30 April 2009

doesn’t want to end up like She-Ra

Later, Nero and I got a few bottles of wine and had one with our meal that we’d cooked together then got a lift up to ‘The Tank’ with ‘The Lovely’ where we had a drink with Chris and Terry, Scouse Steve, a subdued Linda and Ed Millard who reminded me that there is a party on at The Woodpeckers this bank holiday Monday and could I quickly knock up a flyer, print it out and distribute it so that loads of people will turn up.(Sure).

“What do you want to do now?” I ask Nero near the end of the session and above Chris’s latest monotonous monologue. “Whatever”, she unenthusiasticallyresponds. The Frisbee game in the fading light obviously failed to ignite her party fuse so I got a few frozen almond Stoli Voddys and a lager chaser in but even these stubbornly refuse to kick hold.

Back at HQ Nero got some more lagers in which Lauraand I drank whilst Nero went to bed early so she could get up for work on time because she has to do one Saturday in three.

Laura talked in a relaxed manner whilst I skinned up. We both got drunk trying to forget the bitchiness of Polly’s phone reply earlier which I won’t bother telling you about because it was real low and Pollyesque.

Later Nero told me she wasn’t subdued in the pub she was ‘behaving herself’ and ‘actually quietly enjoying’ herself.

So there.

She said she doesn’t want to end up like She-Ra when she’s 45 she says.

**********

29 April 2009

"Two little balls"

When Nero went off with the flyers to 'do the Uni' Sara and Woody came round closely followed by Emily with little Holly and the baby Lydia closely followed by Terry who'd come to sex the three kittens Totty had just had.


It was funny; she took the first gently in her hands then flipped it upside down and we both peered between its tiny back legs our heads bumping as we zoom in close. "Look", she says, and I do. "Two little balls", and, as she puts him carefully back says, "Boy!" Mothers meeting over.

***********

28 April 2009

So she casually turned round and said...

Didn’t have too bad a weekend. We both had a good weeks work in and income from other sources bumped this up nicely to a decent level. A few bills can be paid and the domestic ennui balances for a while. Is this happiness?

Felsons Wine Bar has finished its conversion to Harleys Sports Bar and the weekly pilgrimage to educate the deep houseless massive continues apace. On Friday and Saturday. The latter turned out to be a more accomplished night with Theo and Rosie and myself sharing the honours. My little pep talk with Rosie last week began to show some signs of badly unravelling. I told her that Tracey - Mikes 19 year old girlfriend - had told me that she was sick and tired of Rosie flirting badly, or is that madly?, with Mike. ‘Throwing herself’ on him at every opportunity. Rosie got well upset with this and was crying quite openly without shame in front of everyone in the bar. Nero, engrossed in her depression and being very quiet, politely asked me why Rosie was crying. I mentioned that what I was about to say was to be taken in confidence and not repeated to anyone. She agreed. so I told her.

Later that night I told Rosie about Cagey’s theory that whenever a 50g pack of Golden Virginia went missing off the table it was always Rosie that stole it. That she never buys any tobacco but merely helps herself to other peoples packets.

By Sunday night Rosie had recovered somewhat and we were all down the Tank jollying it up on Budvar and social intercourse. Rosie belatedly thanked me for the Tracey info about Mike and emphasised that, information about what people say about you to other people when you are not there can be very useful in assessing their qualities as a friend. But, here's the rub, as long as they don’t find out that what they have said has got back to the person concerned. This way the information cleaned from friends about gossip about you is dangerous info that you are not supposed to really know about. But do. This puts you in a theoretical position of power over the gossippee. Particularly if the info gleaned is of a negative connotation and may be damaging to you if ignorance prevailed.

So, we’re listening to music from Shaun, Rosie and Oz. We’re sitting, boasting a number of balding, swag bellied individuals with adolescent cuties in tow, around the large table easy in each others company. Gary, John, Jayne ans all or new friends; the lot of us. We haven’t been together in this particular group for a while so the conversation is whipping around the table openly and quickly. It rips. It's all really about the middle aged need for new, interesting experiences that brings us back to a youthful level of excitement. Suddenly Rosie goes to Cagey: ‘So the latest gossip is that you think I steal everyone’s tobacco from the table?’
She leaves it open as a question so he has to reply. ‘Yes’, he says to her. ‘Do you?’ Then to me ‘Cheers mate’.
‘Of course I bloody don’t’, she yells, and I explain to her in front of la Cage, the very theory I have been espousing above of respecting the confidences of your friends who tell you this privileged information. That if you confront the primary source of this info, i.e. the person who said it in the first place, you can, and do, jeopardise the whole balance of relationships.

I politely told Rosie to shut up. Cagey was of course pissing himself with laughter. Rosie apologised for her faux pas but did remind me that the other thing I’d mentioned (wink, wink) had not been put in front of (wink) and she was still oblivious to Rosie’s knowledge of her thoughts.

Later after packing up and dropping the equipment off, Nero remarked how Tracey was well pissed off with me for telling Rosie that that she was pissed off with Rosie for flirting with Mike. ‘How the fuck did Tracey find out what Rosie knew? I’ve talked to Rosie about this and she assures me that he has said absolutely nothing to anyone about it’.

So she casually turned round and said. ‘Well, when Rosie was crying I asked her about it and she told me what you had said. Then, at work, I told Emily...’ ‘....Who then told Tracey?’ I say. ‘You got it’. Robin Monk, the guy who dogged Nero solidly and blatantly right in front of me for two years totally embarrassed his drunken arse down at Harleys on Fri. I only mention this because of something Nero said to me on Sunday night. Somehow, we were outside the front door of the Mansions, his name came up and I was doing my usual thing of telling her how upset I had been and how I knew what he was up to (still is up to) regarding Nero and is total lack of respect for me and everything.

So she casually turns round to me and says: ‘You know at that time when you stopped us socialising...’
‘Yeah... .’ say I.
‘Well it was just as well you did’.
‘Why's that Nero?’
Because I would have gone for it’
Even three years later that still hurt quite a bit I can tell you. Another wedge was driven between us. Doesn’t matter too much to me because she was my real true love. I love her and always will but to be betrayed years into a relationship by her and that guy flirting outrageously in front of me for a year. Well, that finished our relationship off really. It’s never been the same since and never will be. Yeah I still love her and want her but she doesn’t me. We’re stuck in this post betrayal end zone where neither can move. My feeling, I hope, are getting colder and colder towards her as her are towards me. Hopefully one day we’ll do the decent thing and put the relationship down just for the sake of the memory of what went on before.

Don’t tell anyone I told you that OK?

27 April 2009

Another Day Another Trauma

Another day another fight. Well, I say fight but what is meant was another nail in the coffin. Now, that can be construed as a rather cynical attitude but cynicism is the minds way of accepting things or events that it has no genuine control over. No control means powerlessness. Let me explain.

Waking up bright and breezy and genuinely energised in the morning can, you would think, ‘be a good thing’. No? A refreshing 8 hours sleep recharging the batteries so that come morning the body is fit and ready to face a new day. Unfortunately I’m one of those people. I say unfortunately for one reason and one reason only - my partner isn’t. Oh dear! First light of awakening is not an experience of genuine pleasure for her. Oh no. Green sleepy cracks with bloodshot eyes peering through these deranged slits greet me each and every morning. One day she said to me ‘I hope you realise that I don’t intend to wake up next to you every morning for the rest of my life?’ She said that about ten years ago. About the time she put the clock on to tick towards the end of our relationship. To tick towards the day that she would feel joy waking up in the morning, green eyed or not, and not have to peer at my ugly mug as the first thing she sees as unconsciousness recedes and the prospect of a new day dawns.

When she told me that I thought ‘fair enough’ because I too genuinely thought that I would not wake up to her every morning. At least every morning for the rest of my life. Sheesh! What a long time that is. The prospect of sleeping with the same person for all your life is a genuinely scary proposition. What of those youthful flights of male sexual fantasy where a different beautiful woman shares your bed every night. Or at least every weekend.

Even when adolescence is a dim throb in your past and you have genuinely found a partner that you love above all others. That loves you and helps pay the bills and does the odd bit of washing up as well as drive you home from crap parties when you’re drunk. Even then, in that idyllic spatial awareness known as love you don’t really think that one day your partner, the love of your life, the person to whom you are genuinely committing your adult self to will one day turn around and say that they can’t see themselves waking up next to you one day. What a blow.

But as I say that was ten-ish years ago and she is still there next to me every morning (well, most mornings) when the world begins a new revolution. And every day when she opens her eyes and looks at me I know what she is thinking. That first thought that passes through her mind triggers the first thought that passes through my mind - ‘I love this woman and every day is a bonus for me. I have another day with this woman and want to spend it with her in the pursuit of our love. In pursuit of our mutual desires and longings, to fulfil each other. To support.

To Love in friendship.

But no. Not in my world. Not in the world where waking itself is a trauma. When you have two people; one of whom drags the conscious mind from a pit, gives it a few slaps, pours tea over it, eats a few slices of toast or yogurt with chopped banana, visits the toilet, gets ready listening to the radio (I think) or watches a bit of breakfast news (never the Big Breakfast which is mind numbingly shite), sits in a chair or on the sofa and stares into space for a not inconsiderable time then, and only then, deems to emit her first words. Usually along the lines of ‘I’m going to get a paper’.

For my part I’m the opposite. A diametrically opposing force which, hopefully balances this turbulent time of day. I wake up and genuinely feel awake. Awake as in I can talk, interact, laugh, joke, and play with the cats. I’m up, around and looking for things to stimulate me before drab humdrum work beckons like a festering.... that’s enough of that. Or not. Perhaps that’s it! I’m off to a job that’s, how shall I say this, CRAP. While she is off when she wants to do her work. She is the boss. She gardens. Ten pounds an hour she charges. Turns up when she wants and goes when she wants. Ten pounds. Ten sobs an hour. Which is roughly the price I charge her every day. Not sobs as in pounds but sobs as in sobs. I expect her to one day somehow be different. To wake up alive but I’m nearly always constantly disappoint myself. She isn’t and doesn’t.

Ever.

But I always live in hope.

If I push her, like I did today it nearly always ends up in a row. She is quiet while I talk away to myself, commenting on the news on the radio, gossiping about our friends, about what we’re doing tonight, where we are going next week, what I’m doing today, how the cats are funny, what’s for breakfast and so on and so forth. She sits in resolute silence, a fuming, glowing ember that suddenly catches alight and burns my hand.

I should have learnt from the time she decided to spend a lot a time with a new man. When she went off on a three day bender with him and didn't come home. Was genuinely hostile to me. And frosty. Frostile I called it. But she came back and now every morning she wakes up next to the person who she doesn’t really want to wake up next to and listens to him prattling on about something or other and perhaps she dreams of nights with her old lover who, in the morning, had the consideration to let her wake up in her own time. To not hassle her. To be just there but in a quiet way. How she likes it.

This morning she needed the car for a gardening job and gave me a lift to my treadmill. We argued in the car all the way there. Again. She’s going I know that. One day I will wake up and she won’t be there. But there will be a difference when it does eventually happen. It will be something we both want and need. It will be part of the mature adult world of relationships not the first adult fumblings straight out of adolescence. Oh did I tell you that we’ve been together for 15 years. That makes it all the harder.

**********

She was a little subdued...

When we did talk, from her it was of how possessive I was, how I was trying to restrict her freedom, how I kept telling her what to do but these were fractured, distant meanings cut with comedown. 


It wasn’t the real me doing all that it was the mad me, the crazy me, the inarticulate me, unreasonable, not understanding, illogical, irrational. Which brings me to the present and why I’m getting all this negative shit down in a blog so I don’t lay it all the woman I love and am seeming to destroy.

I’ve had a great crack in the record shop today. Even got a call from the catalyst inquiring about new records even though he owes the shop £70. He was probably checking where I was so he could visit Nero. I spent loads of the record shop owner’s money on three hundred pounds worth of deep house stuff with Anton from Hit distribution. Had visits from Johnny McHug, Pen (who bought a gospel tinged D&B tune from NY), Ben, who was in good form and sat and listened to everything new and spent twenty quid. We drank coffee and smoke a few sly spliffs and read Musik magazine and generally hung out while the rain reigned and Canterbury chugged to the beat of the feet of a thousand French teenage tourists.

Nero popped in at lunch time with a great ‘cheating’ chicken sandwich, a ‘9-Bar’ (hempseed and chocolate – lovely) and a can of fizzy water. The phone call from her in the afternoon was sweetness and now, as I close the shop and wait for her to finish work and come and meet me as we’re off to the Art College to dish out some flyers for an upcoming sound system gig we have planned Going to have a drink and return home for that stir fry and wine that we didn’t have last night.After Nero had told me about the snog, dynamics began to change drastically in the sound system. Nero told me that our relationship had been having problems for four years. FOUR years. I couldn’t believe it. I was devastated. How could four years of problems suddenly manifest themselves through one sneaky snog with cheeky chap? What were these ‘problems’ she was intimating at? Was it a love thing? A sex thing? A relationship thing? She still hasn’t told me.

Last night I had a great time but Nero was decidedly subdued. She was sort of making an effort but that is all it was – an effort. I’d catch her, eyes glazed; looking out of the bus window on the way home and when she’d catch me looking at her she’d smile with her lips but not with her eyes. She’d rub my knee and say “Are you all right?” and I’d say “Yeah!” then we’d go back to staring out of the window. I’d hear the occasional sigh involuntarily escape from her lips and we’d go through the routine – “You all right?” “Yeah!” – again. It’s been raining hard all day but by the time we’d both finished work it’d stopped, but the ground was still wet. The sun had come out and the air smelt fresh as the ground slowly dried. Nero had on her usual work garb; green jeans, red 18 hole Doc Martins and a black flying jacket. She was weighed down with a large bag of shopping filled, as usual, with a great selection of top vegetarian delights and a large green umbrella. It was great to see her and this was the first time in ages we’d actually had a chance to socialise with each other, alone, on a small scale, no hassle, no frills night. As I say we were off round the Art and Tech colleges to ‘dish’ flyers out. We skipped a veritable dance round the town loaded down with bags, sneaking a sly drink at every venue we went to, even eating crisps.

Back home we cooked and chatted and relaxed and ate and watched TV then went to bed. In the morning we made love but I had the remnants of a thrush infection which tightens my foreskin so when Nero started rubbing me my erection tightened the skin and it was nice to enter her but I came too quickly and then got told off for not putting the tissues in the designated waste tissue bin but, hey, that’s cool.

We got up, had croissants and watched TV whilst Nero waited for her call from the Lovely Laura. An old friend of ours P was in hospital having a mastectomy. A previous operation to remove her lymph nodes failed to stem the flow of cancer. Laura is going to ring and take Nero to visit P before she is discharged from hospital. A mutual friend stroke pain in the butt, D, the only guy I know who can fall of a ladder down some stairs, break loads of bones including his neck and still survive (who works with Nero and knew P and her ex J, before we did) pulls Nero up at work saying the reason P’s got cancer is because she took shit loads of ecstasy and it has destroyed her immune system. Twat. What he is saying is that hanging out on the dance scene has given her cancer. But luckily Nero does not listen to anything D says (or anyone) because “he’s sad and a Buddhist” she says. Maybe that was the reason she was a little subdued when I met her after work to do the flyer round.


So, P was being discharged today and Laura and Nero were going to see her and give her some sisterly support but when Laura rang up and said that P had already discharged herself and was at home and didn’t want any visitors because, well, her new man doesn’t want or like any of the party crowd she used to hang out with there. Besides she’s moving to Buckinghamshire where her mum lives. She’s got a 45% chance of survival and we fucking miss her a lot at the parties, but she’s just dumped us all and probably thinks we did give her cancer.

After the call Nero is all subdued again so she cleans the dishes, sweeps the floor gets stoned and decides to go to the University to dish some more flyers out. Before she goes though we work out the little money we have and designate a 50 to pay off our E bill. The hash bill can’t be paid because we have no money and besides I don’t want to pay it because I owe it to a psycho-twat-cunt who jumped up and down on the head of our mate Tony because he “Fort eed grarst ‘im up!” Stupid fucking Pikey idiots who think they are toy town gangsters are actually more dangerous than the real thing. Besides, all that happened at one of our nights outside in the car park and in the road and Tony was barely conscious when the catalyst and I ran out of the pub to sort it out. His face was a mess and the next day his eyes were totally bloodshot and black and we can’t do anything about it because the guy is a serious head case who doesn’t care if he lives or dies. But we try and understand because we know his brother and know what he’s been through but then again that doesn’t justify bad behaviour. You’ve got to look at why they are living in a toy town if they’re so hard. Anywhere else; London, Manchester – they’d be dead. And you’d better believe that.

*********

25 April 2009

“He was another special friend…”

“But we weren’t at it,” she says. “I did it to see if the spark was there but it wasn’t. Can’t you understand? I realised as soon as it happened that it was wrong, that it wasn’t going to work, that the spark just was not there.”

Being a guy I want to know things like where it happened and when? Was it day or night? Were you alone? Inside or out? You know; stupid things. Even though it had happened I still could not visualise it. Every time I see them together, even now, I still try to imagine them kissing.

It happened one morning outside of Rosie’s house. There’d been the usual all weekend session. I’d dropped out because I don’t take as much base amphetamine as all of them (the paste posse I call them) and coming back that morning Nero decided to do it. Talking later, months later, to R he told me that when she had done it had freaked him right out and he had backed off. I don’t believe him. Anyway, when it all came out and Nero was discussing it with me she said that her relationship with R “was special”. A “special friendship” that I’d “better not fuck up” and, here’s the crunch, “like I’d done before” Pow! All this talk of our relationship being fucked up for years came flooding right up to the surface.

“What do you mean ‘like I’d done before?’”

“You know…”

“Tell me.”

“Glynn.”

There she said it. Glynn¸ Glynn¸ Glynn, Glynn. What had I fucked up?

Nero, Glynn and I were good friends at University for fucks sake. My head was reeling. What did I fuck up? And why wasn’t I aware that I had fucked something up.

“What?” I said. “I fucked up yours and Glynn’s relationship?”

“He was another special friend…”

**********

24 April 2009

Top girl our Rosie

So, we have, in Oxford Mansions, Nero and I on the ground floor; Polly, Holly and Mike (or Mice as we now call him – for a week anyway) on the second floor and Jayne and her whiney toddler Liam in the middle. Jayne gets out of hospital today too. She has been there for a week. Rosie had to rush her up to Canterbury Hospital in the Volvo when she collapsed in pain. Luckily it wasn’t anything drug related but a burst appendix that was swiftly removed. Meanwhile I hear Rosie return home with Liam because their footsteps echo through our ceiling. It looks like she is caring for him until Jayne gets out. Top girl our Rosie. Top girl.

**********

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