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Underwear

  Sat 7th November 2020

In a training room at the hospital, I am sitting through a long afternoon of assessing the load and keeping your back straight, the fire triangle, and how you've got to be nice to gay people.

In front of me, a cleaning supervisor who has been sent on a refresher course sneezes, for the third time, into his hand. As he withdraws it from his face, a string of mucus hammocks between his mouth and his hand. He puts his hand onto his thighs, redoubles his interest in the slide, and wipes the slime on his trousers.


Me and Mel go to Wells on a day out. The jolliest seats on the bus, at the front, on the top. In the cathedral, we see the second oldest working clock in the world, which every quarter of an hour has a jousting scene popping out like a cuckoo clock, in which the same wooden jouster has been knocked off his horse since at least 1340.

That was impressive, but the thing I remember most was Jesus in a 60s sculpture, styling his yew corset.

Near the bus station, we find a micropub run by a misandrist South African woman in her sixties who keeps telling me that I won't like various of her ciders, as "men don't like that." We sit on an old sofa in what was recently a living room, and I deliberately have the one she is warning me off. I tell her, truthfully, that it is delicious. I feel my head melting a bit. I fall asleep against Mel on the bus, before waking up and guiding her hand on to my hard cock.

We spend a rather intense night at her friend's house. The drink and dope is plentiful, as is the resentment. There's an eight-year age gap between her and her seventysomething husband, and the drunker she becomes, the more complaining and flirty she gets.

Over and over again, she says she wants a toy boy and not "this old man", who is sitting next to her. He takes this with resignation, coping with cruelty. I tell her that she's being horrible, "and it's no good looking at me Trish, 'cos I'm taken now." Mel repeatedly rescues the situation by getting us all up and dancing.

We go to bed and Mel kisses me forcibly, almost violently, pinning me down, which turns me on. I tell her I'm buying some things for her to wear, or to take off rather. (And browsing hosiery websites is enjoyable in itself). She sounds hesitant. "I don't know...I think I might feel ridiculous." Patience, looby.

In the Suffolk Arms on the last day before we're forced into house arrest again, it's crowded, and everyone's stoned and chatting. As the crowd thins out a bit, Mel delights me by standing up and dancing, and I join her immediately. It's probably illegal now. "Oh God, here go the lovebirds again," someone says, and the best track from a rock-based, white man's pub jukebox comes on -- Grandmaster Flash's The Message -- and I'm showing off in suburbia to my girlfriend, knowing most of the lyrics.


The new job started on Monday. I'm not sure. Everyone congratulates me; I can't see what for. Les Murray, reading at Lancaster Literature Festival decades ago, had a line "Any job's a comedown from where I'm from." I've lost a great deal. It's a divorce from the smackheads and alkies down the park, and Hayley, and whole days spent drinking. When I talk to others about its advantages I speak in a voice that isn't my own, in something of the same way as I do when I tell Mel that I love her, my one false note.


We have a family conference over the phone, in which we resolved that we are going to spend Christmas together, along with Fiona's very likeable ex, regardless of any new rules of association.

7 comments »

7 comments

Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

I wondered what you’d been up to.
I am hoping that the divorce will be good for you. Pastures new.
Sx

Sat 7th November 2020 @ 14:52 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

We’ll see. The job’s on probation, just as much as I am.

Sat 7th November 2020 @ 23:27 You are currently replying to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

Hand jobs, Jesus Christ and Grandmaster Flash’s The Message… what more could one ask for in one post?

Sun 8th November 2020 @ 14:16 Reply to this comment
Comment from: [Member]

kono, I am a Lancastrian man of distinction and restraint, and while I dislike dampening anyone’s maginative interpretations, twas not my unsheathed member that was firmed up on the bus from Wells.

But Mel did a nice job of transmitting her touch through the corduroy. As I’m sure you know, you can do a lot with your clothes on.

Sun 8th November 2020 @ 17:56 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

I understand Mssr. Looby, you are definitely a much more refined gentleman than i… not to spoil a future lounge episode but i once went to an afternoon movie with a “friend", she wanted to do something normal other than screw, we went to see Blow of course, the Johnny Depp film and in the middle of it she decided that she would like to act out the title, luckily the theater was devoid of patrons other than us and while i can’t say i didn’t enjoy it i did suggest we just watch the film. I’m all class my friend, lol!!

Mon 9th November 2020 @ 15:01 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Looby [Visitor]

Kono where the hell do you get these girls from?

I’ve been flirting a bit tonight with Sexy Ex Boss, as well as sending Mel an utterly filthy long email. Isn’t it great when someone relights your fire?

Tue 10th November 2020 @ 04:43 Reply to this comment
Comment from: jonathan [Visitor]

You’ve taught me a new word again: ‘misanthrist’. I also thought that you’d committed a rare typo and Jesus was sporting a ‘new’ corset, until I looked properly at the picture and realised you were giving us a connoisseur’s definition of the type of wood employed by the sculptor of old.

And I know what you mean about the job thing… Other people’s expectations/presumptions of how you should feel about what is viewed generally as advancement, colliding with the truth of how you actually do. In the last weeks, I’ve done two things: volunteered to take on a very small amount of line management (ie of one person, and for no extra money by the way) in my current job, and taken a great leap of faith in applying for another job somewhere else and been given an interview (see the blog!). The thing is, people in respect of both developments keep congratulating me/ telling me I’m being courageous/ to ‘just be myself’ (on which commonly-proffered advice I’m entirely with you ‘passim’ by the way, that it’s worse than useless). The truth is, I have no particular desire to take on the first responsibility, and already having severe second thoughts about the second even before it’s offered me. I’m not saying any of that to anyone though- for now, letting the argument play out in my head. And on here, of course.

Fri 13th November 2020 @ 20:37 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.
George Szirtes

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
16.1.19: Further pruning

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63 mago
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Exile on Pain Street
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George Szirtes ditto
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Infomaniac [NSFW]
The Joy of Bex
Laudator Temporis Acti
London's Singing Organ-Grinder
The Most Difficult Thing Ever
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5:4
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