The art of getting laid - Day 4Submitted by Spam at 2008-08-14 21:54:22 EDT
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Sleeping on a bench is no fun at all but believe me my friends, when I tell you that waking up on one is far, far worse.
I drag myself upright and my head starts to spin almost immediately but this is actually a good thing I suppose, as it distracts me for a few seconds from the utter agony racking my entire weather-beaten body. Blearily, I take a look around at my surroundings and realise that I’ve got absolutely no idea where I am or how to get home.
But I can remember.
I remember the perfection of the girl I met last night and the mutual joy in our shared connection and instant rapport. I remember the disappointment of learning that I’d wasted my time and the pain of watching her walk away after I fucked it all up.
And I remember watching Scott's sister fuck somebody else in the middle of the living room mere minutes after sucking my cock in the kitchen.
I sink my head in my hands and try to take the pain of the world falling into focus when providence draws my attention to the half smoked spliff still resting between my fingers and the rain soaked bottle of vodka lying on the floor by my feet. I draw deeply from both to settle myself as I shiveringly try to piece together the shattered fragments of last night.
And my universe falls apart when I see that I'm clutching my mobile phone in my other hand because really, as drunk as I was last night, this can only mean one thing.
*****7.35am: SHE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED*****
*****INCOMING MESSAGE - SHE WHO MUST NOT NAMED*****
***What does that mean? is everything okay Honey? Please call me, I miss you. xxx.***
There's a second there, thankfully brief, where her spell works on me yet again and I believe - really believe - that she means it, that she does miss me and maybe, just maybe, we might be able to make another go of it. And again, it's fucking tough to shake it because this girl's so good at being sweet that for the longest time you'll think she's perfect, the loveliest girl you've ever met, but by the time you realise that the sugar was all fake, the cancer’s set in and you're already terminal.
But I aint going down that road again.
*****REPLY TO - SHE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED*****
***Sorry. Was really drunk. Won't happen again I assure you***
I slide my phone into my inside pocket, pick a random direction and set off on my long journey to the train station and then home.
Sunday: Day 4 - Claire
Claire loves me with the kind of complete sincerity that I find as mysterious as I do unsettling and as she stares longingly at me with big doe eyes through her thick nerdy glasses and greasy brown hair I feel like slapping her round the face and screaming at her to move on to somebody more worthwhile, somebody who deserves this kind of boundless adoration that she’s so willing to waste on me.
And it’s fucking irritatingly ironic really, because if she loved me a little less, enough to tell me to fuck off and stop acting like a prick from time to time, then things may have worked out for us those years ago when we were seeing each other. But she couldn’t and they didn’t and so instead here we are, meeting at our old pub for the first time since that disastrous night a few months back when we got back together for a one time only fuck.
“You look tired” She says softly in the meek voice which I used to find so disarming.
I don’t say anything because I know she’s right. I’m falling apart at the seams and the last 3 days of drink, drugs, depression and sleep deprivation have left me a stretched out husk of the man she was hoping to meet today. Deep down, I know I should have gone home, got some sleep and spent the evening wallowing in the memories of my failed weekend as soon as I got back into town but I couldn’t, I had to see this all out, ride the wave to it’s rightful conclusion. Even if already know what that is.
“How did your weekend go?” She asks
The derision in the snort I respond with is so profound that it racks her with the kind of concern you only really reserve for the terminally ill and she takes my hand in hers and looks at me with eyes that glitter with sympathy.
And I’m too fucked to lie, too broken, too ruined. So I recount my tale, unabridged and with no embellishments, exactly as I have to you.
The shocked silence as I finish telling my story to this straight-laced teetotaller is punctuated by the sound of my phone gently vibrating it’s way across the table.
***INCOMING CALL – SHE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED***
It’s silenced immediately but not before Claire can raise a quizzical eyebrow at me and ask why I didn’t want to pick up the call.
And again, I’m too messed up to lie so I explain to her that I couldn’t because I’m too scared, scared that I won’t have the balls to say what need to be said, that I’ll fall back into the honey trap and let this girl string me along for a few more weeks. And the worst part of it all is that somewhere in the back of my mind, I’ve almost convinced myself that the extra couple of weeks I’d get to spend with her would actually be worth the inevitable pain and heartbreak I’d suffer after it all went tits up again.
And I only really realise this after I’ve said the words to Claire.
“God that’s pathetic” I say.
There’s a contemplative silence that goes on for a little too long before Claire finally speaks to me.
“I hurts, doesn’t it?” And there’s an edge to her tone that I’ve never heard before but quite like.
“Being dumped by somebody you love”
It’s not rocket science to catch the underlying meaning of her words, the semi-gloat of somebody watching the karmic cycle doing it’s work, but still, what’s hidden deeper is that she means it, that she actually cares, feels sorry for me.
There’s not much else to say.
But what I don’t see until much later is how much of a prick I’m being, how fucking tactless and cruel it is to be bitching and moaning about your unrequited love to somebody whose love in fact, you do not yourself requite. The worst thing about it is the realisation that I’m doing the same thing to this girl as Nikki did to me and god knows how she'll respond. Especially after last time.
As ever when I think about our last encounter, my gaze falls to her wrists and the scars which have faded but will never truly heal.
“I should probably be off” I say, draining my glass.
She grabs my wrist as I get up to leave and for a second I think she’s about to say something stupid or uncomfortable but as I’m about to motion to her to stop I am silenced by the tears welling in her eyes.
“I don’t think we should see each other again Sam.” She says.
And It’s a shock, because frankly, I hadn’t planned on seeing her again anyway but she’s so intensely shy, so reserved, that I just shut up and sit there quietly, marvelling at the amount of effort this outburst is taking her.
“It’s too hard for me, seeing you like this…”
She trails off and I nod encouragingly.
“You’re a fucking prick Sam,” she whispers haltingly between unshed tears, “and I hate you for what you did to me when we broke up…. But even after all the heartbreak and suffering you caused, I still really want you… And if you asked me home with you right now, I’d go.”
Being called a hateful prick in the same speech where I’m offered sex is a lot to take in and, as I look at her, I realise how fragile it is, this façade of hers, how easy it would be to erase everything bad she’s ever said or thought about me and start all over again by just leaning forward and brushing back one of the rogue strands of hair obscuring her face.
So I lean forward.
“I think you’re probably right girl.”
I kiss her on the forehead paternally before sliding out the door, knowing that this time, I really will never see her again.
My own bed for the first time in almost a week and I still can’t sleep. For the hundredth time I wonder if it was really worth it, these last 4 days of debauched excess, if I really did achieve anything by it. If I have it certainly wasn’t what I set out accomplish.
I reflect on how desperate I was those first few days, the lengths I was willing to go to for some kind of base satisfaction, something to remind myself that I’m worthwhile. I think about Julie and her drunken declarations of love that felt so profound at the time but really, in the cold light of day, meant fuck all. About Hannah and her twisted manipulation of our encounter, using me to wound her jilted ex-fiancée. Michelle and her flagrant disregard for propriety, how her lustful hunger for gratification led her to do things which surely, will haunt and disgust her in years to come if she ever really has the time to look back on them with a clinical eye.
But mainly I think about Claire and that short speech that was so painful for her. How small and weak she seemed, holding that torch for so long only to finally douse it because to her at least, it was better to spend her days in the dark.
And it’s not too difficult to see the parallels there, between these girls and I. How willing I was to assure Julie I loved her too, how, like Hannah, I tried to get back at Nikki by sleeping with the first available person, and how close I came to fucking Michelle on her brother’s kitchen counter.
How like Claire I am in not wanting to cut ties with Nikki yet, how the purgatory of not answering her calls and moving in any kind of direction feels reassuring because as much as things suck right now, at least I know where I’m at.
Everything I’ve seen and done in the last four days shows a side of sex that suddenly I find myself repulsed by, but even worse, I can’t shake the feeling that it had nothing to do with sex at all and instead maybe it was just humanity that repulsed me. Myself included.
I guess the main thing I’ve taken away from this is that I don’t want to be like these girls and If I’m going to ever stop that from happening, I need to do something about it straight away.
*****INCOMING CALL – SHE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED*****
Hi, It’s me, Nikki.
How are you?
Fucking shit. How are you?
I’m great thanks for asking, things are going really well with Ash and…
Jesus Christ you tactless cunt, what sort of person call their jilted ex and says that within 5 lines of conversation? I don’t feel shit about things anymore and I realise that I don’t have a single ounce of feeling for this twat left in me - somewhere, amongst the ever increasing drama of the last few days, my obsessing has shifted away from her and onto myself. In a flash I realise that possibly I never really loved her, just enjoyed the feeling of having somebody there who understood, who’d back me up. And she’s not that person anymore.
But I’m not Claire, and so when I cut ties I’m a lot stronger, harsher.
Nikki, there’s something I need to say to you…
As ever, I can’t remember what I say to her, it’s all just reflex. When you’ve known somebody that well for that long, you don’t need to think about how to hurt them, you just do. I take no pleasure from her tears as each carefully calculated word hits home on every soft spot I know with surgical precision. I merely do it because really, it’s all just stuff she needs to hear.
And when I hang up the phone all of a sudden I’m exhausted, absolutely bone-weary, and for the first time since that cloudy Wednesday afternoon, I close my eyes with a content smile, safe in the knowledge that I can sleep in the peaceful certainty that for better or worse, I’ll never hear from that girl again.
Epilogue – 2 weeks later
Amy joins me on the sun dappled smoking terrace and for the first time in the four or five hours I’ve known her she isn’t wearing her trademark grin and her normal energetic bounce has been replaced by a shoulder-slumped trudge.
“What’s up girl?”
And It makes sense to me because He is the reason she and I have been getting on so brilliantly, spending our time together discussing our respective ex’s and exchanging views on how we dealt with our joint heartbreak. Except I see all the signs that she’s not where I am, not finished with it all just yet, not ready.
I look at her sad face and take in her features with a grin and realise that I don’t care if she’s ready, because I am, I’m ready enough for the both of us.
“You know, you look much prettier when you’re smiling”
She snorts and rubs the tears from her eyes before they start to stream down her face.
“That’s a fucking god-awful line” She laughs as she says it and I know that everything’s going to work out with this one
“Come on, let’s get out of here.”
“You’re so fucking cheesy Sam, you know that don’t you?”
But she takes my arm anyway and, just for her, I make a point out of marching past Him and cracking a joke in her ear as we pass so that the last thing He sees as we leave is the girl he fucked over on my arm doubled over with laughter.
“Where are we going?”
“My place.” I say
“Isn’t it a bit early for that?”
I know It’s only mock resistance because a couple of weeks ago I was exactly where she is and I know what she needs, or at least what she thinks she needs.
“Yeah, but I’m guessing you haven’t had sex since you and Jay split up – we’ve got a lot of time to make up for.”
She puts on a shocked expression but yet again she doesn’t refuse and merely remains silent so I put my arm around her shoulders and immediately her's snakes it’s way around my waist as we walk and there’s something about it that feels so natural, like we’ve been doing this for years, known each other all our lives. She must feel it too because her next quip is full of banter and bravado.
“When was the last time you got any anyway Studly?”
I just laugh.
“What’s so Funny?”
“It’s a very long story.”
“Well if you don’t tell me it’ll be a little bit longer then won’t it?”
And I can’t help but laugh again as I begin.
“Well it all started when I was sitting on my sofa one cloudy Wednesday afternoon…”
She leans into me as we walk through the tree lined summer streets, listening to my tale, the same story I've just recounted to you, unedited and unabridged. And for the first time since I started this saga, my story ends with the sun shining on my smiling face.