July 31, 2013 § 179 Comments

A couple of nights ago I woke in a sweat with my heart beating like a banjo, only not in a good way.

I had had a nightmare, first one for three or four years.  Real nightmares, as in bad dreams when I am asleep, happen so rarely.  The one before last I still had a husband I could clung to at 3am, his flesh and warmth right by to offer inert comfort.  So we are talking one nightmare proper every few years.  I think it’s one of those blessings I should be counting: very few nightmare-nightmares to make up for all the daytime nightmares I have all day, every day.  Some fucking consolation.

Anyway, it was one of those horror film ones, the likes of which I remember having as a child.  And I woke up, shaking.  But as a grown-up, no companion, there’s no one to turn to.  I couldn’t exactly wake up my children, all scared and girl-like, and jibber to them that I had had a nightmare.  That would have been too fucking inverse and weird.

So I just had to beef out the fear and try to think about roses or cheese slices or whatever is supposed to be beautiful or bland and the opposite of nightmarish, and try to go back to sleep.

Yep, I am still sweating the small stuff, and sweating the small stuff, the stuff which no one bothers to mention or sweat to others, come daylight, and it is just one more item on the extensive plankton list of absolute shit.

The following night – last night – before putting the light out, I read Sharon Olds’s collection of poems about her husband leaving her for another woman, after thirty years of marriage.  I thought, these are good, very good, but they’re not going to grab me by the throat and squeeze stinging tears out of me because they are JUST NOT; because I have MOVED ON.

Well, no.  Obviously not so much.

I wept like a goddamn watering can.


I Am Still Here…

July 17, 2013 § 100 Comments

….Just on holiday.  In the UK, and baking, and rather depressed, but reading Seating Arrangements, whichI am enjoying enormously.  Stoner is next on my pile. Consolation for a less than happy existence resides entirely in literature and I’ve heard Stoner is a minor masterpiece.  Can’t wait.

Went to see The Book of Mormon the other night.  Enjoyed it for sure but felt that it was ultimately a conventional musical with swear words and dildos.  And I fucking hate musicals.  Though I didn’t hate this.  It was a great night out we had, but what with parking and dinner and so on, cost the GNP of a middling-sized nation.

So, back to the paperbacks.

And the inane and entirely pointless search for a companion.  Which ostensibly costs nothing, but in fact leads to a major sanity overdraft which I am not sure I am going to be able to pay off.


Barge Poles

June 25, 2013 § 192 Comments

I wrote this below in about 1922 – well, actually, in March, for the Times, and due to space ishoos, they haven’t used it till now (well, yesterday).  So if it seems a bit out of date… Hell, a post is a post is a post:-

As spring arrives at long bloody last – I’ve been hibernating – I am asking my friends to send me on any blind dates they can think of, and every one of them says they will rack their brains, and that is the last I hear of it.

They all know just one single man whom, invariably, they swear I wouldn’t want to touch with a barge pole.  There are various categories of Barge Pole.  Divorced men who are manifestly enjoying the benefits of their new-found freedom and sleeping with several different women a week is an obvious one.  At a recent party, I saw a handsome example – an old friend called Mark whom I like but, even if he were interested in me, I wouldn’t touch with a…   As he and I chatted and laughed, one of his many benefits – a rich plankton with two divorces behind her – sidled up to him, and slithered her arms all over him like a python.  She gave me astonishingly hostile looks.  It was a possessiveness which I knew to be misplaced.  He had just been telling me about his sense of liberation and adventure, and how this particular woman and he had sex when they felt like it, but the arrangement was manifestly fluid.  Well, on his part at least (there were others from Tottenham to Turkey).  On hers, predictably, not so much.

A recent article in a serious American magazine placed available men into two categories, namely players and losers. Both of them, in my book, are disheartening BPs. While Mark is obviously a player, the all-too-commonplace loser is properly single, meaning distinctly non-committal and odd.  Quite often these types are still in love with a woman – or girl – they loved thirty or forty years ago.  They have had “relationships” – of sorts – since, but no woman has ever matched up to the mythical One.  I went out, briefly, with a man in this category.  He wasn’t ostensibly a “loser”.  A romantic figure on a hillside who wrote poetry and smoked a lot of dope, he was good-looking and warm and sweet.  But he always used to show me pictures of Lulu and talk about her to me with his glazed, beautiful, wistful, red Leb eyes, and I knew I needed to take note of the writing that had been on the wall from the outset. Gorgeous, but hopeless.

The funny thing is, even barge poles are quite thin on the ground at the moment.

But there are more female BPs than squeamish-inducing frogspawn in a pond.  I am one of them.  Old and spent and flabby and grabby and set in my ways.  Another man’s discarded chattel with another man’s children.

Barge Pole.  With heels on.

Fuck It

June 21, 2013 § 37 Comments

People coming round tonight.

I intend to drink a lot of vodka and doubtless make an arse of myself in front of a 43 year old twinkle.

Not too much vodka, obv.

But enough.


June 21, 2013 § 160 Comments

Well, SYT dumped me.  Who would have guessed, eh?

On my birthday following a wonderful evening.  The timing could have been a little less audacious but I guess young men aren’t famed for their sensitivity to women.

Odd creatures, men.  Is it me, or do they have a habit of raving about the successor to the predecessor?  What the fuck is that about?  My ex-husband told me about the detailed nature of my successor’s singular way of coming.  A superfluous image I find hard to eviscerate, even to this day.  I wonder if nearly a decade and a certain amount of domestic bliss and child-bearing later, her orgasms are quite so startling and note-worthy.  Oh, for his sake, I do very hope so.

At least SYT restrained himself on that score.  Just.   But raved about Successor nonetheless.  Her youth!  Her talent!  Oh, my, the things they have in common!  Their mutual attraction!  Their understanding of each other!  Bless.

Are predecessors, for men, transformed automatically into confidantes?  Or is that my special feature?  Last fucking person they should be telling, oh, but can they resist?  Well, not with me they can’t.  None of them.  (And I’ve never got the impression that the inverse happens, that when I am the successor, my predecessor is getting the rave reviews about me and wanting to stick her fingers down her no longer happily-yielding throat.  Where’s the justice?)  While I may have stood on the roof tops waving the bunting at my ex-husband about the fact I was (was!) seeing a man (at fucking last), somewhat junior to him (tra la!), feminine tact and kindness dictated that I did not compare the size of his cock or his oral technique with that of his leaner, fitter, less grey pubed, more sizeable afterword.

Anyway, what does it matter now?  Such nuance, such diplomacy: redundant, for  SYT is toast.

On my own head was it.  All along.

Meeting someone else.  Well, that was inevitable.  I knew THAT, all along.  Suppose I just kinda (kinda! ? WTF?  Who am I?  American?  14?: KIND OF) hoped it wouldn’t have been quite so soon.  In fact, if it had been 3 days after my birthday that would have been OK and I could have been all cool and oh-so-sanguine, because two days after it we had a night out, long planned, and that would have been nice if it had ended more intimately than it did, as opposed to me driving home alone to an empty house at two in the bloody morning, my very headlights shining REJECT with all the swagger of Blackpool’s illuminations.  (Do other women allow this sort of thing to happen?  Men to wank on about their new lovers?  Call it successor-wanking.  Or is it just me?  World’s most capacious mug?)  It would have been faintly more amusing had I not been dropping him home like a dutiful mother, back from the party past the witching-hour, directly into the taut , eager and waiting squelch of my successor’s distinctly younger and better-alternative-less-child-bear-y-less-silo-like cunt.

Ach!  Forgive me.  Cross.  But not surprised.  Not bitter.  Swear.

Fool me.  I had it coming.  (Or not, as the case may be!)


Cross.  Today.

But not for long.

Already scrabbling about for more irons if not in the fire – there are no irons; there is no fucking fire – then at least for the odd popping-its-clogs ember.  In the ashes.

A Banal Thought That’s Been Thought Many Times Before But Is Now Being Thought By Me

June 7, 2013 § 307 Comments

Sometimes I wish I could get into a man’s head, or be a man for a few days, just to try to get to the bottom of them, as it were.  Banal and unoriginal thought for the day: if women could understand men and men women, there’d be a whole let less heartache and shit going down.

I suppose it could be said that the SYT has graduated from a mere twinkle, but only with a 3rd class degree, alas.  Although he’s deigned to sleep with me more than once, he’s kind of a twinkle still because I never know when he’s next going to be deigning, which is demeaning, but entirely my own fault.  You get your Chinese torture Brazilian and you think is this worth the candle (ha! Wax! Geddit?)?  £40 fucking quid down the fucking drain (eyelash tint and half-leg wax into the mix), and for mine and mine (rather snooty) waxer’s eyes only.  Fucking waste or WHAT?  Would have been better spent on a year’s supply of blinking baked beans for the resident teenage vacuums!  But I live in doormat-y hope of a dint of deigning.  Am spending a night out with him, just us, in a day or two, and I got the bloody Brazilian this morning (is that dignified at my age or too fricking weird and unmentionable for words?  Does anyone under the age of 35 know of the existence of pubic hair?  The planktons’ dilemma.  Actually, let’s not go there).  But I haven’t got an effing clue how things are going to pan out: either, get your clothes off or thanks but no thanks.  Guess that’s what comes of cavorting with the Younger.

Still, though I am not a believer in “right vibes” (so elusive and nebulous and dispiriting for those of us who spend most our lives apparently putting out the wrong kind), there must be something going on in the immediate space around me for today, age-appropriate (Mid-fifties I’m guessing) Gary – whose last girlfriend, he recently told me to the toneless background noise of barcode beeping, had run off with another woman – asked me out.  Gary works at the checkout of my local supermarket.  He is a honey.  Always friendly and chatty over the conveyor belt and the journeying strawberry milk and sausages.  He grapples with his weight, which must be around the 24 stone mark, he billows over his chair but is always smiling and cheerful about his battle with buns.  His teeth are something of a challenge, those of them which remain in his twinkly head.  Some of them are gold, which isn’t such a good look on teeth, but they match his heart, something which a great many more people could do with (hearts at all, let alone gold ones).

I knew it took him some courage to ask me out and I hope I turned down his kind offer with a grace that did not challenge his dignity or hurt him.  I said I was so flattered and the offer was much appreciated but that the man in my life (oh yeah? Who he?) might think it was a little inappropriate for me to be having coffee with someone else.  I wish.  Anyway, Gary smiled and understood and said with no trace of bitterness that he had imagined as much.

The other day, a very rich man who lives in Belgravia whom I met at a party also asked me out (dinner and a night in his spare room, ho hum).  But I turned him down too.  Again, at no cost to his dignity I trust.  I said that he might have been given a false impression by a mutual friend of ours that I was single, but that I wasn’t exactly so (white lie: I manifestly am), and therefore it might be misleading and inappropriate if I were to accept his kind invitation but that I was so happy to have been asked, and thank you.  He said that should my circumstances change in the future…  Blushes spared all round.  You never hear about the askings out and turnings down that happen elegantly and kindly.  Hardly headline stuff, but one of the quiet,  modest, occasional nuggets about human nature.  On both occasions, even though Gary and Belgravia Bloke were not for me, it was nice (feeble word, but in this case spot on; no more, no less) to be asked.

If only I had the courage to ask what precisely is going on in the Younger’s (formerly known as SYT) head?  Of course I do know.  Doophur (doofer?) or what?  He’s Just That Not Into Me.

So, Mrs Daniels, what attracted you to millionaire Paul?  So, Mr Younger, why the occasional dick-driven deigning?

I like the guy.  But fuck him.

Plus Ca Change…Still The Plankton…

May 28, 2013 § 156 Comments

…Just rather less vocal than in the past.

Kids on half-term and I’m fretting about feeding them pizza and my work and gaining a few pounds – but not the sterling sort, alas; never those – and sex (the confusion of a certain but not complete lack thereof).

All this swilling about in the mind, and to be put on paper or, rather, blog, sometime very soon.