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Mauvais lettres

  Wed 24th April 2013

Clearing out my emails this evening, I ran across a slew of things I'll never delete, to and from Mary-Ann. I skipped over the filth; she (and I think I, though you'd have to ask her), was voluptuously good at that. What I noticed was the way my speech had a tendency to mirror hers.

The idea that one has an authentic voice is, in my socially and geographically nomadic experience, mistaken. Yet when I re-read my emails, and saw myself putting on just a little too much literary effort into my sentences, I want to shake my self of eighteen months ago into a more direct form of communication. I instigated a written correspondence with Mary-Ann a few months ago and I sent my second letter to her last week. A letter is more careful and social than an email.

Trina and I cleared another hurtful pile of rocks today. She has been staying at my house from Monday to this afternoon, but Kirsty is in London with Boyf, so yesterday, Trina and I went round to Kirsty's so that I could get the girls their tea before Trina and I went out for ours. I felt inwardly apologetic about dragging Trina along to my former girlfriend's house to be sociable with my daughters, but it was an easily garrulous hour or so with them and their best friend before they went off to their theatre rehearsal.

Trina and I went down the pub and sank a bottle of wine and a few pints respectively. I took her back to mine, tucked her up on the sofa with an internet connection and free rein of my library, then went back to Kirsty's to do more or less the same with my girls. I wrote Jenny a note for her teacher about why she hadn't done her Science homework, due to her rehearsal, although "No child should ever be required to do homework" was what I'd have liked to have written.

This morning, I saw them off to school, then set off back to mine.

I crept up the stairs. Trina's characteristic bellowing tremored through the door. I smiled, went downstairs and started making myself some coffee. An hour or so later I heard her step on the stairs. "Is that [pet names, endearments] coming down the stairs?" I said.

She looked at me crossly. "You're here! Why didn't you come up?"

"I did, I just thought you might like some more sleep." I was crestfallen.

"You didn't, you must have just come in. I've got better things to do than this. We've only got half an hour before you're off again," she said, referring to my work at the elections.

She angrily gathered her things and without giving me any further chance to talk, stomped off to her car and drove away. I turned on the computer.

[With the content of several ellipses deleted].

You veer wildly from telling me how lovely I am, to going off in a huff because you take umbrage at something I've done, or neglected to do. I only ever do things out of consideration for you and what I hoped would be in your best interest, to give you a good night's sleep. I can't be doing with this blowing hot and cold all the time.

I'm sorry that I didn't come up to check on you but I was only thinking of you and trying to be considerate. I misjudged what you wanted me to do and for that I'm sorry.

I am also fucking sick to the back teeth of apologising all the time for mistakes that I make, that are only ever done with you and your comfort or happiness in mind. "Sorry sorry sorry"--it's all I fucking say.

I don't appear to be good enough for you. Why don't you find someone who can read your mind better, who understands the details of what you want better, because I can't be doing with all this being all loved-up one minute, and then left here alone, looking forward to making you breakfast and chatting and hugging you, with you driving off, the next minute.

As for me having "to go off again", what do you expect me to do? Ring up the Council and say "Sorry, I can't come today, because I know you're providng me with some well-paid work which will pay for my family holiday, but I've got to stay here and hope I don't piss my girlfriend off"? That work is essential to me, you know that, so why are you so annoyed with me doing it? I know the timing's not perfect but I can't tell them when I want to do it.

P.S. You've left your coat here.

Yours, a very pissed off and I think, unjustly wronged, looby, who was only trying his misguided best.

She'd only got as far as her narrowboat a few miles away, and came back. She met me from my break from the elections work. We hugged each other gratefully, even as I knew that I don't--I can't--love Trina, just as I never loved Kirsty, or anyone else. I have never had the experience of what others talk about as "love". We only had a brief time together: we tucked into pizza slices whilst sat on a bench.

She said she was sorry for seeing everything in terms of her being rejected, despite all the evidence I provide to the contrary. Tired at this point by analysis, we rummaged around for comments about the pizza to lighten things up.


Comment from: Tony [Visitor]

Be interesting to read your earlier blogs about Trinia and compare with todays a bit like you did with your e-mails.
Soon be your hols.
I’m bar manager at our local festival for a couple of nights, oh what responsibility.

Thu 25th April 2013 @ 06:28
Comment from: [Member]

It’s still great, most of the time. But this isn’t the first time she’s done something like this and I’m starting to become a little wary. But never mind, as you say, I’ll soon be in France.

Have a great time at the beer festival. I’m sure you’ll be the man for the job.

Thu 25th April 2013 @ 07:49
Comment from: Homer [Visitor]

I suspect Trina knows full well she is more invested in the relationship than you and this is her insecurity outing.

Thu 25th April 2013 @ 09:55

What do you mean you skipped over the filth? That’s not like you at all. Are you well?

You are a package deal. Daughters included. Trina must realize this.

It’s all so tedious, innit? I’ve always wondered if human beings are meant to be in long-term, permanent relationships. It almost always falls apart eventually.

Thu 25th April 2013 @ 12:43
Comment from: [Member]

Your diagnosis Homer, not for the first time, summarises the situation very well. I still think there’s a crack we’re papering over, using drink and sex, but maybe we’ll be happy just avoiding the issue. I have no idea why anyone would ever say to another person “This is it; I’m with you now.”

UB: Trina’s good with the girls and chatted to them easily and (best of all) unpatronisingly, while I ran around getting their tea ready. For that, she deserves kudos.

But then later, on my own, at the end of a bottle of corner shop plonk, I sometimes think–why the fuck do I bother with all this? None of the things that are promised–living together, financial security, having someone to come home to–appeal to me.

Thu 25th April 2013 @ 13:56
Comment from: furtheron [Visitor]

AS Homer astutely points out and you appear to know - there is an underlying issue at the core here the mismatch between the commitment between the both of you.

I’ll offer no advice and I doubt I really have anything to say - other than I’ve been with Mrs F now over 32 years (Holy Cow!) married nearly 28 years and in a word “compromise” you each have to bend to the breeze of the other but that is never easy

Fri 26th April 2013 @ 08:49
Comment from: [Member]

I just couldn’t imagine doing that. I can think about as far forward as Tuesday week, on a good day.

Fri 26th April 2013 @ 10:54
Comment from: [Member]

no advice from this corner either. i’ve been fortunate to find companions who are - at least momentarily - like-minded in wants and needs. it won’t last forever - but it’s good for now. we work surprisingly hard at communication to make sure we’re all on track. when i get exhausted from all the talk? we go out to play and get back to talking later.

Sat 27th April 2013 @ 14:04

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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.

There are plenty of bastards who drink moderately. Of course, I don't consider them to be people. They are not our comrades.
Sergei Korovin, quoted in Pavel Krusanov, The Blue Book of the Alcoholic

I am here to change my life. I am here to force myself to change my life.
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The more democratised art becomes, the more we recognise in it our own mediocrity.
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Tell me, why is it that even when we are enjoying music, for instance, or a beautiful evening, or a conversation in agreeable company, it all seems no more than a hint of some infinite felicity existing apart somewhere, rather than actual happiness – such, I mean, as we ourselves can really possess?
Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

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La vie poetique has its pleasures, and readings--ideally a long way from home--are one of them. I can pretend to be George Szirtes.
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Using words well is a social virtue. Use 'fortuitous' once more to mean 'fortunate' and you move an English word another step towards the dustbin. If your mistake took hold, no-one who valued clarity would be able to use the word again.
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One good thing about being a Marxist is that you don't have to pretend to like work.
Terry Eagleton, What Is A Novel?, Lancaster University, 1 Feb 2010

The working man is a fucking loser.
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