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I disappoint Mel

  Sun 11th October 2020


Mel rings. We discuss her coming up to my suburb. I'm faced with the homelessness of our attraction.

There's an imitation European cafe, where we might at least be warm while we drink international alcohol. There's a cosy micropub with proper cider, but it can only seat about twelve, and it's always full before the evening starts. But afterwards? This is like courting in the sixties.

Five hundred pounds a month gives me a large unloved room. In place of what might have been a dado rail, there's a strip of maroon wallpaper with a wave of brown running through it. The fireplace has been flattened, as though such things should be extinct. There are unnecessarily large brown varnished wardrobes. The carpets are offcuts which don't fit and a thin rug which curls. Old-aged saggy pillows. For lighting, you can have local patches from two bendy lamps from Wilko, or a nude glare from the ceiling where a rose should be.

I could roll up the worst of the carpet, leaving the bare floor. Get a sofa from somewhere. Buy a couple more lamps. Some muslin to drape over the ugly wardrobes. But then I've still got the problem of Cath and Ingrid, the impossibility of privacy. We'll never have sex in this place. Not that I'm not aiming for sex, just now, only somewhere where we can be at our ease.


Mel comes round. None of the home improvements above have happened. I rush and shove the junk into carrier bags and hide it in the voluminous wardrobes. I introduce her to Cath before ushering her upstairs. I have these ludicrous Nordic bootees on with a bobble hanging gayly from each slipper. "Now, looby, as I see you as a potential lover, I've got to ask you to change those shoes."

We start kissing. "Do whatever you want," she says. I straddle her with my legs apart, advertising a potency that I don't possess, while the klaxon announcing a flaccid cock that I hope she won't look at clangs in my head. I slide my fingers under her cunt and she moves them to where she wants them. She's wet. I like it, even as the worry klaxon rings louder.

We move onto the bed, naked, and she fiddles with my shrunken member. We give up. She's good about it, in a sophisticated way: not too much sympathy, which would make it worse.

She rolls a joint. I open the windows, stuff up the door jambs with scarves and T-shirts, but no smell leaks like tobacco. Cath shouts from the landing. "No smoking in the house looby! You know that!"

We get dressed and smuggle down the stairs and out. There's a half an hour wait for her bus. Bus stops, again. We kiss a short goodbye as her bus arrives. In bed, I feel crestfallen and wretched, useless. I text Kim. "Disastrous sex with Mel..."

"No, I know why it didn't work looby," she replied, pointing out first time nerves, the difficulty of getting a hard cock at my age, my misgivings about the state of my room, and the worry about Cath and Ingrid being in the house. "You're so sensible and reassuring Kim. I love you for that."


We go down our pub, her local, where we go outside to sit in the lean-to, and the joints are passed around. The man with whom we played the dictionary game on a previous visit said to Mel, pointing and looking at me. "He's always smiling. Some people pretend to be happy, but he is." I had an impulse to say "I'm happy because of her," but stopped myself from doing so. My general happiness does not depend on Mel, although at that moment, the instance of it did have a lot to do with her.


I have a date. I'd also told Mel I'd meet her at half two. Mel said she wanted to go for a walk without too much drinking involved. We do get a bit wankered sometimes.

In the shower, I looked down at it, and said "you fucking useless thing."

She's someone who internationally exterminates rodents. She told me about her time on Tristan da Cunha and Diego Marcia and Porto Santo, a small island off Madeira on which I once landed by swimming to it. Chatty, interesting, attractive, dressed in the grey, loose way that academic women dress. Autistic son. She made us brownies and banana cake and we sat by a Victorian pond.

I cycled to see Mel. Her friendly, unpretentious mum, to whom one has to shout somewhat. We went for a walk through Magpie's Bottom, a name which made me giggle. "I'm not sure if I want a full-blown relationship looby." And "if we have sex next weekend you won't hold it against me if I don't want to have it again?"

"I think we should just enjoy being with each other in whatever way we can," I said, affecting insouciance whilst hoping for repeated sex. She just wants a decent rodding. It's not much for a girl to ask.

We walked back through the woods, found a gap in the fence. "Put them inside," she said, inviting me inside her bra. And at last, a sign of stiffness, because I knew sex was impossible.


Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

Who is this rodent exterminator?
Ack. I think it’s natural to be more excited about the things we can’t have.

Mon 12th October 2020 @ 06:52 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Someone I met a couple of weeks ago on the internet.

I’m going to send her a friendly message, not mentioning Mel, and suggesting we meet up again as friends. I prefer the more common type really though. Mel’s got that winning combination of being working class, lending me an Edna O’Brien novel, and into sex.

Mon 12th October 2020 @ 18:28 Reply to this comment

Hello, old friend. I just caught up with a few week’s worth of entries. I can’t tell you what a joy it is. You sound well and your prose is as strong as ever. Glad to hear you’ve got an income stream. Glad to hear you’re still with the ladies. Glad, glad, glad. Is there no nerves about covid out there? It’s all the rage in NYC. I am working back in the city after spending six months working from home. I hated it. I missed the olde town. There’s nothing to do, tho. Few restaurants and bars allow indoor seating. and NO theater, which is killing me. Nice to see you again.

Mon 12th October 2020 @ 23:03 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

It’s great to hear from you again Mark, it really is. I’ve been wondering where you are, and how you are. I don’t envy you having to stay at home for six months – that’s a long time to be cooped up.

Corona’s affecting things here as well but possibly not so much as in the US. There’s a stupid 10pm curfew in the pubs and you have to fill in a form at the entrance to give your number, but Bristol’s one of the least affected cities in the UK. It’s crashing the economy upon which all the people urging greater lockdowns depend.

There’s new restrictions from Wendesday on some cities in the north where only pubs that serve “substantial” meals will be allowed to serve alcohol – as if covid runs away when it sees a pie.

Mine and Mel’s pub doesn’t give a shit about the rules and Bristol isn’t subject to the regime being imposed on Liverpool and Newcastle, so we just all mix together there and chat and share the spliffs. But I miss going out dancing to the same extent that you miss theatre.

It infuraites me to be honest – we’re not allowed to take our own risks any more. But anyway, the main point is – really nice to see you bac in my comments column!

Tue 13th October 2020 @ 20:01 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

I’m not a doctor but i play one on the telly (in my mind)… could there been a bit of performance anxiety, well not really that but possibly nerves and excitement preventing the blood from getting to the right place? just a thought…

And while i understand that we should be allowed to take our own risks the problem with this little virus is it sneaks around and hides which means our own risks creates a risk for others who may not want that risk. I mean if i want to shoot speedballs into my cock i should be allowed but when i start trying to shoot those speedballs into other cocks i’m infringing upon their rights…

that said had we here in the US done the hard work and shut down fully for 6-8 weeks we’d be much better off but the Karens of the world want to get their nails done and go to Applebee’s for shit margaritas…

of course if they shut the dispensary i’ll be in the street with a pitchfork and a torch lol!!!

Wed 14th October 2020 @ 13:19 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Yeah that’s the flaw in the libertarian argument.

Have you got Karen’s number? :)

Wed 14th October 2020 @ 22:51 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

Of course i have Karen’s number ;)

Thu 15th October 2020 @ 19:24 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Jonathan [Visitor]

Karen I’m not sure if she sounds the girl for you Looby.. apart from anything else she doesn’t sound the sort to travel by public transport, not one of our people.

Fri 16th October 2020 @ 23:12 Reply to this comment
Comment from: [Member]

Ha ha kono :)

Jonanthan as ever, you’re right. Never trust a woman who doesn’t get on a bus.

Sun 18th October 2020 @ 21:37 Reply to this comment

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

M / 59 / 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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