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Kitty in Kirkby

  Sun 23rd October 2011

Kitty texted to see if I was free for a couple of days.

To the pub, of course. A couple of drinks, and a sinful pleasure for this lapsed vegetarian of duck and orange pâté. A gloomy couple sat silently through a meal about which they complained, their downturned mouths suggesting they have previous.

On the spur of the moment we went to see Robin Ince, whom I hadn't heard of but who is a populariser of science. He did an interesting but tiring show, good material overstated with too much physical energy, dry humour made soggy with shouting. We bumped into someone else I know. I introduced them and told her how I first saw Kitty in this very auditorium, mischieviously adding, as I put my arm round Kitty, that "this is our fifth anniversary."

On the way home, we texted a mutual friend who is having a weekend of sex and drugs and being the other woman. "You dirty shagger, from looby and Kitty X." "What are you incineratig?" she replied.

The next morning we went back to the pub for breakfast and a couple of glasses of Pinot Noir. I love drinking in the morning. Then we drove to Kirkby Lonsdale. I don't drive and being in cars makes me tense. It was a nerve-wracking half an hour of careering van drivers coming round blind corners with one hand on the wheel and one on a mobile phone, and angry drivers behind us who couldn't tolerate Kitty's adherence to the already too high speed limits. I was relieved to get there, and would be happy never to travel in a car again.

Kirkby Lonsdale was looking lovely, its Georgian buildings looking sharply grey in the windowpane light of autumn. In the once calm Snooty Fox where fifteen years ago I heard a teenage girl trying to decide between the veal and the rabbit, canned local radio dribbles its inanities over everyone, like it or not; in the "restaurant" a big screen shows Sky TV. We drank one drink quickly.

We left to do some Christmas shopping. Some eyes quickly scanning me; the mutual pleasure of dressing for the silently acknowledged strangers who think about clothes. Thank you. And I like your dress. I bought Melanie a glass duck for her birthday and Kitty bought her some skull and crossbones tissues. In a cheese and olives shop a twentysomething girl was playing an upright piano.

Sun Inn

We went into the Sun Inn. No music, four real ales, a good wine list for Kitty. No table at first but an attentive staff member saved and directed us to one which came free. A tall, bald, pink-shirted thirtysomething maître d' curled and uncurled his fingers with alert enjoyment at keeping the room content. Staff were good at stopping their bodies from moving in situations where the question of who gets to pass through the narrow spots of an C17th inn might, in a strict Rawlsian sense, be a 50/50 decision.

We talked and talked, luxuriating in our unlikely and precarious privilege, neither of having to do the work normally required to fund drinking in Kirkby Lonsdale of a Saturday afternoon. On the slow way back to the car, I paid my £10 for a tutored sherry tasting next month.

Being with Kitty is like having a girlfriend but without the sex and having to sieve what you want to say through a filter of ulterior motives and thinking of how you look in another's eyes. I like how we arrange our sentences with little touches to each others' arms. I remember those skin-touches. They're short and evanescent, but I love giving them and receiving them. Unforced, when it's natural, when you want an italic.

8 comments

Comment from: Daddy Papersurfer [Visitor]

I always cheer when I hear the phrase “lapsed vegetarian” for no particular reason.

Sun 23rd October 2011 @ 18:31
Comment from: [Member]

I did 30 years of vegetarianism full on, but I’m afraid black pudding does feature regularly at breakfast now.

Mon 24th October 2011 @ 08:23

Sex would just ruin it, don’t you think? Can you put that aside or is it always there just on the threshold?

I stayed in New York for 20+ years because I didn’t have to own a car or drive. They’re evil devices. My friends back in Ohio couldn’t wrap their minds around not owning a car. To them, it’d be like not having any skin.

Mon 24th October 2011 @ 12:32
Comment from: [Member]

Cars… Not a day goes by without some inner flare of rage about the way that their owners are given every legal, architectural and social advantage, whilst killing 3000 people a year in the UK. Being in a car says “I am on my own, I am an individual.”

But about Kitty, you’ve sussed it, UB. Yes it would, and it is there, but we both know that our relationship works because it stays on the side of not having sex. She feels comfortable with me (to the point of sharing a bed) and I feel privileged that she acts like that. I like how she drinks and I like how I never have to think about what I’m saying. I just say the first thing that comes into my head. I have no idea what love is. A mixture of lust and Narcissistic obsession mirrorored onto another? The protective, sensual caring instinct for one’s children? But from the way some people use an almost uselessly widely-defined word, I love Kitty.

Mon 24th October 2011 @ 14:42
Comment from: [Member]

these are good friends. the ones that are comfortable, and real and will call you out for misbehavior if necessary. they will also be the ones to help bury bodies as needed….

Mon 24th October 2011 @ 17:02
Comment from: [Member]

She would indeed be a great partner in crime, and she already is, the crime (which it almost feels like nowadays in these disciplined times) of just letting yourself go sometimes.

Mon 24th October 2011 @ 22:05
Comment from: nursemyra [Visitor]

I would like some skull and crossbone tissues

Tue 25th October 2011 @ 09:41
Comment from: [Member]

Well, you know, seeing as it’s may daughter, and it’s her birthday, I thought I’d splash out to the tune of 65p.

Tue 25th October 2011 @ 11:55


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looby, n.; pl. loobies. A lout; an awkward, stupid, clownish person


M / 60 / Bristol, "the most beautiful, interesting and distinguished city in England" -- John Betjeman [1961, source eludes me].

"Looby is a left-wing intellectual who is obsessed with a) women's clothes and b) tits." -- Joy of Bex.

WLTM literate woman, 40-65. Must have nice tits, a PhD, and an mdma factory in the shed, although the first on its own will do in the short term.


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