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Art and Decadence

  Sun 2nd April 2017

Up till we were actually on the train, I was convinced that I wouldn't be going out dancing all night in Manchester with Wendy. On the day, she rang me saying she could spare an hour or so to go for a drink at dinnertime. I was convinced this was a sweetener to break it to me that she couldn't come, something to do with either the dog or the daughter.

But no. She said that her new dress that she'd bought for the occasion "isn't exactly a shrinking violet dress." "Oh no," I thought, and my mind ran through how it would fold and touch and line her. I wanted her to dance again and pull it up with one hand and watch me looking at her taut hemline across her lovely legs, as happened a while ago at hers.

I told her about my mystery shopping, supposedly interested in buying a diamond engagement ring at a low-end jeweller, in which, not expecting any questions about the "lady", I had to think on my feet, so invented a story about us getting married. "Yes, if I'd known which jeweller it was I was going to come in and cause a scene." A little I love you tinged in my head.

She said that her ex had again been pestering her about what she was up to, "so I just told him: 'I'm going to a techno might with looby'." I wanted to send him a postcard. "Fucking hell, your ex is a goer! One of my favourite positions is the reverse cowgirl and she's great at that and what a fabulous feeling it to be right inside her and looking at her lovely arse. You always seem very curious about us, so I'll keep you informed."

She came round to mine in the evening, and as we were sorting the optical brighteners out she noticed a blue pill fall from my pocket. "What's that?" she asked. "Well, er..." I said, trying to avoid answering. "It's V---." The depth of my self-delusion is so profound, my hopes so incommensurate with what will actually happen, that I thought that there might be a possibility that we would end up fucking, and my refreshments of choice have a dampening effect on one's ardour, which means that the mechanism needs a bit of chemical assistance.

Her dress was superb, fitting over her body as though it were hand-made. We looked as colourful as the event's poster, her irregularly-patterned dress in greens and purples and yellows, me in a shirt with thin orange and yellow stripes and my best powder-blue Italian trousers.

Mdma can creep up unexpectedly and at one point I found it impossible to stop myself "dancing" with my back arched almost painfully concave, striking a ridiculous figure before I fell over onto the floor. As I get older the imperative to conduct oneself with decorum in the presence of younger people becomes more pressing; I abhor the figure of the old crazy. The security man was helpful and low-key. When he came over I thought I was being chucked out, but he just told me to get a bit of fresh air outside for a while. When I got back in, everyone in the club -- well, warehouse -- had reached that sweet spot of shared ecstasy, literally. I started dancing properly again, and a girl came up to me and said "you've recovered well!"

At Piccadilly station, Sainsbury's was opening just in time for me to get a bottle of wine for the journey home. I'm reading Camille Paglia's Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson, and on the train, we had a boundaried intimacy; the impossibility of touch. We were living out Paglia's title: cheap red wine at 6.30am in those squashy plastic cups that require a delicacy of holding to prevent you from blurting the contents over oneself, to fulfil the decadence bit; me, charged with my fifties sex drive which courses in me now in a way it never did in what should have been my rutting years; and then remembering her telling me in the pub a few hours previously "I'm celibate now" -- driving home the sad gulf between our sexual personae.

I was pleased that we got talking to two lesbians. They said that Canal St (the fraying centre of the Gay Quarter in Manchester) is getting a bit pervy now with hetero tourists. The quieter one was either very tired or on something, or both, and her eyes kept rolling so that there was nothing but white.

I've had thirty-five years of drug comedowns. Sometimes I hardly notice them; sometimes they make me sad, the way they strip away the facades upon which life depends; most of the time I enjoy them. I'm unsure of the one I'm in now, but I wrote a postcard to Kim.

I don't want this. I wish I could be her friend without all the longing. I don't want to wank myself to sleep with my endlessly elaborated imaginings of unzipping her -- a poor translation of the sex and closeness I want with her. Every day I live is all about me, and I am sick of it. I want every day to be about being kind to her. I want her to be the first and last concern I have every day.

But I can't. I can't move. My love for her is stuck, stoppered-up. It is the the worst form of unhappiness, because it comes from something I can't change. It's so upsetting. It's turning something that should be giving, and caring, constantly developed and renewed, into something I've got to bear; love deformed into a burden.


We all want what we can’t have. It’s the only way to go. That woman loves to torment you. Can you see it?

MDMA is the one that got away. I’ve always wondered if it was a fun as everyone makes it sound. (Except for the falling on the floor part.) Maybe when I’m retired and the kids have moved out. I’m wound too tight to try it now.

Mon 3rd April 2017 @ 18:57
Comment from: [Member]

No, I can’t see that. Wendy is kindness personified. She’s not tormenting me at all, she’s just being honest. Wendy does not have an unkind bone in her body. I want her to want a relationship with me, or, failing that, to fancy me. She wants and feels neither.

I’m appalled at myself for falling over. I was drunk, apparently. I’ll tell you about it in the next post. MDMA is great. One of my favourite drugs. It makes you feel calm and gentle.

Mon 3rd April 2017 @ 19:46
Comment from: Isabelle [Visitor]  

La douleur exquise. You put it beautifully.
I’m sorry.

Tue 4th April 2017 @ 09:03
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Thank you Isabelle.

Tue 4th April 2017 @ 10:34
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

For some reason my comments are being rejected… this is only a test.

Wed 5th April 2017 @ 21:58
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Oh no…not again!

It’s got this ridiculous antispam filter, which dates from about 1943 when saying words like “flip” was seen as outrageous. I’ll tray and disable it kono.

Thu 6th April 2017 @ 14:29
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

Take drugs graffiti… quality. And next time the the little blue pill falls out of your pocket tell her it’s Aleve, they look quite like the V and then all your devious plans will go undetected… which brings me to…

There was a girl, this is ages ago, who i first met in college and for some reason we just never seemed to work out, oh we kissed and had the occasional petting session but we never got to the fucking, she was magnificently built with just gorgeous breasts and we used to get drunk and hang out but in the end nothing, i used to take white crosses, or what we septics called “trucker speed", i’d keep them handy because we’d get blitzed and they’d help me not pass out, one night i got up off her couch and they fell out of my pocket, she asked what they were and what they were for and i was dumb enough to be honest, i should have said cold medicine, we stopped getting drunk after that and soon after she stopped getting her smoke from me and that was that… the best laid plans of mice and men…

Thu 6th April 2017 @ 16:00
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Glad you managed to post at last kono.

Petting a woman like that would drive me round the twist :) Shame she reacted like that though.

Thu 6th April 2017 @ 19:08

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

M / 53 / Lancaster ("the Brighton of the North").

"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

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

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