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Traversing the Tinderverse

16 Aug

The Tinderverse is a bewildering flotsam of social media space junk. The lost and the lewd, the peculiar and the promiscuous- they all hover uncertainly amidst Internet acronyms, unselfconsciously meta profiles, and enthusiastic emoticons. In my mind, Tinder embodies the Mos Eisley cantina from Star Wars: a quagmire of freaks, all killing time in between misadventures, all disappointed that they can’t play with their droids, and all waiting for the chance to unholster their weapon.

He’s 5km away from me and has a gun. Shit.

And I’m in the middle of it all. Looking for a young Harrison Ford. And just trying to get to fucking Alderaan. 

Bam-chicka-wow-wow: Storm Trooper porn


Hold on…Alderaan explodes, doesn’t it? 

Well that doesn’t work as a reference. 

I mean, I’ll never make it there. 

And I’m three decades too late to find a young Harrison Ford. Young Mr. Ford doesn’t exist anymore. Not even in the post-apocalyptic Tinderverse.

Wow. That just makes that whole metaphor kind of…depressing. 

And meta as fuck!

This is apparently two images of the same man. And that, my friends, is a failed Jedi mind trick.

Anyway, every now and then, your weirdness meshes serendipitously with the weirdness of another, and you find yourself on an actual date.

The Muso was a horrifically cute fellow that I went out with a few times last year. He was the main songwriter in an unsigned prog-metal band​. I matched with him and, feeling frisky, decided to break conventions by sending the first message: “Is the state of Sydney’s live music scene so calamitous that a musician has to find women on Tinder?! Don’t girls just peg their underpants at you as you walk down the street?” 

Apparently, being nerdy enough to use the word ‘calamitous’ as an online mating call endears you to some people and, impressed by the size of my dictionary, he invited me to beers at an achingly hip pub in Bondi.

Our first date ended with a warm smile and a chaste hug. And it was refreshing. Old-fashioned. Other-worldly, even. The force was strong in this one.

He messaged the next day to say that he’d had a nice time and would love to see me again.

How nice, I found myself thinking, to be in the company of a dude who didn’t make his desire to wrench my legs asunder the focal point of our time together. It’s refreshing. Old fashioned. Other-worldly, even.

And the second date? Well, it started with a beer and it ended with the phrase, “I’m seeing a psychologist because they think I’m somewhere on the autism spectrum. You’ve heard of Asperger’s, haven’t you?”

Ah. So I was wrong- the cute musician boy wasn’t not making a move because he was a gentleman. He was not making one because he couldn’t pick up on my ‘I am amenable to the concept of being kissed by you’ social cues.

Fuck.

Nothing’s easy, is it?

His announcement should have signalled that he wasn’t the droid I was looking for, but I didn’t want to be judgemental, especially since he a) played lead guitar and b) continued with, “Being a nurse I figured you wouldn’t run away. Thank you for not running away.”

Heartbreaking, no?

And there might have also been c) he had a pierced tongue.

But I’m not admitting to anything there.

And I figured that the words “autism spectrum” were more palatable than “casual heroin habit” or “I only killed animals as a child”, so I agreed to a third date.

It was on New Year’s Eve. We were going to have a socially isolated quiet evening at his house. He was stoned when I arrived. I was unimpressed. He misread my facial cues and offered me a joint. I poured myself a glass of wine instead. He began to sermonise that weed is healthier than alcohol. I became irritated. We debated. The exchange became somewhat heated, then he blurted out, “I was an accessory to murder once.”

Wait- what?

An accessory to…what?!

Was this a debate technique? Misdirect your opponent with ejaculatory disclosures? Why was he telling me this? I hadn’t even kissed him yet. And, in the timeline of relationships, should your lips not briefly converge with another’s before you unlock your closet and dump a pile of rotting bones on them?

As I pondered this, his cat jumped on my lap. I began to stroke the beast’s head; noticing for the first time the disquietingly large number of Pop! Vinyl dolls there were in his lounge room. The entire cast of Dr. Who was there- he’d collected the Spectrum out of them. They stood, crowding every surface: an army of esoteric sci-fi characters, mute, but somehow proud in their zanily proportioned, bobble-headed glory. They were all spaced precisely three inches apart. They were all angled to face the lounge we perched on, and they were all

Watching

Us.

I took a swig of wine.

And, under their unyielding, inanimate gaze, the Muso told me his story, giving it the sort of unerring attention to detail that only an Aspie can muster.

The murder happened during a drug deal gone bad, one that took place in a dowdy, inner-west flat. My soft-spoken, seemingly gentle Muso was there with a volatile, steroid-injecting acquaintance. They were visiting an emaciated dealer. To buy an ounce of pot. The PlayStation in the corner was broken. There was a hole in the curtains. And a blue Louisville Slugger softball bat was by the door to the kitchen.

To cut a long, disturbing story short: Steroid smacked Skinny with the bat mid-deal.

Completely out of the blue.

Ha! Geddit? ‘Cos the bat was…?!

Golly I’m clever.

Anyway, Steroid hit him once…twice…a handful of times. Skinny collapsed on the carpet. The Muso started to rise from his seat, buttocks hovering over cheap pine, when Steroid turned, pointed the blood-streaked bat at him, and told him to “wait in the fuckin’ car.”

Unsurprisingly, he obeyed.

“He had the new Slipknot album,” he told me, scratching his knee through his shorts, “so I just listened to that while I waited.”

“What song?” I interjected. “‘Wait and bleed’?”

He frowned. “No. That was on their first album.”

I rolled my eyes. Friggin’ Aspies. “Never mind. Continue.”

When Steroid emerged, the Muso asked him what happened. Steroid stripped off his bloodied shirt, wiped himself with it, threw it in the car, and told Muso to clear it from his fuckin’ mind. 

Muso left Sydney the next day. He boarded a train to Queensland, planning to move back in with his mum. On the way there, in a burst of melodrama, he threw his SIM card out the window.

“So I couldn’t be tracked,” he explained.

I ran a finger over the rim of my wine glass. “Did you call the cops?”

He looked at me like I asked if he’d changed his underwear. “Of course not-”

Of course he hadn’t changed his underwear: Aspie’s don’t like change (!!) 

“-He’d have killed me,” he finished.

I paused. “Did you ring an ambulance?”

“Nup. Too risky.”

At this point, the cat on my lap had begun to feel suffocating. “But you could have anonymously rang one and saved his life. Does that bother you?”

He frowned, genuinely confused. “Why would that bother me? It was none of my business.”

Holy-fucking-hell. He wasn’t ‘somewhere on the spectrum’, he was Aspie as shit. Aspi-er than Susan Boyle.

And funnily enough, that night after I left, ‘I dreamed a dream in time gone by…that I was high…and playing softball…I dreamed the game had gone awry…’

I awoke the next morning to a message from him. He wanted to progress to “a dinner” because he felt that we connected on “many levels”.

Which, in a way, we did: we were both smokers, both socially awkward, and both fans of Karnivool.

The only problem was that pesky ‘accessory to murder’ nonsense.

Because it wasn’t the ‘my sister’s boyfriend used to abuse her, so I gave her a gun to defend herself with’ kind- which, under the right circumstances, I may or may not be able to justify- but the ‘I sat in a car while one man bashed another into a pile of broken bone and brains’ kind.

Which is, generally speaking, the disturbing kind.

I mean, ‘once there was a time when men were kind, their voices soft, their words inviting…’

Sorry. I’ve got ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ stuck in my head now.

Anyway, I wasn’t going to go on another date with him any more than I was going to part his arse cheeks and wear him as a hat.

So I replied to his text with a generic and insincere ‘thanks for the lovely night/ maybe we should just be friends/ best of luck in the future’.

His response came three hours later: “Well FRIEND, I appreciate your honesty. And since you don’t want to date anymore, how about you come and see my band sometime, FRIEND.”

I shivered, He’s really got to work on recognising those social cues.

I threw my SIM card out the car window.

 

 

Trawling Tinder

8 Aug


I’ve never had a good experience on Tinder. And yet, like a woman trapped in a co-dependant union, I keep going back.

Because Tinder is fucking hilarious.

Pockets of humanity lurk on there and trawling Tinder freaks has become a perfectly acceptable way to spend my weekend.

He Gives Good Head

Take this guy:

img_0352

Check out what he’s holding. Doesn’t the image of a man with a decapitated goats head scream, “IT PUTS THE FUCKING LOTION IN THE BASKET!”?

Who’d make that their Tinder profile pic anyway? I mean, doesn’t that just get your goat?

I’m ‘kid’ding.

Can you see where this is ‘head’ing?

Ooh- maybe he’s trying to allude to giving good head?

This joke is old now. It’s time to put it out to pasture.

Pre-Battle Banter

Some men on Tinder are only after one thing.

TinderMan1: “So are we going to meet? What’s your address?”

CC: “We can meet, but I’m not giving you my address. How about a coffee?”

TinderMan1: “We know where coffee is going to end up, so just give me your address.”

This vexed me: Where, exactly, did this audacious prick believe that coffee was going to end up? Does coffee herald coitus? Not necessarily. Coffee can wind up in lots of places: a manic discussion on Jack Kerouac. A hilarious foam-on-the-upper-lip moment. Hell, I could be a stage five clinger that thinks espressos will mean babycinos.

CC: “You see, coffee is my he’s-not-an-axe-murderer-and-I-can-invite-him-into-my-house insurance policy :)”

TinderMan1: “Yeah. See, I work in the music industry and I can’t afford to buy every girl coffee.”

As this message was read, a thwack echoed across the city as the drawbridge to my lady-parts slammed shut.

CC: “What a shame: I’m a gold-digger and I’m not interested in poor men. Better luck next time.”

Luckily, the men on Tinder are a production line and Tinderman1 segued seamlessly into Tinderman2.

TinderMan2: “Where do I work? I work in banking and investments. So how about a vino sometime?”

When I didn’t expeditiously respond, he messaged again.

Tinderman2: “What, is working in finance a deal breaker? :P”

CC: “No. It’s not a deal breaker at all. In fact, it might even be fun to have a drink with someone devoid of a soul :D”

He blocked me after that. He wasn’t devoid of a soul, but apparently devoid of a sense of humor. My sardonic wit often combusts in the tinderbox. I was blocked by another fellow after I playfully said, “Don’t get too excited to meet me- I might yet be a convincing pre-op transsexual ;)”

Testing my Patients

I recently matched with a bearded bloke from Enmore whose profile spoke of ‘sustainability’, ‘craft beer’ and ‘meat trays’.

My, how I do love a hipster.

On our first interaction, The Beard gave me his Instagram handle and invited me to stalk him. I did. There was- amid jumpy iPhone footage of a plethora of live bands- a surprising number of posts dedicated to Shiner Bock beer. These were photographed in glistening, moist, pornographic glory. I counted eleven pictures of beer, but hardly any of him. There was more beer than beard on there.

I pulled out my phone and typed, “Saw your Instagram. Nice. I think my first question is: are you still sponsored by Shiner Bock?”

It was a whimsical bon mot that deserved, at the very least, an emoticon smiley. Instead I got a long, not really coherent explanation that was so convoluted, I wondered why he didn’t just type the word ‘no’ and save us both a lot of time.

We decided to meet for a drink at Newtown. I caught public transport in. Trains weren’t running due to trackwork, so I arrived ten minutes late, breathless and nervous. I scanned the crowd, my gaze finally settling on what I can only describe as a ‘demented lumberjack’. And he wasn’t okay.

Neither was I, actually.

Because who this bloke was in the Tinderverse and who he was in reality was somewhat incongruent.

The man from Tinder was bearded, smiling, slender. He wore Wayfarer sunglasses in one shot, clutched a bass guitar in another. He drank from a stein. He posed with a mischievous pug.

And the man trudging towards me? Well, he was the kind of overweight that usually has the adverb ‘morbidly’ attached to it. His soft, round midsection poked through a threadbare, black sloppy joe that was long ago washed to grey. It was, at least, clean. There were no obvious cum-stains or spag-bol remnants on it. His beanie, on the other hand, was coated in a powdery white substance that was, at best, cocaine and, at worst, dandruff. His face and eyes were completely flat- nary a flicker of emotion was spared for the jittery brunette before him.

And really, an expression would have been nice.

Because I’d only made a tiny bit of fucking effort in getting there.

I’d only spent an hour or so trying on outfits in my bedroom in a Tassie-Devil whirlwind of cotton. I’d only spent ninety fucking minutes battling rail buses, half of which was time spent in close proximity to a man with a facial tattoo who overused the word ‘cunt’. And then, when I changed buses at Strathfield station, there was only that tiny, little argument that I got into with the douche-bag in the hatchback; the guy who, after clocking my vintage army jacket and Doc Marten boots, decided that I was a Neo-Nazi. The dude that then began to trawl me in his car, chanting things like: “Where’s your Swastika, love? Adolf, hey? Seig Heils! Yeah! Nice boots Adolf!” through the open passenger window as I willfully ignored him for as long as I could.

‘As long as I could’ turned out to be ‘half a block’. I snapped after that and shouted- yes, shouted– “Go fuck yourself, you Peugeot-driving wanker!”

Not my finest moment. If I didn’t look like a scary skinhead before I started shouting at passing motorists with wild-eyed zeal, I certainly did after. Something clever and punchy like: “How dare you call me Adolf! Call me Eva. Or Miss Braun, you socialist swine,” would have been better.

Fucking l’esprit d’escalier.

Anyway, this bummed me out, because I thought that my carefully-chosen outfit said, ‘I’m stylish without trying too hard and my Heathers t-shirt says that I understand and embrace cult pop-culture references.’

But it didn’t. Apparently it just said two words: Master Race.

But, back to The Beard: when he greeted me, it was in a monotone, and he slurred his words.

Oh fuck, I thought. Is he drunk?

He leaned in for a kiss. I offered a cheek. He rested a paw uncomfortably close to another cheek. I pulled away. His hand lingered on my jeans like Velcro. He told me about his Sunday: a long walk with a friend that was hard because he got “munted” Saturday night, but a walk that he persevered with nonetheless because he’s “a fat bastard now”.

Then he asked where I wanted to go. We could go anywhere except The Townie. He’d been kicked out of The Townie last month- a feat that I, nor anyone who has ever set foot in The Townie, would think possible. But it was. The Beard’s version of events was: ‘I slur even when I’m not drunk.’ The bouncers was: ‘Even so, ten beers and a broken chair is inappropriate, and you have to leave.’

He asked if I’d eaten, the memory of his fat arse breaking a chair seemingly jogging him back to food. “Let’s go to Mary’s. You ever been there?”

I hadn’t.

He wiped his mouth. “I can’t believe you’ve never been to Mary’s,” he exclaimed in a flat voice.

We began walking up King street, taking a left turn down an alleyway. He led me through the darkness, deep into sex-crime central, before stopping at a place that had no signage, just a bare red bulb glowing above the door.

Oh Christ, I thought. He’s taking me to a brothel. Or a rape dungeon.

It wasn’t. In fact, Mary’s may be the only good thing to come out of that night. Mary’s is a dingy, heavy metal pub that serves fried chicken so consumable, I’m fairly certain it was a Breaking Bad, crystal-meth laced, Los Pollos Hermanos bird. They also serve a fried chicken dish named ‘Larry Bird’, which tickled me. Immensely.

He sat opposite me, studying me with open curiosity. “So how’m ah’doin?”

I put down my piece of chicken. “What?”

He wiped his mouth. “How am I doin’ on the date?”

I was taken aback and laughed. Loudly. “HAHAHAHAHA! That’s a…question. Isn’t it? Look at you asking…questions.”

“Is there like, any chance of,” he paused. “You know…”

Oh please God, don’t say it.

“Because I don’t go for casual stuff,” he continued. “Mostly. Like, I had a friend with benefits once, but that ended. It’s not me. There was one Tinder girl who took me home. That was weird because, like, she was tall and our feet touched during it. She left straight after it.”

I’d like to pause the story and assure you that I am absolutely not making this up. He absolutely said this to me, and as he spoke, I was absolutely conducting a mini-mental examination on the poor bastard: What the fuck is he talking about? That didn’t make sense. That was thought disordered as fuck. And I think he’s derailing. Is he derailing? No, he’s totally derailing. Is he a patient somewhere? I bet he’s a schizophrenic.

He wiped his mouth again. “You’re, like, big- for a chick, I mean- aren’t ya? You’ve gotta be five eight or…?”

Maybe I should ask if he takes Clozapine. The belly. The drool. Fuck! Okay, this is weird. I think I’m accidentally on a date with a fucking-

He considered me. “How do you usually go on Tinder dates? Like how do you do this?”

What the shit…? Oh no, he’s staring at you! Quick, say something now! Change the subject! Talk about  the chicken! Larry Bird! LARRY BIRD!

He left to use the bathroom. I took the opportunity to broadcast my woe on Facebook. When he returned, I casually brought up the uni assignment due that evening. I’d already done it- it was submitted earlier that afternoon, in between leg-day at the gym and my ‘yuck, I now smell like a diseased yak’ pre-date shower. I didn’t know that The Beard was going to be a living nightmare and I wanted to be free from responsibility if he wasn’t.

“So I have to leave. Right now.” Which is a shame, I tried to say with my eyes. But, you know, responsibility. Stuff.

“Have another beer.”

“I can’t.”

“I’ll drive you home.”

“Oh, you don’t have to do that! To Hornsby!”

“It’s an easy drive.”

“No, it’s fine. Besides, you’ve been drinking.”

“Only four pints.”

In two hours. And I don’t want to die in a fiery car wreck. At least not before I erase my Google Chrome history. “Really, I’ll get the train.”

He walked me to the station, I glanced at the board and saw that a train- although not my train- was leaving in two minutes. “Two minutes! Nick of time. I’ve really got to run.”

He responded by grabbing me around the waist and grinding his crotch into my hip like a horny Doberman. He went in for the kiss and, again, I offered a cheek. He smelt like chicken. Craft beer. Plague. Peristalsis. Hormones. And desperation.

I boarded my train feeling fed-up. You can’t go on a bad date without it draining you of something. Even if you enter the evening with no expectations, you leave robbed of a little effervescence. I can usually see the funny side, and writing about it fortifies me, but there are times when I can’t help but wish I could go back to that heady period in my early-twenties when the world didn’t seem to be full of weirdos.

Wanting a little pick me up, I opened Tinder.

And found this guy.
img_0023His profile states- with a two-finger salute to the rules of grammar- that he is “the badboy you’re mothers warned you about”, he’s “the real 50 shades baby.”

He’s also a poet, because he goes on to claim that he’s “hung like an ox”,

“enjoys nibbling at your…”

“and making you scream with his…”

But only blows his load into socks.

Okay, so I made that last one up.

Tinder, hey?

Shit.

The Hymen Soliloquies

24 Jun

Four months ago I decided to become celibate. And it’s going well. Okay, so ‘well’ isn’t an adjective I’d use to describe my life at the moment, but it’s been…interesting. Enlightening. My hymen is about to grow back, I haven’t rubbed up against the dread-locked guy on the 438 bus yet, and the sex dreams involving Magneto, Adalita and Annie the CPR dummy are fun to interpret. Sure, there’s the nasty case of RSI in my left middle finger, and a brand new obsession with knitting squares of wool, sending them overseas, and hoping that they will be sewn together to make a blanket for some poor, malnourished child in Zambia; but aside from that, not having sex is really not that bad. My life now isn’t that different to when I was married. I just have pink hair and live in a different suburb. Minus a dog. And a mortgage. I’ve hymenated myself and come full circle.

Besides, I have way more spare time to go to the gym, which has enabled me to shave two whole minutes off my three kilometre run time. So I can now sprint away from penis at a velocity that I may not have managed if I was spending my spare time on my back. There are benefits to gaining physical fitness, of course. My physique is honed. Just in time for nobody to see me naked. Oh the irony. I’ve started showering with the window open in the hopes that my 50-something neighbour will have a gander because someone has to benefit from the hours I’m spending on the treadmill, and if I can’t give a bearded hipster an eyeful of my pale arse I can at least give an old Italian man a heart attack.

I could write that my lack of lovin’ is benevolently contributing to the dividend payments of Duracell battery shareholders, and that my decidedly solitary lifestyle is allowing them to buy a second chicken dinner at the pub on Thursdays. For their girlfriend. Who will then have sex with them. Because nothing excites women like a schnitty. Or a man with shares in a battery company. Breaded chicken breast and a diverse stock portfolio is more intoxicating than a man-bun, you know. My Duracell bunny has allowed me to become the Mother Theresa of copulation.

Okay, that part isn’t even true.

I use Eveready.

You might not even like those jokes.

And I really don’t give a schnit.

Okay, I’ll stop now.

But seriously, my brand new lifestyle is courtesy of a Chilean who I went on a few bad dates with when I first got back to Australia. Let’s call him Fern, because that’s alarmingly similar to his real name. And I’m going to be mean to Fern. Sorry, but it’s what I do.

Fern and I were work colleagues back when my job involved stuffing burgers into paper bags with my left hand while I wiped teenage grease from my T-zone with my right. We lost contact, in the way that you do when you meet someone at the age of fifteen, only to meet up again when I started dating my ex-husband. Fern was friends with my ex, and would smoke pot and play basketball with him back when we were stuffing Whoppers into paper bags. We saw each other again at a party, exclaimed how odd life was, and periodically engaged in inebriated exchanges at social gatherings thereafter. I pondered the fatalistic aspects of becoming engaged to a man who had always existed on the fringes of my social circle. Fern apparently stared at my backside when I would inevitably stretch out and fall asleep on a flat surface after too many wines. I got married. Fern stayed single. I briefly wondered if he was gay, lost myself in married life, ultimately got divorced, and lost contact with him.

Then he read my blog.

He found my difficulties of getting a grasp on espanol slightly hilarious, emailed me, and offered to teach me. I gratefully accepted his offer, we started chatting, and things eventually escalated to the point where we sent long and quirky emails to each other while I was traveling. He asked me out, without expressly asking me out: Hola Guapita. Si no estas aburrida de todo lo ‘latino’ me gustaria llevar la a conocer mis amigos espanoles y tambien mis restaurantes sud americano favorito. Which roughly translates to, “Hello Pretty Girl, if you aren’t bored of all that is Latino, I’d like to take you out to my favourite South American restaurants with my friends when you get back.”

Fast forward three months and I am walking through Newtown with him, slightly disconcerted at the way I can look straight over the top of his head without raising my chin. I don’t remember him being so damn short, I thought. He’s like a Latino hobbit. What the fuck am I doing being led down King Street by Diego Baggins? Despite this, the date was perfectly adequate. We chatted. We laughed. He didn’t eat. I did. He kept getting up to use the bathroom. I crossed and recrossed my legs. He covered his mouth when he talked. I wondered if my paella had left a chunky bit of blackened herb in my teeth. I threw bad Spanish at the waitress. She looked to him for a translation. I excused myself to check my teeth in the bathroom and he surreptitiously paid the bill while I was gone. Upon exiting the restaurant, he grabbed my hand, let it go, wiped his palm on his T-shirt, re-grabbed said hand, then confidently wove me through the traffic of King street all the way to the Bank Hotel. We drank beer. He chain smoked, knocked a flying cockroach out of the air in a way that was slightly ninja, inched his chair closer to mine, asked how many tattoos I had, then told me about his internet dating mishaps in a way that was slightly tragic.

Just after midnight he drove me back to my parents house, put the car in park, leaned over, opened his mouth wide, and latched onto my face like an eager catfish. The thirty seconds that followed was, for me, not unlike being licked into submission by an obsessive compulsive bulldog. I pulled away, he made a bad joke, patted my head affectionately, and delicately suggested that I get out of his car. Now.

Then he texted to ask me out for a second date. And, despite the fact that I wasn’t particularly enthused, I agreed.

Why?

Because he was nice. Really nice. Plus he was a musician, but we’re ignoring that part. He was just…a nice guy. Who was into me. And indulging the emotionally stable men that show interest in you when you are disconcertingly close to middle age is the mature thing to do, right? Sure, the three things I usually find essential in the opposite sex are a height difference in his favour, a kiss that makes my toes curl, and chemistry that makes my brain fuzz; but focusing on that at the expense of someone who was a musician nice seemed shallow. Sure, he resembled a sweaty, salivating Tolkein character, but he seemed normal. And he wasn’t Gary Glitter. Or Macauley Culkin. So why not give him a second date?

Looking back, the warning signs of douchebaggery were always there. “Sorry to kick you out of my car the other night,” he began via text message, “but you looked so good that if we had of kept kissing I wouldn’t have been able to stop myself.”

Which is, well, a little….oh, I don’t know. Rapey?

Hey baby, you looked so hot in that grey All About Eve dress that I could have committed a sex crime on you. You looked very rapeable last night. Rapealicious. Positively rapetastic. I could have forced myself on you like Oscar Pistorious through a bathroom door.

Date number two was closer to home. Literally. I was crashing on the couch that my parents had generously donated to their thirty-something wash-out of a spawn; and he was living with his parents as well.

“Why does he live with his parents?” my best friend asked me.

“Because he doesn’t have a job.”

Pause. “And why doesn’t he have a job?”

“Because he left the corporate world to focus on his music.”

“Right.” He took a sip of coffee. “And how’s that going for him?”

Well enough to be able to move back in with mum and dad.

We went to the drive-ins at Blacktown. I’m not proud of it, I was geographically challenged. We had a few too many beers at a nearby pub, forgot about the drive-ins, and wound up making out in his car.

Here, things got weird. He asked if I wanted to take our passionate tryst “into the back seat” and I declined because- call me prudish- I didn’t want to fuck my nice guy in the back of a Nissan Skyline by the side of the road in Western Sydney’s ‘Southern Cross’ heartland, two metres away from what may or may not have been the decomposing carcass of a stray cat. I’m picky like that. And I stand by my decision- the first time you have sex with someone you want to remember it fondly because the memories are often all you have when it ends. I’m not saying that you need candles and Marvin Gaye, but a bed or flat surface of some description is always a bonus. As is an area of more than two metres square. And a gear stick, unless its being used as a sex toy, is often just problematic. It’s an unneeded accoutrement. Don’t get me wrong, car sex can be fun, but for the first time I usually want to get my in-and-outs inside of a man-made structure that preferably contains a stained futon, rather than a backseat littered with McDonald’s wrappers and empty packets of JPs Blue. Understandably, he may not have wanted his mother to find a girl who is very white with hair that was very blue urinating in her bathroom the following morning (“My mother doesn’t like Australian women. Unless they speak Spanish. So she might like you.”) but I didn’t want to seal the deal with my nice, I’m-not-really-sure-if-I-like-him guy in a skanky, I’m-not-really-sure-if-I’m-comfortable-with-this way.

He dropped me home, slightly disconcerted, and I messaged him a few days later, suggesting that we get a hotel room in the city for our next date; which is saying, without really saying, “I’ll fuck you.”

And I got silence in return.

Silence is cruel. And cowardly. You’re left wondering, Did they receive it? Should I send it again? No, that looks needy. Stop checking your phone. Go for a walk. Drink a bottle of wine. Hug a stuffed animal.  Alphabetise your CDs. Just do anything that will get you away from the reality that you are being rejected, without really being rejected.

Although, it has to be said that a phone silence isn’t as bad as a Facebook silence. At least with a text message you can delude yourself that in some freak telecommunications accident, the text was never received. Facebook messages have a timestamp: Seen at 8.10a.m. Ignored at 8.11 a.m.
Untitled
To be honest, the whole scenario confused me. Since when does not acting like a tramp scare a dude away? I pondered it for a long time- at least ten minutes. It even made me pause Better Call Saul and stare pensively at a white wall for a few moments. Then, I took my rejection and turned it into arrogance, ranting at my best friend about ‘strong females scaring men away’ and how ‘things with a dick suck. Except you. And Wil Anderson.’ After this I calmed down, removed my cranium from my rectal cavity, and worked on feeling bad about myself.

My friends sensed my bruised ego and tried to make it sound less tragic: “Maybe he just really wanted to shag you and thought that it would be easier than it was. I mean, you did say that he read your blog, right? Maybe he thought that fucking you was going to be easy.”

It was about this time that I wondered if life would be easier if I went whole lesbian.

Being rejected by someone that you weren’t even that into isn’t fun. And I’m not sure what I was thinking in the first place for this whole mess to happen. Had I followed my intuitive, ovarian twinges after our first date, I never would have agreed to the second. I wouldn’t have come dangerously close to being finger-fucked near the drive-ins at Blacktown, and never would have felt crappy about myself. Had I followed my gut, rather than intellectualising- again- none of this would have happened.

So I decided to try celibacy. Why?

Well, once upon a six-months-ago, I was sitting on a beach in Puerto Escondido. Beside me was a deliciously English man that I was falling heavily into like with. Our time together was short, ultimately tumultuous, but indescribably lovely. And it reminded me what it feels like to shag someone that you really like. To lie beside someone, your soft bellies touching, hands curled under the pillow, lips in a cats cream smile, wanting to stretch time into eternity. To stay awake talking all-fucking-night because, as Dr. Seuss said, you don’t want to go to sleep because reality is finally better than your dreams. I sat beside this man on the beach, watching the sun slowly drop into the ocean before us, and I was happier than I can describe without verging into Hallmark territory. And it’s made everything thereafter feel cheap. Fake. A copy of a poorly photocopied reprint. It raised the bar and lowered my threshold for bullshit. I don’t want lukewarm, yeah-he’s-okay-I-guess nonsense anymore. I’ll wait for something better. I might wait a while, but that’s okay. I just bought shares in Duracell.

Oh, *nose boop* you humans.

26 Dec

Six years ago, I went for a sales job. It was one of those abhorrent group recruitment processes where they put a room of wannabes together and assign them ridiculous tasks, ultimately causing the recruits to transform into screeching, carnivorous toddlers that tear metaphorical flesh from bone with aspiration-sharpened milk teeth. We shredded each other like a Mexican cock fight that day, each of us furtively looking over our shoulder for the approval of the bosses who were languidly surveying their surroundings with the sort of enthusiasm generally reserved for monkeys in fezzes that rhythmically bash cymbals. It was brutal. Although, I almost want to recruit my next boyfriend like that. I picture a room of men, inexplicably wearing gold lamé hot pants, slathered in baby-oil, who will ultimately claw their way towards a date with me. Sure, that might sound a little homo-erotic, but we are evolving beyond stereotypes in society and homophobia is a reprehensible character trait in anyone, anyway. There will be a Ben-Hur style battle involving a loincloth, pitchfork, and a life-sized animatronic lion. They’ll solve a Rubix cube, blindfolded, whilst Stephen Hawkings reads a garbled version of 50 Shades of Grey; then watch Adaptation and write a grammatically correct essay on the subtle nuances in Charlie Kauffman’s screenwriting and, in the grand finale, play at least ten bars of the Ibert Flute Concerto. On the flute, of course.

I’ll let you figure out the reasoning behind the final quest.

One thing I remember from the recruitment day was the lecture from the Managing Director, a pompous Brit who liked to use the phrase, “That’s what I love about you humans”. The final two words were delivered with contempt, as if he’d evolved beyond the pettiness of his emotion-charged companions. The sentence usually preceded a ‘people are gullible’ sales principle; and after the third “you humans”, I began to wonder if he was some sort of Neuro-Linguistic alien: a sales-bot swaddled in an expensive pinstripe suit, sent here to bore the conscience laden masses with unimaginative lectures on the importance of materialism.

I hadn’t thought about this man until San Cristobal de las Casas.

I left my blankey in Puerto Escondido

I had fled to San Cristobal after the Manchesterian Mayhem, spending the evening drunk on a night bus next to a ginger-haired Australian who was polite enough to let me sleep even when, some time after midnight, my head lolled gently onto his shoulder where it stubbornly remained for the rest of the journey. I awoke to him gently prodding me a little after 6am. It was his stop and, he added with an affectionate grin, he needed the use of his arm again. Mortified, I wiped the drool from my mouth, the crust from my eyes, and thanked him for being such a cooperative pillow for the journey. That’s what happens when you mix booze with buses, you wind up shoulder-raping a fellow passenger. I’m sleeping with you whether you like it or not, hippie man.

My first instinct for San Cristobal was to book a cheap hotel with my two new friends- misery and beer. I wanted to lick my wounds in solitude, get blisteringly drunk- perhaps inside of a pillow fort- and put on some heartache-curing red lipstick before lip-syncing Chandelier by Sia. However, I knew that a hotel room would only see me listening to The Smiths, crying, and logging into Facebook where I would either shamelessly stalk Manchester’s profile, send him an irate and colourfully worded message full of exclamation points and drunken typos, or put up inappropriate and slightly maudlin status updates that I would cringe to and promptly delete the following morning. Becoming a hysterical chipmunk on Facebook is inappropriate for anyone over the age of thirteen, so I decided to book a hostel, figuring that you humans would act as a welcome distraction.

It didn’t start that way. After making halfhearted conversation with the Irish boy in my dorm who subtly chastised me for not having accommodation booked for Christmas and New Years, I headed to the bar with my laptop, planning to rectify this. Here, an older gentleman was trying to entertain a table of girls by telling them that he used to wrestle alligators in the 1970’s.

Because every girl fantasises about bagging an over-the-hill Steve Irwin type on holidays.

But this reminded me of the eccentric older gentleman that Manchester and I met on one of our first evenings out- a dude who managed to subtly work the fact that he hung out with Hunter S. Thompson during his campaign for Sheriff of Colorado into the conversation, which reminded me of Manchester, which-

No.

I packed up my laptop and headed to the courtyard. Here, another traveller was singing and playing guitar. What song? You can’t always get what you want. Pertinent. At least it wasn’t All by myself or the mariachi classic I broke my girl’s heart in a seedy cantina last Friday night. Still, it was as welcome as genital warts, so I returned to my dorm, booking the accommodation there. Tulum for Christmas Day and Playa del Carmen for my birthday and New Years Eve. I landed the last dorm bed in the city for the latter, at the slightly inflated rate of 500 pesos per evening.

For those that don’t travel- that’s obscene. Really obscene. Fucking obscene. It’s as obscene as Marilyn Manson’s mOBSCENE. And that song sucks, so you know how I feel about staying in a dorm for the equivalent of AUD$50. Basically, for that price, I want round-the-clock midget massages and a scantily clad man servant- preferably not a midget- to feed me peeled grapes whilst his twin brother lazily fans me with a palm frond. In Puerto I was spending 150 pesos on a private room. 500 pesos is my daily budget. It’d better be a backpacker’s utopia filled with interesting and open-minded people that I can latch onto like a foul-mouthed barnacle.

Casablancian

I tried to open my locker the following morning only to discover that I had somehow managed to procure two sets of keys. I’d checked in early and the girl had given me one set when I paid, then another when I was allowed into the room, something that hadn’t become apparent until I’d blearily shoved my hand in my bag and removed the wrong set. I went to the front desk to return the spare key. Here, the receptionist let out a sigh of exasperation, turned to her colleague to complain about the other staff, and demanded to know who checked me in, using the voice of someone interrogating an al-Qaeda operative. Not wanting to be water-boarded, I hurriedly tried to explain that I wasn’t filing a complaint, nor was I trying to get anyone in trouble, and I had no idea where Bin Laden’s successor was. She was retrieving the electrified nipple clamps from the drawer when an Australian accent drifted from behind me.

“I thought I recognised that voice.”

Yep. She recognised “that voice”. Verbatim. Apparently I’m shrill.

“Do you remember us?”

I turned to find the two Aussie’s that I had befriended in the bar in Puerto. The ones that I’d ditched Manchester to dance with.

Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world.

The odds of meeting these girls again were marginal. The odds of staying at the same hostel at the same time were even smaller. And the odds of seeing them two days after Manchester unceremoniously flung his faeces at me like a temperamental lemur was about as likely as finding the Hope Diamond in a pile of liposuction waste. Oh, the irony. It tastes like a stale salted caramel tart from that little bakery that the health inspector shut down last Christmas.

“You broke up with your boyfriend?” the blonde exclaimed.

It’s my firm belief that life, or the great deity in the sky, or the universe- or whatever you want to call it- has a sense of humor. A black one. I’d left Puerto, wanting nothing but an environment that would distract me from the very real pain that was still coursing through my veins. Instead, I’d been confronted with satire, irony and coincidence. Life is absolutely ridiculous at times. Mine is, anyway. At least it consistently gives me dubious material for a badly written blog.

“Ah,” I chuckled awkwardly. “You saw that, huh?”

“We saw,” she stopped when she saw the look on my face. “Nothing really. Just you guys talking then leaving…but the English girl you were with?”

Manchester’s dorm mate at the hostel he was working for. A girl who we had managed to silently shag beside one evening, a move which would lead me to be overly friendly to her the following day as I tried to clumsily ascertain if she’d been awake or not. “Yeah?”

“Well, you guys disappeared from her? Or something? Anyway, we hung out with her for the night because she said she couldn’t find you. That’s all I know. Anyway, how are you?!”

Sex-Toys on Chairs.

Two hours later I was on my knees in the middle of a crowded street. I had managed to slip and spectacularly stack it before two bemused Russians. It’s my own fault, really. I was listening to Skrillex at the time. That’s what you get when you listen to dubstep. The Music Gods reach down from the sky and flick you across the back of the head, knocking your tasteless arse to the ground. I never fall over when listening to metal.

A little while later a stray dog with creepy grey eyes chased me, but I managed to both evade it and stay upright. Small victories. Nonetheless, I was slightly fed-up upon returning to the hostel. Walking to the courtyard for a cigarette, I noticed a raucous group of people drinking. After five drags of my fag, one called out.

“Hey, you.”

I turned. “Me?”

“Yes, you,” the French accent continued. “Who are you?”

“Who am I?” I responded with a grin that I hoped would soften the next statement, “Who the fuck are you?”

He considered me. “I like you. Come and join us.”

I obediently sat and began to chat to the Central American dude beside me, starting with the obligatory: “So, where are you from?”

“A little town an hour north of here.”

“Oh,” I wasn’t expecting that. “And you’re here for Christmas?”

“No. I’m one of the owners.”

It was the first time I had seen an owner of a hostel engaged in a drinking session with his guests.

“You need a drink,” he continued. “Let me get you a rum.”

He returned with a fucking pint glass which he proceeded to fill with a heady mix of spiced rum and pineapple juice despite my protestations: “What, no lemonade? What kind of dive bar are you running?”

The evening whirled on from there. The group was an eccentric bunch from all areas of the globe. We instantly got along, and the alcohol poured into us as easily as the conversation flowed out. We laughed, poked fun at each other, and smoked around a plastic picnic table in a freezing courtyard in a tiny Chiapan town. At one point, the owner had a pirate moustache drawn on his face- although none of us could exactly remember why, just like we couldn’t remember how the curved finger sex toy got glued to the leg of the chair. The bar stayed open late that night, and I collapsed into bed a little after 3am, inexplicably happy again. Finding yourself in a hostel with a group of people that you instantly click with is a travelling four leaf clover. When you find yourself in this position after a man has just taken a gigantic- and figurative- shit on you, it’s even more wonderful.

The following day, I had to leave. I didn’t want to, but my accommodation for Tulum was booked and there was a hefty cancellation fee for the Christmas period. I found my friends in the courtyard. Upon seeing my backpack, the Frenchman cried, “No! You’re leaving?”

I explained that I didn’t want to.

“So don’t,” Connecticut Guy declared, lighting a Marlboro red. “Stay with us.”

“I really can’t.”

Belgium Girl got up and gave me a hug. UK Lass followed. Before I knew it, I was surrounded by people, all hugging me and pleading that I stay. Since goodbyes are not my strong point, I broke away, offered a flippant wave, and turned to leave.

“Don’t go, CC!” Connecticut called after me.

“You’re making a mistake,” Belgium cried.

“Stay! We’re doing mushrooms tomorrow,” France added.

But, with a moderate amount of regret, I left. It was harder to leave this group than it was to flee Manchester. Without realising it, without knowing anything about the events that had led to me being there, they had distracted me for seventeen whole hours. When you feel like shit, that can seem like blissful eternity.

Feliz Navidad

Christmas Day arrives two days later. I’m on a beach in Tulum. The water is cold. It’s overcast, and I am sitting on my sarong listening to music when a couple kissing catches my eye. My thoughts are drawn irresistibly back to the many sunsets that Manchester and I enjoyed in much the same way on Zicatela beach. Knowing that I had to make peace with things, knowing that I couldn’t carry an iron heart through South America- my goddamned backpack is heavy enough- I tried to reframe the events in a positive way. And this is what I came up with:

Manchester was obscenely good looking. Horrifically attractive. Looking at him was like staring at a solar eclipse: it’s magnificent, but you get the sense that a protracted gaze will sear your retinas like rump steaks forever. He actually modelled once. For Prada. Oh, he didn’t set out to, it was offered to him- which makes the whole thing even more fucking intimidating. He wasn’t narcissistic enough to try and model, just attractive enough to be scouted one windy winter’s evening. He told me the story during one of our many stay-up-chatting-until-sunrise nights. Manchester’s stories rocked, I’ll grudgingly give him that. They were delivered with a loquacious, laconic wit, often contained excessive amounts of narcotics or a hilarious misunderstanding, and were summed up succinctly at the end: “So that’s how I modelled for Prada”, “So that’s how I woke up in a Mexican jail on my birthday”, “So that’s how my grandmother wound up in the garden with a used condom on her shoulder”. Now, I’m far from shallow- it’s usually a person’s energy that attracts me rather than their visage- but, if nothing else, I can now arrogantly say that I once dated a Prada model with incredibly dexterous fingers. Yep, lil’ ol’ fidgety, gawky, clumsy CC managed to repeatedly shag a male model in Mexico. Sure, he hurt me, and it didn’t end well, but instead of focusing on that, maybe I should look for the story, rather than wallow.

Could I have gotten here without the people I met at San Cristobal? The people who reminded me how to laugh for an evening? Could I have gotten here without the unyielding and most welcome support of my loved ones in Sydney, who all answered my Facebook call to arms with love, compliments and positivity?

No.

And “that’s the thing about us humans”. Without meaning to, without realising what we are doing, we can help someone when they most need it. Sometimes we know that assistance is required, and we pass the metaphorical hat around. Sometimes we have no idea that we are bringing someone up from a San Cristobalian pavement to their feet where they can dumbly survey their surroundings like a newborn calf after a bush fire. It’s the nectar of humanity that lies within all of us. It’s beautiful. And it can mean everything to someone. However you want to describe it, it makes me smile, it makes me grateful, and it makes me promise to pay it forward whenever I can.

Punching in a Dream

21 Dec

Manchester popped my lap dance cherry in a Mexican cantina last week.

Then the fucker broke my heart.

That’s probably an exaggeration, he never really had it to break. Let’s just say that he turned from cool to cunty in just seven standard drinks and left me feeling bruised.

Manchester could be a bad drunk, which is something I’ve noticed with a lot of Bipolar people. Drinking with him was a game of glass bottle Russian Roulette- was he going to be excessively happy and talkative, or was he going to be an argumentative prick? He had never been mean until this particular evening which started, funnily enough, with him calling me his girlfriend for the first time. Somehow that turned into a lecture on my marriage.

Uh-huh.

For reasons that will forever remain a mystery to any rational human being, he chose that evening to give me his ill-informed and slightly arrogant opinion about my fucking marriage. The fact that I’m divorced- as is he, mind you- is such of a non issue with me now that I was consistently surprised when he’d bring it up. The evening started with the sentence, “I think that you are a gigantic pussy for taking a cheater back and marrying him,” and quickly degenerated to “It’s kind of all your fault.” I was more than slightly affronted. Number one- my marriage and the choices I made leading up to it are none of his fucking business, and number two- who the fuck is he to judge me for my past? He didn’t know me then and, realistically, he only has my side of the story, which isn’t enough to base an opinion on. It annoyed me, but rather than discharging a barbed comment of my own regarding the questionable romantic choices he’s made in his past, I put my big girl underpants on instead. “You can judge away, but my decisions- right or wrong- are my own. It was the only thing that I could have done in that situation and it was a choice that put me in a place where I’m now happy. I’ve harnessed something post divorce that keeps me content, and without it I wouldn’t have gotten here, so I won’t be made to feel bad about it.”

I know- right on, CC. I’m usually not too proud of the stuff that flies out of my mouth, but I was sort of proud of that. Apparently it was the correct thing to say because he dropped it. We went out to a club with a group of people from the hostel and here he went from mildly prickish to festeringly cunty. Not wanting to put up with his shit, I left for the dance floor with a group of girls I’d met.

I later discovered that this was the wrong decision. I wasn’t meant to man up, I was meant to submissively latch onto him and put up with his crap. When I found him later in the evening he was chatting to an ex-girlfriend, a girl who greeted me in that unashamedly hostile way that women who believe they are in competition with each other do. I found it funny. I mean, she was four foot tall so not only could I have raised a leg and crushed her under my Doc Martens, but the poor girl also bore an uncanny resemblance to a bridge troll. A pug nose being turned up in the air is hard to take seriously. I made a flippant comment about her hostility to Manchester who took it the wrong way. After assuring him that I didn’t give two tenths of a fuck about what his fucking Mexican ex thought of me, we engaged in a fight. Here, he kicked off. He chastised me for disappearing to the dance floor. I laughed.

“What, you’re mad because I went dancing?”

He became nastier until I eventually I did what I always do when backed into a corner- I went for the jugular.

In a way, he only has himself to blame for this next part. I’d warned him that I had an innate ability to figure out what will cut a person to the core and when I get mad enough I can be horrible. I think that years of honing my observational powers as a psych nurse has refined the skill of figuring out someone’s emotional Achilles tendon. Friends, exes and, regrettably, family members have all copped the sharp end of my tongue at some point. It’s not an aspect of my personality that I particularly like, but it’s there and at least my temper hides at the end of a very long fuse. What Manchester had done throughout the night was poke a bear with a broom handle. When a single paw swipe removed half of his face, he was stupid enough to act bewildered. I knew Manchester well enough to say this, “Okay, well I guess you’ll have to find someone else to pay for everything, then.”

It might not seem like much, but Manchester was between schemes and suitably broke. The fact that his life was an indelicate mess was a sore point for him. It didn’t bother me, I had judged him on his behaviour rather than his bank balance. He had grand plans for an Eco Resort that he was sourcing crowd funding for, but this was slow moving and he was stagnating when I met him. Sleep on the beach because you have no cash kind of stagnating. He’d gone from being a successful lawyer who travelled Europe through a network of five star hotels to a poverty stricken, Puerto Escondidan bum and like all good capitalists, he found this absolutely tragic. When his meager cash ran low, I began to pay. There was nothing expensive mind you, and I kept within my budget for the trip, but I’d rather spring 30 pesos for a bottle of cheap rum that we would drink on the beach than sit around doing nothing. Money means shit to me. Want proof? I quit a well paying, cushy job to travel and I gave back $45,000 that was wrongfully put in my bank account once. I’d rather have an experience than a dollar. And I didn’t feel irritated about paying or I wouldn’t have done it. I’m not a fucking idiot. This is something he misunderstood when he later accused me of “internalising everything”. He tried to paint me as a doormat who’d finally snapped. Not true. I’m a bitch who wanted to hurt his feelings after he’d been on my case for an evening.

Anyway, after my paying comment, he threw a tantie and walked away. I became remorseful, drunkenly emotional and, before I knew it, salt water began to leak. A few hours later he saw me again, picked another fight, and when I told him that I was upset he called me pathetic.

Oh, he laughed, too. I believe the phrase was, “Ha ha ha, you actually cried? You’re pathetic.”

Now, was it a slightly low blow on my part to call attention to the fact that he’d made me cry? Was it mild emotional manipulation, perhaps? Sure. But, come on. His subsequent comment was cunty on farenhietian levels. It was cuntier than lesbian porn. Cuntier than Hugh Hefner’s Grotto. And I’d argue that it was his behaviour that was pathetic, actually. I made one little comment about him being a kept man and he lost his shit. That’s the ironic thing about arrogant people, they are often hiding something as fragile as a newborns skull under the ego. He used to chip me about my self deprecating nature, but I’d argue that it takes a lot of confidence to poke fun at yourself. Just like it takes a robust level of self esteem to publish a blog post about being spectacularly dumped while on holidays. Say what you will about me, but at least I’m not so fucked up that a single sentence can floor me. Manchester acted like I’d turned into Linda “Your dead mother sucks dick in hell” Blair. I didn’t even have to swear to piss him off so thoroughly. I’m hurting more than I care to admit now, but a small part of me is smirking that I have the ability to break a bastard with a single sentence.

I tried talking to him the following morning. I didn’t want to leave us as curdled milk. To be honest I wanted- stupidly- to sort it out. I was putting his cunty behaviour down to the bipolar and the booze. Plus, I did like him. Despite all of his complications, I foolishly thought he was a good person.

“You can go and fuck yourself,” was his opening line and it seemed to quickly decay from there. I won’t go verbatim, because it was pitiful: “I’m hungover and I’m getting the flu and I just don’t want to deal with you at the moment,” excessively cruel: “I’m done with you,” and slightly unimaginative: “You’re just a bad person”.

“I’m not a bad person,” I replied, slightly stung.

And fuck him, because I’m not. I don’t play ridiculous emotional mind games. I don’t say “I’m done with you” to people that care about me, and I don’t insult someone who hurts my ego. I insult someone who treats me like shit for longer than three hours, and I do it well. I’m totally a better person.

I left the hostel feeling like cracked pottery. I missed my friends. I wanted the kind words of a loved one back home, but it was 4am in Sydney. And I was alone in Puerto. Acquaintances at the hostel wouldn’t have helped, especially since many of them had witnessed the teary drama the previous evening. Figuring that falling apart was acceptable, I went into town and got blisteringly drunk. Here, after four beers on an empty stomach, I came up with this, ‘I know, I’ll get the fucker deported.’

I really wish that part wasn’t true. I’ve learned something about myself in this that I’m not sure I’m entirely comfortable with. If you scorn me I won’t just tip your clothes onto the front lawn; I’ll take a deep breath, level my gaze, and ruin you. It would have destroyed him, too. He’s overstayed his visa by months, he hasn’t got money for the fine, he’s working illegally, and it would have completely obliterated his MexEco project. If I wanted to, I could send a well-timed email and sabotage everything he was working towards.

But I’m not going to. Sometimes knowing that you can do something horrible but choosing to be a bigger person is enough. Plus, Manchester isn’t completely irredeemable. He looked after me when I was sick, and we spent a few awesome weeks together where he was perfectly chivalrous, attentive and affectionate. For a while, being with him was amazing. Really amazing. That’s probably saved him.

I ran into one of Manchester’s friends that day, the fellow whom we had been out with on the lap dance evening. He approached me and asked me where Manchester was. I told him I didn’t want to talk about it, then added that I was leaving Puerto that evening.

“You’re coming back, though?”

I shook my head. He deduced what had happened and said something lovely to me. Nothing much, just a few words about type of person that he thought I was, and it made me feel exponentially better, then worse as more drunken salt water threatened to leak from behind my sunglasses. He hugged me, we became Facebook friends, and I promised to drop a little plug for his tourism website: www.guiapuertoescondido.com. And I will. Well, I just did. Visit the site for all things Puerto Escondidian- from accommodation to restaurants to real estate. Not only is he highly professional and knowledgeable, but he discharged three small sentences that made a bruised girl smile. He’s awesome.

So that’s my Mexican Manchester Memoir. Looking back to when we started to spend more time together- when we really began to click- I was in two minds about whether to stay and pursue something with him, or whether to be the independent girl who continues on with her own plans with blinkered aplomb. I chose to stay because I didn’t want to leave with the ‘I wonder’s’. At least I’m not. I’m leaving with the ‘I know’s’.

Because I now know that he’s a cunt. Which is okay. At least he’s not a cunt that I have to deal with any more. He’s just a blip and a blog post.

Kind-of, Almost Two Years Ago Today

11 Nov

Every year, on the anniversary of my divorce, I light scented candles, listen to Morrissey, cry, and play with myself.

That’s not true, silly. I just wanted a snappy opener. As boring as it is, I don’t indulge in any bizarre, ritualistic behaviour on D-Day; but ironically, for the last two years, I have found myself on the other side of the world, ensconced in a romantic entanglement of sorts.

It’s Groundhogian. Last year I was making a u-turn across Europe to meet a Kiwi in Amsterdam, this year I found myself with an overly affectionate Italian. Let’s call him Titto- as was his request if I ever spoke about him on the blog. And, fuck-me-gently-with-a-tent-pole, I really hope he doesn’t read this.

Because this is the story of how I fled Titto.

Fled sounds melodramatic. But ‘made a impulsive decision to leave one morning after things began to get particularly intense’ was too verbose.

When Titto and I first met, I was, embarassingly, wearing nothing but a Bonds wifebeater singlet and a pair of bright red, Wonder Woman underpants. Before he knew my name, he had seen more of me than most first dates do. Amazingly, despite being confronted with the sight of my big, white ass, he began to chat to me and, amazing-er-ly, we clicked.

Our travels plans differed- I was heading to Cuba and he was starting work in a hostel in Acapulco. We swapped Facebook contact details and kept in touch. A pocket of time appeared in the week after Day of the Dead. We could meet up again. He started to organise the details, seemingly spending hours on Google. Links were sent via email, clicking them furnished my screen with magnificent-looking beaches. ‘What do you think?’ he’d ask with an emoticon wink. Apparently, the only thing I had to do for our spare week together was show up and be adorable.

Plans changed when he had a fight with his boss and had to leave Acapulco immediately. He asked if I wanted to leave Day of the Dead before the main celebrations and travel to Guatemala with him. I did not. I was disappointed but I didn’t want to chase a dick down a rabbit hole, so I did what any normal girl would: I dealt with it. I booked a hostel at a nudist beach and figured that if we were meant to meet up again we would.

As fate would have it, we met again. Titto was unlike any man I had ever met. Aside from the affectionate, macho, chivalrous Italian blood that pumped through his veins, he was completely open with his feelings. It was a novelty. Australian men aren’t like that- being courted by an Aussie is a subliminal game of chess. You don’t listen to what they say, you watch what they do, you think three moves ahead, and you endeavour to entrap them in a checkmate.

Mwahaha.

The whole situation was fantastical. Surreal. Laying tangled in a hammock watching the sun set, eating fresh guavas for breakfast, long slow make-out sessions on the sand followed by hair-pulling nights beneath the mosquito netting as the waves crashed outside our cabin window. We hitchhiked. We held hands and strolled along the coastline. It was like a tampon commercial. It certainly wasn’t reality- no reality that I know, anyway. That’s the problem with holiday romances. They exist in a dream state, a realm where you are unfettered by the mundanities of life. As a result, they will never, ever last beyond the trip- believe me, I have tried. The only way it can work is if you choose to stay at the party forever- if you kiss the nuances of reality goodbye and live in the Wonderland of travel. Titto asked me to do this on our first night.

“Would you ever leave Sydney and stay in Mexico?”

“Nope.”

“Why not?”

I struggled to explain the relationship that I have with my loved ones without resorting to saccharine statements like ‘they are my heart’. I explained the deep bond we share, fortified by time, laughter and pain. “I can’t leave them,” I said finally. “I’d miss them.”

He didn’t agree and argued the point. “But friendships don’t last forever.”

“Neither do most relationships,” I fired back. “But my friends and family have been more of a constant presence in my life than any man has. They are always there for me and vice versa. I don’t want to leave them.”

“That’s sentimental.”

“Loyal.”

Besides, am I alone in thinking that this is a particularly intense question to throw at someone after twenty four hours together? Isn’t this the Holiday Romance equivalent of “How do you feel about getting married in Fiji” on a first date? Perhaps he was just harmlessly discussing the future and I am simply cementing myself as an emotionally retarded Fem-bot, but when said hypothetical future means that one of you has to give up everything well…no. Sorry, but that’s too Romeo and Juliet for me. Plus, I have shared more major life events with my Sydney comrades than I will with any man who comes into my life. Don’t make me choose between you and them. Just don’t. You won’t like the decision that I make.

And what happened to enjoying the moment in the moment without worrying where it’s heading? Why force it? If something is meant to happen, just let it happen. Yes, that statement crosses into the sticky realm of Fate and Destiny, but it’s my limited experience that no matter how much you want something, trying to mold life into your plans never works. One of the hardest things that any of us will have to do is let go of something we really want and trust that, in one way or another, it- or something better- will come to us. I don’t believe in pushing an agenda; partially because I am painfully aware of the type of female that does, and partially because I try to enjoy the show without peeking behind the curtain. If life has a plan different to the one that you have in your head it’s frustrating as hell, and there will be many nights that you pout into your pillow at the injustice of it all, but at least you won’t frighten said reality away. If you relinquish control, things you want may never come to you, but at least you know that you didn’t fuck them up- they were just never yours in the first place.

Says the emotionally retarded Fem-bot.

Actually, that whole fucking paragraph sounded like a tampon commercial.

Ergh.

Anyway, it was enough to vanquish my fragile emotions. With that conversation, hairline fissures began to appear in my rose-coloured lust goggles. ‘Affectionate’ became ‘Stifling’. ‘Macho’ became ‘Domineering’. And ‘Wow, he’s so open with his feelings’ became ‘Do we have to fucking talk about this again for the love of chocolate just shut up and stop acting like a god-damn woman’. My skin began to crawl. I became infected with Seeing The Future as well, and I didn’t like what I saw. It was suffocating. I was in a locked cage that he perpetually carried, periodically sticking his fingers through the bars for affection-attention?- the last lights of my freedom fading away as he carted me across Central America like a prized parrot.

I know. Poor, poor CC. She finds herself a devastatingly attractive man who appears to be crazy about her and she isn’t happy because it’s just too much. I should dry my tears on sex stained sheets in my fucking beach-side bungalow.

Relationships are delicate in the beginning.  You need rose-coloured glasses when you look at your beloved because you are often discovering all of their idiosyncrasies. The fluffy bubble of infatuation acts as a talisman of sorts. When you are in lust, the fact that they are chintsy, over-protective, or a nocturnal lip-smacker, doesn’t bother you; and you need that to progress beyond the first stage. You need absence, too. To miss them, to think about them. They have to exist in your dura mater as a fond memory for affection to grow. And this wasn’t happening. Titto was poisoning me with his presence. The ‘Leave Sydney’ conversation gave me an urge for space. When he didn’t give it to me, the urge became a compulsion to mentally point out every tiny shortcoming he had.

The decision to leave was a lightning bolt. My poker face is not my strong suit, and he knew that something was up. I politely asked him to leave me alone, which he did- albeit furtively glancing at me from the top of his laptop all morning. When even a silent gaze felt suffocating, I figured that getting breakfast in town by myself was a good idea. I knew that I had to snap myself out of my foul mood, so as I moodily stomped to the main street, I indulged in the sort of practical, reasonable self-talk that every chick does to stop herself emotionally overreacting to something.

And it didn’t work.

The more I thought about the situation, the worse it felt. Finally my brain snapped in a characteristic moment of CC impulsiveness: ‘Fuck this, I’m leaving. Today.

And I did. The hotel in Puerto Escondido was booked as the banana/chocolate crepes were shoved into my gob.

Sounds selfish? It felt awesome.

Freedom is a drug, man.

As is chocolate.

I dreaded telling him. With good cause. He reacted as every man does when their ego is bruised- he became a petulant child: “I knew it, I knew something was wrong. Why do you want to go? Why are you leaving me?” he whined.

What I hoped was gentle came out clichéd: “This isn’t you, dude. It’s me. You have to understand, I have been single for two years. I like my freedom, and to spend a consistent 48 hours with someone is too much. I want space.”

We argued. Why didn’t I go tonight? We could have dinner. Why did I have to leave him right now? Why?

I felt helpless. Cunty. To try and make an awkward situation less painful, I tried throwing money at it. That usually helps, right? “I’ll give you the money for the accommodation.”

He didn’t appreciate being turned into my low-budget rent-boy. “I don’t want the fucking accommodation.”

“I’m only trying to help.”

“I have no reason to stay here without you,” he said sulkily. “The only reason I came here was for you, and now you are leaving me.”

It was a cheap shot that didn’t register. I wanted to say ‘I’m a psych nurse, buddy, and I’ve been through a divorce, if you want to hurt my feelings, you have to try harder than that.

But I didn’t. I acted like an adult. “Well, you can have the money, anyway.” I rose to pack.

He followed. “When did you decide this? Why can’t you leave tomorrow?”

The more he talked, the more my resolve strengthened. I bid him farewell and waited for a taxi to the bus station.

“You really should take a collectivo, instead. It’s more economical.”

I glared at him.

He sighed. “Do what you want.”

In defiance, I paid for a private taxi to drive the hour to Puerto Escondido. From the backseat, with the wind of the highway relentlessly massaging my face, I worked on feeling horribly guilty about what I’d just done.

So, what’s the point of it all?  I’m sure there’s a lesson hiding in this, but what? That I’m emotionally unavailable? I have ridiculously high standards? That I’m just holding out for a six foot fireman who can bench press a fridge? Preferably one who volunteers at an abandoned kitten’s shelter in his spare time. Maybe I should just give up and buy some scented candles.

How about this for a lesson- no matter how many times you make my toes curl, if I begin to feel even the slightest bit trapped, I’ll run like a flock of seagulls?

Get it? “I raaaaannnn, I ran so far awaaaaaayyyy”?

No?

Come on!

Anyway, if nothing else, this experience has strengthened what matters, which means I’m probably Fem-bot Version 2.0. And while I can’t wrap it all up in a neat bow, I can give you a moral- You never chase a Y-chromosome down a rabbit hole.

You only ever chase a white rabbit with a pocket watch because he has the magic mushrooms.

Stranger than truth

4 Sep

I’ve swore off internet dating.

For the thirteenth time.

I wasn’t ecstatic at the thought of returning to Plenty of Fish, but a dry fortnight turned into a dry month that turned into dirty dreams about the cute butcher with shoulders like a Frigidaire and, since I was coming dangerously close to dry humping a random stranger, I sighed and dusted off my profile.

I started chatting to a guitarist in a punk band- continuing my almost comical weakness for creative types, something I blame entirely on my ex-boyfriend. He was a bass player. Who wrote poetry about me. I’d watch his fingers glide nimbly over the frets at his gigs and swoon like some puffed up, rubenesque Edie Sedgwick. It was heady. He ruined me.

Anyway, The Musician seemed nice at first. Funny, clever, bearded. We organised a date and worked on bonding through unbearably witty text exchanges. However, as is so often the case with men on dating sites, it got weird.

If I didn’t immediately reply to a text, he would message me again.

And again.

And again.

I’d reply. We’d chat. I’d stop.

My phone would chirp.

Again.

And

Again.

There are several things that you don’t want to find yourself doing before a first date. Flinging outfits around the room in a clichéd Hollywood montage is one, and saying “Oh, for fuck sake” in a slightly resigned tone when your phone beeps is another. One morning I woke up to this:

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He was into fish, alright? He worked in an aquarium store. No, I’m not making that up. Yes, it is ironic given that he was on Plenty of Fish and…whatever. Truth is sometimes stranger than…whatever. Let’s move forward.

We’d been chatting until late the night before and I needed a lame manatee meme at 8a.m. as much as I needed one at any time of the day, which is: not at all. I deleted the text and rolled over.

8:30 a.m. – Not a fan of manatee humor, huh?

8:40 a.m. – More of an Emperor Penguin girl?

10:03 a.m. – How’s your day?

11:15 a.m. – 

3pg5u3

11:17 a.m.

download

12:45 p.m – You sleep late, Cinderella

3:32 p.m. – How do you feel about anal bleaching?

Anal bleaching finally garnered a response, though perhaps not the one he was after. I told him that he’d manatee’d me to death. Oh, the hu-manatee. The date was cancelled and my Plenty of Fish account ignored for a few months.

A few weeks ago, I logged in to delete the account once and for all. My brief presence on the site was time enough for a Beneficial Friend from earlier to jump back on the hook. (Ha! See what I did there?) Long story short, I had an uncategorizable tryst with this fellow late last year. He cancelled a few dates and gave me a case of the crankies- which sounds suspiciously like an STD, but is actually the by-product of standing me up to do cocaine with a club-footed flight attendant, or stewardess, or whatever the politically correct term for those overly-coiffed sky whores is.

That part isn’t even true. Just funny.

The truth is that he jerked me around and I abruptly terminated our beneficial agreement, ignoring his subsequent text messages. After seeing me pop up on Plenty of Fish his beseeching texts resumed, escalated to a spot of friendly social media stalking, and, well, since a dry month had turned into a dry…um…anyway, let’s just say he wore me down to a nub and I agreed to see him again.

It wasn’t a date. It was an unclassifiable evening. I was simply a selfish girl using an equally selfish man for a mutually beneficial transaction. You might think that makes me a tramp. I wish I could care. I don’t indulge in casual sex nearly as often as this blog suggests. Too much of it can make you feel empty. It’s refilling a glass with fluid that slowly evaporates as a dry week turns into a dry month, but topping the glass up too often sends spidery cracks splintering down the sides. No amount of casual sex is worth the amazing feeling of waking up next to someone who gives you a look that says, ‘Golly, I’m glad that you exist and that you happen to be naked beside me at this point in time’. No amount of emotionless physicality is a trade for real chemistry with another person, and I would never relinquish that. My x-rated business transaction was little more than scratching an itch. I reasoned that instead of slowly fucking my way through the men of Sydney, I was recycling. It was ingenious. I was cutting the sleeves off an old shirt and pinning a gaudy brooch to it in the hopes that I could flog one more wear out of it.

At the beginning of the evening, I was waiting at the bar while he went to the bathroom. Upon returning, he slipped a hand in the back pocket of my jeans. “I saw this chick with a fantastic ass standing at the bar,” he murmured in my ear, “and I got a little buzz when I realised she was with me.” Ugh. Player. Still, it was nice that the squats I had been steadily doing at the gym were acknowledged, even though he was admitting to checking out other women on our unclassifiable-evening without expressly admitting it. Which is poor form. It’s the almost-dating equivalent of looking over the shoulder of the person that you are talking to at a party in case someone better is behind them. But, this wasn’t a date, so I let it slide. I made a flippant comment about how all men should worship my perfect derrière. Then I had to explain what a derrière was. Then I had to assure him that I wasn’t French. I think he was disappointed. Our drinks arrived, I took a swig and the evening whirled from Coogee to The Retro to, bafflingly, The Marble Bar where we drank overpriced vodkas and mocked the rich people around us.

The following morning his hand woke me up, and I can say with total certainty that a cold digit fumbling your private parts is a subpar alarm clock. I rolled over, giving a half-asleep snuffle that was hopefully adorable- but probably closer to the noise that a suckling piglet makes- and politely explained that, at 6.30 in the morning, the only horizontal action I’d engage in consensually was sleep. At daybreak, I usually wanted nothing stiffer than a double espresso inside me. I wasn’t actually human until the sun was up for a few hours. In fact, he wasn’t speaking to CC at the moment, he was dealing with CC’s representative, and she can be crabby when groped in the bleak light of dawn. We kissed and I rolled over, letting out another snuffle and burying my face in a pillow that smelt strangely metallic.

Two minutes later, the sheet lifted, tickling my back. I figured he was going to the toilet. The sheet hung, suspended in the air like a half pitched tent. I frowned into the pillow. What on earth is going on? There was a small moan, a guttural noise of (hopefully) delight, and, finally, a rhythmic squelching.

He was jerking off.

With my face now arranged in utter mortification, and buried in sheets that had the unmistakable odour of the rejected early morning advances of women past, I began to wonder what the etiquette for such a situation was. Did I lie perfectly still? Lift my rear end slightly to pose? Pop on some porn? Roll over to offer a hand?

Fuck that, I thought. I don’t like anyone enough to give them a mildly hungover handjob at dawn.

As the squelching sped up, I figured that the best thing to do would be to feign sleep and hope that he didn’t finish on my leg. I lay still, indulging in the sort of self talk that comes when you find yourself having front row seats to- and seemingly being the star of- a male masturbation fantasy. I reasoned that this was simply a gentlemanly gesture. He was rocking me to sleep. Like a lewd lullaby. He was holding the sheet up in the air in case I was too warm. Maybe it was an obscure compliment- maybe he was suggesting that I’m hot. It was pornographic praise. I did tell him to worship my ass, I thought to myself. Maybe he took me literally. Eventually- finally?- he finished. There was a slapping sound that I imagined was him somehow high fiving himself. He wiped himself on the sheet, rolled over, nuzzled my hair, pinched the roll of flesh on my belly and asked if I felt like pizza for breakfast.

You probably think that I’m lying. That I’ve graduated from embellishment to balls-out making shit up. I wish I was. I wish I had a normal undefinable evening with a normal uncategorizable man who woke me up by spooning me, or making me coffee, or telling me that I had enough crust to crumb a flathead around my eyes, rather than a fiend that jerks off over me while I pretend to sleep.

I was biting the insides of my cheeks, biting my tongue, biting a knuckle. Doing anything that I could to keep in the giggles that were threatening to erupt. I was shaking with the effort of not laughing. My representative was shrieking at me to get dressed and get the fuck out of the house.

I gathered my clothes and dressed in the hallway. His flatmate chose that moment to pad to the bathroom, and was confronted by a dishevelled, half-naked, rubenesque deer in the headlights. I grabbed my shoes, opened the door, tripped over my feet, and nearly broke a hip falling down the stairs. I regained my balance and threw my head back, letting out great shrieking cackles of laughter.

On the train home I messaged my friend.

“It’s never easy with you, is it?” he replied.

No. It’s probably not. But at least it’s entertaining.

The Definition of Insanity…

4 Jun

…is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.

An incident recently happened, an incident that culminated in an email that is too hilarious not to post and poke fun of. This is what happens when you sexually reject an egomaniacal, arrogant, narcissistic, delusional depressive with a penchant for the theatrical. I received this from an ex-boyfriend that has been repeatedly pestering me for sex. I told him no on five separate occasions, got the shits, and finally emailed him and told him to leave me the fuck alone. He went crying to a mutual friend, received no sympathy, told said friend to “fuck off”, and then sent me this. I’ve added my own comments in bold.

No. That’s unfair. To say all that & expect me not to contact you again. [Translation: you touched a nerve with your last email] Please read this whole thing at least.

Then you’ll never hear from me again.

Yes, I am capable of realising when I act like a cunt, & I do have insight. In fact, I’m going to be more honest than I’ve ever been, & I might be a bit of a cunt now, because that last email you sent me was pretty cunty really. I hope I can chalk it up to you quitting smoking or something. [Oh, for goodness’ sake- and he says that he has ‘insight’? Why not just ask if I’m on the rag and throw a block of chocolate at me?] Besides what have I got to loose [pointing out grammatical errors would probably be petty] that I haven’t lost already?

Yes I wanted to fuck you, actually I wanted to go down on you for a good while. [his ‘good while’ equates to two minutes of real time] Make little explosions in your brain. [I think it’s about time that someone explained the female orgasm to this boy] I inadvertently attempted to manipulate you. I thought you might still have a spark for me somewhere [despite constantly hearing otherwise] I thought you might want to just throw caution to the wind, play with a little fire, get drunk and fuck & not worry about all the relationship shit. [Translation: ‘No’ doesn’t actually mean ‘no’. ‘No’ means ‘Get her drunk and try’] I guess I thought if I could get you into bed you might feel something for me again. That’s all. Your right. [grammar! …sorry] I don’t see you so much as a “friend”, as I do an “ex-girlfriend”. I’m not sure at which point the “ex-girl” part was cut out of the equation. I think that’s pretty crucial. The reality is we have a history, as much as you seem to want to forget all about it all. [Golly, I wonder why?]

It’s not like I planned it out, to wait ‘till you were “drunk & trapped”, hell, I felt drunk and trapped because I’m a man and I have instincts and desires [Translation: having a dick is a curse] and a passion for you that goes beyond the superficial, despite what you like to believe about me. The two things aren’t mutually exclusive. Love + Testicles = Sexual Desire. [Translation: Having a dick is a curse. A curse, I tell you!] Men and women are built differently. Deal with it. Actually, Testicles = Sexual Desire, [Translation: So there! It’s not my fault. It’s my dick’s fault] but Love helps when it comes to monogamy.

I didn’t accuse you of leading me on purposefully. I noticed elements of body language [Translation: I clutched at straws] from you that I took as purely bio-chemical reactions to someone who used to have sex with you on a regular basis, me, remember? I guess you wish you never did. That sucks. I think I was a bit average in bed back in those days, a little mechanical maybe. I guess my ego does want to conquer that particular mountain again. My dick’s bigger than back then you know? [How To Get Women 101: Tell them, in a none-too-subtle way, that your penis has magically grown] Ah, *chuckle*. What a charmer I am. Just like you. My grandmother says you’re not very ladylike you know. Firing those curse words at me. [But writing a lady an email with seven ‘cunts’ in it is perfectly acceptable] Sorry, but I have no one else to talk to now since Glen [a mutual friend] has sided with you, which is to be expected, I’m pretty sure he’s into you as much as I am. I just push through the facade. No wonder I’m so unpopular with the both of you. [Yes, your whimsical honesty is the only reason you are unpopular.]

I don’t believe you ever said “I don’t want to fuck you”, [then you, my friend, weren’t paying attention] at least not in those words [see previous point]. So your use of quotations there is spurious. [something tells me that he is proud of this use of ‘spurious’] You said you didn’t want to “use me”. You said you didn’t want to “hurt me”. You said you don’t want “a relationship”. But you never said you didn’t want to fuck me. That’s exactly what I was clarifying that night. & as soon as I did, gave it my best shot. I went back to watching the movie right? Didn’t press that issue at all [except for the four previous times the issue was pressed until it bled] once I understood where the boundaries were. Yeah, that’s actually what really happened [No. It wasn’t.]. Then you spent the night stewing, I spent my night bawling into my pillow so you wouldn’t hear me. Sure, that’s a fella with only one thing on his mind. You wouldn’t believe the amount of hours my sorry ass has spent crying over you in my life. [Translation: you need to feel really bad about the fact that you refuse to fuck me. Bitch. Prick tease. Lesbian!]

As far as “wasting an hour of your life guilting you”, that’s just arrogant. At first you thought I was calling you a slut, so I don’t know if that’s your conscience talking, [Translation: I wont call you a slut, but I will insinuate it because you are a bit of a slut] when I was actually saying the contrary. & I don’t know how sleeping with an ex-boyfriend would make you slut by anyone’s standards. It was only a waste of an hour for you, because only I got something out of it. That’s not very friendly of you. [Translation: Because it’s ALL. ABOUT. ME. How dare you take the focus off my needs and wants for a second?] A waste is when nobody gets nothing. [Says the boy who went to bed with a wet pillow and a dry willy] It would’ve been charitable of you to have that talk, [Charitable? Charitable. Am I The Patron Saint of Pity Sex?] if you didn’t carry on about it as if I pulled my cock out and stuck it in your face. That would equate to a lack of respect. [‘You never waved your cock in my face?’ Wow. What a prince. It’s good to see boundaries somewhere.]

I really don’t see how my wanting to be intimate with you, proves that I don’t enjoy your company. That is a fundamental flaw in your argument, you seem to think men don’t have emotions or something. Well this man does ok? A copious fucking amount actually. If you can’t tell that I’m a sensitive guy, maybe it’s because you’re insensitive to me. That sounds about right. [Translation: I just gave myself a Joygasm with how clever that sounded] Like I said, caring and sex aren’t mutually exclusive. It’s just a difficult thing for a man to compartmentalise, I think it’s definitely related to having fucked you in the past. At least I never fucked you over, (‘cept over the kitchen bench that time, that was awesome…) […then why do I have absolutely no recollection of it happening?] Am I being too facetious? I think it’s because I’ve upped my meds. Maybe you should try it? [Translation: any woman who doesn’t want to fuck me is crazy and therefore in need of medicating] It’s a chemical thing, the lust I mean. Tricky to get around with anything but sheer willpower [No. It’s not. You just put your grown up pants on and DEAL WITH IT as an ADULT] and a clear understanding of the lines you have set. Which involves talking about it, not having to pretend like I’m a eunuch. [I think that your inability to procreate would indeed be a blessing for the human race.]

“No interest in being your friend and no regard for you as a person.” Well that’s just false. I held you in high regard until you ripped me a new one. [Translation: Bad CC! That’s a very bad CC! You don’t bruise fragile egos!] I’ve spent the last 6 months telling you how much I care for you, respect your intelligence, your cultural learning, independence, attitude etc. [Translation: See? You’re more than just a walking, talking vagina] and how much I want to be there for you. Talk about a waste of time, [Translation: I’ve spent hours trying to prise your knees apart and I get nothing. Nothing. Not even a whiff. Lesbian.] but it’s alright when you’re getting your ego stroked right? Never mind I’ve been wearing my heart on my sleeve. I have an interest in being around you, but really it’s that added dilemma of making what my balls want strictly out of bounds. Castration anxiety. [‘Castration anxiety’? …shouldn’t it be ‘The Blue-Balled Blues’?] It’s an internal conflict. Have I made you laugh yet or are you still frowning at the screen? Whatever.

Alison? [His ex-girlfriend who he is casually fucking] You really don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s not as black and white as you want to make it. Her & I have an understanding, & I’ve spent plenty of time making sure she is alright. [I am assuming that this takes place in the three minutes that peel by before she is unceremoniously ejected from his bed: ‘Are you okay? Yes? Good. …Then why are you still here?’] I’ve had a lot of CALM conversations with her about it, which is a courtesy you no longer extend. [Gee, I wonder why?] I never led her on, I’ve been honest with her from the start that it was purely casual sex. I’ve never said anything nasty about her. Anything I’ve said to you, I’ve said to her face. [So you have said something nasty…] But you probably think that makes me a cunt. [Yep.] I think it makes me honest. Semantics really. I’ve basically done to her what you did to me back in the day, [Translation: you have the right to treat someone like shit if your heart was broken nine years ago] so it’s kind of funny that you’re getting angry at me about it and defending her, when you don’t know her from a bar of soap. [True. But you did say that she told you that she was in love with you and having casual sex with you was painful for her…] She’s made her feelings “abundantly clear”? Actually she has said she doesn’t know what she wants. [Translation: Therefore, I am free to exploit her] So I don’t know where you’re getting these facts from, except from your own aggravated overly-feminist delusions about what a lecherous villain of a man you think I am.

Is it because I licked your asshole that time? I thought that was a true show of commitment… (I’m just joking okay.) [A paragraph that was nearly edited for the sheer fact that reading it actually makes me vomit in my mouth a little bit.]

So, as you’ve told me twice [five times, actually], I won’t contact you again. After this. Third [Sixth] times a charm. If I pissed you off the other night, this email might well make you homicidal. [Translation: Have I pushed enough buttons for a response yet? Please? Anything- call me a cunt again, I don’t care…just…pay…attention to me!] Sorry. You really need to try & relax & calm down more, for the sake of your nursing at least, if you don’t want to become that cold-hearted, detached and angry [(Lesbian)] woman.

My idea is that true friends can be honest with each other. [Translation: Except when the honesty involves something I don’t particularly want to hear] In order for ex-partners to be friends there needs to be a level of emotional maturity which you’re not really giving me. I guess you could say the same about me. I’ve been working on it. But it requires a bit of give and take from both sides. [Translation: You give me eons of time to talk about my feelings like a hormonal teenage girl and I…take that time.]

You (& Glen) act like you being my friend is some kind of noble gesture on your part, but being around you for me, is like being run through an emotional meat-grinder. You left me. [(Bitch. Lesbian!)] So Ultimately, maybe I pushed things too far on purpose. I can’t cope with you keeping me at arms length constantly. [Translation: Let me fuck you. Please?] If you can’t understand or sympathise with that, then you’re not truly my friend. You’re the same victim-playing neurotic that you were back in the day. [How To Get Women 102: if you can’t harass her into bed you can always try to insult her, maybe it will break her confidence down low enough to fuck you] So I guess some things don’t change. I’m still the “self-centred narcissist” (I’m not sure how that syncs up with my anxiety disorder, maybe it’s a defence against the massive shame and self-doubt I’ve had in the intervening years since you dumped me? Not to mention the molestation & abandonment issues, there I go being the victim), and you’re still the feminist that is convinced I’m a bastard because I like sex, and have minimal notions of romance. I guess that makes me callous to a degree, (scars will do that). [AND I’M PLAYING THE VICTIM?!] I like sci-fi, not chick flicks y’know? [When all else fails, go with a stereotype.] I’ve tried, with the cooking you dinner and such. I’ve never figured out what you wanted in that regard. You never told me. You’ve always expected me to be a mindreader. [With some of the barbed comments that have flown through my head whilst in your company, I’m quietly thankful that you aren’t a mind reader.] Hell, I thought you hated the conventional notion of marriage as much as I did back then. Then look what happened. [Yeah, I got divorced. That’ll teach me.]

Actually, it’s not entirely me. You have a double-standard. You can’t carry on blogging about booty calls, writing about dripping vagina’s [Dripping vaginas?! When have I written about dripping vaginas?! Is my slutty, smutty alter ego updating my blog while I sleep?] & fat naked crazy women, getting into all kinds of extreme media, then turn around and expect a man to treat you as a sensitive romantic. [can somebody give this boy a dictionary with the words ‘persona’, ‘facade’ and ‘self defence mechanism’ highlighted, please?] You send the message that you’re just like one of the fellas, rough and tumble, up for it, bit of a tomboy, then when you get treated like that, [Ha! He admitted it!] you cry foul and pull out the feminist handbook. [Damn, I left my well-thumbed copy of Feminism for Dummies at his house…what on earth am I going to use to cock-block men with now?] You can’t have your cake and eat it too in that respect. If you have the right to be completely crude, then so do I, and any other man you’re with. If you want to be treated like a lady, than you have to act like one. Then I would do my best to be a gentleman and an old-fashioned romantic. That’s where the mixed messages come in for me. [Ah, I see. So you badgering me for a root like a piece of meat is all my fault. Okay, cool. Now I know. I will do my best to act like a demure Betty Draper in the future to stop anything like this happening again.] Maybe I was just raised differently. I always tried to do the right thing by you. Closed relationship? Open relationship? Casual Sex? Rough Sex?! (That never happened, not sure if you’re into that shit either, I’m not really). None of the above? Ok well shit. My bad. Maybe you should have never gotten with me in the first place. Because you’ve done a bang-up job of messing with my head ever since. [(you hideous, horrible, hard to bed lesbian wench)] I never needed any help with that.

It would be good if we could make something work, but, such is life. Maybe do some soul-searching yourself? I’ve admitted I’m fallible. [Have you? Where? All I read was justifications] Realise, that you have again spitefully attacked, & run away from, a guy who would actually do anything to make you happy. Including letting you go. I’ve done it before and I can do it again. That’s real love. [is that what love is? Harassing someone, guilting them, manipulating them and, when all else fails, writing them an offensive and insulting email. Shit. I’ve been doing the whole “love” thing wrong, then.] I want you to be happy even if that means I’m out of the picture. Have a nice life CC. I’m sorry it didn’t work out. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to figure you out, & I’ll never forget you. [(Lesbian.)]

-Anthony

[Final Translation: You asked me to leave you alone but your words stuck in my head like little, emotion-filled bullets of unfairness; so I had to stew for twenty four hours, binge-read your blog, cry, jerk off, eat a pizza, self medicate with several hundred beers, then fire this email at you. I will leave you alone. However, I will also periodically stalk Chattering Cat and feel indignant if you ever dare to ride a pole that isn’t attached to me.]

I’m in two minds about this- the person who wrote this wants a reaction from me, so posting this could be playing right into his hands. The adult thing would be to smile, delete and block him from all forms of communication. But, that’s boring. And, he is so ridiculous in this email- puffed up with his own sense of grandiosity like some ridiculous, oversexed flamingo- that I have to shred him.

A bit of back story is required to put this in context. Anthony and I were together when I was 21. I left him. In a bad, immature, slightly bitchy way. I married someone else. It didn’t work out. Anthony contacted me again when I was first divorced, wanting to be friends. I agreed. He wanted to catch up with me, to talk about what transpired between us years ago, to clear the air. I agreed. He put the hard word on me to take him back. I told him that I was just out of a marriage and he had a girlfriend. He said that he would leave his girlfriend, Alison, for me. I politely said no. A few weeks later we caught up again. He put the hard word on me again. I said no, politely but firmly. A few weeks later he messaged me. He and Alison had just broken up, did I want to hang out with him? Sure, he was keeping a casual sex relationship up with her, but that didn’t matter…did I want to fuck him now? After this, there were two more times where he either rang or bailed me up and badgered me into giving him another shot. My patience wore thin. I wound up saying “I want to be friends but do not want to fuck you and that isn’t going to change”. His reply was a wounded, “…that’s harsh.” I went on to say that I was a patient woman, but constantly bringing this up was wearing my patience thin and if he wanted to be my friend he should accept my offer of friendship and nothing else. He agreed.

I did want to be his friend because I enjoyed his company and I was incredibly sympathetic to how he felt. I know the feeling- liking someone that you know you can’t have. Anybody who is friends with the opposite sex knows how that feels. It’s hard, it’s painful and it sucks but it can be done. You can acknowledge your feelings without acting on them. I have done it myself. Recently, in fact. So when he repeatedly brought up the possibility of us tumbling into bed together, I told myself to be patient, that it’s not easy to have feelings for a friend.

Friday night, I went over to his house. We had a few drinks and watched a movie. At 1am, when I was too drunk to drive myself home, he put the hard word on me again. Badly. Relentlessly. He told me that I was leading him on by hanging out with him. He insinuated that I was easy: he didn’t understand how I’d fuck all these other men but not him (what other men? I’d like to meet these imaginary fellas. I do hope that they are nice guys, I’d like to think my promiscuous alter-ego is with someone who treats her well). It got so bad that I remember thinking ‘I’m drunk, not drunk enough to kill someone if I got into my car and drove home…but I would certainly lose my licence if I got pulled over…Do I really need a licence?’ I told him no- again– went to bed and left early the next morning without saying goodbye. He sent me an angry text message. I ignored it. He rang me several times. I ignored him. He emailed me. I told him to stop contacting me. He put it back on me: ‘You are the one who rudely left without saying goodbye and haven’t bothered responding to me. I’m trying to see how I’m the bad guy?’ Suitably agitated, I let him have it. I told him that his behaviour was reprehensible, I called him a self-centred narcissist and asked him to stop contacting me because I now had zero interest in being his friend. He stewed, boiled over, and emailed.

And, after telling me that he would leave me alone, he contacted me on Twitter.

He’s cute like a frog.

4 Mar

I do a lot of stupid shit when I’m drunk.

A few months ago I placed a restriction on myself: it’s fine to get mildly tiddled with friends and make devastatingly clever and funny insights about human nature at achingly hip bars that none of us have any business being in, but it’s not okay to be alone and drunk, in ones tiny-inner-city-flat. I have learnt that the latter ultimately leads to me tearfully caterwauling from one ridiculous concern to the next with maudlin 80’s pop music playing in the background.

Yesterday though, I had a “fuck this, I’m sad and I’m going to get drunk” moment. It felt good to relinquish my vice like control freak grip for an evening. Getting drunk alone seems to hedge the sticky line between “social 30-something” and “burgeoning alcoholic” in my mind. Drinking alone makes me feel shameful, as if I am spending hours furiously masturbating to internet pornography: it’s certainly a way to pass the time but in the end you just wind up naked from the waist down with the distinct impression that you are wasting your life.

Marieke Hardy has pointed out, “Drinking alone can be infinitely preferable to drinking with other people. For one thing, you don’t have to tolerate the company of other drunks.” So with that endorsement I took a deep breath and prepared to be naughty for a night.

Two bottles of average red wine later, I had a headache, a tiny-inner-city-flat in various degrees of chaos, a troubling mobile phone call history, a pink bra hanging precariously from the television, several blank spots in my memory, a small jar of glucosamine powder for animals, and a large chunk of material for a self deprecating blog post.

And, I would like to apologise to Charlie, David, Leeroy, Duane, Ben, Andy, and the person whose name I cannot remember who is simply saved in my phone as “Mr Awesome.”

Drunk Dialling

Between the hours of one and two on a rainy Tuesday morning, I thought that prank calling people would be “hilarious” rather than “fucking irritating”. I’d been trawling through my phone when I discovered that I still had the telephone numbers of men collected during my time on an internet dating site. Most of these blokes I had never met, I usually offered my mobile phone number in an offhand manner when they were sufficiently intriguing in email form and I couldn’t be bothered continuously logging in to respond. These fellows were saved as some variation of “Ben – POF”, and with their dating profile picture added so I could keep tenuous track of them. I had not conversed with any of these lads in months, to be honest I have no idea why their numbers were still in my phone.

Unless it was to provide 67 minutes worth of entertainment to a lonely, intoxicated, thirty-something who exists in a worrying state of arrested development.

I have a Prank Call app on my phone, a relic from my relationship with my ex which would see us waste oceans of time harassing our friends and falling into fits of thigh-slapping glee when they eventually spewed strings of profane words uttered in the rabidly pressured speech of the truly pissed off.  We discovered that, much like the SpeakEasy Text-to-Speech! app, Pranksterz! provided 87 minutes worth of entertainment to two bored, intoxicated twenty-something’s who existed in a worrying state of arrested development.

My first victim was Andy, then Ben, Charlie, and I’m sure you can gather the rest. Some answered their phone, some of them will undoubtedly discover baffling voicemails where a robotic-sounding Chinaman informed them that their food was ready at 1am and would they please get out of bed and come to the store and pick it up?

When I got to David, all hell broke loose.

David was the only one on the list whom I had actually met. He was a fellow that I shagged from Plenty of Fish who became progressively nastier when I suggested that I didn’t want to take our union further, ultimately leading to a three day long text war of Dynasty proportions at which point I shrilly threatened to “ruin him”.

David was called at 1:13am, 1:21am, 1:22am, 1:22am, and at 1:23am. At 1:37am, when an intoxicated thirty-something in a worrying state of arrested development got bored of using her iPhone app, David had a three minute conversation with a human being. Named Mindy. Who explained in badly accented California-girl English that the middle of the night was her chosen time to ring past sexual partners and inform them that she had Chlamydia. And, ergo, there was a small chance that they had Chlamydia, too.

At 1:41am David was reminded that hanging up on Mindy wasn’t nice. Mindy was merely showing neighbourly concern about the sexual health of David and his future partners. Unfortunately, David did not show an appropriate level of appreciation.

At 1:50am, Mindy was briefly crushed when David called her a “crazy cunt” (which sounds like a chain of discount stores hawked in late night infomercials by a red-eyed John Singleton). David insisted that he had no idea who Mindy was and that he had “a very clean cock”. Recovering quickly, Mindy referenced the overweight Staffordshire terrier that David frequently locked in the laundry when entertaining his lady friends, proving that they had indeed shared a tawdry evening together.

Upon hearing this, David fell silent and uttered an audible gulp. His thoughts seemed to ring loudly through the crackling air: How did she know about my dog? Maybe I have fucked this bird. Oh god. Maybe I have Chlamydia. Shit. Shit. SHIT!

Unfortunately, this beautiful prank was ruined when Mindy gave a loud burp, collapsed into giggles and disappeared in a telephonic beep, never to be heard from again.

Denes Glucosamine

The white jar sat innocently on the couch. I had no idea where it came from. Upon inspection, I discovered that it was Denes Powder, a “green lipped mussel and glucosamine formula for cats and dogs”. Having no pets, I was mildly confused. There were two selfies in my phone- one of me holding a parcel, one of me holding the powder. Further investigation unearthed parcel wrapping in the bin, which suggested that at some point during the night I had decided to sneak down to the mailbox and steal my neighbours mail, ostensibly hoping that the small jar-like shape in the package was some exotic brand of cosmetic. I can only imagine that I had an inebriated internal conversation, where I managed to convince myself that if the package hadn’t been collected by 11.30pm, she obviously didn’t want it and by stealing it I was actually doing all of the other residents of the complex a service by ensuring that small packages were not left on top of the communal mailbox.

I left my keys hanging in the front door, too. A karmic invitation for burglars to let themselves into my house while I snored like a drooling pirate fuckwit with my inexpensive bounty scattered at my feet.

There is red lipstick…on everything

I woke up on the couch with red lipstick smeared on my arm, my face and my cushions, an empty wine glass sitting upturned at my feet, the crumbs of the midnight ham and cheese toastie spread over both my bosom and the kitchen floor. A small square of gluten-free bread sat forlornly on the bench, half-moon bite mark taken out of it, a determined trail of ants marching to and fro from a small crack above my kitchen cupboard. At some point in the evening, I had also made myself an espresso and managed to paint the kitchen cupboards with abstract art using only the finest organic Columbian coffee grounds.

I have no idea how or why there is now a harlot coloured lipstick print on the E key of my laptop. Perhaps I fell in love with an E, or an Edward, or Bob Ellis. The likely explanation is that I have ceased typing, mid sentence, after spontaneously collapsing, gracelessly faceplanting my laptop in the process.

To be honest I’m not even sure why I donned red lipstick to throw myself around my apartment, alone, on a Monday night.

The ever present iPhone

My Google history usually provides an interesting insight into the evening: “hybristophilia”, “Placebo Loud Like Love video clip”, “is Scarlett Johansson a whore”, “Denes glucosamine human consumption”, “is Denes only for animal consumption”, “can I give Denes to a human”, “will I die if I eat Denes powder”, and “how do you spell schaudenfreude”.

Earlier in the evening I had received a text from a fellow writer that I have been on a few dates with. I recall receiving the message at about 8.30pm but, with a flow of words pouring out of me like vomit and a bottle of red wine under my belt already, I had decided against replying, choosing instead to bash away at my laptop like a frustrated Mozart. However, at some point during the night I had picked up my phone and composed a verbose and mistyped SMS- involving entirely too many emoticons for anybody over the age of seventeen to use- which endeavoured to inform him that I found his thick framed hipster glasses “ironically dreamy” and that, despite the fact he is only my height and I would really prefer it if he could find a way to stretch his physique “only about half a foot or so, I’m not picky”, I would really enjoy another date with him if he would be “amenable to the idea” because he is “cute like a frog”.

Fuck. A. Duck.

Thankfully, I never sent it. And, thankfully, he doesn’t read my TMI blog, because I seriously doubt that I would receive much more than the awkward suggestion of alcoholics anonymous if I had not blacked out before hitting send.

IMG_0929

 

The Charisma Effect

13 Oct

A few weeks back, I was out with two friends, Bestie and Mr Charisma. We were at a Breaking Bad farewell party. I was at the bar with them both, chatting happily to the young bartender as he made our cocktails. As part of the evening, we were given cute little promotional things, such as “Better call Saul!” business cards. The bartender handed my two friends their cards, then wrote a number on the third and handed it to me. “This is my number,” he said with a grin. “I’d like you to give me a call sometime.” I never did call- he was a kid! Early twenties, maybe? What on earth is a 23 year old going to do with me? Honestly. I’d probably frighten the poor thing off women forever- but it did boost my ego. I swanned around feeling like a Kardashian for five minutes, until I tripped over my feet and came crashing back to reality.

This never happens to me. Ever. The phone number part, that is. Not tripping over, I manage that quite well with, or without, colourful cocktails. I certainly wasn’t dressed to pick up. I was in jeans and a t-shirt, my ever present Batman Converse strapped securely to my feet, very little make up, hair the standard wavy mess. The only concession that I was on a night out with the boys instead of doing my grocery shopping was a dangly pair of earrings. I’ve been at that pub dressed like a female instead of a teenage boy before and gotten nary a second glance.

Looking back, I can only think of one explanation: we were all under The Charisma Spell.

Mr Charisma is a textbook extrovert. He flits from one situation to the next like an out of control spinning top. He’s very charming and likeable, being in his presence boosts people. We feed off his never ending energy. My usual interaction with bartenders is polite but constrained. Under the Charisma Spell, the three of us had a conversation with this lad that encompassed Finding Nemo, Peru, Neon Tetra fish, and crystal meth, punctuated by selfies that were promptly posted to Facebook.

During the night we met several new people under the influence of Mr C. One was a fifty year old woman who looked ready to bear his children, even after he explained the difference between a vagina and a “mut” to her, with judicious and cringeworthy use of the latter. When I’m out with my Bestie we usually sit by ourselves and drink, talking animatedly to each other. During the course of this night we both came out of our shell: “You’re gluten intolerant?” I exclaimed to a young man dressed as Walter White, “So am I!”

No idea how- or even why- that conversation started or, since it was towards the end of the night, how it finished.

One of my exes was also incredibly charismatic. His personality was so intoxicating that it infected every situation he was in. This was fun, unless he was in a bad mood. When I first met him I didn’t think much of him. He chased me and I eventually agreed to a date. You could ask about the exact turn of events that led me from saying, “he’s nice, but no,” to me making out with him for two hours on his couch, but I’m not sure myself. His karaoke version of Last Goodbye may have been a factor. Somehow, he literally charmed the pants off me (sorry, that was dreadful, I know) and when he broke up with me my nineteen year old heart pined for him for longer than I’m comfortable admitting. Not bad for someone who started out in my ‘I’m not interested in you’ box.

According to the Susan Cain scale, I’m an ambivert. In actual fact, most of us are. The whole introvert/ extrovert thing was coined by Carl Jung, who said, “There is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert. Such a person would be in a lunatic asylum.” Which I am, technically, but I have keys and they let me go home at the end of each working day.

Around my friends and family I’m quite extroverted. It seems the better I know someone the louder I am, but I do consider myself an introvert. For me, it doesn’t count that I’m a crazy little nut job around my mates, because they know me. I have let my guard down around these people, I trust them and I love them. I have no problems standing up for myself or expressing my opinion, but I would never spark up a conversation with a stranger. I wouldn’t know where to begin. If someone starts one with me I’m friendly, but I am just as happy listening to my iPod and dreaming up idiotic shit to write about.

Introverts are undervalued in society. They are seen as boring, meek. We aren’t. If you place a drop of lemon juice on the tongue of an introvert they will salivate more than an extrovert. Introverts aren’t quiet losers, we just have a lower threshold for stimuli. I love being out with people, but retreating to the blissful solitude of my tiny flat at the end is a soothing relief. It’s like a slipping into a warm mental bath. Introverts get their energy from connecting within, whereas extroverts feed off the energy of others. I used to regularly encourage my ex husband to go on nights out with the boys: ‘Go! Drink, play poker, watch a strip show, gamble, watch porn, I don’t care, do whatever it is that you do when I’m not around, just give me a night with a bad movie and a glass of wine.’

The world is geared towards the extroverted, from classroom situations where everyone has to contribute, to job interviews where the most charming get hired, to eventually getting the girl you have chased incessantly; it seems that introverted people are often left behind.

In a few days, I am heading to Europe by myself. If I don’t want to spend 6 weeks in solitude, I am going to have to pull my head out of my ass and communicate with strangers. I’m terrified. Absolutely terrified. Seriously. The fear won’t stop me going, but I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have nightmares where I am sitting alone at a bar, watching other people have fun. I have cold dread in my stomach that I may have to dream up some imaginary friends to share my adventures with. If I do, I will call them Polly, Shaun and Agamemnon.

I think that it will do me good to get out of my comfort zone. It will either force me out of my shell, or into insanity. If you hear of a purple haired girl being arrested in Paris after discussing Marxism with thin air, you can assume it’s the latter.

I caught up with Bestie recently. He stayed the night at my place, leaving early the following morning. I woke up to find a note. He wished me the best of luck for my trip and gave some sage advice: “Remember, you can be anyone you want to be in Europe!”

Maybe I will try being an extrovert. See if it fits me.