Sunday, 30 November 2014


A while ago, I started writing the script for a softcore film, partially because I wanted to, but mostly because I wanted to see if I could. I've actually no idea how scripts for erotic films are written, although I do image it varies according to writer/director and what the crew generally want to see.

Anyway, I never really got past the first couple of scenes, probably because I had no idea where I was going with it. Taking another look at it today, I decided that it would probably work best as a short film: about seven or so minutes of laughs, stargazing and sex. So I left it where it was, added a bit of an ending and retooled it as a short.

Since I'm not really about to do anything else with this, I'm putting the script up here (under a Creative Commons license): 

Hooray for the sharing of (un)finished projects! Of course, one day I may have to post some fiction here too...

* If you're getting the "forbidden" message, try copy-and-pasting the link, and/or refreshing the page - it works after a few tries!

Friday, 28 November 2014


In my hotel room
Sounds from next door, someone's getting laid
God's name's proclaimed
The end is on its way

"So tell me," my housemate said, in his far-too-loud-for-decent-conversation voice, "did you hear Rodge and Shell shagging?"

I reflected on what to say. My first thought was to tell him to not mind this and enquire as to how he'd managed to drag himself out of his self-induced stupor and shrug off the human sloth attitude in order to come down to the kitchen. I also thought to ask him about why I hadn't heard him having sex with his own girlfriend. One of her friends, drunk, had wandered into my room once to find me reading a fantasy book. She didn't then have sex with me, of course. Nobody ever did.

Rodge lived in the big room between myself and Mister Human Sloth. He spent most of the time working on his PhD, playing Worms2 against the rest of us and winning, eating inordinate amounts of cheese on toast and banging his girlfriend Shell. He wasn't particularly discreet about it; they usually started having sex at a time in the morning where the French girl who lived downstairs was at the university building across the road and Mister Human Sloth was asleep or playing Counter Strike with headphones blocking out everything except people shooting at him.

Shell appeared to be quite vocal during sex and the sounds emanated from Rodge's bedroom (and, in one case, the bathroom), resonating around our house and possibly the rest of the neighbourhood. I didn't actually mind them doing so - I wasn't having any sex but I wasn't going to begrudge them having as much as they could, and I used to take their yelps and moans as a cue to put on some porn myself and join in, in my own special, slightly ashamed way.

But the reason my sleepy housemate had asked this question was evident. Of course I'd heard Rodge and Shell shagging. Everyone had. You didn't have much of a choice. But, as far as I'd heard, they'd broken up a week ago.
"As far as I heard, they broke up a week ago," I replied.
"Yeah, I know. Mind you, it was her birthday the other day, maybe they had sex for that."
"Sex for your birthday?"

"Well, would you prefer anything else?"

I considered the one and a half years I'd spent not having sex. "No," I conceded, truthfully.

And so it continued for the rest of the year. I never really asked what the deal was, although our French girl did. She got a non-committal, jocular answer, from what I could tell.

I returned to the same house for the first half of my final year to find that I was the only one left. Rodge had gone. The French girl was in France. The human sloth had gone back home and, oddly, became a policeman, last I heard.

And so I was alone. And it was me making the noises this time...

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

TMI Tuesday: The Thing(s)

I'm not well. I basically fell asleep at work this morning, and upon bringing myself round, I found it very difficult to stand up. Or speak. Or lift heavy objects, which (ironically) is what I spent the following hour doing.

I also can't write. I've got a bit of block going on, so I'm diving back into the murky waters of this blog to try and dispel some of the fog. The theme this week is "taking things seriously"... and I've only just realised the pun.

I must be ill.


1. Think about your environments – home, office, vehicle, what sort of inanimate objects hold special meaning and significance for you. List/name the objects, tell us why they hold a special place. Share some photos if you dare.

I have a good few objects which I treasure, because I'm a bit of a hoarder and abhor throwing anything away. Perhaps predictably, my comics collection, entire bookshelf and large amount of CDs are special due to entertainment purposes. As is my soft porn collection, for perhaps more obvious reasons.

I also have a few fluffy cuddly toys which are special to me, such as one that I made myself (and have remade a few times), and my little cuddly rabbit, which I bought when I was 19. I've had him for ten years now.

And there's some gaming stuff too, including an almost-complete set of Robin Hood figurines, which are now collector's items by virtue of the fact that you can't get them anywhere any more. I bought them yonks ago and they were really cheap!

2. Are any of your treasured items worth a lot of money?

Yes - my retro consoles. I've got a functional NES and a working SNES (as well as an incomplete N64 and a GameCube), and a complete working retro console apparently fetches a lot on the market these days. However, I'm not the only one with such items - my granddad has a Spectrum that still works, to a point, and 47 has a working Atari VCS, which we've played against each other!

3. Would you ever part with that item? If yes, under what circumstances?

No. Nor would I part with my Luigi-design GBA-SP, DS, 2DS, Wii or Pokémon Mini. I like the ability to play any sort of Nintendo game as nature intended. (With the exception of Wii U - yet - and Virtual Boy. Although I can emulate the Virtual Boy.)

Actually, I'd swap my NES for a Virtual Boy - since I only actually have one NES game...

4. What is the oddest or strangest item that you covet and proudly display?

A colour photocopy of my passport with my dad's driving license on top of it. This came about by accident - I was taking a scan of my passport without realising my dad's driving license was in the printer too. I also hit the photocopy button instead of "scan", and so I got an odd piede of impromptu photographic art, which I - in one of my more pretentious moments - decided was representative of the gap between generations. or it just looked cool.

Anyway, I stuck it up on my wall, next to my signed James poster.

Saturday, 22 November 2014


I've been receiving a spate of e-mails recently which are mostly serving to prove my theory that I appear to be on some sort of list. Most of them - despite the fact that I don't do commercial posts or affiliate links, as should be evident from my sidebar - are just kind requests that I respectfully turn down, but some of them are really quite aggressive, of the "have you featured it yet?" type... and then there are the e-mails that only fit into the category known as "bizarro".

Like this one.

We're from Penis Advantage website [link removed - ILB]. We've got a great program that you'll surely find very interesting. It's about a genuine way to enlarge every guy's penis at home - using just their hands! We are going to show you the ONLY way that will GUARANTEE every guy the extra inches they have always wanted.

Which all seems well and good - in a sense, once you get past the fact that (like every other penis enlargement product purported on the Internet) it seems a little hokey and isn't likely to work at all. But what made me laugh was this little gem:

It's about a genuine way to enlarge every guy's penis at home - using just their hands!

I don't know about you, but when I use my hands on my penis, I can already manage to enlarge it pretty effectively in quite a short time period. In fact, I can do that with my brain too - am I MAGICAL?!

The website is pretty good, too - promising, amongst other things, the ability to eliminate the curve in an erection (which they refer to as Bananaman - I suppose that kind of works, if your name is Eric). Not only am I not sure if that's possible, why would you want to?

I love my erection. My penis has a slight curvature to it, which not only makes it firm and good to handle, but also allows for deep penetration, G-spot stimulation and something on which to hang one's towel (seriously, I can do this; I've been doing it since the age of about 14). Call me a traditionalist if you will, but I'm not sure sticking a ruler into a vagina is really that sexy (unless, of course, you're into that sort of thing. YKINMK, innit).

So I don't think I'll be picking this one up, do you? After all, when we're talking about penis growth, there are so many other things that I'd rather be up.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

You're not as fly as you think you are

It's International Men's Day and, as a man, I am scared.

Scared of what people might say. Scared of what people might do. Scared of the reactions, scared of what people are capable of. What I'm capable of. I am genuinely scared. I'm like this every day. And I'm like it now, because I'm writing a blog post post on IMD.

My original plan for this post was to make a graphic composed entirely of abusive things that have been said to me over the years with the caption "men get abused too." But I can almost taste the backlash I'd get from that, and besides, I'd probably burst into tears at all the bad memories I'd bring back. So I've abandoned that idea. Because I was scared.

What I really want to say is this:

I'm a man. I was born male and have had no desire to change or ever define myself as anything else. I'm sure we can all agree that there's nothing wrong with that.

I also try, as hard as I can, to be the best person I can be. I, like everyone, am flawed. I have made mistakes - we all have. I'm not perfect - nobody is. But, to my credit, I've always tried as hard as I can to make things right. I don't like to fight - I like to resolve - I try to be selfless and helpful as much as I can. I'm not an absolute saint, but I like to think I'm generally a good person. But, as a man, I still feel guilty. Because of my gender.

This doesn't need to be how I feel.

I'm aware of the fact that people like Dapper Laughs and Julian Blanc, with their boorish overmasculinity - portraying men as emotionless idiots and women as meek, abused creatures (I know that wasn't the intention of their stuff, but that's what the effect was) is nothing new. But, for some reason, it adds to the brush that - intentional or not - men are being tarred with. As much as I want to disassociate myself from these people, I can't. I'm the same gender. And so I am damned, too.

Is this a generalisation? Absolutely. But I can see it happening more and more. I've heard my uncle talk about how his company actively hires women because they're not men, and for no other reason. I've seen the political party I support reopening nominations for internal votes because there wasn't a female candidate standing for a seat. I myself have been turned down for a job - more than one - in favour of a pretty girl. And my sister, who is a radfem, talks at great length about her feminist society, where men aren't allowed in - because men can't be feminists, oh no.

This doesn't help gender equality at all. It's quite the opposite - it seems to insinuate that women need a helping hand in order to get this status, rather than doing so under their own steam. It even goes so far as to reinforce the idea that men are in power and women only get their through male acquiescence. That's not meant to be the message!

The reason I have a big hang-up about this whole gender debacle is the fact that it really shouldn't matter, but it does so much. I've always been taught that everyone is equal, but I can't say anything about half the population of the planet because I'm so fearful of the repercussions. I can't say "not all men" - hashtag or no hashtag - because of the (unfortunate) association of that phrase with misogynistic jackasses on social media. I can't call myself a "men's right activist" because I'll get something like "well, men have had all the rights for 2,000 years, it's nothing new." I can't even promote IMD as a thing, even though it was originally set up to promote gender equality, because I'll get comments like "along with the other 364 days of the year".

And yet if I don't say anything, it looks as if I don't care.

I can't win. Damned if I do, damned if I don't. Because I am a man.

The concept of IMD, as far as I understand it (and Wikipedia says so, so it's got to be true), is to promote the idea of gender equality from a male point of view - a bit like #HeForShe, if you'll pardon the comparison. But the media thrusting people like Julian Blanc into the spotlight because of their misogyny is a scary thought. It's insulting to men because we are not all like that, but I can't say that, can I?

Or can I?

This is the reason I haven't waded too far into the "not all men" debate. Because I'm scared. Misogyny insults. Misandry hurts. Nobody wins here because there's no clear side to pick. The people we need to be highlighting because of their incompetence are the male "pick-up artists" who portray women as targets for sex and the power-hungry females who see men as enemies to be beaten. We need to highlight abuse from all sides. Helping or hindering one gender - or both genders - isn't going to help.

Because we're better than that.

And this is why we need an IMD just as much as we need an IWD. There are single fathers, there are male nurses. There are male artists, male thinkers, male heroes and there are just plain nice men. There are men - myself included - who will call the misogynistic idiots out on their bullshit. But I think I also have the right to take umbrage against misandry too. Because, however you want to spin it, two wrongs don't make a right. And if the idea is that everyone is equal - because everyone is - then why does there have to be any conflict at all?

So the next time you get annoyed or upset because of a story about someone getting abused or someone being an idiot on TV, take a look around. Look at your friends - I'm sure you'll find more than one gender there. And look at your family - I'm sure you have two parents, in many cases.

And take a look at yourself. Do you really want to be defined by the rest of your gender?

And writing all this, because I felt I needed it, is why I am scared.

Do you still want to #KillAllMen?

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Someone Else's Story

I often have slightly heroic fantasies during the early-morning rush hour. They involve doing things like rescuing someone from a gang of gangliness by running down the steps at Ramillies Street and shouting something unintelligible, so they think a lunatic's after them and run away. (God forbid I'd actually go all "Batman" on their arses.) More often, it's about doing things like pushing someone out of the way of oncoming traffic á la Ryan Gosling saving Laurie Penny, or just seeing someone I know crying on the street and giving them a hug and a hot drink which I somehow pull out of hammerspace for them.

I want to be helpful, I suppose, rather than heroic. I make no pretensions towards being a potential JLA conscript, but I can do "helpful", to a point.

And yet when I want to intervene most, I just can't do it because I suddenly don't think I have the right.

The other day I was travelling home late at night (or it could have been mid-afternoon; it's difficult to tell with these 3pm sunsets), when I overheard a conversation somebody was having on the 'phone in the seat behind me. It wasn't difficult to overhear her as she was practically shouting down it, and it wasn't also difficult to divine exactly what was affecting her.

This particular girl, evidently, was having massive problems with her love life - and, evidently, she was mortified to find out that whoever she was seeing was actually married with children, and that she was thinking of leaving him. The person to whom she was speaking, whom I'm assuming to be a sympathetic person, like a friend or relative, was on the receiving end of a barrage of controlled emotion, what with her deciding that she was going to leave this man and find someone who loved her exclusively, not just use her as a method of getting away from his wife and children.

This jogged the incident in my past in which my sister started dating* (*sleeping with) a married guy, which apparently ended peacefully and without incident (to my great relief), but my heart went out to this unknown girl on the train. She was clearly upset, and she was doing something which (I assume) is a very brave act. She also appeared indecisive about it. I had no impulse to ignore, as my ILB senses told me that I needed to say something. To tell her that it's all right. To tell her that she's right to do with what she's doing, and that she has every right to make decisions about her own relationships. Or just to tell her that, however she feels now, with hindsight, this may well change.

But I didn't say anything. I didn't even look around. Because, as much as I really wanted to help, I had no right. It was, after all, a private conversation about something of which I have no knowledge... however loud she was. Tense, uncertain, I sat in deep thought for a while. What would I say were I a friend of hers? What's the back story? How did it start... how was it going to end?

Out of nowhere, her midriff appeared right next to my face. I leaned backwards in surprise, before realising what she was trying to do. My immediate thought was that she had somehow felt me wanting to talk it over with her and had leaned over for a chat, but - as it turned out - she was just trying to see which station we were at.

I'd been counting and gave her the name of the station. In a clear, calm, reassuring voice. Trying to say everything that I wanted to in three words. I don't think she got anything other than the station's name from me, but she thanked me... and at the following station, she walked off the train, with a swift, purposeful stride.

I spent the rest of the journey trying to reassure myself that I'd actually done something helpful for the stranger having a bad day. By the time my own journey came to an end, I'd managed to convince myself that not getting involved in something to which I am totally unconnected was probably the best course of action, and that giving her the name of the station was the right thing to do.

But I still felt unsettled by it all. Because I'd have liked to be able to do more.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Between the Lines

I sat and waited expectantly for his response to my script. Eventually his reply came through. It was clear that he quite liked it, although I think he preferred the piece of fanfic that I'd also started writing in the recent weeks (I eventually finished it about five years later, of course). He didn't mention all the sex, but then again, I didn't really want him to.

It's interesting, sometimes, to think about the ways you can express yourself sexually. Everyone must have their different ways to do so - and that's even before we get to the having sex bit. Certainly sex dreams, masturbation, cybersex, watching porn, and all the other "description" factors have their place. But there are other ways, too... and I do suppose writing is one of those.

I'm not talking about writing erotica. Or even writing about sex at all. I mean, when you're writing about sex, that's obviously what you're writing about, right? Erotica has a plot, but it's not really erotica if there's no sex (I assume...) - and if you're explicitly talking about sex, then that's also a version of sexual expression. What I'm talking about here is the veiled stuff: the things you write, or the things you say, that aren't intended to be arousing, or even too revealing, but could be construed as you trying to express yourself, or - perhaps - working off some sort of sexual fantasy you didn't realise you had.

Looking back on my unfinished playscript, I can see how my friend may have thought I was stuffing all my sexual fantasies in a box and laying it out in musical theatre form. I had two young Japanese sisters as the main characters, both of whom were having sex with the same boy. I had an openly lesbian couple, a straight teenage couple, a young male Japanese language teacher, and a narrator in a suit. I didn't envision any sex happening on stage, but in the first scene, we have our main character soliloquising through song about her lost boyfriend, followed by the sounds of him shagging her sister through the walls. And, at one point, the narrator gets to sing Fuck Her Gently by Tenacious D.

The thing is: I wasn't trying to express any particular sexual desires at that point. I got my sexual frustration out through masturbating openly to soft porn on at full blast (I lived in a house on my own) and wasn't putting any hidden desires into what I wrote; I'm not even much turned on by cheating, lesbianism, age gaps or implied incest. I wasn't trying to push the boundaries, or even be titillating. I certainly wasn't turning myself on. I was just trying to write a musical. Tell a story.

Essentially, I wanted to sing.

The friend I sent the script to responded by sending me a piece of fanfic he'd written which he'd labelled "slash" - although I was always of the opinion that slash fiction involves homoerotica, and this didn't - it was just erotic fanfic, and clearly the first time he'd written any, as well. Not that it was terrible, but it wasn't the best piece of writing ever, either. Upon reading it for the first time, I immediately had the same thought that I was afeared he may have about me. Was this him expressing his own sexuality through the medium of fanfic with sex in it? Did he have a desire to be sexually explicit in this particular fandom?

So I asked him. No, he explained, he wasn't. He just wanted to see if he could write something with sex in it. He'd never done it before. It was a challenge to himself, he concluded.

Fair enough, I reasoned.

When you spend a lot of your time thinking about sex - maybe even for the purposes of writing about it, as this ILB will attest - sometimes you're seeing it when it's not meant to be there. On the concept of expressing sexuality, then perhaps it genuinely isn't there - a lot of times I've been looking for the hidden innuendo, or the sexual side, when there just isn't one to be found. There's so much sexual imagery in things that I've often found it difficult to not see any in pieces of art or the written word.

So I'd ask, if I wanted to know. And yet a lot of people just don't want to share their sexual fantasies too openly, expressing them on the sly instead.

How confusing.

And that's why I write a sex blog.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Being ILB

Today, I have drifted. Doing what I always used to do - which is to say, nothing in particular. An empty day of hopping from one activity to another to fill up an otherwise useless void of day, devoid of sense of purpose or will to do anything, taking on activities such as walking to the shop or eating a bowl of muesli for the purpose of just existing - preferring, much as I may be disallowed, to just switch off my seemingly omnipresent brain, let every muscle in my body go and just fall into a heap of nothingness onto a soft surface, such as my bed of the big red chair in the living room, with stuffed rabbit or warm cat for company, and just not be for a while.

I have felt listless - like I could be active, but saw no reason to. Sounds tune themselves out around me without my needing to do so, and when I get emotional, it all comes and goes too quickly, like a tap that springs a leak and seals itself once more. Time, it appears, has done its best to escape my attention - to the point that now, when I look at the clock in the corner of my computer screen, I an surprised by the fact that it's no longer mid-afternoon, and that either I spent longer reading the fantasy novel that I'm reading (with annotations by my dad) than thought - or a shorter time reading it, and I myself seem longer.

Today has been dragging its feet across the ground, and I have been freewheeling through infinite space and time, ungrounded, unsettled, and uncertain.

And then I realise that, when all is said and done, I would really like a shag.

Thursday, 13 November 2014


"It's strange," said the girl I was sort of friends with, "how much I tell people."
"It's not strange, really," I pointed out. "You've only ever physically met me once, and you tell me almost everything."

Almost. That was kind of true. This girl - and I can't remember exactly how I initially got talking to her, but I ended up doing so almost every day - certainly told me a lot. She was, to put it bluntly, a free spirit, to the point of being rather random. She even went so far as to sign onto MSN with the username "Whips n' chains" at one point. At the age of 16, that was certainly daring.

"Yeah, but someone I hardly know...?"

To be honest, that didn't surprise me.

"To be honest, that doesn't surprise me."

She went on to relate to me the saga. Through the years, my memory appears to have stripped out bits, but knowing this girl as I do, it probably involved several pints of something which looks as if it could kill you, three or so Nokia mobile phones, networking via several people, mistyped names and numbers, MSN, ICQ, Skype, Scott Raynor the original drummer from Blink182, and beavers (as in the semi-aquatic rodent, allegedly her favourite mammal). The end result was that somebody she didn't know had gotten hold of her number, and was texting her at a rate of knots.

"He's been asking me things that I shouldn't be answering, like, you know... if I prefer speed or depth..."

I blanched at my computer screen. I didn't even know she'd ever actually had sex. It was still an unknown quantity at that age - something everyone wanted to do, but wasn't actually doing. A few seconds to realign by thoughts and it made sense. She'd certainly been hinting at it, and here she was, openly talking about it. So I kept reading.

"...and if I've ever taken it up the arse."
"And you're answering him?"
"...and how many fingers I use when I touch myself."
"And you're answering him?"

I wasn't sure what to say, really. Here was my sort of friend, who I'd only met once but really liked beavers, certainly told me everything, and she was texting some guy she didn't know at all but had still probably met once, telling him all sorts of things about her sexually. And, furthermore, why was she telling me? Did she want an intervention? Or did she just have a moment of finding herself curious and somehow chance upon telling ILB as a good idea?

So I said the only thing I could think of.

"So... uhm..."
"LOL," she LOLd. "Speed."


"And, no, I've never taken it up the arse."
"And... erm..."



Always nice to know. Still, at that point, the conversation ended. I went on with my incredibly dull teenage life, and - I'm assuming - so did she. Although later on that night, my own Nokia lit up with green LCD light and filled my room with the text alert sound. I struggled out of bed, grabbed the phone and checked the screen. It was her.

"Beaver," read the text.

Sunday, 9 November 2014


I occasionally surf Twitter for inspiration (along with other courses of inspiration such as "go and make a cup of tea", "masturbate furiously", "cry hysterically", "question life" and "go and make another cup of tea"), but it usually avails me naught - however, today I happened to chance across this tweet from Cammies on the Floor (I've no idea which one of them it is...) revealing a pair of well-proportioned boobs, upon one of which is a revealing red mark referred to as a "hickey" - or love bite.

I'm not going to query exactly how far one has to go to get a love bite on one's left breast. But it's been a long time since I've actually seen any.

I don't find pain sexy, but then there's only a small amount of pain involved, from my experience - it's more of a sucking sensation and a small amount of patience, but the little red mark left behind - the bite, I'm assuming - does tend to draw a few glances from the initiated, and the bitten (can I use that word? Bitée? Let's go with "bitten") person can have various attitudes towards it as well, whether it's just a side-effect from the heat of passion or something deliberate by which to remember the... erm... biter.

These words are difficult to think of.

I used to get love bites myself, although I didn't ask for them, and not in any particular quantity - although I was once asked by a girl at school - one of the unabashed ones - "hey, is that a phat love bite on your neck?", to which I had to answer truthfully. I was also once asked the same question - I believe in the same week - at work (I had one of those gruelling Sunday jobs), although thankfully by a customer. I vaguely remember telling my manager I got hit by a golf ball; it may not be too believable, but then I did get hit in the face by a football at one point - so maybe that was just one more to add to the collection.

My occasional love bite wasn't too much of an issue, though. Lightsinthesky once turned up to school looking like he'd been savaged by a partially transformed werewolf with a penchant for particularly blue meat. It wasn't much of a mystery as to who was responsible, but Lightsinthesky may as well have drawn big circles around his bites with a Magic Marker for how obvious they were. Lisa herself turned up after school one day and Lightsinthesky started kissing her shoulder in reciprocation, causing most of us to shudder a little. Warman then went off to projectile-vomit into a bush.

So as to not go on to speculate on how far down on his body she left love bites ("there are more," he claimed - I didn't ask him to elaborate), I'll move on to those who wish to hide their bites. I've heard stories - we all have, one supposes - about people who try to save face by using layers on makeup to hide the marks, or use long hair artistically fallen or simply not turning up to a place... which I've always found a bit drastic. I've never found love bites particularly offensive, myself. Mind you, everyone has their own hang-ups.

A little like one of my friends who texted me while I was on holiday.

How did the date with Ryan go?, I enquired from Venezia.

Not well, she admitted via international text. He gave me a love bite on my neck about the size of a small country. Bloody thing. I've been covering it up with turtleneck jumpers.

Once again providing evidence that there's always a sexual reason for many fashions.

Friday, 7 November 2014


In 2002, some of my friends on the internet tried to break Rebecca and myself up. Not that that's what they said they were doing, but I read the signs.

To this day, I'm not sure exactly why they were trying to do so. I'd never had a girlfriend before (if you don't count Soldiergirl, and I don't), and she'd never had a real boyfriend, so of course we were massively into each other. And, having never done any of this before, we had no idea what we were doing. But it worked - at least for a while.

But it wasn't what my friends wanted to see - and I don't mean the usual crew of Robinson, Mane, Hairy Friend and the young raver. No. None of them. I'm talking about my friends on the internet - mostly from one community, although they were varied - plus a few people from school that I wouldn't exactly call friends, but I knew well enough.

From the start there were mutterings. One comment that I remember her getting was that "one wonders how many previous boyfriends you've said [declaration of love I can't quite remember] to" - irrelevant, because she'd never had a boyfriend before. Another was that "clearly there's not much caring in your relationship, because she doesn't care". A third was "this is a relationship based on hypochondria". And there was a massive flame war going on at the same time between Rebecca and Esque, who at that time wasn't talking to me due to an earlier infraction.

I will admit that at some times I thought my friends had a point. The "lack of care" thing was probably based upon her cheating on me - twice - even before we met for the first time (although I was forgiving, for I am an ILB). But then there's all the rest of it. Throughout the one-and-a-half-years that we were together. Throughout the course of me losing my virginity (and taking hers), my first holiday(s) as part of a couple, and my almost weekly weekend trips to see her, I always felt uneasy, like there was an undercurrent of low-level mutiny from my online friends, who were determined to see us broken up - although now, over ten years later, I still don't see... why.

The slightly arrogant part of me says that they had no right to try to interfere with our relationship - it was between me and her, and it wasn't their job to say what they thought. It wasn't like either of us was being abused by the other, either; we didn't fight, or argue; for a while, it was a fairly steady relationship.

But throughout, I got signals from my friends that they thought I was doing something terribly wrong - I picked up on the fact that I wasn't spending a lot of time with my friends and so did my best to rectify that, but all I got as a response was a snide comment and "actions speak louder than words" (which is nonsense - without words, we couldn't speak!). Add to this the fact that I was 18, under immense pressure at school, incredibly depressed and feeling a little directionless, and I'd think it was understandable that I'd seek solace with my girlfriend, wouldn't you?

47 was the exception. He was a friend, all the way through, and the first port of call when I was dumped - he didn't need to be, considering that she was his sister, but he was, for which I was grateful. But I had nobody else, really. One of my friends, the first (if I recall correctly) to leave an unkind comment at the beginning, explained that he'd had her down as a "bad egg from the start" - although I don't know why anyone would think that. Some friends I can go so far as to describe as gleeful. Which, y'know, didn't help.

The conclusion I came to, if one can call it a conclusion, is that she was going out with me, and that automatically made her a bad person. No, I don't see how that works either.

I doubt I'll ever get an answer, and thankfully, those friends in question are still friends, and I still see them fairly regularly (although less often than I used to, but I still do). But it's one more thing that I won't get closure on. I was fairly happy with her - happier than I'd been since the age of about 12. So what was the problem?

Rebecca was not a bad egg. She did something very unkind which hurt me back then, and still hurts me now. But she was still my first... well... first everything, and will always hold that position, even though things were acrimonious between us before we lost contact. My friends, for whatever reason, just didn't seem to appreciate that.

I still wonder why.

Submitted to Charlie Powell's "Don't Read Clickbait - Read This!" competition at Sex Blog (of sorts). Go read that blog too.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

The Birthday Projection

Like the rattle of bones in the black sky outside, the rain pitter-pattered a drum roll against the grimy window of my room at work. I glanced outside at what looked like a particularly miserable journey home. Still, I did want to get home... I had a blog post to write.

I wasn't alone in noticing it. My client, all frizzy hair and casual clothes, let out an audible "oh!" which I had to enquire about. She was also dreading the journey home and, as I left the building half an hour later, she was still there, sheltering from the elements.

Our conversation had strayed at the onset of the rain, as if this was heaven's cue to switch from our tedious work-related subject to something a little more fun. I don't know how birthday parties entered the conversation, exactly, but she started talking about her 18th, which was about six years ago, by my reckoning. My own 18th was a whole eleven years ago. Eleven and a half. When I think about it, from here on in it's another step on the inexorable spiral towards my death.

So, with that cheerful thought... BIRTHDAYS!

My birthday's in March (the month, not the town). My 18th was a period of transition for more reasons than just turning 18. I was heading towards the end of school and trying desperately to get into university. I was forming new friendships and discovering new music. I was spending more time in the sixth form common room, and I'd decided to bring a Walkman into school so I could listen to Evita in my spare time - to which I'd recently learned all the lyrics. But then again, I knew all of Joseph by 16 - by 18, it was the natural progression.

And, of course, I had my first girlfriend.

It was during one of the Evita sessions in the common room that the subject of my impending birthday came up. Einstein, Lightsinthesky, Music Man, Warman and I were all in the circle, but it was my token black friend who popped the question.

"What are you gonna do for your birthday?" he asked, taking advantage of the fact that I was switching from Evita to The Best of James. He then took it upon himself to answer his own question, addressing the others: "...He's probably gonna go do something with Rebecca, though, casually sweeping us all aside."
Those words had an effect upon me - especially since that had been my plan. But then, I reasoned, I ought to see my friends more. I was turning 18 - I was going to need the support for the inevitable fallout.
"Oh, well, I'm going to Pizza Hut," I invented.

Three days later and I sat at a table with both my schoolfriends and the usual miscreants - Mane, Robinson et al. - munching down pizza. I'd ordered maybe a little too much, but it was my birthday, after all, and my parents had given me money with which to buy pizza, so I was going to use it. I felt slightly ill - a good way to start your adult life, perhaps. Mane and Robinson were clinking glasses; my token black friend was sexually abusing the Ice Cream Factory. Einstein wasn't saying much, but then again, he never does. I'm convinced he does advanced calculus in his head to pass the time.

The merriment ended and I was insistent that we went back to my house to record some music (which didn't happen, actually). As we emptied out onto the street, I led the charge (well, more of a waddle, which was eventually to become a meander, followed by a stagger and maybe a wheeze or two, but initially it was a charge) into the cool night air. I was suddenly seized by the urge to declare something to the world.

Arms held aloft, a Y to the sky. I opened my mouth and shouted, at the top of my voice...


It just all felt right.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

The Future is Now!

"I saw Robinson and Lovely's new house the other day," I ejaculated, causing my conversation companion to blink a little. It was a truck-driver's gear change in subject, being as how we'd both been talking about our respective paid employment - his increasing in difficulty and fulfilment, mine going in exactly the other direction and currently resembling the City of Dis in Dante's Inferno.
"Isn't it just Lovely's house?" he clarified.
"Well, technically I suppose it is, but he's living there now, as you know," I acquiesced. "And, y'know what, it's really nice! Big, airy, spacious. Nice neighbourhood."
"How many bedrooms is it?"
"Oh... well, it's two bedrooms, I think... I didn't see much of upstairs, except the bathroom. We spent most of the time playing games on the Wii."

There was a pause.

"It's strange, all these people getting married, isn't it?" said the young raver, cocking his head to the side, his quiff managing to stay perpendicular as he did so. "We had the first wedding..."
" friend-who-is-a-nurse and MTH," I supplied.
"...and the second one, two days later..."
"...yeah, that was an interesting weekend..."
"...and then Robinson and Lovely this year. And that's it, isn't it?"

I furrowed my brow. Was that it? Who else is getting married soon... that the young raver would know about? 47. Has he met 47? Okay, he has. But will be remember this? No, not really. Bunny and Silver...? Yes, they're getting married at some point, so I hear. But he's not going to know either of them (well, I don't think he does, anyway). I knew there was another one, but I just couldn't get it. It was on the tip of my tongue...

"Oh! WBBW and her boyfriend!" I came up with. "They're getting married... and soon... in  Newcastle!"
"Oh yes! Scene girl went up there to see them. I thought they were still in... Norwich? Newport? Norfolk?"
"Norway," I supplied.

"Norway, that's it," nodded the young raver. "So that's it... that'll be the next wedding. And the last one, I suppose, for some time."

I reminded him that Mane still has a girlfriend and they're looking to take out a mortgage; my hairy friend has been married and living in Pennsylvania for about three years now; Mane Jr. is now living residentially at the place where he works during the week; my friend-who-is-a-teacher is now ensconced firmly in her little Hertfordshire bubble; my friend-who-is-a-midwife is now working and soon to be living in Southwark; scene girl is working so hard we rarely ever see her; and my sister - the last I heard - is still alive, and sleeping with yet another random person I've never met.

Which leaves...

"You're single, aren't you?"
"Yeah..." he said. "And I'm not planning to get married or move out any time soon," he added with a mischievous grin.

The train pulled in at the station and I bid him farewell with a wave and a swift nod. As I descended into the tube, I added a silent but sincere thanks that there's at least one person among us who hsn't been lost to the winds of time...