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Head banging

  Sun 30th March 2014

Trina took me to a hotel in Lytham for my birthday; it almost didn't happen. I rang her when I got back from Kimtown and thoughtlessly mentioned Kim's new love affair in the course of the call. This raised her antagonism towards her, to the extent that she hung up on me. I got home and there was an email saying that we should "leave it for a while." I'm used to Trina's fits of insecurity now, so ignored it. And the following morning, another one arrived asking if I was still coming to Lytham.

She apologised but even apologies are too tiring sometimes. I waved them away with one of my stock phrases: "No, no, Trina it's OK. That was then and this is now." She was very generous with my presents: six elegant, thin wine tasting glasses, and two books by Raymond Williams, Culture and Marxism and Literature.

We went for sushi and jasmine tea, then coming back to my social and financial level we went to Wetherspoons. Outside the pub we got talking to two homeless people. I gave them a pound each and said "I'm giving you this on condition that you only spend it on drink or drugs."


Next day, it was straight to Manchester, where a couple more of the Klavierstücke by Stockhausen were being performed at the University. Additonal accompaniment was provided throughout by the noisiest piano stool in Manchester. The pianists's own programme note referred to "head-banging serialism".

I went with my friend Tony who put me up when I was at a conference there last year. He'd not heard any Stockhausen before and said he enjoyed it: "it made me laugh." He insisted on buying me no fewer than three pints afterwards in a cosy little pub thronging with elderly people, and a fourth in the bleak bar at Piccadilly station, which has hardly anything potable.

The following day, I was running on empty. Tess, Trina and me were supposed to be going to Barry and Chris's party, but people seemed to be dropping out rapidly. Chris's friend cancelled, and Trina said point blank she was too tired after working from 8am that day; so the "party" seemed to have dwindled down to me and Tess, having to get a bus out to the nondescript village where Chris lives. And all this for only a couple of hours, since I had to get back as I had the girls.

Given all the cancellations, I was hoping she'd postpone it, but she indicated she was keen for us to go. At the last moment, I texted her. "Listen Chris we're both really knackered and I'm sort of conscious about the girls and it's too far to come for two hours. I'm ever so sorry but it's too far and I'm too tired after a really big few days in Kimtown." I have now probably given the impression that I can only be bothered to go to my own parties, but it would have been work, not pleasure.

The night ended where the week had began. "Your friends are gitty," Trina said, referring this time to Neil. Well, they were there before you turned up and will be there after you've departed in the distraught tears we're enjoying postponing. A few days ago, Tess had passed on a remark her new boyfriend made: "You always know right at the beginning the reason you'll split up."

Trina went off in a strop again, complaining about how "your friends" (read: Kim) don't want to meet her; then she realised she'd forgotten the key to my house, and came back with a black mien which I found more comical than anything else. "Ok, well, let me know if you can't get the futon up."

This evening I came home, not for the first time half-hoping that there would be a valedictory email; and then tactically erased that thought, as it would be advantageous if we didn't split up until after we've been to France next month.

9 comments

Sorry old lad, but it appears to me that the writing is on the wall.

I’d start making new friends quick.

Mon 31st March 2014 @ 10:16
Comment from: [Member]

I think we’ll become friends with benefits in time, while Trina will continue to think of it as a “relationship".

Mon 31st March 2014 @ 10:53

Boy. I know who’s holding all the cards in this relationship. Are you sure you didn’t push her buttons like that on purpose? Some people think that’s great sport.

That’s sad that everybody bailed out on the party. I hope they didn’t take it personally. I’d be a wreck for a couple weeks because that’s my insecurity. Are you going to be able to post from France?Hope so.

@ TSB: Oh, please! We’ve been telling him that for months!

Mon 31st March 2014 @ 12:36
Comment from: [Member]

I hope I’ve been straight with Trina from day one. I don’t find it “great sport". On the contrary, I find it a drag to be constantly having to deal with these dramas, instead of us simply having a good time together. But I see it as a form of work, a payment I have to make in order to do the enjoyable things.

Re the party–it wasn’t personal, it just arose at the back end of a hectic week with not enough sleep.

Blogging whilst on holiday? No way–it wouldn’t be a holiday otherwise. The computer’s staying at home, and my phone–which hasn’t got internet on it–will be OFF, except when we need to ring for taxis, etc.

Mon 31st March 2014 @ 12:58
Comment from: Gossamer Beynon [Visitor]

Whilst you may have been honest about what you want from Trina, I still can’t help but feel sorry for her. The imbalance in it all makes my toes curl somehow.

Tue 1st April 2014 @ 13:11
Comment from: [Member]

“You always know right at the beginning the reason you’ll split up.”

Yes. Absolutely. One of my essential emotional survival tools has been to envision the ending at the beginning.

Wed 2nd April 2014 @ 02:21
Comment from: [Member]

I know GB, but what would be best? Tell her we can’t be together because she loves me (so she says—it seems like an enhanced form of friendship to me), and I don’t love her? Or just carry on as we are, both aware of that inequality of feeling but ignoring that and enjoying what we like doing together?

Your comment has been ringing around my head this week though. I just can’t think of a way round it for someone like me, who is not boyfriend material for anyone, but who might be quite fun to be with for a while. And she’s making the same cost-benefit analysis as I am. If she was truly upset, she’d leave me. It’s a trade-off for both of us.

Fri 4th April 2014 @ 21:20
Comment from: The Joy of Bex [Visitor]

The lack of party was entirely Alex’s fault for having no friends and not liking people enough to have anyone to invite!

I didn’t take it personally. The Manchester thing was more annoying, but that had nothing to do with you. That was entirely Trina and Tess’s fault.

Tue 22nd April 2014 @ 13:02
Comment from: [Member]

I’ve texted you about that former and I am sorry we handled it a bit selfishly.

Tue 22nd April 2014 @ 21:03


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