## Monday, 26 September 2016

### Heavy Breathing

I once went through a period of writing songs about one specific person. Most of my songs are about people - I have an irritating habit of channeling my unrequited affections into word rather than deed - but this one specific person I rarely saw. Every time I did see her, I found her more and more attractive, and although I wrote songs, I didn't think she'd ever hear any of them... although, actually, she did; not that she clocked that they were about her.

She didn't really realise any of it. That the songs were about her or that I was sending her things to try and drop hints. Buying some little stones that referred to her name or painting the name of a song by the band I liked onto a felt heart for her. I stopped short of writing a love letter, but still, I tried to make some sort of intimation. I went so far as to declare that "I have never had a secret admirer" during a game of "I Have Never".

Somebody pointed out that you may not know if you have ever had a secret admirer. She didn't drink either way.

Once, on a holiday weekend, she was a little tipsy and had been going around snogging people. She was looking, although not very hard, for a fourth person to kiss, and I found myself in a room with several other people... and her.

"Who wants to get off with me?" she shouted from her position (lying supine on one of the beds).
"I'll get off with you, if you like," I said, surprised by my sudden boldness.

For all the physical contact that was going on at these things, I never really got a lot of action. Hugs, yes. I was a safe space, a non-threatening boy that was nice to hug, but wasn't going to try anything. I also wasn't very attractive. But, this time, I was actually going to go for it, act out the fantasy of a guilt-free kiss with the girl I'd been obsessed with for years.

After dithering for a while and exchanging a look with another person in the room, I walked as briskly as I could over to where she was lying, bent down...

...and we kissed.

That was it. That was as far as it went. At first, I wasn't even sure she knew it was me (although another game of "I Have Never" clarified that she did, in fact, know it was me), having only once kissed a drunk person before and that was my girlfriend. Nevertheless, it was a really nice kiss. I just wished, at the time, that it had lasted longer.

And I scuttled out of the room.

It was unreal. I'd never kissed anyone I fancied completely randomly, and suddenly I had. It may seem like something small, but to me, it was a big deal. I felt wanton and sullen, and it took a dance to the whole of Build Me Up Buttercup to bring me out of my rêverie. Whether or not I saw her again (I did) or it went any further (it didn't), at least I had this one memory, a light in the darkness, just to remind me of what happens if you take a chance.

As you can probably tell, this meant more to me than it did to her at the time. And I doubt she even remembers it... but I certainly do. I did write a song about it, you see...

## Friday, 23 September 2016

### Alicia vs. Rue

Back in 2006 I used to work with a guy I'll call Rue. He was a fairly nice bloke (despite the fact that he had tattoos on his arms of several different girls' names; none of them, he said, were real), and I ran into him a couple of times en route to work. I don't think we had much in common - despite the fact that we had both seen the film Kidulthood and he made an obscure Knightmare reference once ("Is everything done on Levels 1, 2 and 3?") which only I laughed at (okay, maybe we had more in common than I thought!) - but we got on okay.

At the time I was also sleeping with Alicia. This dreamlike, slightly unreal arrangement didn't last too long - it was never a relationship, just that old cliché of friends who have sex - but it broke the dry spell I'd had throughout university and the year beyond and was mutually beneficial (she had many orgasms; I got to have sex; we both got to eat hummus and discuss current affairs while fingering on the sofa). It was through my sex with Alicia that I disovered my penchant for oral, for which I am eternally grateful.

The amount of energy I had at 21 was amazing.

I had two jobs at the time - a midweek one and a weekend one. The weekend one - which actually made me money; the other one was voluntary - involved working with Rue. Alicia, who also worked during the week, was quite receptive to an evening visit and accompanying shag on Saturday nights, after which we'd sleep together and I'd get dressed into a spare uniform and head back into central London for my Sunday shift. I also, occasionally, went to see her during the week after occasional forays into London for music/arts-related events (go to band; play the triangle; sex with lady), but the weekend bits were often the best.

After a while two people managed to cotton onto the fact that I went "missing" on Saturday nights: H, whom I immediately told everything to (while standing behind the counter at work - it made for good conversation), and my mum, who I didn't. While my sister found out (although quite how...) and told everyone she could, including Robinson et al. and her boyfriend-of-the-moment, I needed a plausible excuse to provide the older members of my family.

Rue was that excuse.

He was a known entity to my mother, but only in passing; a shadow, an unknown quantity with an unusual name. Improvising wildly, I came up with what was essentially a very believable lie: Rue had come into some money and was renting a nice flat somewhere in Harrow (Alicia lived, and still does live, in Harrow - hence the idea.). Being single and well-to-do, he was holding all-night social gatherings, with sleepovers, in his flat, mostly on Saturday nights with his work colleagues. This was where I was going, and from where I came back on Sunday evenings, tired out from two days of retail work and wild humping sleepovers at Rue's.

And so things continued. I worked during the week and got experience; I worked during the weekend and got money. Alicia lay on her back and had multiple orgasms. H laughed, my sister gossiped and I had sex. Rue, who had absolutely no idea anything was going on, seemed to accept my context-free, unsolicited thank-yous and occasional slaps on the back with nothing more than polite befuddlement and requests of where be could find a picture of a cat for his next tattoo (I suggested JLA: Earth-2; he settled on Maus, also a good choice).

Alicia told me, just before Christmas 2006, that the physical side of things between us was over (to be fair, I had known it was coming), but that she still wanted to be friends. She championed my subsequent year of failed attempts to find someone else to have sex with, amazed that I wasn't having any luck (I, however, was far from amazed). At the same time, I decided to tell my mum that Rue had decided to move to Brighton and therefore his weekend sleepovers were terminated.

This wasn't far from the truth. Rue did actually move to Brighton. He just didn't move until months after I told her this.

Shortly before I left that job, I was heading off to one of my final weekends at work when there was no service on the National Rail (now London Overground) line I used to take into London. My mum kindly drove me to a local tube station, and as she was parking up, I noticed - who else? - Rue, who had himself been somewhere he probably shouldn't overnight, and was making his own way to work.

"Hey, I know that guy!" I said. "He's one of my colleagues from work."
"Oh?" asked my mother, intrigued. "Who's that?"

He's the guy with the unusual name whose fictitious flat I kept pretending to go to in the evenings, but that didn't actually happen, I was just having sex with a friendly older woman named Alicia; he was just a very convenient excuse.

## Monday, 19 September 2016

### Porn King on Campus

It was two in the morning and,for the first time in what seemed like forever, I was in a very deep sleep. It was a miracle; the bed I was in had never been (and would never be) comfortable in any way whatsoever. I'd had sex in it once; that was good. The only other discernible use for it, sleeping notwithstanding, was to sit on it while watching Princess Mononoke on my laptop.

I'd been at university for half a year and had underestimated just how small the rooms would be. Nowadays, of course, to get a room of that quality would price me completely out of my budget (it cost my parents £1,000 for the whole year, but that was in 2003, and in a completely different city which is so relaxed that people ACTUALLY STAND ON ESCALATORS!); I was quite grateful to room in university hall in summer last year... it was, after all, quiet!

Having managed to make my room quite homely by lining up a stack of Astérix books and putting posters from the Pokémon manga up on the wall, I was gradually becoming a little more comfortable. My university didn't provide broadband in the rooms(!), but I'd used the first day to go into the city to buy a flylead splitter, and ended up hacking the 'phone line to get a serviceable dial-up connection. That was important to me, and gave me the status of "that geek in Block M with the Internet in his room". Could've been worse things to be.

I had stayed up late finishing an essay that was due in the following week, and had had a drink, a snack, a wank, and a read. I was genuinely asleep.

"Oi! Got any porn, mate?"

It was the holler that awoke me; I didn't need the subsequent hammering on the door and the yelling of my nickname to do so. I sat up, rigid with shock and something approaching anger, as the shuffling of several pairs of feet outside my door continued. It was a week night, and if I didn't do something, everyone else in my corridor would be awoken by the shouting and battering.

Of course, I didn't do anything. I sat there for a good five minutes with my eyes shut tight as the assault on my door continued. In the end, hoping to fend off their advances, I flopped out of bed, pulled on my pyjamas and ambled across to open it.

On the threshold stood one of the other guys living in my corridor. He'd had the good fortune to get the huge room in the corner, big enough to house nearly everyone in Block M. Behind him stood a horde of what looked, sounded and was acting like zombies, evidently in various states of intoxication; one, I noticed, was unconscious. I didn't recognise any of them at all, but they all had a dreadful leer. I was on the verge of pushing the panic button when I suddenly realised that no such button existed.

"Hey dude," said the one I knew, "can we please borrow your Emmanuelle porn disc?"
"I have an Emmanuelle porn disc?" I mumbled, trying to sound as sleepy as possible (which wasn't difficult), and using the interrogative voice to sound like I was mystified by this concept. Lies, of course: I had two, alongside Femalien II and The Exotic Time Machine II (which I later sold). Exactly how he knew I had at least one, when I hadn't told anyone anything, was confusing. I certainly hadn't been playing it that loudly (I hope...), and unless he'd broken into my room...

...oh.

"No you can't," I mumbled, deliberately avoiding his gaze. "It's very bad porn, porn very bad. I think I'm going to to sell it." And I gave a yawn - a real one.

This seemed to satisfy him, and he bid me adieu, setting off for his much larger room with his gaggle of followers in tow (being dragged by the heels in the case of the unconscious one), one of them bemoaning the fact that they weren't going to be getting any porn to watch. I doubt they would have enjoyed Emmanuelle, anyway: probably too much plot between the sex scenes. I wouldn't even classify it as porn, really.

I closed my door, locked it from the inside, shuffled back to bed, clicked the lights off, lay back down... and, of course, completely failed to get back to sleep.

## Saturday, 17 September 2016

### Arousal

For the past week I've been back at work, following a couple of weeks off. It's changed a little since I was last there - with the requisite amounts of mess to clear up and dodgy administration still in situ. I've also been lumbered with various types of illness, making the days I do a bit of a slog; I've kept going in despite this - it's the first week back and, you know, I need money.

My afternoons and evenings have been passing in a haze of tiredness, and with fatigue comes arousal. I don't sleep much (I find it difficult to sleep even when I'm meant to...), but I have been - through necessity! - taking periods of lacklustre rest, lying on the bed in various positions or reclining in my straight-backed, hard computer chair.

Which is, of course, uncomfortable. I don't get much of a choice.

It's in these periods that I'm at my horniest. It doesn't even come from the images my brain conjures up (although those can be present when I want them to) or the soft, warm presence of my girlfriend when we're in bed together (although that is, of course, a plus). In my sleep-deprived, inactive malaise, I find myself with a vague, untraceable, sexual craving. It's not even that specific - just an increased heart rate, a light-headedness and throbbing ache between my legs, like the euphoria before orgasm.

Without the orgasm.

My girlfriend left for work this morning at a relatively early hour. I was still in bed, lying on my front; she was pottering around, getting dressed. I was talking, occasionally (if you count zombie-like grunts and a language that probably hasn't been invented yet), but on the whole I was more distracted by my own body. My cock - smooth, hard and firm - was pressed under my belly, the ghostland between sleep and wakefulness bringing with it the arousal (and related erection). As it grew, I felt the repetitive throb course through me, every heartbeat making me hungier, needier, stiff with lust.

I found myself agreeing to go and get her some drinks from the shop in her absence, in lieu of saying something like, "actually, I don't want you to go to work at all; I want you to stay here, be naked and have me inside you for several hours, then I'll go and get the drinks, come back and take you all over again," which is more or less what I wanted to say. Loquacious as I am, however, I certainly couldn't get those words out. The most I could manage was, "I want to fuck you," and true though that may have been, the sentence only made it as far as my brain. My mouth really wasn't co-operating.

I went back to sleep after she left. Actual sleep - I'll take it when I can get it, it's a rare commodity these days - with an odd dream involving Sookie Stackhouse (despite having never read the books or seen a single second of True Blood, I'm aware of the name). This more peaceful, more restful slumber came to a natural end a couple of hours later, and in the fuzz that followed with me lying in bed, unwilling to leave, I began to feel the burn once again.

As it is on the bus to work. As it is on the train. As it is during the erotica reading at Sh!. As it is in the coffee shop. As it is when shuffling to the shop to actually buy the drinks I promised.

And so we spend our busy days.

## Sunday, 11 September 2016

### Soft Porn Sunday: Jacqueline Lovell & Isabella DuMaurier

Something I've often thought about (and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person to have thought about it, although as for who else even would...), and would expound upon it here in excruciating, geeky detail (but won't, because it could be an entirely different post and I'd be denying myself content!), is how much the length of a sex scene contributes to its quality. Whereas I find the longer scenes a little tiresome, I enjoy them more if the sex starts happening quickly; the shorter scenes often seem a little of a let-down, insofar as nothing much happens for a while and then doesn't end up happening at all.

The fact that my memory retained both the title of this film and the exact scene this is is one that I can't explain. It's just over a minute long, doesn't feature any sex and, to cap it all, is a lesbian scene, something I don't usually like in soft porn.

Mind you, it's easier to explain than this film's title.

Appearance: Lolida 2000 (1998)
Characters: Lolita & Mina

 Lollipop, lollipop...
Before you ask, no, it isn't. This film has nothing at all do to with Vladimir Nabokov's novel Lolita, nor is it really anything to do with the year 2000. The title is completely mystifying, even with the unofficial subtitle The Forbidden Stories (which makes it sound just as risky as Lolita). They're also not fooling anyone by substituting a D for the T in the title - I suspect a canny move to avoid paying copyright - justified by the main character being called Lolita.

Confused yet? Because I am!

Okay, so, Lolida 2000 (sigh) is a series of three "forbidden" erotic stories, all with a sci-fi bent (hence the "2000", presented as things you're not meant to see being displayed illegally by a renegade named Lolita, played by Sara St James credited as "Jacqueline Lovell" (or maybe it's the other way around; I've never been quite sure). Dressed in a shiny cyberpunk(ish) suit, Lolita masturbates her way through the stories, whereas the main sex scenes happen within them, acted out by the usual cast of Surrender misfits, including Gabriella Hall, Nikki Nova, Taylor St Clair, Heather James, and Chandra from Emmanuelle: Queen of the Galaxy. Sexy as she is, Lolita's job is to present, rather than to have sex with anyo...

...oh.

Each of the three stories ends with a burst of static, after which we cut back to Lolita in her secret base, where she's hiding from the totalitarian GOVERNMENT OF THE FUTURE watching glossy smut. She chats for a bit and then puts on another story for us to watch. Except in this case, the first such link, where she's more occupied with Mina, played by otherwise-unknown actress Isabella DuMaurier.

Mina probably has an interesting backstory: probably a shady past with a bright hope for the future. Maybe she's on the run from THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FUTURE and has discovered one of Lolita's stories or managed to tune into the illicit broadcast. She is clearly skilled at infiltration, espionage and technology, as she has managed to both locate, and make it through all the barriers of, Lolita's unassailable, super-secret hiding-hiding-hiding-base. She just appears there out of nowhere. I'd love to know more about this character.

But she doesn't say a word. Lolita's keeping her mouth occupied.

This scene is less than a minute long and mostly consists of kisses. Mina is initially completely topless
 Wild LICKITUNG appeared!
and wearing some incredibly sparkly tights; Lolita is in her usual stuff. They're on a bed (for some reason, the top secret hideout, no boys allowed, has a bed in it), and both women are hurriedly disrobing. To a repeated, synthy ululation accompanied by an electric bassline, they're burning off all the sexual energy that they appear to have built up during the first story...  and quite quickly, too, as within the first eight seconds we get a shot of Jacqueline Lovell licking and sucking  Isabella DuMaurier's boobs.

Even by softcore standards, that's efficient.

 Hold up! Hold up! Hold up! Hold up! Hold up!
It doesn't really let up from there. A few more seconds and there's a kiss - not one of the usual faked softcore kisses that lasts for a few seconds or the type that hardcore usually seems to be avoiding, but a full-on, lusty, lengthy lesbian kiss - accompanied by the occasional uninhibited grope and even a little rubbing between the legs (Mina's pants are blue, by contrast with Lolita's, which are silver: not that that means anything; it's just the sort of shit I notice).

Fade. Mina ends up sitting on top of Lolita, doing an action I can only really describe as "humping", before they both fall onto the bed and things start to really heat up...

...oh, that's a shame.

At the exact 1:00 mark, Lolita notices that we are also watching this, and lets out a sound which is
 Do you like leg?
meant to be a gasp of surprise, but sounds more like a beached whale ("huuuuoooorrrrrgh!"). There follows a brief kerfuffle during which Mina scrambles out of site while Lolita frantically advises her to "get back there, get back there, get back there, giggle giggle." Straightening up, pulling her silvery bra back over her breasts and taking a couple of deep breaths to regain her composure, she offers up a brief apology with the excuse rationale that "stories can lead to all sorts of interesting discussions".

Girl, we've just watched you almost have sex with someone completely random, we're genuinely not going to mind.

It kind of sounds frustrating, and in some ways, it is. It's contextless. There's set-up without any payoff, foreplay without sex, and since it's all very short, it's very difficult to enjoy before it's all over, and there's nothing left to enjoy about it, despite how attractive (and, seemingly, enthusiastic) both actresses are.

But, for what it's worth, I like this. I like how genuine the kisses look. I like the random, lusty disrobing and the tangled mess they fall into. I like how, as evidenced by the dialogue at the end, this may all be accidental - they got carried away while watching the story that precedes it, or something. And I like how this is hot, not because of what happens... but because of what doesn't. What could have happened, had they not been interrupted? This sort of invites the viewer to make up their own mind, and let their imagination invent the rest of the scenario!

Is that as genuinely arousing as I think it is? I've no idea. I'm biased. But, so help me, if I want to, I'll like my one minute and nine seconds of attractive semi-clad ladies kissing on a bed while evading THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FUTURE, and damned be all else!

## Thursday, 8 September 2016

### My fictional crush is...

"So, who do you fancy, then?"
"I'm 12; I think I'm too young to fancy anyone, really."
My bully hit me really hard on the arm. Thanks to the blazer I was wearing, it didn't hurt too much, but it was enough to make my eyes water.

This was the bully with the one-track mind (so said my mother, long before "x ${\displaystyle x}$with a one-track mind" became a thing); while his general desires seemed to align with most people of that age, he only seemed to consist of said desires and managed to connect absolutely everything to them. As if anyone else would do that. His conversations, whether or not they involved arm-punching, tended to float around the subject.

Chemistry was always a good lesson in which to have a conversation, as there was so much noise going on it was difficult for the teacher to listen in. The day before, my bully had managed to get a table-wide Q&A going about "what kind of sex you want to have", with three options that I'm failry sure were somewhat arbitrary:

(i) lying there absolutely still for "about 40 minutes" (NB. I have actually done this, and had an orgasm from it, so there!) - which is what I thought sex would be like anyway, so I chose that one;

(ii) just using your mouth - he didn't give any more details, which would have opened up a whole dialogue about what counts as sex, were we any older than 12;

(iii) "mad sex", ie. any sex involving movement, which was his sex of choice, and that of the girl sitting opposite him, with whom he kept claiming to want to have sex. Maybe he did, I've no idea. I didn't say much. If I did, he hit me on the arm.

He'd moved on to talking about crushes.
"You'd better tell me," he said threateningly, with a Joker-like grimace unfurling on his face. I suppose it was meant to be an ingratiating smile, but with my shoulder still smarting, he appeared to be a little more threatening.
I cast my eye around the class and fixated on the pretty, clever girl who sat next to me in Maths. Okay, I thought, she can be my crush; I'll make up some leading clues that he won't guess, but at least then he'll stop putting about that I'm gay.
"I'll tell you a letter," I said cunningly, "that's in her name, but that's all you're getting. It's a girl," I added, "if that helps."
"I'll guess," he said, confidently.

I gave him a vowel.
He hit me on the arm until I agreed to give him another letter.
I gave him another vowel.
He hit me on the arm until I agreed to give him another letter.
I gave him another vowel, upon which he worked out exactly who it was I was talking about.

Disaster. He was going to make it known that I fancied someone I genuinely didn't, which would be bad for me but even worse for her, because everyone I ended up fancying at school had an absolutely terrible time. I was, after all, generally disliked.

My mind raced about as fast as he was racing across the classroom to tell her. With about a microsecond to spare, I realised there was someone else, sitting on the same table, who had the right number of letters in her name and whose name contained the three I'd spelled out for him. I hauled him back, gave her as an alternative option (he told both of them), effectively doubling my problem but decreasing the efficacy of his taunts, as he no longer had a specific target to link me with.

Of course, both girls hoped that it wasn't them. As it was, truthfully, neither, I couldn't give an answer to either of their pointed, slightly desperate, questions - nor his. I needed, I reasoned, a distraction - invent someone to fancy who didn't go to our school, someone from primary or Woodcraft or nearby or something. I could claim to both bully and girls that I did, in fact, have a crush, but it was on someone else, and that I'd lied in the Chemistry lesson in order to stop getting hit on the arm.

I put this into practice in entirely the wrong way.

I'd been writing, for a couple of years, a series of fantasy books (short stories, really, but I wrote them in exercise books, so...) featuring a female protagonist named Harriet Harker. Harriet was brave and resourceful, the sole protector of a fantasy world (based mostly on Hyrule) against the rampages of the evil Lord Dark. Aided by her friends, a magical centipede and a renegade goblin, she always managed to save the day, Lord Dark's defeats always being accidental, such as his being swept away in a river, trapped under an avalanche, or having his entire castle blow up, forcing him to rebuild it. I'd brought these books, at one point, into school (as an "item of sentimental value" to display in RS), and everyone had read one.

So I put it about that the one I had a crush on was, in fact, Harriet. A fictional crush on a fictional person - it was perfect. At least it would divert suspicion away and restore the balance to normal, without any further dubious sexual malarkey from my bully, now he knew who it was(n't).

"Why couldn't you fancy a real person?" he yelled, next time I took my seat in Chemistry.
And, to show me just how wrong I was, he hit me on the arm.

## Sunday, 4 September 2016

### Take 2!

My first orgasm was the same as they usually are. It took a longer period than usual, maybe... building it up; letting it go. But, in the end, it was nothing special (although orgasms are, by design, special). Functional, operative, relaxing. Just as it should be.

My second orgasm was different. I didn't need to have another one - not in the same afternoon; certainly not within the same hour. But I wasn't doing anything else... and so, with less effort, I brought myself to orgasm again. Self-indulgent, greedy, lusty. Sinful.

The Irish Ladd in the room next door to us - while being a good housemate (read: quiet,; not intrusive; doesn't watch The Phantom Menace at 3am on maximum volume; gave me some chocolate once) - has questionable taste in music, although I wouldn't call it awful. It's just not very inspired: Meaghan Trainor, Sam Smith, Will Green. It usually doesn't bother me that much... but when I'm lying on my back with my fingers wrapped around my shaft, working my foreskin back and forth while both slick with precum and sticky with lust, I really don't need to hear the latest Adele soundalike.

He had the radio on. This is unusual; he's usually spooling through his drab-music-digital-Rolodex. But, this time, he was getting ready to go out and had on some commercial music station. The DJ's inane chatter popped up between songs and, somehow, blended into the general mulch of noise. I tuned it out, surrounded myself in a bubble. The words, the sounds, the soft whoosh of air through the windows, the gentle patter of the shower... they all faded into insignificance, still there but not distracting, like the gentle bubbling of a brook or the distant chirrup of birds in the forest.

And so came my second climax, with my trousers slack around my ankles, my T-shirt pulled up over my chest, and my fingers drumming absently against my stomach as I allowed myself to drift off while the cum slowly crept down my sides (lazy boy!). Greed, in some cases, certainly feels good.

I eventually roused myself, cleaned up and got back to whatever I was doing at the time, at which point I realised I'd just masturbated to the voice of a commercial radio's DJ and my housemate getting ready for a night out, and a small part of me died.

## Wednesday, 31 August 2016

### She Isn't Suffering

One of my schoolfriends - the one who liked the Manics and with whom I wanted to have sex - got married last week. I know this due to Facebook. I'd like to be able to say she told me, but I genuinely can't. I haven't talked to her much since we left the sixth form and I don't think I've ever actually ascertained where she went to university, what she studied, or what she did afterwards. I do know that she once wrote a blog (I read and commented on it, quite a lot) and worked at Sainsbury's for a while.

She probably still has an MSN profile somewhere; that's how I found out she had a boyfriend initially. It's that very boyfriend - the one she managed to obtain a couple of months after leaving school having been single for that entire time - that she's gone on to marry; I know nothing about him apart from his name, which sounds like it could be a character from Glee, but he seems like a decent sort. Since they've been together for about twelve years now, that's pretty cool.

My friend was single for all those years at school because she was, although desirable, somewhat untouchable. She was pursued, romantically, by a few people (including, of course, Lightsinthesky) but nobody really acted upon it - with the exception of my portly acquaintance who used the word "tingz" non-ironically, who got up the courage to ask her out. She said no, but didn't tell anyone he'd asked, except me (I kept the secret). He ended up going out with Lightsinthesky's ex, adding yet another thread to the web of saliva that kept encircling, yet never actually managed to reach, me.

The reason I say she was untouchable is because she was the sort of person you didn't really want to disappoint. She wasn't one of the pretty, popular girls despite being both pretty and popular. She was intelligent, hard-working and had a lovely smile, hugged people and had a good taste in music. She was inspiring, funny and clever, had a snappy dress sense and great hair. She even had a distinct scent, a mix of whatever perfume she used, which was attractive on its own.

It was a formula you didn't want to mess with. Nobody made any moves towards her because it was basically impossible. You don't want to ask in case she says no and you're let down, or she says yes and suddenly you're both in completely uncharted waters. She told me once, while we sat in a room together during a school residential trip in Year 12, that she was lonely; she wanted a boyfriend so badly. And still I didn't say anything. Nobody ever did.

When I told her that I was surprised she found a boyfriend, she took it the wrong way, although I think I managed to explain it quite well. This guy, whoever he was, had managed to do in a few months what a year of three hundred had failed to do in seven years. That takes guts, courage, bravado and rather a large amount of luck. But, despite not know who he is, I like him.

Because he makes my friend happy. And she finally got what she wanted... which is marvellous.

## Monday, 29 August 2016

### Logical

You put me into the cognitive-affective state, I wrote, characterised by intrusive and obsessive fantasising concerning reciprocity of amorant emotions by the object of the amorant. And I passed the piece of paper to Lightsinthesky.

I'd been dared to say "I love you" to him by... someone. I don't remember whom. Music Man? Man o' War? I doubt it was Einstein. In any case, I managed to complete the dare by doing so - as above. I just jazzed it up a bit.

Of course he was a little confused by what the hell I was going on about. I don't blame him, really. He was distracted, anyway, by the close presence of the girl he had a crush on. This was, of course, the girl I also had a crush on, but I'd like to think I was much less obvious about it. Every time she walked past, Lightsinthesky usually exclaimed something like "oh man, she is so FIT!", which gives you an idea of how lexically verbose he was in his teenage years.

I felt I owed him an explanation, so I wrote = "I love you" in big letters and pushed the paper back towards him. Once he'd understood what I was trying to do, he kind of understood. (I earned the 2p I'd been promised for the dare, anyway, and bought a penny sweet with it later in the week.) However, this did leave us with the conundrum of being in possession of a declaration of love on a piece of paper in the dining hall in the company of a girl we both had a crush on. She either hadn't seen or hadn't cared.

Lightsinthesky made his move. Theorising (probably correctly) that she wouldn't understand all the goobledegook that I'd come up with, he tore - quite neatly, truth be told - the I love you from the paper, and folded it up. Then, with a pointed look at me, he inclined his head towards her.

I wasn't sure how to react. Was I confused, amused, or scared? His intention was to pass it to her, and although he was passing it, it was clearly my handwriting. She was looking the other way as he started sliding it towards her lunch tray; she also didn't notice anything as she stood up, waved a goodbye to us, walked off and dumped the entire contents of her tray - an empty juice carton, a sandwich wrapper, some uneaten vegetables and my I love you - into the bin.

Lightsinthesky was incensed. His amazing plan, and one chance to say anything to her, was a failure. I did, trying to be rational about it all, explain that maybe he should try talking to her, rather than just staring as she walked past and being pleased when she sat next to us at lunch. But that all fell on deaf ears... for he had become distracted again by a large plate of chips.

Something else we were both attracted to.

## Friday, 26 August 2016

### Topi

One of the reasons I'm so careful with my tech is that my first laptop, which was my only computer available for years, got bashed about a lot by general clumsiness on my part. I used to take it practically everywhere with me, uninsured, to various locations as far-flung as Bristol, Birmingham, Blackpool, and a few places that didn't begin with B... including Africa. Bruised though it was, I often did manage to get it working again, up until the point where I was staying at TD's house (sans TD) for a week and didn't want to risk my new netbook. My laptop valiantly held out for a week of blog posts, essay writing and lacklustre Internet connection, despite being almost ten years old.

One place that I always took my computer to, despite probably not needing to as there were about 4,204,302 computers there already, was 47's house in Kent. The train from Victoria took a lot longer than you'd think, and the first time I went, I forgot not only my computer, but my 'phone and iPod too, so I had nothing to do (didn't have time to buy a book either...) and was practically crawling the walls of the train by the time it pulled in. I didn't make that mistake again.

It was one such occasion, on a train towards Kent, that I was sat at a table with my laptop open in front of me. I wasn't doing much: mostly playing Ice Climber on a NES emulator, if I remember correctly. I had about half an hour, by my estimate, until I got to 47's station, and I was just considering switching to a different game (I had Kirby's Adventure and that was pretty good) when a pretty Japanese girl of about my age sat down opposite me and flashed me a smile.

I grinned back, but couldn't do much else; I had my earphones in and the train was full of people. Plus, what would I say? For five minutes, while the Game Over screen of Ice Climber stayed open on my laptop, my entire existence consisted of nervous glances, shy smiles and general fidgeting. Trying my very best to look cool and important, I opened Notepad and started tapping away, as if I had something urgent to write and was utilising my time like one of those wankers you see on "business class" adverts.

An image from the previous year, of me writing an essay for university, hit me like a bullet at that point - only that time, the Japanese girl was naked and on my desktop wallpaper (and a nude model, no less). Here, she was sitting opposite me, and smiling.

I tapped at my keyboard continuously. I was writing a poem - yes, a poem - for her. No, about her. Hold on, that sounds creepy. About me. About me looking at her. Actually, no. A song. I'll write a song, yes, that'll do. It can be yet another of those songs in which I try to sing in Japanese. Okay, that works. What rhymes with Ice Climber?

For about twenty minutes of deletions and frankly awful loud/crowd, Utada/harder lyrics, the number of passengers in our carriage started to thin out as people drifted off towards more UKIP-focused bits of Kent than where I was headed. Eventually, and typically for these scenarios, the two of us were left. She got up, walked off to the end of the carriage - either to stretch her legs or use the toilet, I assume. I also assumed that this would be the last I'd see of her; there was an entire carriage full of empty seats and you probably don't want to return to sitting opposite the slightly creepy boy who's writing a song about trying to not look at you looking at him.

She returned to the exact same seat, sat down and flashed me a full beam smile and a nod. I couldn't help it - I smiled too.

Song kind of finished, I packed my laptop sway and made my way to the train doors at the final station. I stood aside to let her off first and then wandered through the concourse, scanning my ticket and walking out into the evening air. I noticed, as I walked through the door, the young lady getting into a taxi. Just before it drove off, she waved at me - an actual wave! Friendliest stranger ever!

"Who's that?" asked 47, as I raised a hand myself in farewell.
"I don't know," I said truthfully, "but I've written a song about her."

And, as I headed off with him for a weekend of indie and chips from a kebab van, I felt a lot more satisfied than I had in a long time.