No longer as truthful as should be deserved, some names, places and events deliberately vague to protect identities that aren't mine

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Don't Go.

Don't go,
I almost did.

Leave now and never come back,
Slammed doors and smashed fists.

You won't even say goodbye?
I never wanted to.

Don't go.
So I came back.
When it hurt, and I was angry, and I didn't want to, and I wasn't ready,
I came back,
So you had somewhere to come back to.

You walked first.
Second,
And third.

The first time, I broke again
But I swallowed my pride, and told myself in time, I would find a way to swallow the hurt too,
Or at least hide how deep this one went.

The second, I remembered why I almost left,
I remembered you there,
"Don't go."
Me with nowhere left to go back to.

The third time,
What could you say?
"Come back, again?" How about:
"Hello" (no goodbye).

You walked first, the third time now.
I took a breath, a last and final sigh,
Or cry,
I wondered if I might see my friend again,
And I walked off myself.

We almost didn't
But you did.

Eventually, so did I.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Date Night

I have a completely inexplicable confidence when it comes to dating.  For someone who struggles to say hello when meeting friends of friends, when I meet a guy I like I have no problem with just stating that and asking them out, straight up.  All those horrors of dating that everyone else frets and worries about - so do I, but I absolutely thrive on them.  What to wear, what to say, what will they wear, how do you say hello, one cheek or two, a hug, shake hands, what?  It's fucking incredible for me.

So I met a boy, this being me, I met him via sex.   He's the only boy I've ever know who could make grey underwear look good.  So you end up in that rather hilarious situation where you're kind of backtracking and going: 'BTW, having just fucked, are you single?  Would you like to go for a drink?'   You find yourself knowing them intimately but knowing very little about their likes/dislikes/interests beyond that.  It's a little surreal but it certainly doesn't discourage me in any way.

So we arrange a first date, and on the day he has to reschedule.  He's very apologetic about it, and says can we get a reschedule in the diary at the time, which shows a genuine desire to not just fob me off.  I say it's okay, my colleague will probably be happy I'm free to stay late at work instead - we're doing the BAFTAs a few days later and its all rather manic.  He clarifies that the reason he has to reschedule is he's doing design work for the Opera Awards.  I burst out laughing - we clearly speak the same language when it comes to getting stuck late at work!

Take 2 rolls around, it takes a bit of back and forth to decide where, I run through plans A B and C before D proves mutually agreeable and more importantly, accessible for both of us (he seems to live somewhere that doesn't just have a constant route into Z1/2 - uh oh!).  I think of four different places we could go, I arrive early and he gets stuck at work 15 minutes late and so I wander around the area checking out the Friday night queues (~2-3h) to get into anywhere that might take our fancy.  I plan and plot and devise all the permutations necessary to make the outcome look easy and effortless.  It's not, it's through actions like this.  But I find these kinds of actions easy; second nature, so I barely even register that I'm doing them.  I ring my best friend before I go - a ritual, a pep talk, a nerve settler.  A part of me remembers I used to ring my boyfriend before going on dates with other boys and how perfectly okay that was for the two us.

He arrives and we head off.  The bar I was banking on is a no-go.  So as two aimless gays are wont to do in Central London, we start drifting Soho-wards.  Then inspiration hits me and I divert us to somewhere better, somewhere definitely date-worthy; a little show-offy.  He already knows the place.  That's a good sign - he's not intimidated and knows some of the hidden gems of London.

We stumble through some conversation.  This is the bit where I actually have to try.  I have to focus.  I asked him out.  I devised the date; it's my responsibility to not let it fall flat, to drive it forward through that awkward phase till it becomes clear it's either good or bad.  So I dig deep to remember all the tricks I've learnt, what to say, how to react, what to pick up on, what to offer as conversation points of my own.  This bit isn't easy for me, but he's just as hot as I remember, and he's smiling, so it's enjoyable.

He asks what I get up to when either of us isn't overworked or just naturally keeping ourselves very busy.  I concede I'm a geek - I play video games, I read comics, I even hesitantly admit I play tabletop RPGs like D&D.
He asks what Edition.

The slight tension between us vanishes.  A kindred spirit.  We curse 4th Ed and pretend it doesn't exist.  We compare hilarious character stories.  Conversation becomes free and easy, it ranges wider (he loves 80s movies - I'm instantly sold on him), we get animated,  On the way back to the tube a woman in front of us jokingly comments she's never known anybody talk so loudly - another sign we're enjoying each other's company.  The answer is obvious; I'm not hedging my bets in any way, but brave, confident and forth right once more I hazard the second date question before the first one even ends.  He says yes in principle; we both agree it may take quite a bit of negotiation to find free time in both of our constant work and social schedules.  But he agrees.  He leaves smiling.  We're talking the same language on a lot of things, and it's a relief to us both.

My friend rings me on the way home.   He asks me who walked who to the station.  He knows me so well.  He knows I know how to end a date.  He can hear me smiling and bouncing and dancing.  I'm flying.  I couldn't stop it even if I wanted to.  A mental switch suddenly flicks in my head and I'm struck by the awareness of it - this guy is just potential, it's only first date territory, with an agreed to second one - but I've always stated I take better care of myself when I have someone else to do that for, than when it's just for me.  He's just potential, but I want to see where it might go.

There are no bad dates.  There are dates you get good stories from.  Hilariously bad stories you shop around your friends for pity with alcohol and ice cream and movies.  But at least you have a terrible warning story to tell for years to come.  And sometimes, dates are fantastic and better than either of you hoped for or believed might happen.

This is why I love dating.  All that potential, possibility, agony, emotion, from just 2 drinks.  I already know where I want to take him for a second date.





(Weirdly, I don't have this confidence when it comes to asking a girl out - there I'm just as useless as everyone else.  Although admittedly the Aries in me would be incredibly turned on by any girl forthright to ever ask me instead.)

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Bedtime Story

Once upon a time there was a bear, and the bear roamed far and wide in search of food but he was a lonely bear and wished he had someone to roam with and tell all the things he found to.
And one day, this bear stumbled a warm cave, with a light deep inside, and he wandered in and there, in the back of the cave, he found a boy.
The boy was sad and also alone and he didn't speak much, and he didn't seem to like the bear's food much, but he didn't tell the bear to go away either so the bear stayed and sat down next to the boy and didn't say anything for a while.
And when the bear looked around, he noticed tucked away in a small corner were some sticks, and some skates and some gloves, and he asked the boy about them and the boy said they were for a game so the bear asked if the boy would play it with him.
The boy still looked sad, and didn't say anything, but he slowly got up and went over to the pile, and he pulled out some sticks, and gave one to the bear, and he pulled out some skates, and gave a pair to the bear, and he pulled out some gloves and gave a pair of those to the bear too.
The boy and the bear went outside and started to play.  It was a game called hockey.  And as they played the bear started to learn what to do, and he got good at this game called hockey and he liked it a lot.  And as the boy played hockey he started to laugh and smile, and he remembered that hockey was a good thing, and he liked good things.
When they finished they went back into the warm place they had found and sat next to each other and discussed all the things the boy knew about hockey, and the bear liked them and wanted to know more, so the boy decided he would call the bear hockeybear and the bear liked this name.
Sometimes, they go out together, with more sticks and skates and gloves and they find other boys and teach them to play hockey.  Sometimes the other boys aren't interested so the bear and the boy just play by themselves.  Sometimes hockeybear goes out alone and protects the boy from other boys who think hockey is silly.  The bear is much bigger than he looks and much stronger when he fights to protect the boy he found. 
Sometimes the boy goes out alone, and he comes back very sad.  And he doesn't talk again.  And boys eat different things to bears.  But he doesn't tell hockeybear to go away either.  So they sit together and hockeybear watches hockey with the boy, until the boy looks at his sticks, his skates and his gloves again, and then at the bear, and he remembers that hockey is a good thing.  And he likes good things.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Young, scrappy and hungry

I know my sister like I know my own mind,
you will never find anyone as trusting or as kind. 
If I tell her that I love him she’d be silently resigned,
he’d be mine.
She would say, “I’m fine”
She’d be lying.
But when I fantasize at night
It’s Alexander’s eyes, 
as I romanticize
what might have been if I hadn’t sized him up so quickly. 

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Somewhere a clock is ticking...

Tick.
The thought pattern rises in my mind; the one I've been suppressing for weeks; that same one, over again.

Tick.
I can see the mood forming, taking hold, that crystal clear understanding of the irredeemable stupidity and pointlessness of everyone around me.  Their comments, reactions and inactions predictable to me years ago.

Tick.
Time slows down, as the laser sharp clarity of probability cones narrows along each and every path.  Time enough to watch the change and see the change in inevitable fate.  Chance becomes irrelevant.  Certainties solidify as each and every line I care to examine eliminates alternative options over and over to the nth to degree till each point is obvious.

Tick.
A portion of my conscious brain slaves itself to my subconscious thought, mildly amused for a brief period to watch the events of each timeline i choose to observe play out exactly as my analytical mind has already deduced.  It's a passing distraction at best but it's enough conscious attention to assuage my subconscious that I am devoting energies to it.

Tick.
Tick.
Tick.

I split my attention more, each into it's own compartment; a part to tomorrow's work problem; a part to the future; several parts to several different types of solutions, none of which anyone else would condone; each a ward against my subconscious and conscious thoughts fully aligning


I refresh the window into the world I allow myself and try not to laugh.

The self delusional addict, burning up once more.
The lost trying to save everyone around them as they fall
The martyrs screaming to their gods (the little gods and the big gods)
Adverts, more things for a desperate distraction from an unavoidable state of maximal attainable entropy

Tick.
I sleep, and dark thoughts turn to dark daydreams which give way to darker dreams.

People become easier by the second, but by this point, I've lost whatever passing interest I had those few moments ago.  It's pointless when you're hundreds of moves ahead.  Watching them roll the dice in their heads in a game you've already played 20 times over, and seen them make the same decision every time.


Tick.
Tick.
I wait to see how long it lasts this time around.  I make what arrangements I can in the time I have; it'll all seem like chance even to me when it's over.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Pandora

I have dark thoughts, this isn't news to anyone.

Some are very very dark.  Some would easily destroy in a moment everything around me if I let them take hold.  They're ones I don't like to even admit to, that scare me because I realise what they would do.  They exist in a firmly closed box that I bury so deep I usually forget the box itself even exists let alone its contents.

Once in a while the box creeps open.   A comment or a thought process in my own head takes a lateral step and makes a connection to some other line of thought.

I've learnt to recognise that incipient other thought; the opening of the box before the full idea comes out and announces itself.

If I'm lucky I can stop it there.  A half second while the thought process completes in which every other part of my brain is filled with urgency and alarm.  Panic.  Fear.  The need to do anything in the very brief window of time I can still save it.  Stop.  I cry out loud or in my head.   Stop stop stop.

If I'm lucky it aborts.   Pandora's box shuts again before anything gets out and after a breath I go back to who I was; broken but functional.

If I'm not lucky... White hot rage at everything I've ever encountered or could encounter; the utter idiocy of it all, the insignificance.  It can all burn.  It should all burn.  Every second I abide the world longer without destroying all I see is a failure of myself and my crystal clear understanding.  I pray I'm alone when the thought latches on.   I won't be less destructive, but my own life is easier to salvage when the dust settles.

One day maybe I can deal with these parts of me.  For now there are other bits which are less dangerous to tackle.  I continue to cry stop, and wonder what good it does.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Neutral ground

"..and if we should meet through some misunderstanding,
I'll be very sweet, very patient and forgiving;
Now get off my side of the state.

And if we should see one another in passing
Despite these techniques there is sometimes no avoiding
There must be some kind of mistake.

We'll raise high our white flags and bow heads and shake hands
Declaring the land, we're on un-American:
We'll call it even, we'll call it even.

I am the tower around which you orbited,
I am not proud, I am just taking orders,
I fall to the ground within hours of impact,
I hit back when hit and attack when attacked.

And I am an accident waiting to happen,
I'm laughing like mad as you strangle the captain,
My place may be taken but make no mistake,
From a little black box, I can say without shame

That you've lost, that you've lost
Do you know what you've lost?

So take whatever you'd like, I'll strike like the states on fire.
You won't sleep very tight, no hiding, no safe covers,
Make your bed and now lie just like you always do,
You can fake it for the papers but I'm on to you, I'm on to you..."