That single pill.

Bruce Springsteen’s ‘I’m on Fire’ is James’ song, a handsome, kind and very sexy Australian I met in Barcelona. After nearly a month, I think I’m ready to talk about him now.

James was a one-night stand. The best I’ve had so far, we met sharing views on the monarchy, then our shared love of Bon Iver and The Boss before chatting about our lives over drinks, fags and the offer of a red rose (which, though I refused, he would have bought had he a smaller note than his 50). James was lovely.

He invited me to his room for JD, which I swigged out of the bottle since coke was not to be found (classy). Escalation was foreseen, and enjoyed.

What I didn’t expect was his reaction post-enjoyment.

“No. Please, no.”

With his head in his hands, it was obvious what had happened. I tried not to panic. It was evident that he was.

“It’s ok, we can get it sorted.”

I remember holding each other for a bit whilst we sorted out our emotions. He offered for me to stay, but I couldn’t. I had to go. I needed to cry.

I had completely underestimated the trauma of taking the morning after pill, more so in a foreign country after a one night stand.

I cried in McLovin’s arms for at least half an hour after leaving his hostel room.

“What are you going to do in the morning?”

“Take the morning after pill.”

“And what are you not?”

“Pregnant.”

If it hadn’t been for McLovin, the single person who knew until I told the suspicious Bethlehem two nights later, I don’t know how I would have coped. She figuratively slapped me across the cheeks, raising and reassuring my drunken spirits.

I did not sleep a wink that night, and neither did James. We met as we’d agreed, at 9.30 downstairs, in order to get the drug together. Quizzed by the Spanish pharmacist, it is not an experience that I’d particularly like to repeat. Refusing his invitation to what I perceived to be a guilty offer of coffee (which I regret from the bottom of my heart, looking back), I left him by the lift, running away to my room in order to swallow the single pill, in the comfort of McLovin’s presence.

That was the last time I ever saw James.

That following day was fucking hard. I was an emotional wreck, trying to hide any emotion from the others who I didn’t want to know at that time. I pretended that I was ill, dealing with lectures on how “it was the heat” and that I should eat or drink or lie down or whatever, masking the real reason behind my shaky behaviour.

Nearly a month on, I have learnt much from my experience in Barcelona with James. I have learned how volatile my defensive attitude towards men can be. I have learned that I need to embrace romance rather than shut it down, be it from guilt or not. I have learned that not all men are arseholes that leave you to deal with complications utterly alone: some ask you if you’d like to share their bed for comfort, Google information to aid the process, come with you to get the necessary tools and even ask you to sit down and chat over coffee afterwards. I have learned not to instantly distrust men solely based on my own experiences, to stop being so self-toxic and to boost my confidence. I have learnt that casual sex isn’t always as casual as one may want and I’ve learnt that taking the morning after pill is emotionally draining. Most of all, I’ve discovered an overwhelming compassion for other women that have had to go that step further in aborting; I can only imagine how traumatic such an experience would be. The truth is, if this was so hard for me, how in the world will I be able to cope with an abortion if I’ll ever need to have one?

Let’s hope this is a rhetorical question which will never need to be answered.

Seeing through the Artist’s paint

When I see his laser eyes burning through mine, my stomach turns.

I saw him on a night out, spent the early morning hours in his company and went home alone. I saw him on a bus another evening. He asked me to meet him thrice. I agreed to his last invitation of ice cream.

The weather changed dramatically so that when the day we were meeting came, it was dark and damp. The ice cream turned into a cold bench with a beautiful view which then turned into hot coffee.

The two hours I spent with him were annoying, strange, pathetic and yet nice, easy and warm.

He is self-centered, egotistical, ambition-less and superficial at times.

I see more than these stupid traits of his.

He is this man who has never known the intimate love of another. Since I met him a month or two after the death of his father, I see him as a confused, comfort-seeking man in need of a warm hug and a kiss. A proud lothario, I think that he is wary of his relationship with me. He has never, as far as I can see, had someone stick around for as long as I have, and to still be attracted to that person. I think that I scare him as I make him unsure, challenge him and yet evidently care for him. I am also his complete opposite: I am an open book, whilst he is a closed DVD case with a corrupted disc.

He lies, he creates ideal situations and revels in them. He has little silent tantrums when I don’t comply to his set of rules. He likes to tell absurd and usually pointless stories, which is a queue to switch off. I call him by the new name he has chosen for himself, rather than his true Christian name which he still uses as his desktop sign-in. He only complimented me for the first time this last meeting.

I want to show him what I see in him. I want him to discover that he’s more than all that. I want him to see his own warmth, the affectionate man that I find from time to time in his powerful glances and want of closeness. I want him to see how he could be more than the room-mate he idealises, the attractive yet awfully sleazy talent-less artist. I want him to see his own potential, how he could get himself back on track, find a passion in a subject and enjoy himself. I want him to see that he can truly be happy.

I felt similarly towards WelshNash, the beautiful smile stained with the use of marijuana. He had so much potential. Presently arrested multiple times, aggressive and even admitted into hospital for mental illness, I wanted to save him from himself. I tried.

Is this what I want to do to the Artist?

Will falling in love with me save him?

Hurt. (Death and longing)

My grand-father died a fortnight ago and it’s hit me hard.

I can’t believe that the silver-haired man in the tatty oilskins and muddy boots with his twine around his waist isn’t here anymore. I can’t believe that the man with the wry smile and the sly wink has gone. I can’t believe that the man that tickled my feet to wake me up, the man who let me drive a car for the first time, crashing into a tractor, is buried in the cemetery of my childhood chapel.

It’s completely bizarre.

Every Sunday, we’d go to my grand-parents for a chin wag and to warm up by the fire. He was always there, in his chair, with his large reading glasses magnifying his blue eyes.

It wasn’t a great shock to hear of his death; he’d been ill for a few months and had been hospitalised, and had only just come home. He had carers looking after him and was bed-bound. He’d also suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for a year or two.

But, I didn’t get to say goodbye. I was going to stay with him for the night on the Friday. He died on the Thursday.

This haunted me for a while.

My heart feels like it has been throttled and emptied of all blood. I find myself vacant of any feeling or emotion often. And then I remember, and I seek for comfort. I seek a warm shoulder to lie my head on, strong arms to hide me from pain.

I seek him, the Artist.

Around a month ago, I told him that I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t face constantly worrying over what he did or didn’t do, what he said or didn’t say and whether I would hear from him during the week to come. I hated not ever knowing where I stood. It was tearing me apart and I couldn’t concentrate for days following our meetings.

I told him when I was about to leave one night and when I got up, he told me to sit back down. He was upset. I was upset.

“Can’t we just stay as we are?”

No, we can’t. It’s too complicated. I’m afraid that if I carry on, I won’t be able to leave. It’s better to do it now.

We hugged for a while and it was lovely.

The thing is, we left it with my pissed off shout at him as he said that I was being over-dramatic.

And now I miss him.

I hurt even more, knowing that he’s gone. He was never there in the first place, for goodness’ sake. But it doesn’t stop me.

I seek him.

I grieve for my grand-father, and I seek the man I wanted to be mine.

The Saturday story

On the night out that the Artist and I were going to spend the night together (we haven’t actually slept together as of yet), I met a guy.

Across a bar I saw him, and not too long after Runner told me to stop staring and I turned around, he was there asking whether he could take the empty seat beside me. God, he’s attractive with his blonde hair and smooth features.

Not too long into the conversation, he asked for my name. After seeing that he was wincing a bit, I asked for his.

We were incredulous. Laughing, we groaned at each other.

“But you’re so … fit !”

“And you’re so attractive !”

It turns out that this incredibly handsome man is the son of my mum’s best friend, and the brother of a friend of mine.

He was too lovely to leave, so after some chatting and kissing he gave me his number, and sure enough later on in the night he surprised me by waiting outside a nightclub for me to come out.

We spent the next hour or so in each other’s company since my friends deserted me without a word. I grabbed some pizza, and as we waited, he held me in his arms where I snuggled, trying to warm him up as much as doing it for comfort. He walked with me as I ate (he refused a piece and tried to shove it in a bush) though he was shivering and would not leave me until he knew that I was getting a taxi back. He was the ultimate gentleman.

Throughout this, I was waiting for news from the Artist who said that he’d come down from an event up the hill at the opposite end of town around 3. It was 3.30 and an hour or so earlier he’d told me to “hang on” as his friend had gotten into a fight (at around 7 I received a text saying that the friend had been arrested). He never made it and I went home, alone, after ordering my new acquaintance to go back inside the club (where the stamp they’d given me wouldn’t work again as it hadn’t been done properly) to get warm.

Moreover, Saturday was laughable and yet weirdly lovely.

I just wish the Artist would have been able to come down, and I wish he’d set up another date. Soon.

The evolution of an “arrangement”

The Artist is becoming a weekly staple.

Our relationship is also evolving; from our tense and overtly sexual start, we’re now becoming warmer, sharing things about ourselves and I can sense his rising respect towards me as I gain power in the relationship. Little mannerisms are changing too, with new experiences such as his pulling me towards him whilst I was laughing at him for being vain, his joining my perch on the window sill and the fact that we cuddled and chatted for more than an hour (that was a first) proving that our arrangement is becoming natural, easy and carefree.

I didn’t expect this at the start. In all fairness I thought that he would annoy the fuck out of me and that I’d spend enough time with him to get what I want and then leave. I think that’s what he thought too. I didn’t even think that we’d last this long. I know that by now he finds me as intriguing as I have come find him, in addition to starting to see me as his equal, despite the slight age gap, and I like that. Not many people intrigue me, and I think less intrigue him.

It’s funny because I still don’t want a monogamous relationship with him: I like him a lot, find him fascinating and extremely attractive but I don’t think subjecting ourselves completely to one another will ever work. What I can see happening is us becoming closer and having more than just a sexual relationship, but to what extent I don’t know nor mind.

I’m happy with our situation. I enjoy our Tuesday nights together and always feel good afterwards.

I’ll leave with what he left me:

“Until the next time.”

Those hands

My latest sexual encounter (following some messing around with BlackLace) came in the form of an attractive, tall, 21-year-old artist the other evening. We met on a night out where I began talking to him and his friend and I landed up staying at his flat until 6.30 am when I decided I should probably go home.

Although I wasn’t interested from the outset (his friend is smoking hot. As in, seriously gorgeous.) the swing-chair move at their shared studio (the friend had left a while ago) where he spun me round to face him just did it. It just did it. Sexiest move I’ve ever come across.

I was on my period. In his flat he made a move and I told him, explaining that I didn’t want to as a result. He understood and just went along with everything else instead. It was nice. We had several cups of coffee and chats along with other things.

He asked me to meet up with him for a “film” Tuesday night. I knew exactly what that meant and was not at all averse to it. He met me, walked me to the flat where once more we shared a coffee over some Will Ferrell film (well, half of it).

It was good. My first sober shag and yeah, it was good.

I felt safe in his arms, knowing that he wasn’t going to judge me as he was just horny. He didn’t care.

So do I care that he hasn’t made a move since?

Not particularly. I knew the deal. I wasn’t interested to begin with, either.

But he is so attractive. His hands…

Those hands.

Some more boy-induced paranoia.

This week has been hard. Fam’s been at rehearsal every night and the only crumb of contact I’ve had from him since Sunday night was a Snapchat snap on Wednesday asking if I was seeing the show on Friday. That is until last night, when I did indeed see his play.

He was brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! His characterisation was fantastic, creating a lazy, perhaps socially awkward character with the superb comedy timing that one expects from him. He’s a very talented actor and made me long for my theatre days.

I know most of the cast so I, along with Bethlehem and another friend, waited for them to come out from the backstage area to congratulate them and tell them how wonderful they are, etc. Of course, this included Fam.

He came out whilst I was chatting with some cast members so I mouthed a “Well done, you were brilliant,” to him before finding the time to go over and chat with him and two other guys, one of whom is a school friend. It was fine, but of course, he wasn’t the Fam I know. He was back to the emotion-less, rather awkward guy whom I thought I knew before. They left with a “Fam, when’s your dad coming to pick us up?”, “He’s here now. Bye.” and a flick of the hand.

I know it’s probably (it is) because his friends were there, and so were mine, and so he couldn’t show himself up and neither could I, but since I hadn’t seen him for weeks and hadn’t spoken to him for one, I just wanted to cuddle up on the sofa and watch a sad movie following that encounter.

My paranoia is killing me.

I haven’t felt like this since WelshNash, and I completely fell for him in the end; it scares me. He makes me so nervous and fuzzy, he annoys me like hell (which only makes me like him more) and I can see myself with him; it all scares me. I want him so much and yet can’t figure out what’s going on most of the time. It’s frustrating and I’m paranoid that I’m going to throw it away and lose him.

I’ve lost every guy I’ve ever liked, but this one won’t get away. I can’t let him.

I need him. I think I really do.

Telepathic Anxieties.

After chatting about Fam with Runner and McLovin, I found myself anxious.

Let me explain: obviously we’ve been talking regularly, every day, more or less, with Saturday night being particularly lovely, but when I approached the “shall we meet again” area, over text it seemed as if he was being evasive and trying to avoid the matter (either that or his school work really is taking over his life). I asked about Tuesday, the same night as before, but he said that he’ll try to find a day later in the week when we could meet “until 5”; I mentioned that I’m working today and Thursday and he took that as an opportunity to change the subject.

Yeah, I’m probably getting ahead of myself and worrying over nothing, but something smells off.

I console myself with the fact that he’s still talking to me after last week, which shows potential, and that he told our mutual friend that he’s been talking to me and that I’m “cool”, but our “relationship” has become somewhat of a gossip piece and has spread around (a lot being my fault for telling rather too many people of our recent conversations), reaching students at his school in addition to mine, which worries me. This, combined with the lack of a second date and the looming week ahead where conversation will be impossible due to theatre commitments (the show opens on the Thursday) is depressing me.

And guess what? I haven’t heard from him all night.

Again, I’m probably being silly and clingy and God knows what else, but the one night when I wanted to tell him that I need to see him as I’ll miss him throughout the next week; the one night when I felt a bit crap about it all after weeks of happiness; the one night when I just needed a reply, he hasn’t been here. The one night where I’ve questioned everything.

Am I telepathic or plain annoying? Alternatively, I’m fed up of waiting and just want to see his stupid face again.

Perhaps all three.

It’s a Date.

Today I went on my first real date (if you discount the time I went to a café with WelshNash that is…) with Fam.

Walking into the café and climbing the stairs to the top floor where he told me he’d be, after walking slowly to be sure that he’d be there before me, my heart was leaping like a greyhound on race day.

Initial awkwardness and inability to pronounce any words I had lodged in my brain was brief; once we got going, we spent an hour and a half chatting, laughing and comparing stories and opinions over hot chocolate and two coffees as he’d forgotten to tell me he’d ordered for me when I myself went to order another one.

That hour and a half was the most natural and lovely 90 minutes of my life. I found out that we’re incredibly similar, with our interest in literature, linguistics and our vegetarian beliefs, as well as a shared dark sense of humour.

When he walked me to my bus on the way to a night class, arguing over a silly concept of being hot or cold, we continued our laughter and peeking over at his face, his smile was warmer than I’d even anticipated.

The catch? By my bus, a friend of his saw him and as we passed he called him back, meaning that a decent goodbye was impossible (PDA and all that), being a tad awkward and rather cold instead.

If I regret anything it’s that small moment; those few seconds which could have been gorgeous and a fitting end to a nice afternoon.

Yet I don’t mind too much.

I just hope he feels the same way as I do.

This could actually be something.

“Thanks for the s**g.”

Amongst talk of universities, summers and getting wasted, I lost my virginity.

I don’t feel any different. It came (accidental pun) and went and I carried on with my night. I then carried on with my week.

It’s not that it wasn’t nice – it was – and it’s not that it meant nothing – it did – it just seems like there’s a massive media build up towards “Yeah, that’s good. Thanks.” I’ve got to say though, having a person I sort of trust to have the honour of being my first (achievement.) was lovely as I didn’t care about how the fuck my body looked, how the hell I “performed” or if I was being seductive enough. I was so preoccupied with someone wanting me, and that person being a decent human being, that everything else (nearly) didn’t matter.

I bet it falls into the obvious teenage losing-your-virginity process: festival, too much booze, tent, mates banging on the walls when you’re putting your clothes back on, sneaking out the other side of the tent, lack of pure remembrance… Honestly, I don’t care about the cliché, I’m just happy that it’s over and done with.

Am I interested in the guy? No. Do I feel an emotional attachment? Not particularly. Do I mind it being a one-night-stand? Not at all. If anything, I’d rather it that way. It’s less messy and those stupid ‘feelings’ don’t need to have another ride, which is always a bonus. I’m glad I’m not living in the 1700s – I’d have been a shit 18-year-old loved-up housewife.

Strangely, things that made me rather anxious before also don’t affect me as much. I’m much more at ease with my body, even though I’m not at my ideal weight, and I don’t care as much about my appearance. I feel older, without reason, and feel like I can conquer anything. Untrue, but I rather enjoy having a relatively positive way of thinking for a change…

On that positive note, I have to re-sit a whole year of English Literature due to my exam results…

There are worse than T. S. Eliot and Yeats.

 

(And no, he wasn’t the Irish dude.)