypsies in the interview. In the new position I listened to calls, which took about one work day every two weeks, then I gave feedback to the csrs where I told them things like « stop hanging up on customers and you’ll get your bonus next month » The rest of the fortnight was spent looking busy so that I wouldn’t have to go back on the phones in my spare time.

July 2006 – December 2006

Sales assistant. Worked for my dad because I had run out of money and was taking way too many drugs back in Ireland. Working at this time was like a little stint in rehab.

Other:Excellent computer skills, particularly age of empires but I’m also adept at anything computer related where the end result is to get something free.

Great interpersonal skills, which I think I have MDMA to thank for. I’m outgoing because I’ve figured out that if I’m going to go out and do stupid irresponsible things every weekend and get THAT drunk, I’m going to have to stop beating myself up about it and just accept it.

I’m adaptable and quick to pick up new skills (I’m lazy and will do whatever job I can get without having to try very hard)

Interests: Film (drinking in cinemas), literature (reading and drinking), cooking (and drinking), keeping fit (lots of casual sex), wine tasting (wine drinking) and writing (writing and drinking).