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I spend a night in a phone box

  Tue 18th April 2017

Me and Trina went to a friend's boat party in Chester, dancing down the River Dee to superb music, with subcultural people in the stylish know, then onto a little nightclub in town. Twin beds in the hotel; a worry that Trina would climb in next to me which wasn't allayed until she started her semi-snoring rasp.

The following day she had to change trains in Wigan, but being in no rush we spent a few hours in a couple of pubs. She turned, soured by drink, dragging the mood down with the precise details of how I am so thoughtless and unkind. I went to the loo, partly to escape the dissection of my failings. When I came back she had gone. I didn't text or ring her, knowing that a drunkard's apologies are the most reliable thing about them.

I fell asleep on the train home and missed my stop, ending up in Oxenholme instead. The last train back to Lancaster had gone, and I spent a freezing cold night in a phone box. I texted Trina. "Missed my stop. Quality night in a phone box coming up!" I was hoping she might get her brother to come to collect me. "You idiot! You can't expect people to bail you out with taxi fare for doing that." "I'm not after your money! Anyway, you have a nice night in your warm bed. Night night."

I tried curling up, but modern phone boxes have a gap of about six inches at the bottom, so the wind blows straight through. I was shuddering with cold, and sobbing with the lack of Wendy and the weight of everything that I've got to deal with. I almost thought I could get hypothermia. I tried jogging up and down on the spot, then at about 4am I couldn't stand it any longer, and walked round and round the village for two hours until the first train. Dog-walkers interpellating you into their bracing, clubby bonhomie of morning.

I finally got into bed, still quivering with cold; and another run of tears, wishing it were Wendy. She rang just after I got up and I told her all about it. Her lovely voice. "If it were you, Wendy, there is no way I would leave you in a phone box. I don't care how much it would have cost, I'd have come and got you."

The following day, still irritated with Trina, I drafted, but didn't send, the following.

Hi Trina

I have an invite for you. It's to the next few meetings of the Let's Criticise looby Club.

It's a fab social club. There's plenty to drink, and looby will be there, ready to hear all about his limitlessly varied failings, faults,
misdemeanours, moral errors, mistreatments of others, his drinking, his neglectful and selfish behaviour, his blindness to the needs of others, and the thousand and one other ways in which he fails as a decent human being. He's a fantastic doormat and will be incredibly patient as a boringly pleasant evening is changed into something much more enjoyable -- endless criticism of him.

One thing we know you'll enjoy at The Let's Criticise looby Club, is the opportunity to terminate the evening without such tiresome things as basic manners -- which can be so burdensome when you're with others. But at the Let's Criticise looby Club you don't need to bother -- you can just walk out without saying a word.

The meetings can be arranged whenever suits you. Occasionally looby is busy with people who treat him kindly and who enjoy his company, but don't worry -- they're not there all the time.

We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.

The Secretary
Let's Criticise looby Club
branches in Lancaster, Wigan, and throughout the North


I feel overwhelmed at the moment. I'm going to lose my house soon, and I can't afford the rents in Lancaster. Even a room in a shared house here starts at about £75/week. I'm going to have to give all my furniture away, everything I've collected over the years, because I can't afford storage.

The miserable prospect looms of having to go to stay with my mum in Middlesbrough, and then when would I see the girls? How would I ever get back to Lancaster, unable to afford the train fare over here for job interviews? I'm getting rejected for minimum wage jobs. I didn't get the job in the pie shop, and the other day, failed even for one in care work. And most corrosive of all, above everything else, I can't stand the situation with Wendy, which is worse for knowing that there is nothing I can do to change it. There's a weight of water behind my eyes, every day.


6 comments

Comment from: isabelle [Visitor]

Oh, you’re really down at the moment, I’m sorry. Although I don’t know you really, after all these years of reading you, I do know that you have a brilliant ability to bounce back and to see the good side of things. Something will come up, a simple twist of fate and all that, I’m sure. (Also, hasn’t anything come of moving into Kirsty’s place, I thought that might be on the cards?)

I hope it all works out. xx

(And even though I still feel a bit sorry for Trina, I do think she’s an arse moaning on at you)

Tue 18th April 2017 @ 14:34
Comment from: [Member]

Thanks isabelle. Thanks for commenting. This is only my blather but it matters to get all this temporarily off my chest. This blog is going to be turned into the book where I sell a hundred thousand copies and I can release Wendy from her job and we’ll spend happy days where I cook for her and the carrots will get burned because I’m fucking her whilst hitching up one of her dresses over the kitchen table….oh, if only.

Re Kirsty. There is still a plan to rent her, – née our – house, but probably not till the New Year. I’d love it. To have my girls there whenever they want, and Kirsty and her boyf too. I get on very well with him.

Trina’s not a bad girl. All her moaning is a roundabout way of her saying “why don’t you love me?” I’m in a similar position myself. It’s a parallel. Trina loves me / I don’t love her. I love Wendy / Wendy doesn’t love me.

I know I’m saying this through the deluded smog of a man in love, but in an ideal world that won’t ever exist, I want to stop thinking about myself all the time. I can’t “take care” of Wendy, but I want my days to be centred around a togetherness where I naturally and spontaneously care for her. And to have sex with her all the time. The two go together for me, but she doesn’t fancy me.

I know neither will happen, neither together, nor separately. Neither the practical, day-to-day love – the playing with her daughter when you don’t feel like it, the shopping, the washing-up – all of which I want to do – nor running my hands through her hair, the kissing and slow stroking. None of it will ever happen.

Tue 18th April 2017 @ 17:08

What an awful evening! Is the LCl club open the U.S. members or is it a strictly domestic organisation? Are there dues or initiations? Can I heat the needles?

I’m sorry you’re in a rut. I wish I had a big bag of money. I’d send it to you. I’d just spend it on stupid stuff, anyway.

Tue 18th April 2017 @ 22:00
Comment from: [Member]

Trina’s the only member. I don’t particularly want to expand the club’s ranks.

Don’t worry M, I’ll be OK. I think. Possibly. I do get through most things but this is going to be a bit of a test. There’s always excessive drinking in the meantime.

Tue 18th April 2017 @ 22:08
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

Well good sir the worm always turns as they say, sometimes we have to do some shite we’d rather not but something will break your way even if it’s a gig you don’t want, sometimes we have to take something we despise to temporarily keep the head ever so slightly above water, at least until we can grab that branch floating by, me gives you da good vibes mate…

As for this Trina woman i don’t know why you even deal with the c*nt, there is a distinct pattern with her and you know it, she drinks and then she berates, of course maybe you should tell her for 50 quid you’ll shag her senseless, explain that it’s 50 a session, sorta dovetails into what i said above but hey, twice a week and you’ve got your room and 25 quid to spare… they don’t call me a Jean-ee-Us for nuffin…

Thu 20th April 2017 @ 03:05
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Yes, at the moment I just need anything. I can’t afford to be fussy.

There’s always been an element of me being Trina’s gigolo. It used to be that she pays for the hotels and the weekends away, and the unspoken other bit of the bargain was sex. Which she really enjoyed. She’s very inexperienced and it was very vanilla and I couldn’t get her to expand her horizons – but that didn’t matter when it was her card that was coming out when we checked out of the hotel.

Now that the sex has been taken out of the equation, I don’t really know what we’re doing this for. I know the criticisms of me are just a translation for her sadness that I can’t love her, so they don’t really affect me. Still, it makes for a shit end to the night.

Thu 20th April 2017 @ 06:30


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

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