So The Pirate never bothered responding to my email. 5 months of speaking every day, 6 months ‘together’ – and he just gets to walk away when it all gets a bit complicated. Fucking MEN. Where are his manners, if nothing else? I am owed a goodbye. I am definitely owed thanks for all the work I put into his business. I deserve more than nothing, don’t I?
And god I miss him. I don’t miss the uncertainty and self-doubt, and in lots of ways I feel better now than I have for weeks, but I really do miss him. He’s been there for half a year. And now he’s gone, just like that. I don’t regret ending it. The words needed to be said (though when I read them back, they do make me sound a little bit… intense. When will I learn not to write anything when I am *feeling* it?!).
I have taken to stalking him on Match.com again. He never took down or hid his profile and in the early days, I used to get these twitchy, witchy feelings that he was online and lo, he always was. I’d wink at him, he’d give some bullshit excuse for why he was on there and then lamely try and turn it around on me: why was *I* logged in?
Because I’m a suspicious bitch, you fool. No other reason. You will never find anyone more faithful than me. It’s a fucking flaw, quite frankly.
He logged in for the first time in a week today. I don’t know what this information is doing for me. It’s not helping, that’s for sure. Did my email make him sad enough not to go fishing for girls for a whole week? That’s how long it takes to get over me? Awesome.
I hate that I let him get under my skin. I hate that. I let my guard down. In fairness, Dad dying didn’t help matters in that regard. It tipped things over from wanting The Pirate to *needing* him. But for fuck’s sake. He didn’t just use me. He used me knowing I was grieving for my Dad. What kind of parasite is the man?
Oh, and I now have conjunctivitis too. My body really hates me. Though I did get the thrush sorted. And got the chemist to look at my eczema at the same time. And I shaved my legs tonight! Still.
I remember learning in Religious Studies that the sacraments are an outward sign of an inward grace. All my outward signs at the moment point to an inner self that is rotten, raw, angry and looking for somewhere to vent forth boils and streams of yellow gunge. Lovely.
I’m not dating again. Ever.
That might be a lie. But I’m definitely off men for at least the next 500 years. Seriously. I’m cocooning myself in a chrysalis of foulness to ward off invaders.
I’ve stopped wearing make-up and can’t be arsed to see the doctor about the horrible eczema/leprosy thing going on around my nose and mouth. To add to the general Decay of D, my hair has decided to be greasy too and my nurse rang today to say the results of my smear are clear but I have thrush*. Oh, and I have an awful zombie pallor thanks to my own cold, and thick patches of crusty yellow ectoplasm all over me/my clothes thanks to The Boy’s cold.**
Yeah. I’ve been in better shape. But I don’t care. However, if I’m not dating, what, exactly, shall I write about now?
It has already been established that this blog has gone horribly off-piste. It never really managed to be a bright and breezy look at the sexploits of a newly single mother. That was a hopeless ambition anyway. I’m not really famed for my easy breeziness. Everything must have meaning. I’m the opposite of a breeze. Heavy, leaden, cloying, claustrophobic. The airless feeling before a storm. But you know, some people find that sexy. The ones that don’t get pressure headaches. And the ones that aren’t scared of thunder and lightning.
My friend told me I need to get back into the saddle before I let the damage caused by my ex-husband and The Pirate turn me into a bitter, man-hating shrew. I started writing a new Match.com profile in my head:
‘Kind, warm, generous and loving girl seeks emotionally available boy capable of demonstrating love and commitment. Must have curly hair, be willing to wear Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir aftershave and able to call me a ‘good girl’ in bed without either of us pissing ourselves laughing.’
Yeah. Not ready for the whole saddle thing.
So what to write? This could all get quite random…
*Really hope The Pirate has it too. Hope his dick looks like this. Ha!
**To the actual Pirate blogger who invited me over to his little bit of the US Virgin Islands for the weekend – still want me to come?!
I broke up with The Pirate. Yes, me! I did the breaking up. Didn’t see that coming, didya…?
Well. I say I broke up with him. I rang him to talk about ‘us’ on Sunday night and he didn’t answer – must have been feeling extra-specially in tune with the universe and knew not to take that call – and it was the straw that broke this grumpy bitch camel’s back.
I wrote him an email telling him how his behaviour makes me feel and what I want from a relationship. I told him that it’s been 6 months and we’re no closer to any kind of commitment than on day one. He can’t give me what I want, I don’t want this any more regardless of how intoxicatingly delicious he smells, and it’s over.
Whether he’s actually read my email, I do not know. It’s entirely possible that he still thinks I’m his go-to booty call. Oh well.
It was the right thing. It IS the right thing. But it is taking all of my willpower not to ring him up and:
a) Shout at him for ignoring me while I’m walking out of his life.
b) Cry and ask him why I wasn’t enough for him. What I did wrong. What it is about me that isn’t actually that loveable.
c) Just find out how he is. He’s quite depressed right now. I worry about him.
And I can’t stop crying and all I can think about are the good times. Happily there weren’t that many, it isn’t going to occupy me for very long, but oh. At his best, that man was fucking splendid.
I see myself naked in a hotel room, sitting between his legs facing away from him, and leaning against his chest. Not leaning, actually. His left arm is holding me tight against him in a vice grip, his thighs gripping me in place. I can’t move an inch. He is so, so strong. And he’s touching me with his free hand, fingering me, playing with me, and it feels so good that I arch my back – no. I can’t move. He won’t let me. He pulls me tighter against him and whispers in my ear: ‘Come. Come for me, now. That’s it. Good girl. Good girl…’
It’s the ‘good girl’ bit that gets me. Out of context, a little bit Lassie. In context, my god. So fucking sexy. And not the kind of thing you can ask future lovers to replicate, really. Kinda has to come naturally, otherwise it’s a bit Barbara Woodhouse.
I’m in his living room. It’s late, and we’re with two of his friends. They’re all drunk, I’m not. The Pirate unlocks his rifle and gets it out (licensed and unloaded – he hunts) – I can’t remember why. I’ve never seen a gun before, and ask to hold it. It’s heavy, really heavy, and really beautiful. Ornate engraving. I run my fingers over it, feel the weight in my hands, look through the sights. The Pirate sits opposite me in a swiveling egg chair. He’s slouched low in the chair, legs wide apart, swinging the chair from side to side. He watches me with the gun, and his eyes are narrowed, predatory, appraising, and totally fixed on me. I’m holding a deadly weapon but feel as vulnerable as a kitten.
I come down to the bar to meet him for dinner, and he’s not there. I ask the barman where my gentleman friend has gone. ‘Outside, for a cigarette.’ The Pirate, who only smokes when drunk, is supposed to be quitting. I go out to find him, mock-cross. I find that he isn’t smoking at all. He’s picking me a small bunch of lavender from the garden. I have an ear of it still tucked on my pinboard, behind the bar bill from another debauched night in which we drank our way through the debt of a small country.
The night my dad died, on my doorstep, massive bouquet of sunflowers, bottle of wine, bag full of comfort food.
In the car park of a restaurant we went to a couple of times, the morning after the night before. I drop him off to pick up his van and drive off, looking back to see an expression of such unguarded tenderness on his face. That was the last time I saw him.
I could write down all the bad bits – more than I have already – and they definitely, positively outweigh the good. But my god, he was magnificent. I call him The Pirate but in my head he’s a stag. A glorious, wild, noble, untameable creature.
He doesn’t think he’s magnificent. He hates himself. He can’t see what I do. Did. More testosterone per inch than should strictly be legal and not a bit macho. Funny. Incredibly charming. Intelligent. Self-deprecating. So very, very handsome. And a unique smell all of his own. Raspberry and Rosemary. My Pirate. RIP.
Not in hope. I’m not in a very hopeful place at the moment. My twat of a bastard ex-husband destroyed my self-confidence and faith in men. The twat of a bastard Pirate has made sure neither will come back for a long, long time. I appear to have all the judgement of a Labrador puppy, running round in circles blindly trusting any and everyone.
No. I’m just holding my breath. It helps. Whenever a wave of badness comes, I breathe in and hold it. I suspect I should breathe through it, oxygenate my cells, reduce the panic. But no. I’m holding my breath.
The worst thing is the rejection. I wasn’t enough for my husband. I am not enough – or possibly too much – for The Pirate. How do you find the person that you are just right for? I’m like Goldilocks – how many beds will I have to try out before I find the right one for me?
Or maybe the worst thing is that I’ll never know whether he was using me or not. AND THE BASTARD WEBSITE STILL ISN’T FINISHED.
Or perhaps it’s that, even though I tried really hard not to, depersonalising him as The Pirate and keeping myself back, I fell for the fucker anyway.
How do people do this? Put themselves out there, open themselves up to rejection over and over again? How do they not take it personally? How, exactly, do you pick yourself up off the floor and start again?
Apologies for all the swearing.
Even by his own impressively rubbish standards, The Pirate has reached new levels of shit. I can’t help but be crude – we’re talking post-curry shit. Toxic.
He was supposed to be coming over for dinner tonight. 80% certain – he’d text me to let me know.
He hasn’t texted. He hasn’t called. He hasn’t emailed. He has, in fact, disappeared. And without responding to the text I sent at 7pm: ‘Am assuming you’re not free for dinner, then…’
Here’s a thing. How do you break up with someone when you’re pretty sure you aren’t a couple?
How do you break up with someone when you’ve only just realised that you actually really like them?
I don’t know if it’s a quality of skin or flesh, but I bruise easily.
I rarely remember how I got them. I have just had a post-shower count-up and right now I’m sporting 22 bruises, most of them on my legs, and only one of which I remember getting (back of left hand, door handle in bathroom).
After the first night with The Pirate, I was covered in bruises. He grabs and pushes and pinches and restrains – it’s all playful and the right side of too hard, but still definitely too hard for my peachy flesh.
I remember going in to work the week after and a colleague commenting: “Ooh, look at the bruises on your arms! It looks just like someone has pinned you down…” It speaks volumes about his innocence that he even overlayed his fingers into the pattern left by The Pirate, and didn’t twig that the bruises were indeed from a good pinning down session.
So I suppose it makes perfect sense that my ego bruises easily as well. Have just got off the phone from The Pirate. Another call where I didn’t get my ‘turn’, where he offloaded and ranted and railed at the world and then disappeared to deal with a printer crisis without even a cursory “how are you?”. I joke with my friend that that’s all the next man will need to do to get me into bed. Just ask me how my day was. He doesn’t even have to listen to the answer…
I don’t know who is more selfish – The Pirate for consistently forgetting that I am a human being, and a sensitive female one at that, or me for expecting him to have anything left for me when he is so, so busy. He’s working to a deadline at the minute, an extremely important one that he is woefully unprepared for. This Friday is D-Day. At about 5pm on Friday, he will be free of it.
Hands up who thinks he’ll transform into a doting boyfriend then? Anyone? Sigh…
I suppose I should just be grateful he took the call. Which is a measure of how fucked up this is. I am grateful that the person I am sleeping with deigns to take my calls.
When I write it all down, it is crystal clear that, at best, we are just not temperamentally suited. I am too high maintenance, he is too self-centred, we both need someone who is the yin to our yang. At worst, he is a selfish using bastard. I see all of this, and yet I am incapable of moving on from him.
I had a moment last night, on the phone to him. He is facing problems of such magnitude that, were they mine, I would have just given up. Waved a white flag, crawled into bed and slept my way through my house being repossessed. But he doesn’t give up. He fights, and he works harder, and he drags extra energy up from fuck knows where and he keeps on going. It is very, very impressive. So he was telling me about how he plans to turn the situation around, and on one level I was listening, but on a deeper one I was Alabama from True Romance: ‘You’re so cool, you’re so cool, you’re so cool.’
And right then, he got my heart. Which is really bad news. Because I have built this wall around me. It lets stuff out, but not in, like Goretex or something. I can criticise The Pirate for not caring, but I don’t make it easy. I fully accept that dating me must be very confusing – I freely give my support and attention, I shower him with gifts, I am physically demonstrative, but I give nothing of myself away. The Pirate doesn’t really know me. And with him it’s the opposite – he gives everything away except support, attention, gifts and physical gestures. (Gosh. IS he the yin to my yang after all?)
Anyway. I should not have given my heart to this reckless, feckless man. Because now it’s outside my wall. It’s passed through and it’s out there, all slippery and vulnerable and bruised and bleeding, in the hands of a man who doesn’t even know he holds it. Doesn’t have the first clue. And I don’t know how to get it back. I didn’t mean to give my heart to someone who doesn’t want it. It should have gone to someone who would cherish it. How has this happened?
I forgot to tell you. The other night The Boy woke in the night at some ungodly hour. I got up to go and see what he needed – usually covering up with his duvet, occasionally a snuggle, he likes to mix things up a bit – and my Dad came with me.
I was walking down the hall to The Boy’s room, and my Dad was walking down the hall to The Boy’s room too. He was wearing one of his leather jackets with the tassles on the arms, and a sweatshirt. He hasn’t worn a tassley leather for a good 20 years. I can’t decide if that means he definitely was a figment of my imagination – surely actual Dad would come wearing more recent clothes? – or if it means he definitely wasn’t a figment of my imagination – if I’d have imagined him, surely it would have been in one of the outfits I last saw him in? Maybe they’re having an 80s revival over on the other side…
Did that last paragraph make any sense? Or at least, about as much sense as me walking down the hall with my dead Dad in the wee small hours of the morning?
It just felt normal, like ‘of course my dead Dad is coming to tuck The Boy in too.’ And then, when the ‘dead Dad’ bit hit my brain, I got a bit scared and Dad whooshed off. He definitely whooshed, diagonally right.
I may not have been quite awake. Let’s leave it at that.
And a dead Dad thing that doesn’t warrant its own post but that made me laugh. I had a couple of weeks off work when he died. During that time, I was supposed to be mentoring a work experience student at work. I HATE work experience students. It’s basically just babysitting. One of my colleagues stepped in for me, and when I returned there was two days of this kid’s placement left.
D: “Are you OK to carry on mentoring Joe?”
Colleague: “Um, not really – I kind of have a lot on and hoped you could do it…”
D: (wide eyed) “But Simon, my Dad’s dead…”
Colleague: “Oh, gosh, um, I know, and if it helps… (sees me trying not to laugh) Oh bugger off. He’s yours…”
If you’re going to have a dead Dad, may as well try and get some laughs out of it. Just me laughing, then…?