A brief but still pretty long story of my sex addiction, and hopefully not temporary breakthrough.

Since I was a young teenager, I have been obsessed with sex. OBSESSED. I was always thinking about it and always talking about it. When I wasn’t talking about it, I was consciously holding myself back from talking about it because I didn’t want to bore people. Everywhere I went, I scanned the faces and bodies around me. Wondered who I’d like to fuck. What they’d be like in bed. I fantasized constantly. I masturbated constantly. I wasn’t attractive, so I didn’t have very much opportunity to live out my fantasies.

When I was 18 or 19, I started to come into my own. My confidence came from sex, from the brief high I got from a man’s desire to sleep with me, and from his approval of how passionate I was in bed, how willing to try things I might not really want to do.
I grew more confident. Flimsy confidence that plummeted every time a guy stopped calling, every time a careless remark reminded me I wasn’t really good looking. Sex was on my mind all the time. I slept with everyone who had a glint in their eye. I wasn’t good looking but I wasn’t ugly, and as I grew into a young adult I learnt how to make the most of my looks, and with sex constantly on my mind I exuded sex, and attracted more and more people. I wasn’t good looking but I was sexy.
It felt good, to have found my strength. It felt good, to be sexy, and although I couldn’t compete with the really pretty girls, when it came to sex I was in my element, and I got a certain satisfaction from the pretty girls’ boyfriends hitting on me.

But no one wanted to go out with me. Well, some did. Some fell for me, but they were the quiet, shy types. I had no interest in them. I was loud and bubbly, and I wanted the alpha males, not the “nice guys”. I didn’t really meet nice guys anyway. The ones who called themselves nice guys were usually shy, underconfident, geeky, and unattractive. They got drunk sometimes and the bitterness came out about all the assholes getting the girls. And then I’d think, it’s not because they’re assholes. You’re only as nice as you have to be, you’re only as much of an asshole as you can get away with. Woman aren’t prizes to be awarded to the most deserving. They are people who are just as shallow as you. While you’re complaining about the pretty girl going for the asshole, there’s a not so pretty girl like me bemoaning the fact that some other guy prefers a hotter, less nice girl, and when you set your sights on me, it’s as a plan b.
I chased men. I chased sexy, confident men. Fucked up men. Interesting men, I called them, until they tossed me aside or hurt me and then I called them losers and assholes.

I got a nice boyfriend. He loved me and for the first time I was treated well by a man. But he was quieter than me, and I was immature, and I needed someone to call me out on things, to calm me down, and he let me walk all over him. I did the walking, but I think I was far too young and selfish to respect someone who let me. I don’t regret the loss of the nice guy, because we weren’t right for each other, but I do regret being mean to him and not learning from him. We broke up, and I missed him terribly then, because he was for a while my best friend and my biggest supporter. But the sex was never right. He was less experienced than I was. Of course he was. But I didn’t know how to teach. I wasn’t entirely confident in bed, I just followed a male lead well. Because I was used to it. I was afraid to get on top, because I didn’t know what to do, how to move, what would feel good for him. It took me years to figure out just to do what felt good for me, and the rest would follow. I was embarrassed on top, I felt exposed. I didn’t know how to teach him, because all I had was muscle memory and he didn’t move me around the way I was used to. I thought I was great in bed, but I didn’t know how to be great in bed with him. We had sex drunk a lot at the start of our relationship and then less and less and less until we mostly just cuddled. I was sexually frustrated and masturbated whenever he got up earlier than me, whenever he slept earlier. 

I met an alpha male. He was unavailable. He didn’t want me, he just wanted to fuck me. He picked me up and flung me around with little regard for what I might want. And I played a game, for the first time, finally I had learnt to play the game. He fell in love with me, we fell in love, I was wonderfully happy, I had made him love me, a man who didn’t want a girlfriend tying him down. But it was under false pretenses. I showed him only my good sides, my agreeable, malleable sides. I didn’t show him anything I showed my previous boyfriend. I didn’t let him see the crazy, the weak, the emotional, the slob, the unhygienic, the bitchy, the lazy, the ugly, the fucked up, the sad, the jealous, the insecure.

When we married and settled down together, I relaxed. We both did. Slowly we got to know each other, too late. 

When we first met, the sex thrilled me. But it didn’t do it for me, really. I didn’t have orgasms. I wanted sex, constantly, and he obliged, and then some. But he didn’t try to make me cum, he just expected me to, from the pounding. I didn’t have many friends around me then, and those I did, weren’t very open about sex. So I didn’t know this was normal, that women don’t orgasm from being pounded. I thought it was my fault, and so did he. No other women had this problem with him, he said. 

It was a long time before I realised how many women women fake orgasms. I learnt I could orgasm if I masturbated while we had sex. But then he’d flip me over and I couldn’t do it from that position, so I faked orgasms. I faked orgasms while fake masturbating while he had sex with me. It was ridiculous. I started to resent him. He never went down on me. Once, on my birthday, extremely drunk, he tried to go down on me but it was so obviously a chore to him, I stopped him. He never tried again.

We gradually stopped having sex. I remembered my last relationship and it started to nag at me, that something was wrong with me, that I faked a sex drive for some reason, because I was starved of love, and when I got affection I didn’t want sex any more. It was me, it wasn’t my uninspired sexual partners. When we stopped having sex we put on weight. The fatter I got the less sexy I felt. The less sexy I felt the less I felt at all like having sex. I couldn’t fantasize about sex because it made me too unhappy to picture myself fat, being fucked, and it made me too unhappy to picture myself skinny, being fucked, because I wasn’t skinny. I masturbated when my husband slept beside me, and whenever he was out of the house. But I didn’t think of myself being fucked. I thought of him cheating on me with someone better looking and skinnier. It made me feel hurt but excited. And the fact that it was weird, and kind of fucked up to think about the man I loved fucking someone else, made it kinky and sexy.

I tried to initiate sex sometimes but my confidence was so low, because I was fat, because he didn’t want to fuck me, because his porn history was always right there when I checked my emails, and it was all big tit latinas, and not fat pasty women with small tits.

I left him. I had an empty apartment and no one to cuddle. I bought diet pills that gave me oily diarrhea. I ate big salads for dinner and bananas for lunch. I lost a stone in two or three months. I looked great. I fit into jeans I bought on sale, stubbornly, years ago, that I’d never managed to sit in. I took photos of myself in underwear, because I couldn’t believe I was slim, and I looked good, and I was happy, and my sex drive came back in force. 

Sex drive, or the desire to be witnessed, to be seen and approved of. And this is around the point where my blog started. If you go back to the very start, there’s a lot of bitching about people who annoy me, and I feel so young, reading it back, like shit, I can’t believe that’s just four years ago, or so. But that’s the point I was at. I had lost weight and I wanted to fuck, and it was all I thought about.

And then I went through a year of loneliness and sexual frustration in Italy, and then I came back to Ireland, and then I went to France, and then I went to Ireland again. And I decided to go back to university. 

And I spent a year partying and not writing, and making more friends than I’ve ever had, more close, real friends. And I’ve looked forward to college, more than I ever imagined I would. And I went through a stream… a torrent… a waterfall of men. 

I dipped my toe into the fetish community, because I was bored. I found the fetish community boring and cliquey. I had some fun, though. Learnt a few things about myself. I tried some interesting things. I met some people who, while annoyingly square about their kinkiness, at least put a lot of time and energy into both sides of the experience. People tried to make me cum. I gave them a few courtesy fake orgasms, because they made a good effort, and of course I can’t really orgasm without some intervention of my own. But then I let go, sometimes, and I found I could have orgasms, after all. I had the best sex of my life, by far. But it didn’t satisfy me. I still wanted sex, constantly, abundantly, until I was exhausted, and then I’d want more when I woke up, and more and more the more I had. 

I had an insane high from sex, even when I didn’t orgasm. And then I crashed, when it was gone. I was tired of fucking just anyone… my standard had been raised. Not for men, but for sex. I wanted the lickouts, the kink, the imagination, the spontaneity, the uninhibited quality of the fetish but without the crappy clichéd aesthetic, and the weirdly prevalent dominance and submission. Why so much bloody power exchange? Why did everyone expect that? I just wanted good, wild, interesting sex. I didn’t want to push my boundaries, I just wanted to keep things interesting. To treat bodies like climbing frames, to treat sex like a smorgasbord. I was too much of an anarchist to delve into anything properly, like bondage, power exchange, fetish, because the people who got there first had made up rules and etiquette and vocabulary that made me cringe, and lose respect for its blind followers. 

But I did have some great sex. But I didn’t WANT to just have sex. It was naturally unavoidable, that I would have lots of sex, all the time, because I had a drive, I needed it, I wanted it all the time. I wanted to meet someone lovely, caring, who would make me laugh and who would appreciate me, who I could have fun with, and cook for, and care about, and support, and then I wanted them to fuck me all night too. But where to meet this guy. I hadn’t met anyone in ages, I had never met anyone who really ticked all the boxes. There was no “one that got away.” All my boyfriends had in retrospect been awful. And all the men I’d overlooked… well, I probably didn’t remember them. But I wanted someone really special, for me. I had so many friends, and so much going on, and so much to look forward to, an actual life goal, too, that my confidence was growing, and not just from sex. But my foray into the kinky world had given me more sexual power, and now I knew I wasn’t sexually defunct, and I wanted more, and no longer could I kid myself that a quick casual fuck would satisfy my craving.

A couple of months ago I got fantastically drunk with a few friends and one of their acquaintances who turned out to be a kinky guy, and when he pulled out a bag of coke, and everyone else went home, we talked more and more about sex, and kink, and we trailed off back to my house, and I dressed up and let him tell me what to do, and I felt like a goddess, because he was so impressed by me, because I was such a strong woman, so clear about what I wanted, and so sure of myself, and yet I’d still go either way in the bedroom. And the next day I woke up and felt fine about it, he spent so much time going down on me, I couldn’t even count the orgasms or where one ended and the next began. I felt fine about it, not regretting drunk sex, as I have occasionally done. But I felt not just fine, I felt like I was too good, for this. Yes, I am a strong woman. Yes I do know what I want. I am sure of myself. Finally. I really am, I know my needs, my wants, I know my worth. Not that sex is a gift to hand to the worthy, but damn, why am I bending over backwards making it easy for people who have done nothing for me? I mean, yes, some of these people put a lot of work in with the orgasms. But mostly, they don’t. And I’m worth more than this. I want more, I don’t want to be this supposedly great woman and then just fucking any man who wants to and has a bit of confidence to ask. What a pity, what a millstone around my neck, this damn sex drive.

I imagined all I might achieve, if I freed up my mind, my energy, my drive, for other things. To work on myself, on my life, on getting me the real lasting things I wanted, not the instant gratification. The instant gratification that left me desolate, lonely, hollow, half the time. And the other half, left me attached to the object of my lust, falling in obsessive love for short bursts, thinking of nothing and no one but them until it burst and I went back to rudderless horniness. I wanted out, but I assumed I’d never be out, because I’d been like this since I was a teenager. It was how my brain had grown. Sex was the fulcrum. Sex was the monastery around which my brain had grown, sex was the old roads that couldn’t be widened any more, because the buildings were built there, sex was the reason everything was laid out as it was. Sex ran through my reasons for everything. I imagined ripping out the thing that had defined me for so long, and what would be left? Sex is who I am. By saying I was tired of meaningless sex… was I forgetting all the beautiful, meaningful sex and moments of passion I’d shared with men who, no, had not loved me, but they had, maybe, for a moment. I resided, just a piece of me, in the memories of so many men. All so different. I didn’t have a type. I had shared intimate, very intimate moments with men of all walks of life, of… well, not all ages, but a wide range anyway. I treasured the experiences. I had taken chances and opened up, and taken things, tiny things, from every man I’d given something to. Was that wrong, or harmful, or the very best part of me? Would I just be dulling myself, skimming the cream off the top because I couldn’t handle the ill effects? Was I just afraid I wouldn’t meet someone perfect, because I was slumming it? Wouldn’t the right person for me be slumming it too, waiting for the real thing? 

Ah. But there was a problem, I was forgetting it, the problem was I spent most of my time depressed from lack of sex, the rest of the time either high on sex or anticipating being high on sex. It was exhausting, draining, and it wasn’t making me happy. 

I googled sex addiction. I found a group in Dublin, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. I contacted them. Asked to attend a meeting. A man phoned me the next day, and gave me details of how to meet, because there was a pre-meeting first, to avoid revealing the location of the group to just anyone. I was going to attend. He sent me some pdf documents about the group.

I read a little and realised it was based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. The 12 steps, with the higher power step, where you have to admit there’s a higher power, or a god, and you can call it whatever you like but I’m not just an atheist, I’m totally anti-spiritual. I’m not going to sniff at what works for others, but in my personal opinion there’s not a whole lot of point in calling a psychological issue or condition or habit or addiction a “disease” and admitting you have no control over it. Maybe the point is to go to AA, or SLAA when you’ve tried everything alone, and come to the conclusion you have no control over it. But if you hope to get any help from a support group, which can’t give something up for you, what the hell use is admitting you have no control over it? I bristled at everything I read. I was still planning on going, because as righteous as I considered my opinions, I obviously wasn’t right at all, because I couldn’t stop myself from doing something what was frying me mentally, year after year, man after man.

But then the next day, typically, was a gorgeous day, and my friends were going to the river with a canoe, to drink gin and row and be reckless. So I called the sex addict man and wondered if he was attractive, and wondered if anyone at the meeting would be sexy, and I told him I wouldn’t make it today, and I would reschedule some time.

I never did.

Soon after I was horny and I thought who can I call, and I flicked through my phone book and saw name after name of people I’d slept with, people I could sleep with again, but nobody inspired any excitement, I just thought, yeah, I could… but why bother. Why slum it. Why give someone my time, my body, I felt like fucking, but I couldn’t bear to kiss anyone. I wanted to meet someone lovely, and sweet, and funny, and sexy. I didn’t want to suck a dick, much as I loved doing that, I just wanted someone to look at me and see everything, and I thought for the first time, really for the first time, something I’ve only ever heard or read with a patronising tone. 

I thought maybe I’m not letting anyone see the whole picture, because I keep shoving sex in their faces. I didn’t think “no one will respect me if I have sex with them straight away” or “maybe if I really like someone I should wait so I can see if he’s worthy of me” or “I should give it more value by withholding it”

I didn’t think women are different from men, and I should hide my sexuality. I just thought… I’m just LEAPING down their throats with sex. I’m expecting people to see I’m much more than that, but it’s all I’m really putting out there. I’m chasing men down and making the first move before I’ve given anyone a chance to see what they think. My friends don’t think I’m all about sex. I’m not all about sex. 

And I said, that’s it, I’m going to not have sex for a while. I’m going to take a break. I’m going to just… not give it up, exactly, because there’s nothing good on the horizon anyway, manwise. Just… I’m not going to go out looking for it. I’m not going to scan the party for a suitable penis carrier. I’m not going to fuck someone I don’t really feel like fucking just for the sake of it. I’m bored. I’m out.

That night, typically, I had sex. Very good sex, with a very nice, fun, attentive man, who made the first move because I didn’t give him any come on, and I left the next day thinking, that was great, that was better, and all because I didn’t try, and look how much better it felt. But how lousy I was at being celibate.

But THEN, I felt like everything I thought the day before, started to swirl around my head again. And settle into place. And I meant it, I felt like I wanted… to be free from sex for a while. And even though I had a dick in me a few hours earlier, I felt like I had snapped out of it. Like something clicked, I’d been going around on the same track for years, so long, all the time too bloody stubborn to accept that my own way of doing things that wasn’t making me happy, could possibly be the reason that I was unhappy in love and life and sex. I couldn’t, well, of course I couldn’t listen to anyone else. Their voices made the words sound accusatory. Their reasons for not fucking everything that moved, were kind of anti-feminist, anti-having any faith in men. Whenever I was told to hold off on sex, it was because men couldn’t respect a woman who was easy to bed, and because men wanted a nice girl, and because men had sex drives and women didn’t, and it made me angry, because that was all wrong. I’m not going to pretend I’ve had an epiphany, that I’ve changed my life forever, that I’ve got it all figured out.

The last time I had sex was nearly a month ago. Not that long a stretch, I’ve gone longer before, I swear. 

But the difference is… for the first time since I can remember, I haven’t been obsessing, I haven’t been scanning the people on the bus for faces I’d kiss, and I haven’t been flicking through my phonebook for names I’d revisit. 

And I haven’t felt empty of like I’ve lost my centre. Sex isn’t gone from me, but it’s not fast food, and I’m not looking for it. I got a message from the guy… oh, I don’t know if I ever wrote about him here. But I met a guy nearly a year ago online, and eight months ago we met and had amazing sex, and did some kinky stuff, and he lives in the UK so kept up a long distance thing, that sort of trailed off, but he was going to come back and we were going to meet, and man, that was great sex. And I liked his company, too. He was funny, and interesting. So of all the people to tempt me, someone I could definitely justify sleeping with as he’s not fast food sex and he’s not something bad for me, he’s pretty much as good as it gets. 

And he wrote to me and said he’s coming over this weekend, and I happen to be house sitting for a week and have a house to myself, and he could come over tomorrow and see me and we’d have all the privacy we could want. But I don’t want to. I have no interest. And this is pretty fucking big, for me.

So… I think I’ve made some serious headway towards something. I can’t do anything to hurry up my meeting someone great, but I think if I can fill up my life, with other things, with things that don’t just explode and fade to nothing, and be happy with myself like this, then I won’t need that person to show up so soon. And when I do meet someone wonderful and worthwhile, then I’ll be so much better placed to act and to let them see the things I want them to see. And maybe I’ll fuck them right away. And if they’re the right kind of person, that shouldn’t make any difference. But perhaps I’ll settle down by myself for a while, and see what happens. It’s not like I’m making some huge effort- perhaps I’m just going through a phase- but I really hope I’ve grown out of something that is rarely great for me. Being rampantly sexually active hasn’t all been bad. I’ve had LOTS OF FUN and fallen in love more times than I can count, and had great experiences and met great people in weird and wonderful ways. But the mental thing, more often than not, fucks with me, because I’m not unromantic, and I’m not able to separate sex from emotions. 

I feel pretty good, right now. Really good. So that’s probably more navel gazing than anyone wants to read, but I feel so hugely different lately, I just wanted to record it. Maybe if I go back to my old ways, it’ll serve to remind me how I felt, and put me back in this frame of mine. So for that alone, I’m hitting publish.

I just really hope this no sex thing doesn’t make me fat.

Advertisements

Moving, shifting.

I moved house last night.

Out of the cold, old, dilapidated apartment with space for things and a good solid table to be fucked on. But it was too cold and old and the wooden window frames trembled at passing buses and I found myself retreating into my bedroom, first, and then my bed, where I lay with my solitude and my drinking and never wrote anything.

Yesterday my long suffering mother, still mothering me long past the gestation period of an adult, helped me move into my new place. Maybe I’ll get some writing done here.I’m all excuses. Recently I spoke to an artist, an actor, and he told me I needed to DO things and get up in the mornings and live my life like it’s not the waiting room for something else, and I felt like crying because he was right, no, not because he was right, but because I’d let my guard down and forgotten that intelligent people can see right through my flimsy bravado. I must have relaxed and let someone see me for what I am, my sadness pouring out in excuses and defence of doing nothing.

I feel happy, I have the symptoms of happiness. But I’m not independent, my life is paid for by the state, my mother shouldered more than half the weight of the fridge-freezer. I’m just like so many others. But I feel wrong, like this. You can justify any lifestyle, I believe, from housewife to banker to lunatic to whatever I might be, as long as your life doesn’t injure or abuse and you can pay your own rent.

It’s not my fault I grew up now, when rent is commonly half a person’s wages, and everyone feels entitled to avocados and parma ham, and craft beer. And suffers without them. But I’m a little ashamed that I grew up now, if I did indeed grow up, and failed to adapt to the world, as it crumbles and swells and freedoms are legalised and then encroached upon, and finally we’re told it’ll all sink into the sea. This is my generation. I’m built for it and by it. Maybe if I lived in the Chelsea hotel, and paid a pittance to live, I’d have been right, or right-on, there’d have been room for my dreams, but this is a bit sad, me, lamenting the fall of the starving artist, in post celtic tiger Ireland, like  a less impressive, less grotesque Ignatius J Reilly with his copy of Boethus.

I’m broke, I’m penniles, I’m cold and I’m a chancer. I’m Sebastian Dangerfield with a vagina. But I’m not, I’m not, I have cognac in my wardrobe and three avocados in varying stages of ripeness, a chilean one and a pair of new zealanders. And I have all these skirts and heels, and when I’ve worn them more than thrice they look old and like they belong to someone I haven’t been for a long time, or a week, but then I shed my passions so quickly, and I shed my skin, and need to buy it new. Because the shoes are worn from climbing walls at 4am and the skirts have been worn thrice and pulled lustily over my head by rougher hands than mine as many times. All my clothes with tags, a look of approval, lust, a compliment. From that moment, the clothes became his, like a lick of paint on a sheep. The skirt I wore to meet Jack, and it was all he thought about, lifting that skirt, he told me later, lifting it. The Shoes that Adam loved so, the ones that left angry red marks on his chest, his neck. The dress I wore for dinner with Antoine, dinner in my flat, with the candles and a tablecloth and he saw me and said “what a dress.” and I wore stockings and he’d never been with a woman in stockings before, he was so young. And he didn’t know to leave them on, when we made love. He took them off me, and I could see he wasn’t sure if they should go, because socks are bad in bed, or stay because they were sexy. And in the summer, I wore those shorts, my little shorts that barely held me inside, and Max watched me paint the sign for the bar in the sun while he sawed planks and sent a breath of sawdust onto the wet paint. And I didn’t mind, because he was so gentle, so adoring, then. And he held me while I was in crisis, not sure what to do or where to go, on the verge of tears at any time, and he made all sorts of promises. He should have let me be and stayed away, and he would have stayed away, but then I would were those shorts.

 I bought them for myself, for how I’d feel, who I thought I was that day and how she would look. But those men, they like to own things, and maybe the don’t know they do it, but they wear me down and they take possession of my clothes, and then I don’t feel like that girl I wanted to be in my skirt any more, covered in fingerprints. Perhaps I just want to give myself fresh to each new lover, and I’m afraid he can see the wear, and it’ll remind him how my mouth isn’t new either, how many hands have reached under my hair to release a clasp. Perhaps it’s not, it’s just there’s so much hope and possibility in new clothes. I remember when I bought my little black playsuit with the high neck and the short shorts, and I saw it in the mirror and thought I looked so sexy, and glamourous, and like I belonged draped on a couch somewhere fabulous drinking something expensive. But then where did I have to wear it, really? I wore it to Bob’s kitchen, to dance to 80s music, which was lovely and fun but my little playsuit went to waste. And then I wore it to the Market Bar, and it was too short, and I felt uncomfortable, but I looked great. And then I went home with Steve, and I shouldn’t have because he’s so wrapped up in himself, he can’t even tell that I don’t care about him, so there’s something insulting about how he never calls or sends a message later. These clothes have too many memories.

What I’m trying to say here, essentially, is that I need a new dress, and I hope you understand how I need a new dress. It’s not wrong, to want a new dress, when you can see how all my other clothes are tarnished so.

But ah, what was I telling you? About the move. Out of my hermit’s cave, into a bizzare houseshare of over 20 inmates, an old hospital of sorts, padded handrails down the corridors and three floors, and everyone has their own fridge, fridges littering the two kitchens and when I scurry down the corridor to the bathroom there’s a ladies and a gents.

And the inmates are friendly and some seem lovely warm people, and others seem obvious like characters written lazily by someone lacking imagination. When I was a child I entertained the thought that I was the main character, and all others were minor, or bit players, or extras. When an adult chastised me I felt sorry for them, that they were written that way, their only contribution to the world as a fleeting villain.

I eventually grew out of the idea that I was the centre of the universe but I never gave up feeling sorry for those people who were written by hacks.

It’s strange to be back in shared living… but it seems like a good thing. It’s warm, I’ll be less inclined to go out every night, maybe, maybe I’ll save some money too.

But the thing that struck me straight away is that I now find myself in a censored environment. For months I’ve surrounded myself exclusively, truly exclusively, with people who I can be so open about, tell every secret, every filthy secret and thought. And now I’m in this area where I don’t know the people, and some will be open minded freaks and perverts, too, but some will not, and so I’m keeping myself to myself, a little. Which is odd for me.

I got so used to being just me, living in a world of my own creation where nothing in nature is twisted, or dirty, as a man said long ago, I think it was Servius.

Changes, anyway.

I hope I write more here, I hope I do. I’ll try.

But it’s not, as people close to me who don’t write seem to thing, some kind of muscle I can get up in the morning and knock out 20 reps of 100 words.

I could write 50,000 words right now, and I’d forget to eat, drink, pee, masturbate, yes, even masturbate. But what kind of words would they be, and is there any point?

My friends tell me to just DO it. Do it and you’ll have written, and you can edit. But I don’t like to edit, because then I read back and it’s not the voice in my head any more, it’s something I’ve crafted. And why did I do that? It’s the honesty of writing I love… and beautiful turns of phrase, and sentences that make something lurch inside you like arousal of your sense of harmony. But mostly honesty, and when I edit I think why did I do that? What am I trying to say, and what’s the point?

And I collapse in nihilism, and I don’t do anything, and I feel bad about it, because even though I don’t think anything matters, it matters to me that I don’t fade into a sad future. Also, I don’t edit because I don’t know what’s good.

People tell me to just write. Just write, write all the time. You have so much free time, you should be writing. I know. I KNOW. I know. I just need to… do it. I know.

In my old place, you see, it was too cold. It was so cold, I couldn’t think, my fingers were cold, my brain was occupied in being cold and suffering from it and overcoming it. In France you may know, I thought I’d recreate the misery and solitude of my life in Italy, without being so miserable and solitary that I’d hate it, like in Italy.

But it seems it’s either one or the other. I’m too unhappy in Italy to live. I wrote there, maybe nothing great, but I was so unhappy I wrote like my writing was my friend who understood me and it just kept me from the abyss of true misery. And France, oh I didn’t speak French, but I learnt French. And I didn’t know anyone, but I met people, and I met wonderful people and they made me laugh and I somehow made them laugh in my awful French. But I wasn’t truly happy because I was like the dumb princess, the little mermaid, clumsy on my legs and deprived of my singing voice.

The prince didn’t love me without my gifts, but he was compassionate, he thought me charming with my strange ways and my clumsiness. But that’s fine, for a short time. In France there were men, but none of them loved me for what I was, they just loved what they could see, a ballsy travelling girl with a love of wine and food and a tendency to make clumsy puns that didn’t really work in French. And they murmured things in my ear, that sounded less beautiful as my French improved and eventually just made me roll my eyes. Fucking French, everything so doomed and poignant. On a beach somewhere near Bordeaux we watched a sunset together, feet curling in the sand, and one lover told me he was glad the clouds were there, on the horizon, because had it been any clearer the sunset would have been too much, too cheesy. “I ‘ate cheesy” he said.

“I ‘ate you”, I remember thinking. But I loved him a while longer.

I missed my wit and humour and I felt dulled. I drank far too much and snuck my bottles out of the lovely, jolly house I shared with 6 people so they wouldn’t know how far it went. I couldn’t write there, because I was learning French and my head was full of French and I was being pestered by romantic men who felt no shame in throwing themselves at me.

I had so many friends, there, I couldn’t muster enough loneliness to really write. I was aware as I made this excuse that I could never make myself be lonely, Italy was a mistake, I was trapped there with my husband and my mortgage and my debt. I’d have run home, long ago, had I not been caught that way. I told people I moved to France to be lonelier.

Really I think, now, in hindsight, that I knew full well I was moving to France to have a legitimate and shameless reason to be lonely. I was desperately lonely in Ireland but I was from Ireland, there was no excuse, how could I not find the right people? And I couldn’t write there either, because I had to work in this awful call centre and I didn’t have time to write because I had to work from 9 til 5.30 and didn’t get home til 6.30 and then I was tired and sad, and needed to relax and watch something absurd and funny and forget about my life, and I’d do that til 1 in the morning and then I had to go to bed because i had work in the morning. And if I tried to write anything I’d write how I felt, and god, that was awful, and I didn’t want to think about how I felt because I felt sad and hollow and like something really awful had been done to me and I was being made pay for it. Some awful wrong, my whole life was an awful wrong that had been inflicted on me by my parents, my teachers, my friends, my boyfriends, my parents, my parents, my parents.

And I was such a lovely girl with such a sweet heart and I loved so strongly and why did they all do that, tread on me and make me so sad and break my heart so now I haven’t been sweet or loving in years.

So I didn’t like to think about that, it was too dark and I cried so much when I thought of how I felt and who I had become or was becoming. And my eyes would be puffy in work the next day. Maybe I’d write at the weekend. That’s it, I’d get a bottle of whiskey and lock myself in my bedsit, quite a nice bedsit, not really suited to drowning your sorrows, but I’d make do. And then Friday I’d be half drunk and thinking of typing a few words about something, and I’d get a call from some man I’d vowed to stay away from because he kept giving me false hope and then hurting me, and whenever that subsided I’d remember he was no good, not very interesting and not at all impressive. But I’d be lonely so I’d go and meet him, and sleep with him, and start to feel the rumblings of emotion again, and then I wouldn’t write because all I’d write about would be how I liked him, and maybe I didn’t, and why wouldn’t he call when he said he would.

and what’s wrong with me.

Well, that’s all sort of gone now. I’m not that kind of unhappy now. I’m quite happy, really. In the short term. Long term, I’m not sure, because I need to prove to myself that I am what I claim to be, a writer, and that I’ll do something with that and not just be a drain on family and the state. Not that I care about being a drain on the state, because look at everyone else, and look at all the corruption. But it’s still not right for me, personally.

I am quite happy, really. I don’t cry, I don’t feel like I’ve been hideously wounded by life any more. I feel like I’ve been wounded just the right amount, to make me someone I could respect, if only I got off my ass once in a while and contributed something to the human experience. Because no, it doesn’t matter one bit if I drink and fuck all day and get old and then no one will want to fuck me any more, but it matters to me that I leave a little bundle of pages behind, with something in them that can be picked up, and read, and maybe enjoyed, and maybe someone will read and know me through them, and my life will be in there, and all the silly things that you couldn’t invent, that don’t matter at all, but that contain everything of me but my DNA.

Oh, wine… ze sings you do to me!

Drinking… not heavily but consistently.

I haven’t been obliterated by drink in ages, maybe I’m building up a tolerance. But I do seem to find myself popping a lot of corks, mulling a lot of wine, and listening to a lot of Jeff Buckley and moaning YES THIS SONG, YES, THIS IS WHY IT IS ALL WRONG OH GOD IM HIDEOUS, IM HIDEOUS AND FAT, WHO COULD LOVE ME?

And then I listen to something a bit more upbeat and I feel like I could do anything, or even just go to a supermarket and buy salad. But I must stay away from the supermarket because while in Ireland I was limited to how much wine I could take home by price, here I am only limited by arm strength and it’s not that far of a walk home.

I’ve been drinking a lot of wine. I’m not worried about my liver, my liver is something I will worry about when I am aware of it, or when it starts to complain. I’m worried about bloating, about getting that puffy alco- face.

I’m not getting drunk every night so I GUESS I won’t get puffy alco face, but I am drinking a lot, a lot a lot.

I want to drink less but all of the get me out of the apartment and socialising activities are drinks based and let’s be honest I don’t have any normal healthy people hobbies, so I drink.

I do love cooking but frankly fresh food ingredients are more expensive than wine, and also more detrimental to the physical presence too.

I have to find an apartment and a job and I am not having much luck with either, or any luck, and I’m sort of hopelessly in love but also very insecure about it all and my French is not improving as beautifully as i had hoped.

So I drink.

But when I find a job I will have purpose and clarity and the threat of a kick up the arse if I don’t sober up and act like a proper grown up so then I will limit myself to weekends like a normal person.

Oh why can’t they just make non alcoholic wine?

Cause it would suck, that’s why.

Anyway you don’t want to read about how emotional I am being and I don’t want to write it AGAIn and AGAIN  AND AGAIN until we all DIE

so I will cut this short, tell you that I am not doing as wonderfully as my initial wave of optimism implied I would do, and I’m still being nice and outgoing but my motivation-reward-motivation system needs the little reward kicker in between to maintain itself and right now I am feeling all out of reward.

Because of course i can’t just be go with the flow like I said I wanted to be and just enjoy the feeling of a man supposedly loving me and wanting me and being crazy about me like I am about him, because he hurt me so I don’t trust it, like he’s just going to shrug me off one of these days and it will be all my fault for lettng him back in.

So.

Tis a lull.

I did my homework though so that was more than I expected of today.

Fucking flat hunting. It’s not making me a happy little critter, it’s making me a sad sodden drooping thing with a wardrobe full of empty bottles.

Oh, wine.

Consider the new year christened

Christmas wasn’t the best.

But there was new year.

Antoine invited me to spend it with his friends in his small hometown about 2 hours away. I wasn’t sure about it.. I wanted to see him, fuck I wanted to feel him, but I didn’t want to get a train to hang on his arm, to meet a bunch of younger people who wouldn’t believe I just came here on my own and by coincidence found myself right next to him. But my friends had mostly gone home or gone away for the holidays and of course I wanted to see him.

I knew as soon as he invited me, that I’d be there with him at midnight feeling weak and conflicted but that I’d be there.

I made myself consider it, consider my options, mull it over, although the decision was made as soon as he asked.

I took the train on the 31st and a bus after that. I snuck a peek of my face in my hand mirror, embarassed to be checking myself out in public. Because I felt insecure and inadequate, and the other passengers would surely know. I looked tired from all the Christmas drinking, bloated from all the eating, and I had a couple of little spots on my chin because I would be getting my period (hopefully not tooo soon)

I felt pathetic, 25 years old, a marriage behind me, travels and jobs and parties and wilderness and so much trial and error, all leading to this, following a younger guy back to his parents’ town, to spend the new year of my new life in someone else’s world with someone else’s friends.

I got off the bus and my skirt was short for a small town (short for France, even) and a young, attractive black guy at the bus stop looked me over and drew in a whistling breath through his teeth and said Ooh, la la… and something like mon dieu. I looked away embarassed about my skirt but grateful for any kind of boost…

And I saw Antoine in the distance, walking towards me all lazy confidence, limping a bit because he twisted his ankle recently. He kissed me and said I’m so happy you came. I missed you.

He showed me around his town, immune to the clusters of drunk creeps, because he grew up a tall man, so he doesn’t feel the same sense of danger or intimidation that I do. Walked right into a group of these guys to show me the view of the river and the town perched romantically on its banks. The guys started saying stuff to us, he answered, they were clearly very interested in me and if I had been with anyone less tall and French I would have been scared. He answered them and they asked me something and I didn’t really understand so I just said I don’t speak French. They threw a few more jocular comments his way, I think they were complimenting him on his slutty looking foreign acquisition, but maybe I’m just being paranoid-egotistical.

He has no idea of the danger-filter I see the world through.

We left and walked elsewhere, and then drove back to his place.

There was nobody there, the house was empty, everything was built big and tasteful. He showed me his childhood photos on the walls without embarassment. He showed me his brothers and sisters, he poured me a glass of cognac and told me we could drink it up in his bedroom “not to do anything… but because we can smoke there”

I thought the prefix “not to do anything” kind of idiotic, because we have made love so many times and of course we were going to do it again, and again, and again, so I was hardly going to accuse him of moving too fast. But that’s what he’s like. He hates the distasteful, the tacky, the vulgar. I love vulgarity, but I guess I do also appreciate the lack of it in a man.

We went upstairs and drank the cognac and put on some music and then we made love and I thought every time is different, every time it gets somehow better. What I love is that when he comes he doesn’t turn aggressive, not even for a second. He thrusts more violently, faster, harder, sure, but all the while he kisses my neck, my face, so gently and so tenderly. Even if I don’t come too…….. it feels perfect. Afterwards he kisses and kisses me, and I couldn’t imagine any words telling me more about love than those times together.

There was one thing lacking when we were together in Ireland. He wasn’t really comfortable with oral. He tried a few times but I didn’t get a feeling of him actually wanting to do it, so I would pull him back up… I couldn’t relax if I didn’t think it was really an expression of passion or desire. But this time…. well, either he’s had some practice elsewhere (don’t really want to think about that) or else he’s made a conscious decision to do it… or maybe he’s just grown more comfortable with me.

Either way, it was perfect.

He asked me what I was going to wear, which was odd for me because men don’t usually seem to consider or take an interest in the process of getting dressed. They usually watch, bemused, as I fling outfits around scowling and cursing my lack of black high heels or how I just don’t have anything to wear. I showed him one dress, a short one with a sexy lace back. Maybe a bit too slutty for meeting his friends? He ran his hands over my body and kissed me and I sucked in my stomach because that dress is a bit unforgiving. Then I showed him another dress, a more grown up dress, classier. He told me he liked the first, hotter one better but it’s my choice. I wore the first dress.

He brought a big mirror into the room for me to use. His younger brother came home for a while and I was introduced to my first member of his family. Then he left and we made love again and took a shower together. He always wants to shower together, and he wanted to fuck me in the shower which I guess he’s never done so he doesn’t know how disappointing it is. He’s too tall, though, so we couldn’t. There was a plastic step in the bathroom that we considered using but I was afraid it would slip and he might not catch me with his bad ankle. I promised we’ll do it some time…

In the car he told me in his always carefuly chosen words, that he was proud to introduce me to his friends. Of course I couldn’t just take the sentiment, I had to say something stupid. So I said “oh, are they really cool friends?” and then I retracted it and said “sorry.. so you’re proud?” and he said yes, and I kissed his hand.

I felt sad because we both know it’s not going to last. Normally at this stage in a relationship, and actually I’ve never felt so passionately with anyone… not so consistently, anyway, but normally at the intense-passionate honeymoon part, you imagine it lasting forever or wanting it to anyway.

And fuck, I’m in love with his physical presence, with his body, with how he looks at me, with how he gets hard in a split second if I kiss him, how all he has to do is touch me and I want him, how we fit so well… I’m in love with waking up with him, with falling asleep touching as much of my body off as much of his. And then we both know it can’t last, it won’t last, and sooner or later there will be the pain again. If we take it day by day it’s beautiful, utter turmoil turned into complete peace. And then when I think of the day after and the week after and the month and year and where is it going, it hits me hard and I can’t bear it. Feeling like this should come with hope, enough hope to make it light and giddy. But it’s not light, it’s heavy around us. It’s not giddy, it’s serious, it’s finite. I lie on his chest afterwards and his heartbeat counts down to the last time I lie there.

And just when I wind the consequences, the strings of possibilities around in my mind trying to find an end to pull on…. his thumb is there tracing the line of my jaw and his eyes are soft and his lip between my teeth and all I can do is pull him to me, inside me, and there’s the peace again.

What do I do with that?

We spent new year together with his friends and I held my own, I was interesting and nice, I was funny and energetic, I drank champagne and was jealous when he spent so long talking to the girl with the massive cleavage but I held back and let him come to me, let him find me having a good time with other people, living up to his expectations, I hope.

At the end of the night he took my hand and we had our own room and the champagne and the desire from spending hours together but not alone, gave us a wild, brutal session. I woke up so sore and so much in love, and again and again and again. And back in his place we made love and showered and he packed a bag and we took the train together back to my place. My flatmate was gone as it turned out, for the next 3 days, but we didn’t know so we kept to my bedroom.

It was incredible. I had the best time of my life, in that bedroom. I didn’t imagine it could be stronger than before but fuck, I’m lost. He told me he didn’t know how long we would last, but it’s wonderful. I was sad but felt the same. The doom over it all and the openness we have about it, seems to have brought us closer. The sex is never the same, never dull, never boring. Even in my most passionate affairs before, there always came a time when I just wanted to guy to come already because I started to get bored or sore or feel disconnected from the rutting animal who took over from my lover. Or where he’d touch me and I’d feel nothing, and not be in the mood, or when I’d touch him and he’d say not now, we don’t have time before we go to the cinema/party… etc.

But not with Antoine. We spent 5 days together, condom wrappers like confetti in my bedroom. We went to the cinema and restaurant and I took him to my favorite wine bar and we wrote a nonsense story together on a scrap of paper in French and English, and he insisted on paying most of the time.

After 5 days I’m glad he’s gone to visit his friends now, and then back home, I need some time to myself but I wish he was here nonetheless. We didn’t get sick of each other, we didn’t wake up a single morning without being ready for more, we didn’t fall asleep a single night without it being a true collapse from exhaustion. In the 3 days we spent in my place, he lost 1.5 kilos and I lost 2 kilos.

If only he stayed 3 more days I would be back at my ideal weight.

And now I have to find a job, find an apartment… find one with a double bed.

And do something with all these fucking thoughts.

Le Fear, part un

So I got off to a good start. Promising. Lots of fellow students of the beautiful language, all friendly, mostly fellow alcohol enthusiasts. Going out to bars and clubs every other night, and alllll weeekend.

Positive start. Of course today is the shit-encrusted tail of my 3 day weekend, so I’m feeling…. not so great. Still not down on France, oh no, France is awesome. France is fucking awesome.

FRANCE is awesome, but I am a hung over, snivelling, weak, binge drinking, sex- crazed, self-centred excuse for a woman and my legs are hairy and I have really bad sex hair BUT I have not had sex in several weeks now, and I’m feeling very unattractive.

The people I know here are all students and tourists like me but not so embarassed about the tourist label, so they are constantly taking photos of everything and handing their cameras to each other to ensure each person has a copy of the complete series of moments witnessed that day, and I keep seeing photos of me and thinking, oh yeah…. yeah… I’m not a good looking person, I just thought I was for a while because if I look straight ahead in the mirror I look good but somehow the exact position in which my face looks pretty only comes out when I am looking in a mirror.

There was a video of me talking in Swedish (I learnt one phrase and repeated it enthusiastically for three nights in a row. People are still inviting me out… nice) from the weekend and I just… can’t believe… that people are taking me seriously with such odd, inhuman facial movements. I look ridiculous when I talk. No wonder men flee and my ex boyfriends accidentally add me on facebook and then apologise for it and tell me they don’t care if I delete them.

Ah….

Here we arrive at what’s actually bother me.

So Antoine…. Antoine doesn’t say shit to me for three months and I move on and I’m like, so over that buster, I’m good, I’m moving to the country he lives in BUT I can say with utter sincerity and complete lack of denial that I am not intending to ever see him again, and if he contacts me again, I’ll be like, sorry bro, that ship has set sail and sunk and I got the only lifeboat and now I’m living a simple life on a beautiful island and there’s also a topless male only tribe living on the island and they all fuck me whenever I want and they are super fit from building shelters for me all day and there are no stds on this island.

BUT while I was not actually deluding myself one tiny bit, welll… I wasn’t really prepared for what would happen last week.

Last week I got a friendship request from him, the scrub who can’t get no love from me.

I was actually in the middle of accepting a plethora of friend requests (sorry can’t write this without smirking. I’m actually getting a smirk wrinkle on one side of my mouth only. Maybe I told you this already?)

So I’m mass-clicking yes to my new scool posse, and without really registering the name I clicked yes to Antoine. Again, this is actually not his real name of course.

So when I realised what had happened my weak, squishy, totally unprotected lady brain (and parts) went into hysterical overdrive. Incidentally, “hysteria” comes from the word for womb.. something about our stupid wombs causing everything. Also, interesting side note on a side note, google female hysteria and you will find some very interesting info about the origin of the vibrator. Ok back to the original tangent…

I went crazy. Did he want to see me? Did he know I’m in France… has he been waiting… does he miss me like crazy? Does he…. think he is ready to not be a dick and just go back to having the best sex either of us ever….

that sort of thing.

Not “fuck him, how dare he…”

Not “that’s a terrible idea, I should just tell him it’s nice to hear from him, I’m well, he’s well, good, good, and cut it off there.”

Nope. Square one, bitches.

Later he wrote to me asking how I was finding France and saying it’s weird I live so close, and I didn’t know how the fuck to take that… I just exchanged very cold pleasantries and then said g’luck with everything. The end.

Happy with myself for cutting off the convo, I so couldn’t take any more shit with him.

But I couldn’t rest.

Why did he contact me? Why did he contact me if he was just going to say stiff, boring things? He didn’t seem like he would contact me again, it didn’t seem like something he would do…. especially knowing how convinced he was that I was like soooo in love with him. And yeah I guess he was right there, I totally was… or my reaction now would have been more “meh” and less “gotta get my legs waxed in case this boy who broke my heart catches a glimpse of unsightly follicle when he says jump and I go to do the splits mid-air”

Course I couldn’t just be a good girl and play the silence game, so today, full fear and hangover and conviction that every person who is friends with me is probably just hanging out with me for some kind of dare, and every man who kisses me or calls me sexy is just doing it cause I give good head, and then maybe I don’t even give good head and men just like to humiliate me…..

I wrote to him asking why did he add me? I just said it was surprising.

He answered that he was looking at my profile to see if I did come to France after all, and accidentally must have clicked on add friend, and he only realised when I accepted. He said he didn’t mind, it was nice to have good news from me, although it’s weird I live so close… if I wanted to delete him as a friend he would understand.

And that’s the end of that.

Goddammit.

What I even hoped for I do not know.

I just wish he hadn’t got in touch because I was doing so well, and now I’m hung over and I started drifting off into thoughts about him, yeah I’d fuck him again but first I’d be cold and distant, make him feel like I moved away somewhere, but then it would melt away and he’d hold me and stroke my neck down to between my breasts and he’d follow his hands with his eyes, doing everything carefully, every action the result of thinking about it first. I’d breathe hot onto his ear and feel him tense, and I’d reach his ear with my mouth and he’d quiver against me and we’d kiss and touch  where we know to touch, and he’d whisper I want you now.

I loved that sex so much. When I think about him it’s all sex. He brushed my hair once in the shower, he did it with concentration, slowly, in a way that was so impractical and naive it endeared me to him.

I liked our meals together, we enjoyed wine and cheese and we drank milk after sex and it was exactly the right drink for after sex. He told me he got this habit from his older sister’s ex, who he presumably watched as a gangly little boy, a glass of cold milk and an attitude of I just fucked your sister.

But I never think about our conversations. It was just sex but it was sex that completely took me over. And I guess I would have gone there again, I would have prostrated myself on the altar of who cares, this is a sturdy surface, fuck me on it.

But it’s not to be, and I’m not sad about it, I’m really just sad that I break and I heal but there’s still a great gaping crack where he can slip right back in any time he wants.

And yes, that phrase was entirely intentional, although mine is just great and not gaping.

Ahhh, the fear.

Makes me feel like utter scrotum about my looks, my personality, everything… at least it only lasts til Tuesday.

Tuesday my ego will be back in full swing.

Really, I’m in paradise. I just need to keep going out and meeting locals which isn’t so easy when you are in a big group of foreigners with shit French, but it’s not like Italy, it’s not like that… it’s good here. Patience, my sweets.

I have seen so many hot barmen, hot binmen, hot policemen, hot traffic light repairmen up on ladders, hot cheesy sandwich vendors (also hot sandwiches and cheesy vendors)

It’ll be fine.. just gotta get through the ridiculous self loathing festival I’m holding in my hung over brain. I spent most of the day eating microwave reheated empanadas and watching bad camera angle porn, I think tomorrow the simple act of leaving the apartment and socialising with my school buddies will help significantly. Although I’m also kind of happy to have a decent internet connection again so I can watch porn.

I’ll try to write something when I’m not in this kind of mental space so you get a less skewed idea of my sanity. I was really happy every other day since I got here. And I speak atrocious French BUT I made a French girlfriend in a bar last weekend and she’s willing to hang out and listen to me talking like a 2 year old but with more Anglophonic “R”s and “N”s.

So I’m gonna get there…

PATIENCE

I don’t have much patience because I’m so eager to get there already and speak awesome French and be made love to passionately by awesome French guys.

A plus tard, my sweets.

Also, I’m actually not going to move my blog, I’ll keep this one. I’ll just continue to drop “the pursuit of ‘appiness” into my writing as a glorious pun but I won’t change the title cause… fuck it.

xxx

Abby N Flicker

Saturday night wine-in with Joni Mitchell

It’s Saturday night and I’m hemming a dress.

I’m trying to… I’m an impatient and crude sewer… sewist? Needlewoman?

But I want to hem this dress because I cut it shorter months ago and I like it, and I keep putting it on and thinking need to do that hem and throwing at the back of the wardrobe. But I’m MOVING to FRANCE soon so I need to shit or get off the pot, regards my dress.

And I’m drinking wine and that’s what I did last night too, I drank a bottle of red plonk, 6 euro a bottle, embarassed buying it really. I steeled myself for the teenager puffing up his chest when he served me, to ask some question about my cheap wine habits, to which I would reply “no I’m making mulled wine… for… eh… lots of people… you can use cheap wine for mulled wine, it doesn’t matter.”

Of course he didn’t say anything about my wine choices. He has in the past challenged me on my whiskey purchases but last night he was on a walkie talkie with a colleague whining

“I’m FOOKING STARVING, hurry the fook up! Ah here, ah here man! That’s fucking ages!” (I believe his colleague was leaving him waiting for his break.)

But I drank it on my own playing Age of Mythology and I said tonight would be different.

Anyway I can’t spend money because I’m going so soon and I have already dipped into my savings this month… I’m going to France with Fuck All savings.

And tonight I was listening to Joni Mitchell and hemming my dress and I think “All I want” was playing and it got me thinking of Antoine. Not of missing him, but just a gentle sort of thinking… I was thinking of the tender moments with this strange person who the more I got to know, the less I understood. Now, after everything, it’s so odd to me that we ever shared anything… and we shared so much, and yet it was nothing, nothing at all.

I thought, why am I still… thinking about him? Why am I still friends with him on facebook? Am I waiting for something? I don’t want him again, if he wrote to me I’m sorry I’m sorry I miss you I love you I’d let him down firmly but gently, and probably in a patronising manner because of the age difference I have recently added to our relationship, that I waved my hand at earlier. Nah, not for us. Now it’s my weapon, in case he comes back…

But he won’t and I don’t want more of him. So I opened facebook and went to his page to Unfriend him, not maliciously, but in the sense that neither of us should be made aware of changes, posts, photos… etc.

I know even now I do the odd facebook stalk session. Like a new girlfriend is just going to be announced on his page, or he’ll write something that totally references me… I don’t know. So I went to unfriend him… and instead of having that option… the button read “add friend”.

HE unfriended ME.

Goddammit.

When did this happen? I’m sure he was my friend recently, like two or three days ago. I don’t want to read it as something mean either, because from my point of view it wasn’t something nasty to do.

I guess it just means that for whatever reason, he was thinking of me, and for whatever reason, he wanted to not be facebook friends with me any more. I am sure it was really, really recent… like a matter of one or two days.

But there it is, he made the move, and for some reason it hurt me a bit.

I’m not really that hurt, I don’t need like, outpourings of sympathy… I’m just stung by it. Like a slap on the wrist of my confusing last relationship…

I don’t know what it is… I look at a picture of him and he looks younger every time. Like, really young. I don’t know what it was, what morsel I grabbed onto, that made me see him as a big, great man. I can’t recall it now. He was confident and I guess the usual men who like me are shy, self depracating, can’t believe their luck to be with me.

I wonder why I attract them..

Is it because I’m a fake confident? Like I feel confident.. I feel that I feel like I’m an attractive, fun, interesting, intelligent person. But then I don’t make decisions like I believe it… And who knows what my facial expression gives off…

When I look in the mirror I put my face in an arrangement that is just for me. I know it and I know my face and I see it all. I imagine other people see something similar but maybe I do some other expression when I’m being observed, or when I’m not… I’m terribly afraid that my personality, to other people, looks like a shabby attempt at jollyness, cockyness and spontaneity but it’s a flimsy veil over bitterness, fear, solitude and heartbreak.

I can’t tell, wine doesn’t really help. Joni Mitchell makes me feel splendid with myself, like my best friend is telling me things I always knew but never thought of. But I can’t shake the knowledge that it’s Saturday night and it’s Joni Mitchell’s voice and not a friend’s, and I’m drinking wine on my own trying to hem a dress like it’s going to MAKE me, a new outfit, new person. And here I am, a really great assortment of friends in Ireland… GOOD friends, friends who actually give a shit about me… and I’m home drinking on Saturday night and I’m about to move to France where I don’t even speak the language, and maybe the main reason I’m doing this is to prove to myself and my ex… my ex- facebook friend… that I wasn’t moving to France to be with him? Like it’s a game of emotional chicken and I’m the fool that gets run over for her bravery.

I DO want to do this, I feel like it’s my one big decision I’m making  to better myself as a person. To get over the things I dislike about myself. The antisocial, lazy behaviour… I HAVE TO get over that if I do this. So it’s good… just because it originated from a desperate need to follow a good feeling, a shallow good feeling with a boy… doesn’t mean it’s a fake plan doomed to bring me right back here even sadder.

But I also got married because I started a plan and I didn’t want to back out and admit I hadn’t a clue what I was doing.

But here I am, and I’m going to do something risky and scary and that’s good, I don’t want to wallow here making nothing of myself. Struggle is good, it has to be good. I need to do this. Ooooh I am a lonely painter, I live in a box of paints… I’m frightened by the devil, and I’m drawn to those ones that aint afraid…. Oh goddamit I will never get sick of Joni Mitchell. She’s just beautiful.

My family’s opinion has always washed off me like water off anybody’s back, but when I said I was getting married they all stalled and asked questions that made me shut down in self defence. And make up lies, monstrous lies about my view on life.

But I told my grandfather about this plan of mine, and my grandfather is a great, ridiculously intelligent man. He told my mother,

“in a way, everything Abby has done so far in her life has been leading up to this.”

And I really relish that being true.

So fuck it. Hope and enthusiasm and all that shit, while I’ve got ’em, I’m going to apply them to this situation and fuck, I just hope it brings me somewhere that isn’t the same as everywhere else. I have hope… but I’m also fucking terrified that all my life is going to be is one crisis after the next, savouring the drama to distract me from the fact that I’m never happy with anything and I’m always lonely. But that’s just wine talk, isn’t it?

I’m excited to go on my adventure I just hope there’s something out there for me….. something, anythign, to hold my attention and interest me that will stand up to scrutiny. I entertain myself with people who aren’t worth shit, like Antoine, and then it’s over and I’m thinking, who the fuck am I to continue to feel so superior when I can be utterly floored by some pretentious kid on Erasmus or before him, the cheap, mean, idiot I married, or before him, the ketamine dealer who cheated on me with his brother’s kid’s mother???

I don’t want to change myself, but I’d love to know what I can change about my behaviour, to get something better for myself. I hope my next plan is the first step…

To be a teacher and move to France or not to be a teacher and move to France?

Doubt again.

I DID seize the day today. Yesterday, despite my misty eyed pep talk was a write off. I left the house around 7pm to do some grocery shopping and walking around the aisles I felt a pining in my belly for the cheap good wine and the magret du canard he cooked for me. I wondered sickly if I would really be able to not be in love with him just because it’s stupid to be in love with someone who doesn’t even let you be in love the normal illogical way and can’t even commit to his next orgasm. I saw him online and he didn’t write again. I wrote a tentative, counter-everything I know and have been told and have decided- Hey! And he didn’t reply. Fuck him. fuck him. Wish I could fuck him… But fuck him…

Today I got up and had a langorous breakfast of coffee and a lot of cigarettes and two potato waffles with a lot of butter to drip through the holes. I walked into Dublin city because the sun was shining, Irish as I am I carried a woollen jumper around all day unnecessarily because sure you never know. The weather is a moody bitch, but it stuck all day today and it felt good and my legs are still a pleasing shade of above-ivory. I visited all four of my pre-compiled list of addresses of schools offering English teaching courses and was very impressed by one. The other three were a combination of ridiculously expensive and uninformative.

What used to be called the TEFL certificate or accreditation or what have you, is now CELTA or CELT. The difference between the two is that CELT means Certificate of English Language Teaching and CELTA means Cambridge Certificate of English Language Teaching for Adults. Both cost a similar whack and occupy a similar amount of time and effort…. only one is actually recognised all over the world. The other guys are sly and leave out that fact. The school I liked does the proper serious one and the lady spoke warmly and seemed genuinely interested in me and why I wanted to do this. She was really enthusiastic and I thought this is it, I’m coming here. But I went to find the last school anyway, to be thorough, except I couldn’t find it and I was by this stage weak from lack of food. So I went home happy with my day’s investigations… it doesn’t sound like much but I walked all over and I was wearing crappy shoes. Also I went shopping.

No, not like that… I bought underwear, nothing exciting just some more cotton ones because I don’t know what happens to all my underwear I just don’t seem to have enough. Maybe it’s that I keep acquiring (buying) more clothes and the more clothes I have the less regularly I do laundry so the less regularly I wash undies… Hmmm…

Anyway, when I got home I checked my email for the application forms they were sending me from the schools. There’s a whole interview process and it’s expensive and the course is apparently hard and intensive… and I have to write a cover letter about why I want to do this. And I wrote most of the letter and then started thinking, fuck…. is this right? Would I be able to hack it, one month intense, more intense than I’ve ever studied, 5 days a week, 9 hours a day, plus loads of written assignments and hands on teaching practice… would I be good? I never studied in my life. I never did, I was always clever enough to skim by…. I never studied for a test, never ever ever. I don’t even know how… And would I be a good teacher?

And… most importantly… because I really do want a big adventure and romance and to be better than I am… but… would I be able for Italy mark 2? Sure, France is not the meat market Italy is… France is more elegant and awesome and more me, a 1000,000,000 times more me… I think….

But what if I get there and I act like I always have? Shut myself up in my room and whimper I have no friends, I have no friends… am I capable of being an outgoing, friend-making solitary traveller? I want to be… but is it against my nature? Can I do it?

And so I spiral into despair. I’m kind of giving up on HIM anyway. I’m sure it’s not so bleak, if I am nearby he will of course want to see me, he’s not made of stone, he is crazy about me too he just has different ideas about long term relationships and how to deal with stuff. But I can’t feel like he will be there because he’s not letting me feel like he will be there, so I’m thinking of me, me on my own… it probably wouldn’t be much better if he was there for me anyway, because I don’t really want to acquire a posse of 21 year olds to hang out with when I’m being a cool international traveller. I’d need more varied and mature convo of course, I just want his extra time and his… mwah… kiiiisss.

And I’m afraid I’m going to do this course, work really really fucking hard to do it, and cost my daddy a pretty penny and then what? I can’t teach in Ireland, you need a degree to teach in Ireland. So it’s go somewhere and somehow miraculously get over my social shittyness… and is it something I can do? I want soooo much to be able to cop on to myself and do what I’ve never done, meet people and grow up and write and not go out all the time but just when it’s good, and go to cafes and for dinner and invite people to eat sometimes and not have enough furniture so we sit on the ground.

Like in Argentina, there was something very real and warming about that, but then I cheated, I inherited friends from my cousins and when I wasn’t drinking wine from jam jars and eating spaghetti with laughing Argentinians with dreadlocks while the half full pot of pasta with whatever sad sauce we could afford sat in the middle of the floor because we didn’t have a table just a wooden crate that was too wear for the pot to sit on…. The rest of the time I ordered pizza from two doors down, it wasn’t nice pizza but it was cheap, and I drank Argentinian whiskey (not good. I’ll never get those taste buds back… or them brain cells) and I stayed in at home and watched startingly old new release dvds from blockbuster. I didn’t go out and live the Buenos Aires life, not really, not very often… and I only made friends with people who were introduced to me. And I regret the shit out of that wasted time, because everyone thinks I went off and had super adventures but it’s a big fat lie of omission.

I did fuck all. I saw fuck all… I spent a lot on pizza and I only lost weight because I had a shitload of sex with my flatmate. Who I later married. I didn’t even have the motivation or curiosity to leave the house to meet a man. Apart from, briefly, the Jamaican. Actually, I just walked up to him and chatted him up… I guess I did meet one or two people on my own.  And a few Argentinians. But only people I then slept with… I didn’t make any friends. Can I make friends?

ARRRRGHH.

This is my current crisis, and I’m panicking because I need to apply with a convincing cover letter THIS WEEK or I can’t do the course before Christmas and if I leave it til Christmas you know what’s going to happen, I’ll have tired of the idea and moved on to some new obsession, and I’ll never know if I could live the beautiful life in France with a typewriter and a cat called Maurice and eat butter all day without getting fat.

(If you live in France you can eat butter all day without getting fat, it’s like calorie tax breaks. I don’t understand it, but it is obviously a fact.)

Am I just plotting a very expensive slap in the face for myself?

Am I looking for a fantasy world?

Or am I actually doing something ballsy that is not entirely stupid at all and kind of a good idea that might send me on to become the kind of person I actually would be proud of?

You can only pick one.

I half wish I was a religious person so I could make a pilgrimage to an oracle and then it wouldn’t be my stupid mistake whatever I do.

Help me, Rhonda…..

 

your flakey indecisive pal,

Abby