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Social distancing

  Mon 4th May 2020

Fretting about moving out of Hayley's.

I eventually did so, without telling her, while she was at Harry's. I felt wobbly packing up the few things I had. Felt I was rejecting her, slapping her and Harry in the face after they'd helped me when no-one else would have.

Wendy and Kitty have been great (they're always great), prodding me into action, asking me if I'd contacted her.

Strapped all around with bags, I got the bus up to The Lovely House. Wasn't berated or criticised, but for insurance purposes I proffered an insincere apology that I burnished with some glances at the carpet. We had tea together in the front room. Reconciliation.

Up in my room, I sent Hayley the pre-prepared text I had composed, cowardly, to avoid ringing her.

Hello my love. I've decided to go back to Cath's. Your offer was fab, and I appreciate it like every kindness you've shown me recently, and ever since I met you. But I can't depend on a flat that relies on you and H staying together. What happens when you split up? Then H will need his flat back and I'll have nowhere again. I can't thank you enough for how you helped me when I had no-one at all. Let's get a party in the garden going as soon as poss! xxx

And she was fine about it. She said that her and H aren't going to split up (no, of course not) but that she respects my choices -- in much less formal language than I'm paraphrasing here. She said she's going to get the garden party going as soon as possible.


I squashed myself under a gate to get into a private girls' school's deserted playing field. The sun; being alone and unobserved. I started feeling a bit turned on. I texted Wendy, saying how I wish she were here, "with your lovely hair falling to the ground" (to convey that we'd be laying down). She didn't reply.

Scrolling through for candidates to talk to, I lighted upon, and stood up to, the name of my (married) boss at The Big House, where I used to iron High Court judges' underpants as part of my living. I ran again a moment when we were alone in the kitchen, chatting. Me glancing at her up and down, the way she repeatedly curves her blonde bob behind her ear, her lovely tits, the blouse's buttons I wanted to reach out and undo, running my tongue round the inside of my mouth, some kind of sublimated kissing perhaps. I'm sure she knew.

I liked that job. Ironing, hoovering, and disappearing any specks of judicial shit by day, polishing the cutlery and glasses, and setting the dinner service out for the evenings; then a change of clothes for champagne receptions and dinner parties.

Me and Karen chatty easily -- volubly even -- and she invited me up to The Big House any morning. I'll go tomorrow. It's a huge Italianate villa: dotted around the room, we will easily conform to the regime's orders.


Accidentally sent a text meant for my sister to someone I had a single date with a few weeks ago.

"Sorry [similarly named woman], that was meant for my sister. I'll delete you from my phone book. Hope you're OK x"

"There's no need to delete me! Give me a shout when we can go out dancing! Take care x"

That started yesterday very well!

6 comments »

6 comments

Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

Ha ha!! It sounds like you are one of the few who is still having fun!
I used to like sneaking into schools and empty spaces. I am jealous.
Sx

Mon 4th May 2020 @ 11:19 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Come to Bristol Scarlet, and we can have an afternoon of derring-do, trespassing.

Failing that, we could get sozzled in the garden.

Mon 4th May 2020 @ 12:18 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Jonathan [Visitor]

Looby- I don’t think I know anyone who sends texts to the wrong person accidentally more often than you do! Sure I must have read of a half dozen on here over the years, bringing in their wake every manner of consequence!

In fact ..maybe that’s the glue to stick together that collection of Loobynet through the ages you’ve mentioned around hawking around some likely publishers…each chapter starts with one such of those, leads us back/forward into time…

Comment from: looby [Visitor]

That’s a good idea Jonathan. The site’s a bit amorphous really, as our lives are. It needs to have a shape, something to pull the threads together. Good idea!

Mon 4th May 2020 @ 22:31 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

If there’s one thing that worries me it’s that i’ll send a text concerning one of my psychedelic hobbies to the the wrong person, see upstanding suburbanites who i must deal with for carpools and the like, of course most of them are women so who knows? maybe one would tell me she’d love to “do” that again leading to a discrete and quality shag… ah but to dream.

And Karen sounds lovely in more ways than one ;) women like her most definitely know. Good stuff as usual.

Wed 6th May 2020 @ 13:32 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Yeah the thing is with an old phone like mine, when you send a message to someone, you sometimes click on the last person you sent it to even if that is not the intended recipient. I haven’t got brightly lit individual threads, and neither would I want them. I bet you, you would have a good response from one of the sexless bored suburbanites were you to send something misdirected. But it’s no good doing it deliberately.

Karen knows damn well what I’m thinkning about when we’re alone. It’s part of why we get on.

Wed 6th May 2020 @ 14:32 Reply to this comment


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


M / 56 / 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.
Chinese man I met during Freshers Week at Lancaster University, 2008

The more democratised art becomes, the more we recognise in it our own mediocrity.
James Meek

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

I hate the iPod; I hate the idea that music is such a personal thing that you can just stick some earplugs in your ears and have an experience with music. Music is a social phenomenon.
Jeremy Wagner

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.
John Whale

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.
Mick, The Golden Lion, Lancaster, 21 Mar 2011

The Comfort of Strangers

23.1.16: Big clearout of the defunct and dormant and dull
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