Today's Top Tip: When returning home from a most enjoyable day out in a state of considerable inebriation, and having become divorced from one's keys, cards, and phone under circumstances that one cannot recall, do not resort to smashing a window to get in, as a new one will cost you 120 quid.
Also, try to forget the announcement at breakfast the following morning from your housemate, that he was actually in at the time.
It's all Wendy's fault. We went up to the park, and possibly 10am was a little early to start on the cider, Prosecco, speed, and grass. It was a clear autumn day of high-definition vision and vivid colour contrast. Sitting next to her, and being able to look at her Enid Blyton legs and her dress's hem whilst pretending to be gazing insouciantly at a spot on the ground; a constant low ripple of joy at being with her -- her talk, her clothes, her hair, her mannerisms, her recklessness, her honesty, her unshowy intelligence, her compassion.
I've enjoyed every second I've ever spent with Wendy, but it's become easier now, post-Trish. I feel calmer with her. My all too brief, sex-drenched time with Trish has somehow made me accept the ever-sexless situation with Wendy more. I appreciate better what she said a few weeks ago. "Being in a relationship with you would feel incestuous."
I've signed up to another site where the aims and objectives are more straightforwardly stated. Having good sex makes me miss it for a long time afterwards. I loved the power balance that Trish and I were starting to make more detailed; it's a sine qua non of a successful sexual relationship. All this caring sharing equality bollocks doesn't work for me in sex. In social relationships and politics yes, but not in the bedroom (or kitchen, stairs, the park, etc.)
I see sex as a practice, something you can become better at through learning what works for both of you, but if the underlying structure of power isn't shared, nothing you do will turn either of you on that much. How I loved telling Trish that I was going to introduce her to Wendy and Kitty and have my middle finger stilled inside her cunt while we sat round the dinner table, with the threat that if she showed any outward signs of what was happening, we'd never do it again. And how I loved her submissive suggestions to me, about forced and helpless sex.
7pm the evening before my already once-rearranged date with the art teacher. I leave the second of my messages on her phone, wondering if she'd had any ideas yet about the finer details, like where, and when.
She emails to cancel, saying that she needs some "downtime totally away from an urban environment" to take care of herself "mentally and physically." She apologised for any further interruptions in communication as she's in the middle of the Lake District.
Let's leave it F---. I've been so fucked about by women lately, to the extent of having to change my mobile number, that my tolerance for cancelled and rearranged meetings is very low. It's clearly not a priority for you.
Hope you enjoy your time in the Lake District and every good wish for the future.
My mum's staying at the moment. She said that when my Dad died last year, she was contacted by the bank asking her to collect the balance in his account. It was 47p.
Yesterday morning, I saw an employee of Ladbrokes fagging it outside the shop. She was wearing a sweatshirt with the slogan "Stand Up For Cancer."
Friday, an uneventful Riesling tasting at the local wine company shop; then it was into town to up the average age a little at a techno night organised by a Society at the University. Pleasant young people, a bit bemused at someone so old being there; then, after you passing some invisible testing process, they start talking to you. "Where are you from?" -- the decades-old standard dancefloor opener.
But they can't dance. Their movements are forced, imported to their bodies; they stand about texting and facebooking on the dancefloor. Hardly anyone on anything. It was a flat, alcohol-fuelled night. I lasted two hours then left for a home disco.
Out of nowhere, or rather, out of two bottles of Prosecco, Trina unleashes another round midnight volley of texted bile. I am "self-centred", "destined to be lonely", "a fucking idiot"...and then I stopped reading them. The following morning, the cyclical apologies of the drunkard, promising me that she won't send any more nasty texts.
She's finding looking after her pissing and shitting, nappied, ninety-two-year-old mother a strain, so for the hundredth time, I overlook what she has sent me and offer to come over with a bottle or two.
We make chutney from apples from a neighbour before she starts getting wet-eyed, about my unwillingness to "commit" to her. Why the fuck would I do that, when I don't fancy you, and you've got the emotional maturity of a fourteen-year-old? It is a dull, circular subject.
She drives me back to the station. Back in Lancaster, there is some standard issue rock band in a local pub, but it's a relief to be superficial after Trina's intensity. At £3.50 a pint, I made one drink last all night.
I notice a succession of texts from her; do not read them.
In the morning, I get halfway through a series of texts following the same pattern as the night before. In a desert somewhere west of Quernmore, a straw breaks a camel's back. I find out how to change my mobile number, and do so. I inform Trina of the fact, but not the new number.
Another morning, another load of bile on my phone. I came over yesterday to be sympathetic and to cheer you up, and this is the thanks I get.
You are correct in saying that your latest tirade at me will be the last, since I have asked 02 to change my number to finally stop having to hear any more of your constant attacks on me, and your obsession about Wendy. And you call this loving me? If this is your idea of love then you can shove it up your arse. If it was a man doing it to a woman you'd be up in arms about it calling it sexist harassment. However, I know much you enjoy a teenagerish drama, so if you want to get any more vituperative bile out of your system, do it quickly because they have said that a number change takes up to four hours to process. I won't be reading anything further from you however.
I will tell my mum [who is visiting this week] that I don't know what your plans are or whether or not you'll be in touch. If there is an unavoidable need to contact me, please do it by email.
You say you don't want to see me except in "safe social social situations". I'd rather not see you at all, in any situation, but I will make an exception this week for my mum's sake. However, I don't want to spend any more time with you than is absolutely necessary. If in the future we meet anywhere where we both happen to be you can expect a brief civility and nothing more.
"Good." She replied. "Goodbye."
I distribute my new number. Later in the morning, Wendy rings and I outline what has happened. We arrange to meet in the pub. She sits down slenderly. She tells me that Trina texted Kitty at 1am saying that it's obvious I don't love her and love only Wendy, hoping that they can meet up at some point, and ending it "Girl power!" She hasn't replied.
I go off to meet my mum and take her to Kirsty's, where she is staying. We sit around chatting easily enough. Kirsty makes a fish pie for tea, to which I am not invited. I am cooking for all of them tomorrow. It wouldn't occur to me to exclude Kirsty.
I've got a date with an art teacher on Thursday. We should have spent more time emailing and talking on the phone to build something up. By the time I went to meet Trish for the first time, our written and spoken communication had turned very sexual. Walking into the pub and seeing her looking even sexier than I had dare hope, felt like a consummation in itself.
I'll never refuse being asked out by a woman, but my gut feeling is that it'll be jobs, family, children, holidays, thanks, goodbye.
I'm on the 1235 to Ormskirk. I'm going to a meeting about fracking. I mentioned it to Trina when she rang a week or so ago and asked me what I was up to. Saying that I was thrilled about meeting Trish in Manchester for our first date the following day, and worrying about my clothes and hair, might have been an honesty too far; so, plucking something out of my diary, I told her about a planning meeting for anti-fracking groups.
She invited herself along, offering to buy me my dinner in the pub first and give me a lift to the place where it's being held at. She's calmed down lately and this is the latest of her peace offerings. She's trying to stop loving me.
The conductor has just had to go to get the disabled ramp out at M--- to help El Gordo on. He's the massive unambulant blob who started chatting to me and Trina in the pub a few weeks ago and who prompted me to say to Trina -- in what was an inadequately sotto a voce, since he heard it -- "Yeah right, you can fuck off now if you want." I've nothing against massive unambulant blobs, but being disabled doesn't give you a licence to bore strangers in pubs.
Me and Trina in the pub for the first time since what is our definitive split-up. Two bottles of Prosecco. She sent me a text later saying "I don't understand your life."
Me and Wendy met up in the pub. I told her about the six-text sex series I sent Trish at half past four in the morning. She told me to ring her and just ask for a bit of an explanation about why I've been ghosted. Afterwards, she texted: "Darling, my gut feeling is that you'll get nowhere with her. Her loss, it has to be said Xxx."
"Her loss". I fucking hate that phrase. It's only ever employed by girls who don't want to be with you.
Later that evening, I got Trish's answerphone again, so I left a message.
Hiya Trish, it's just looby, sorry to bother you. What it was, I was just wondering whether there'd be any chance you could do me a favour and perhaps just tell me a little bit about why you had that sudden change of heart, when, from certain things we'd said, I was starting to get the impression that there was at least the potential of something good for us. It's just going round and round in my head a bit, but I'm getting nowhere -- it's got to come from you. Anyway, you know I'll only ever think of you fondly, and I just want you to be happy. Night night darling.
I rang Wendy, recounted this, and we chatted away about everything for an hour or so. I texted her afterwards thanking her for being so lovely with me lately. "But I hope you'd expect nothing less? And you're pretty lovely to me too Xx." That doesn't mean anything to me.
And now I can finally put Trish to bed. In the brief time things were sexual and chatty, she asked me to take her to something that I really liked. So, without her now, I went alone...
To Manchester, for a concert by L'Ensemble imaginaire. They are on tour round England, playing the music of Richard Barrett. They were introduced by the University's Head of Composition -- I might have misremembered his self-description -- who inverted the words in the group's name, which was a surprising mistake even given the allowances one must make for a Canadian.
I stood around in one of the shit outsourced cafe-bars that even the best universities provide nowadays, envying a Music Department that is central, recognised and funded.
The concert hall was full. Students; older men with a sartorial style halfway between homeless alcoholic and emeritus academic, and the younger balding ones with Manchester Jazz Festival T-shirts on. During Fold, a piece for solo clarinet, Philippe Koerper jerked around like he was badly in need of a piss. He turned his instrument into something animate, in what seemed to me like an impossibly difficult central section of breathy harmonics, fluttertonguing, circular breathing, and key clicks. The piano piece (the title of this post) had as its idea a disjunction between the right and left hand, like two close friends simultaneously talking to and ignoring each other.
I enjoyed it very much but it's half six now and Piccadilly Wetherspoons is getting a bit laddish, so time to try to blag the fare home.
Half past four in the morning, and I am aching with desire for Trish. So as an effective way of abasing myself in her eyes, and losing the respect of Wendy and Kitty at the same time, I sent a series of six texts to her, describing in detail what I'd like us to be getting up to.
At 5am, she replied. "What's happening? Those messages surprised me."
"Sorry darling. You make me think of sex. Sex with you. I'll shut up now Xx"
"I'm sorry Trish. Just started thinking about you, as I often do, and didn't have the self-control to keep it to myself. I fancy you a bit, as you know. I think about sex with you all the time. Just manage most of the time not to say it."
I put the phone under my pillow, willing her to reply. But why would she respond to the incontinent sexual fantasies of a man after she's rejected him? I tried finding a position in bed which would lessen the physical craving for her, a longing which was melding with teary-eyed dejection. In truth, I couldn't care less about losing my self-respect; it's losing Trish that makes me sad.
Wendy and I went up to the park the other day, taking our usual narcotic picnic and my current monomania. We were throwing the ball for the dog using one of those instruments which picks up the ball in a scoop on the end of a plastic handle. Everyone I know calls such a thing a "wanger", but I'm not sure that is the canonical term.
We sat in one of the little shelters near the lake. "I'm quite a good shot with this, you know," she said. "Me and [ex] and [daughter] were up here once a while ago, and he was being very annoying, really getting on my tits, so when he wandered off a bit I thought I'd crack him one on his back with the ball as an "accident". So I put one shot in, to get my aim in. It narrowly missed him. He laughed and threw the ball back. I put it back in, aimed it at his back, then fired it off as hard as I could."
"And just then, right at that moment, he turned round and it cracked into his goolies. He fell down as though he'd been shot. He was in agony, but when he'd recovered a little, he just about managed to croak out 'It's OK Wendy, it was an accident'." When he got home he sat there with a packet of frozen peas on his nuts. 'How about that,' he said. 'You couldn't have done that if you'd tried.'"
She told me about a time she and Kitty went to Blackpool. They were waiting for a pizza, and asked the assistant if there were any toilets. On being told that there weren't any, she walked past the counter and into the kitchen, and did a piss against a fridge.
I took the wanger off her and fired the ball off for the dog. It ricocheted around the shelter above our heads. "Fuck's sake Wendy, I think this thing is better in your hands." Why can't we be lovers, Wendy? -- and immediately I dismissed the thought, and was glad to sense it expunged. Don't sabotage a lovely day, you fucking idiot.
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