I'm just about into my 3rd tune on the decks at Stuart’s 40th Birthday party when T taps me in the small of my back. She’s very sparkly and perky for some reason. Eyes wide and gaze attentive.
Her usual ‘I can’t be fucked with anything’ persona not at all in evidence. Reminds me of the time when she used to like me. ‘Hiya’, she says. Emphasising the ‘iiiii’ and the ‘aaaaa’ portion of it. At least that is still normal. Her teeth, beaming out at me. She gives me a great big, strong, hug that lasts just a little bit too long for comfort and a kisses me on the lips. Not her usual offering of one cheek. Immediately I’m wary, or curious as to why she has suddenly decided to go out of her way and talk to me. I feel something is wrong. That she is not happy somehow. ‘Oh, I do love that shirt’, she says of my new vertical stripy brown shirt especially purchased to enhance my new ‘oh, me? I’ve moved on now’ persona. Purchased especially for her really. Purchased to elicit exactly this comment from her. I’m pleased she has reacted exactly as I thought she would. A good start I thought.
‘I’m off now’, she says. It’s 10.30pm. The night is just beginning. ‘Oh, it’s last bus and all that. Must leave now to catch it’. I hold back offering her a lift with great difficulty. She’s not my girlfriend any more and I must withdraw some concern away her. Well, all concern really. That desire to please and to read her body language and the general requirement to be tuned into her needs and desires. J, her new boyfriend, doesn't have a car and I suspect is only tuned into one of her desires. Probably isn't but, hell, if I want to think that then that's OK because and I'm only thinking it and it's not real. He has got a car now I'm thinking about, it but that would ruin the scenario.
She doesn't drive if she knows she may drink. ‘Oh, stay’ I say. Genuinely meaning it. ‘I’ve cracked open a bottle of nice wine (just spent £15 quid on it, but didn’t tell her that) and I’ve just started my set…’ I begin. ‘No, I got to go…’ she interrupts. I explain, for some reason to perhaps cover that fact that I'm upset she's going but, hell, I know loads of people who want to spend ,ooh, absolutely loads of time with me, even if she doesn't. I tell her I’ve just been down to see Sophie and Bruce, because it’s her 35th birthday tonight, at The Continental and that Katrina and Clare will be coming along later. Sounds shit; and is, and she isn't buying it. She has made her mind up. Going off with Mr Temper, Mr Choker, Mr Punchy. Mr He’ll Have No Head If He Touches Her. Him. Yeah. Now I know how Glynn might have felt all them years ago when he cornered me about 'not harming Nero'. I assure my readers that I am not a violent person.
Most of her friends and acquaintances are fairly perturbed, to say the least, of her choice of fuck buddy here. I find him socially and emotionally bereft of any depth whatsoever and he’s as shallow as fuck. I would though. 'm feeling churned up and abandoned. But then again I find her the same way.
Maybe they deserve each other? ‘OK then, bye. Look after yourself.’ She goes but I only dream of Katrina or Clare, her designated substitutes this week, and think back to my last encounter with K; The Continental Hotel, Whitstable just one hour previously…
I must say she really is a stunning looking woman. My breathing goes all shallow and I must pull my face away otherwise I end up staring. She makes me feel uncomfortable and awkward whenever I’m in her presence and I’m acutely conscious of choosing what I say very carefully and not saying anything that may make her dislike me. I end up laughing too loud at her jokes and asking loads of stupid questions that I already know the answer to. I avoid eye contact but stare when she looks away. I steal lascivious glances at her slim, almost too perfect figure and swallow hard. All the time I affect an air of nonchalance and non committal. Don’t want to scare the girl off. My deep rooted lack of self esteem compounds the support arguments from the devil on my shoulder that constantly tells me I’m not good enough for her or good looking enough for her or what the fuck would she see in you, you useless fucker. So don’t even bother trying let alone thinking that she may be interested in you at all. You loser. Luckily a profuse affectation of drink and drugs can silence this voice. Look forward to taking the chemical equivalent of this when I’m sectioned sometime in the future.
This all stems back to my childhood and the fact I had half a dozen ‘mums’ throughout that time but none of them were my real one. She abandoned me aged 5 and my little brother to marry Mr Great Britain 1964. My relationship with women has been a difficult one over the years. Trying to reconcile the fact I didn’t have any real love or mothering with the fact that I’m a man and am sexually attracted to them too. This dichotomy tugs and pulls at me internally and I get confused by signals from women. One thing I hate that Sarah does is when we’re cuddling on the sofa and she goes ‘come her’ and extends her arms wide and beckons me into her ‘bosom’ (as she calls it), ‘come lie on me and let me give you a big hug.’ This really rattles me as it links my sexual yearnings with my yearnings to have love from my mother. Also linking it to that oedipal desire to both be fucked and mothered by the same woman. My god, do I baulk at that. Sarah gets confused as I can’t readily explain the feeling it produces in me. I also have this virtually overwhelming desire to control my actions, surroundings and the people I know because I was so helpless and so in the grip of other people’s powers when I was little. I didn’t know where I was, who I was or who I was with. I had no control over my childish destiny.
I also work hard towards the opposite of this need to control and to let the people I know have complete freedom to do whatever they want without any interference of influence from me. Another dichotomy. Oh, enough of that. I’m heading to a place there I don’t want to go to yet.
Back to the party… So, T goes. Another twinge in my heart; another knock back. I play my set. £110 worth of carefully selected and bought tunes. Tunes that I love. Tunes that I bought and practiced and played with love and skill and experience. Something I put my heart and soul into. Something I believe in so fully it hurts me inside to play them to no body. No one is at the fucking party yet but, in a way, I’m glad to get it out of the way. Warren is lined up to play afterwards and his set of guaranteed floor filler oldies that he’s been caning around the scene for 15 years gets some of the early arrivals in the room and on the dance floor. I head off into the darkness to face whatever life has decided to confront me with.
In my head I’m at The Continental reliving my conversations with K. Dare I even think that she might like me? Am I in a deluded quest for attention of any sort? Should I ask her out on a date? Is that what she is waiting for? God, I hate rejection so much that I feel that I can’t even ask her at the moment. I don’t even have her number. I know she was fucked about by her last boyfriend who I think was fucking around behind her back. Maybe she isn’t ready for someone to be asking her out? We talk awkwardly about anything, trivial things. At some point, I’m talking to birthday girl Sophie, she comes over and joins us to give Sophie her present; a beautiful, small sculpture of intertwined pink people. She stays and we talk some more. I feel embarrassed like a teen being talked to by a girl for the first time. I think I fuck it up but Katrina, despite her confidant demeanour, seems to be exhibiting the same emotions of awkwardness towards me that I am towards her. We giggle. When we have eye contact red flushes flame across our faces. Am I dreaming? I know she notices this. I take this to mean that she likes me. my delusion is complete. As I head upstairs at Stuart’s party to check out who is here I have this thought in my mind and look forward to seeing her later. If she comes that is? I know there will be a gathering back at Bruce and Sophie's for their close friends. But for how long I don’t know.
Anyway, back at the 40th party I see B and SS chilling on the sofas and go to join them. I end up talking to Bean for ages. She’s so funny and manic; I recognise myself so much in her that we have this connection where things just flow so easily and she’s so funny too. Oh, I already said that. Met her at a Peg party in London when SS brought her up. He really likes her and wants to take things further but she is a bit wary of committing to him, or anybody. She is a child psychologist and I expect her ease at social interaction is related to her profession.
Oh, and we both can’t stand Julia Pattison, that gorgon faced harridan who tries to be so horrid to both of us all the time; it’s comical! She loves her recreationals too, so I rack up a few fat ones and that fuels the conversation for another half an hour of so. By the time I come out of Beanland the party is rammed so I decide to explore some more. Just as I get up I spot Katrina and bee-line over to see how she is. I make a bit of fuss of her but the convo is a bit stilted. Probably because I’m drugged up a bit and on a different wavelength. By the time I look for her later she is gone. I hang around till 8.30am; mainly avoiding drinking but hanging out with Rosie who is very friendly towards me, which is nice. She’s my chum.
Monday morning I have a 9am meeting with GG, my big boss. I’m late. He ‘tells me off’ for not doing my paperwork properly and makes me promise to have it all done by this Friday, the end of term. I now sit in my Carrel in the University Library waiting to give my students study skills tutorials they don’t need in a job I hate with a boss I can’t stand, and who is just as shit in bed as I am. No not GG; Julia. Oh, fuck it. I’m off for lunch.
It’s midday after all…