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.

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.

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.

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)

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.

The shit I have been putting into my body since I was a teenager…. finally hits the fan.

Shit got real this weekend.

Friday night, went out to a techno night with two of my best friends. Jack invited me – a group of his friends were going and so I invited Alan, a mate of mine. The music was great. We had some MDMA… I was sharing a tiny fifth of a gram bag with Alan, not enough to go really mad but I had a great dance and felt very much at one with everybody there.

We danced til the lights went up, I thanked the dj profusely, dripping in sweat and oozing excitement, and the rest of the girls and I took some photos with him. Apparently he was a big name, but I never know about these things.

We spilled out into taxis and headed back to Mandy’s place.

Sat on the couches. I hit the whiskey. We had finished my bag of mdma but Mandy had some more. I took a dab and so did Alan, and then I thought fuck it, I’ve hit the high note, don’t take any more, it’s not going to give me any more of a buzz now. I let the euphoria mellow into chilled out shit-talking. We laughed, we talked utter nonsense. Alan was cold so I piled jackets and blankets on him and sat with him. I dozed off and woke up, Alan was feeling my arm and looking a bit lost. I guessed he was in the touchy feely zone, so I didn’t mind. Fell asleep again. The others were still up, I was comfy as fuck and just felt like drifting off.

And then it happened.

I don’t know…. I don’t remember how it started.

I just woke up and I was holding Alan in my arms and telling him “it’s ok… you’re here with me and it’s ok.”

I was repeating that over and over again, smiling at him and rubbing his back. Then the rest of the picture came into view.

His eyes were rolling around in his head and there was blood coming out of his mouth. He was making a croaking, gurgling sound. I noticed this sound… someone was banging the table. Why were they doing it?Why didn’t they stop banging on the table, couldn’t they see he was freaked out enough?

And then I realised it was Alan’s legs. They were banging off the table.

Everyone was gathered around, trying to help in the emergency we couldn’t really comprehend. One girl was helping me hold him sitting half up. The rest held his legs, trying to keep them still, or turned off the music, or did something else, I don’t know. I wondered vaguely had he swallowed his tongue and was this why he couldn’t speak. One girl mouthed should I call an ambulance and I nodded to her terrified but trying to make sure he couldn’t see me looking freaked out.

All I knew was he needed to calm down. I stroked his face and repeated “it’s ok… it’s ok… just relax, it will be over soon. Just relax, it’s all ok. I’m here…”

His legs stopped shaking after what felt like hours. But it wasn’t hours… His eyes darted around. I saw his tongue somewhere in his half open mouth. The blood must have been from where he bit something in his mouth. A small amount of relief washed over me but he couldn’t speak, he kept making this strangled noises. I stroked his head and talked to him calmly. The girl sitting on the other side of him , Amy, told me quietly, I’ve seen this happen before. He’s ok… he’s just too mad out of it. It’ll pass and he just needs to throw up and sleep. Throw up, drink water and sleep. Trust me.

From across the room I was asked again, should we call an ambulance. The decision was mine. He’s my friend.

I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to do. He wasn’t having a fit any more. He was in a pure state of panic. Maybe he was half asleep and his brain hadn’t caught up with being awake yet… like a sleep terror. I thought the sight of paramedics might freak him out again… I told them we would wait a few minutes and see if he calmed down. OK.

I held him and his eyes were crazy. He looked nothing like himself. The expression, the way he holds his face… what makes him look like him… it wasn’t there. I smiled at him like a mother at a child. Relaxed, indulgent. It’s ok. You’re ok. You just need to rest now. It’s ok. He gradually untensed and lay back a bit. He was cold and soaked in sweat. We put some cushions and blankets around him, and tried our best to shift him into the recovery position. He closed his eyes and groaned and twitched a bit but he seemed like he was nodding off.

As soon as his eyes were closed we discussed the situation. We spoke quietly and as calmly as possible. Looking around me, the eyes of everyone… saucers, black saucers. We were all still totally fucked. We could call the ambulance but Amy swore she had seen this happen before and the worst was over. We just had to look after him and he would ride it out.

I knew it was all on me, the decision, the responsibility. But I didn’t want to panic him any more. I didn’t want to put a freaked out guy who wasn’t lucid, into a stretcher, into an ambulance, with strange faces and cold and white and more stress. I made a decison, to give him half an hour and if his condition improved, we would try to deal with it ourselves.

He was sleeping fitfully. I let him go but kept a hand on his back, partly to comfort him if he could feel it, partly to check he was breathing properly and to notice if he went into another fit.

Suddenly it occured to me, what had actually happened. What was still happening. I burst into silent tears. I shook and wept and they brought me tea. Jack hugged me and told me I was brilliant. I coped with it amazingly, I was so calm.

I cried and cried.  I wanted it to be true, that I was coping well… but I wasn’t. I really didn’t know what I should do. I didn’t want this to be my responsibility. If anything happens to him… if anything happens to him it’s all on me. I can never forgive myself if I do the wrong thing here.

Jack said, we all make a choice when we take drugs. We make a choice. It’s not your fault this happened, maybe he took a really big greedy bit from Mandy’s bag at the end of the night. Maybe he came up in his sleep and woke up having a panic attack. I don’t know… I don’t know. Amy insisted, I know what this looks like, I know what you’re afraid of, but honestly this is going to be ok. I haven’t taken anything tonight. This is something I’ve dealt with before. I wanted to trust her but I didn’t want to misplace my trust.

After a while he stirred. I held him up and we talked to him. He muttered a little bit, incoherently. We talked breezily to him. Ah you’re fine, it’s just a bad time. It’ll be fine soon, ok? You know what I think would be nice? A bit of water. Oh that would make you feel better. We tried putting the straw in his mouth but he rejected it. We tried and tried and he vaguely swiped it away. Ungh. Mmmm… Uhhhh…

I held him to me and rubbed his back. You’re ok. You’re ok. I’m here, it’s all ok. I know how you’re feeling. It’ll be fine. It’s ok. It’s ok.

I wasn’t sure what to do. I was afraid of setting him into another fit. It felt like that was the most dangerous thing. He seemed to get some comfort from being held in my arms. He recognised me, but his eyes… his eyes were pure lost and frightened. We talked to him and he breathed in, racking gasps.

He fell asleep again.

I felt sure that if he did sleep a bit more, he would come down from the drugs and be, if not 100% ok, at least coherent enough to tell us what he needed, how he felt…. it couldn’t take long for it to wear off. The worst was over… it must be.

I drank some tea and put whiskey in it. As soon as he was asleep the panic set in again, and I let myself cry and shake.

I was still really out of it too. We all were. We were out of our minds, and trying to deal with the sort of situation that would still be really, really hard sober.

When he woke next, about half an hour later, maybe… we tried to encourage him to get sick. He smelt like sick. He was belching and swallowing the belches. I could tell he wanted to get sick but was afraid to. I know that feeling… We got a big bowl and tried to coax him over it. come on now, you’ll feel better. I promise. It’s what you need. Eventually, fighting all the time, trying to swallow it back down, he produced some puke. Mostly into the bowl. He puked and it was liquid and he retched and tried not to puke again and I held him up because he kept trying to lie down.

Eventually he seemed finished, and he lay back down to a jerky, feverish sleep. I said, this is it. Now he has gotten sick. If he isn’t considerably better when he next wakes up, I am calling the ambulance. That’s how we’re going with this…

They all agreed, it was my call. Oh fuck, that was too much responsibility for me. How can I decide this?

He slept a little while,  then struggled to his feet. He looked around. His eyes were wild, darting and bulging. He looked so lost and freaked out, and then he saw me and something seemed to register and he fell towards me and I held him and told him it was all ok. I felt immense guilt over not bringing him to the hospital but I felt 90% sure that the worst thing was to set him into a panic again. I have had panic attacks for years and I’ve fought them on drugs too, but never like this. But I thought I understood… some part of what he was going through. I was terrified of the doctors being brusque and uncaring with him just because he did it to himself…. recreational drugs. Stupid….

He stumbled around and nothing he said made sense. He seemed to want to throw up and I walked-carried him down the hall to the bathroom were he vomited on the carpet, on me, on himself, in the toilet, all the while saying Oh please… oh please… oh no… I held him up as he puked, retching up green slime. One of the guys was with me helping me carry the weight.

Then we put him in a bed on his side and the rest of us discussed the situation while I drank tea with whiskey and cried.

It’s a good sign that he got up to get sick. That’s an improvement, it’s slow but it’s an improvement.

I looked in the door at him every minute or so. He seemed to be snuggling into the bed. I felt slightly reassured but was still beating myself up about maybe making the wrong call.

We sat and I chain smoked and we took it in turns to check on him.

He woke again after maybe another half an hour and got up and wanted to use the toilet. I brought him into the toilet as he mumbled nonsense. Something about a boat. Oh please. Oh please.

I need to go toilet.

This is the toilet. Look, this is it. He saw his reflection in the mirror and it was obviously a terrifying sight. I held him up and hugged him tight. He groaned and said oh please, oh please. He started thrusting his pelvis against mine. It saddened me that he was doing that but I knew he wasn’t himself, he was completely out of his mind. I rubbed his back and said shhhhh while he grinded against me, and then he gave me a tentative kiss on the cheek, smiling shyly. I hugged him tighter and said it was ok. He said I need to go toilet. I said you’re here, look. He looked so confused, so I took off his trousers for him. Look, there you go. You can go to the toilet. He swayed and looked frightened. I stood in the doorway trying to give him privacy without leaving him alone. He didn’t make any move. Eventually I tried to pull down his briefs but he yanked them back up no no no… I need to go toilet. He started wandering out of the bathroom and I tried to coax him back. I need to go toilet… he wandered into the living room and didn’t seem to recognise anything. He tried the front door but I stopped him.

Here’s the toilet, look, here it is!

He didn’t recognise the toilet. He wandered into another bedroom and flopped onto the bed. I covered him in blankets.

Retreated to the living room.

Look, I said to Amy, this is too much. It’s not getting better. He got sick and now he’s still totally fucked. He won’t drink any water, he doesn’t know what’s going on. I’m really, really worried. What if he doesn’t get better?

He’s dehydrated, she said. He needs to drink. He needs to replace the salts.

They boiled some 7up… a typical Irish cure all. I brought it in to him with a straw. Rubbed his back. Come on now, Alan. His eyes opened. He groaned. Come on, a little drink. A little bit to drink and you can go back to sleep, I promise. come on now, I’ll put it in your mouth. I blocked the top of the straw and placed it over his mouth. Just a little drop. I deposited a few drops on his mouth and he moaned and thrashed away from me. Come on now just a little bit, and then you can sleep. Come on just a little bit.

He refused it all, spluttering indignantly with mad eyes.

I told him, look, you can drink a bit now, for me, or the doctor will make you drink. Drink now, and go to sleep, or you are going to the doctor. It won’t be nice. You won’t enjoy it one bit, but it’s very easy to drink now. Come on, just a bit.

I tried for a long time, and then I knew it was no use.

Make the call.

One of the guys made the call. The ambulance arrived and two friendly, lovely paramedics came in. I explained honestly and in detail everything that had happened. And what did he take, are you sure it was mdma?

I said yes, it was mdma, and I took almost exactly the same amount as he did. It wasn’t much, but maybe he didn’t drink enough water or maybe he was greedier with his doses. I don’t know.

The paramedics told me they thought he would be fine, they could either take him in or leave him there, monitored.

I told them I had been watching him constantly but I didn’t know how much longer we could all be relied on… none of us had slept yet. If this is going to be another 12 hours or so we won’t be able for it, I don’t think…

The tried a few tests. Squeeze my hand. He thrashed on the bed, saying please no please no.

Flashed light in his eyes. Pulled the blankets off him and he struggled to pull them back up…

That’s a good sign. He knows he’s cold. that’s good.

God, that’s nothing… he knows he’s cold… A worm knows it’s cold. What if he’s done damage… permanent damage. What if I was so stupid, and I should have called the ambulance straight away… what if he’s never the same. I watched as they tried talking to him. I tried talking to him.

There was nothing to do but bring him in to hospital.

They told me, I’m sorry but we are going to have to call the police. Not to get anyone in trouble, just to protect ourselves. He’s not going to come out easily. It’s for our own protection, we can’t risk it.

I nodded. I understand, if that’s what it takes then go ahead. But can we try first… I know he won’t hit me. He won’t.

I pulled the blanket off him and tried to get him sitting up.

Alan…. it’s me. It’s me. You can have a blanket, if you get in this chair, ok? Get in this chair now and we’ll give you the blanket.

He allowed himself to be lifted to his feet. Just sit in the chair.

He started rotating on his feet. Where’s the chair… where’s the chair… oh please I’m cold… oh please.

It’s here… it’s right here, just sit.

We guided him into the chair and a blanket was put on him and they strapped him in. Another blanket on top.

He was scared, really scared but he seemed to be grasping something about the situation.

They lifted him in the chair and took him down the stairs. I had borrowed shoes from Mandy and trousers so I wasn’t wearing heels and vomit soaked tights.

I followed them down the stairs as he vomited.

We were outside and the neighbours were gathered, spectating, curious.

They loaded him in the ambulance and I had his trousers in my arms and one of the guys I had only met that night, was coming with me. My friend Jack was going to follow in a taxi.

We got into the ambulance, Dan the other guy went in front and I sat in the back witht he paramedics. They made cheery conversation. I saw a drawer in the ambulance labelled maternity suits body bags. I cried a little because I was so afraid, because I was so close to something big and important and dangerous and my friend, my dear friend, was there… and maybe I had done something stupid, maybe I had decided something wrong that harmed him, maybe I had really really fucked up and I would never, ever be able to forgive myself for doing this.

I told the ambulance guys everyhting I could think of about what happened. I told them why I didn’t call sooner, although I didn’t know now… my reason sounded feeble… they told me it was ok but it wasn’t ok, here I was in the back of an ambulance with one of my closest friends, and he wasn’t ok.

It was all surreal. We got to the hospital and they told me they were taking him in and I needed to register him at the reception. I went in with Dan and told them what I knew, his name, his date of birth. they asked for his address and I didn’t know it, I don’t know why but I didn’t know it.

I tried google maps but it wouldn’t load. I know where he lives just not the address.

I remembered I had his phone on me so I got his best friend’s number and called.

I told him what had happened and could he give me the address?

He said he had just gone to sleep two hours ago but he was coming in.

I smoked outside and the day cleared my head and it was pounding. Jack had arrived in a taxi.

We sat, three of us and smoked.

I went back to reception and they said he was with the doctor, they’d tell me when they knew something.

I sat there for four hours. Alan’s friend arrived, and I filled him in.

Dan went home. He was so tired… but he did more than he needed to, he doesn’t know me or Alan at all..

We waited and waited and eventually I went up to reception again. I just want to know if there’s any news, or how long he will be in, or something. I want to wait here for when he wakes up but if it’s going to be hours, it would be better to know now..

She went and asked and told me he was on a drip, it would be at least a couple of hours.

We decided to go home and rest a bit. I gave the receptionist my number and his jeans and we took a taxi back to mine. Jack went home and I told him to stay home and get sleep.

Stuart, Alan’s friend, stayed in mine. I pulled out the sofabed for him and we chatted a while and then drifted off. Got about two hours sleep and woke up. Made some food. Watched my phone… nothing.

We talked about Alan, the stupid shit he does. Like telling a story and leaving out the incriminating part that makes it all make sense. We said he would probably tell people “I was in the hospital on a drip… eh…. because.. I just was.”

We laughed far too hysterically. We’re his best friends, he’s a massive chasm between us. He should be here. I said, I wish Alan was here because he would find this really fucking funny.

We ate and he had a shower and then the phone rang, the doctor. Is this Abby?

YES! Yes! Hello.

I’m here with Alan. He’s awake now… he’s asking for you.

Is he.. ok? Is he back to normal?

Yes, he’s groggy but he’s back to normal.

Oh thank you. Thank you.

I’ll be in soon.

Do you have his shoes?

No but I’ll get them. I live close, I’ll just get a taxi now… with his shoes.

He wants to talk to you… here.

Alan!

Alan!

Hi.

Abby?

Yeah. How are… you ok?

Yeah.. eh what happened?

You… freaked out. You freaked out a bit and you didn’t know what was going on so we had to bring you in to hospital. It’s ok, I’ll be in soon.

Ok. Cool.

I have your passport, your bank card, your phone.

Oh thank god.

Yeah I’ll be in soon. And your shoes. I’m so glad you’re all right.

See you later.

 

We walked to Mandy’s and she gave me the shoes. Is he ok? Yeah, he’s ok again. She hugged me. I’m so glad… I’m so glad. thank you for everything. I really, really appreciate everything.

Stuart and I took a taxi to the hospital and only one could go in so I went in, and I saw him walking towards me down a corridor, weirded out and nervous but ok. He had colour in his face. He looked A LOT better than any of us.

He asked me questions, I gave him vague replies. Here are your shoes. I have all your stuff.

Do we have to discharge him? No, he’s already been discharged. Thank you.

We walked out, past the fresh round of inpatients.

He was surprised to see Stuart. I told him a bit of what happened but left out the embarassing stuff.

I told him he got sick, yes, but into a big bowl. Oh ok.

I knew he was still freaked out. There would be time tomorrow to tell him about how big a deal it was and how he should stay away from drugs.

He asked me tentatively, where are we going?

You can come back to mine. He looked so relieved. Can I? Can I?

Of course. You can stay at mine as long as you like. Oh thank you.

Stuart left us and we went back to my place. He had a plaster with stale blood on his hand.

We stopped at the shop and got a pizza and some milk and hot chocolate and went home. I put him in my bed and made him tea and told him a little more about what happened, and he told me about how he woke up and had no clue what had happened or why he was there. He thought he was on a boat at first.

I hugged him and he hugged me and I realised it was over and I burst into tears, and I didn’t want him to know how freaked out I had been but he was probably in better shape than me at this stage.

He seemed genuinely shocked that I was upset. Really, really surprised.

I said I was just glad he was ok. Really, you mean a lot to me. I could never have forgiven myself if I made the wrong choice and something happened to you and it would be my fault and I couldn’t bear that.

It’s ok, I’m ok, you did the right thing.

I didn’t do the right thing I was stupid, I should have called the ambulance straight away, what if you weren’t ok?

I’m sorry.

Thank you… thank you so much. You’re an amazing friend. Seriously, thank you so much. I’m so glad I’m here now and not in that hospital.

That’s why I didn’t want to bring you to hospital because I knew it would be horrible for you. I’m sorry though.

It’s fine, you did the right thing.

I don’t know.

We ate pizza and watched episodes of Red Dwarf. I put my arm aruond my friend and I was so glad it was him again and not that guy who was too fucked to know anything, and I was so glad he knew where he was and that we could be friends and he would be ok.

We watched some episodes and I had been going to let him have my bed and sleep on the sofa bed but I could see he was still panicky and so I cuddled up to him and we slept curled up together which I think was the best thing for both of us after the last 24 hours.

Slept pretty well and in the morning when I saw he was a bit too fucking breezy I told him, look I don’t want to make you feel shitty or anything, because what happened just happened to you, you didn’t do anything wrong… but I don’t want you taking this in your stride because it was not ok. It was the worst night of my life and you need to really look at why that happened and you need to stay away from drugs and you need to stay away from anything that could fuck you up, for a while anyway. IF you remembered what you had been through you would never want to touch a drug again, but you don’t remember which is lucky. But your body will remember and it is going to make it difficult for you, for a while anyway… You need to avoid getting into any stress now. No big drinking, no late nights. Eat properly, get enough rest… and really look into what happened. Because that was fucked up.

He nodded and agreed. Eventually he was getting a lift from his mum, so he thanked me again, he claimed I saved his life but instead of making me feel good about myself that made me feel like a disgrace…

I know I cared for him as best I could, and maybe I did a really really good job of keeping calm and looking after him while he was in that awful condition, but I let someone else convince me there was no need for an ambulance when my better judgement says I should have called the ambulance just in case. He’s ok so no harm done but I did not act in good judgement, I don’t know but he thinks I’m brilliant for what I did  and I don’t feel brilliant, I feel like I fucked up.

But then everyone says it was a really hard thing to deal with and I hadn’t slept and I was wired to the moon and I was great but I can’t help feeling like shit. I did test my mettle and find out I’m strong in a crisis, and I can hold my shit together if it’s important, but my judgement…. I’m not sure about my judgement. I guess it could have gone either way.

My indecision could have put him in danger, but then maybe if I had called the ambulance straight away he might have had another seisure from the shock of being manhandled when he was in that original worst state. I don’t know, I’ll never know.

I’m all over the place.

He went home today and thanked me again and again and I sat and thought about it and ran it all over and wondered what would have been right. And I beat myself up for not staying in the hospital because he was freaked out when he woke up and didn’t know anything…

And then a friend invited me to the cinema and I thought yes, get out, go out, distract yourself.

But we sat down and I ate half the popcorn in the trailers and then the movie started (Total Recall) and it was all flashing lights and gunfire and I closed my eyes because it was too much but even through my eyelids it was too much and it was all in my head and I thought of seisures and I saw his face gargling at me blood out the side of his mouth and his eyes like some strange creature’s eyes and his legs jerking and no intelligence in his face, it was like a chicken… it was like a man’s body, my friend’s body, with a chicken’s mind in it, gurgling and croaking and confused and I told my friend I’m sorry I can’t… I can’t.

I tripped out of the cinema and the lights in the foyer were even too bright and I went outside and it was jarring, the people, the street, everything had sharp edges and I wanted to cry and curl up in my bed. I called my best friend and we talked about what had happened and I declared that’s it, that’s it.

I always knew there would be one day when I stopped doing drugs because I’m not doing this shit for the rest of my life, I can’t. And that’s it.

I’m out.

If this is a possibility and of course it fucking is, of course… I’m not putting myself in that position and I’m not putting my friends in that position ever, ever, ever.

I’m out.

It was fun.

It was a lot of fun, doing drugs.

I had some fucking awesome times.

But I don’t care how awesome, I wouldn’t endure what I endured on Saturday morning again for a million amazing parties. Nothing is worth the feeling of holding someone you care deeply about in your arms and cooing at them while they are unable to speak and their eyes dart around void of their personality.

That’s it.

It’s been the best of times and it has been the worst of all times.

 

And that’s it for me…. maybe I’ll fall into the trap again, because yes it’s fun… but as far as I feel and want right now I am leaving that all behind me.

We were really lucky that happened in Mandy’s house, with kind, caring people. If I had gone home with Alan… if that had happened in my bedsit, just the two of us… what would have happened? If we had gone back to a party somewhere full of total strangers, a rave… oh fuck.

We were lucky.

It’s all over now but fuck my brain is still in tatters.

But I have my friend back and he’s ok.

And that’s the end of my lusty affair with drugs.

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