Sunday, August 21, 2011

Reckless Behaviour

So last night was a stereotypical, cliche, cougar type way.

It's been an emotional couple of days, for a myriad of reasons.  Chicago is starting to get to me. The walls are closing in.  Too many bad memories pervade my thoughts.  It is the scene of too much tragedy in my life and ultimately that energy finds me again and closes in.

It's hard not to miss my ex, when I am here, and the life we initially had together.  It's still hard to believe that it all fell apart so spectacularly.  It's also coming up to Mack's birthday.  He would have been 9 this year.  And if I think about how much I miss him and how much he continues to mean to me, the only option is to curl up and keen like the freshly bereaved.  I love him and miss him in equal measure.  I thought at the beginning that the intensity of these feelings would fade with time.  I guess not.

I have also had a big bust up with a friend, which has tipped me over the emotional edge.  This woman is one of my rocks.  I love her.  I never meant to upset her.  She definitely meant to upset me, I think.  At this moment in time I am not sure how to resolve this fight and if she even wants to.  It's so unexpected and has catapulted me back in time to High School, when female relationships seemed so fraught and loaded with nuance, compared to my long-standing friendships of today.  It makes me really sad.

So there I was yesterday, feeling sad and, yet again, like a bit of a tearful sop.  Honestly, I have not been like this for a while!  When it hits, it tends to hit hard and then bugger off again, which I suppose is a bit of a blessing.  I went to dinner with girlfriends and - par for the course - just had an itch to get absolutely trollied.  To let the smooth vodka in a multitude of martinis sooth all these cares away.  My friends didn't share this desire, because they are grown-ups and don't feel the need to blot their life and feelings away as a 20 year old, like I do.  I sat at the dinner table in a bit of a sulk, because yet again I was alone in my desire for a bit of a buzz.  C'mon people!  I wanted to implore them.  At least one of you help me get this fucking party started!

I am distracted a little by a young man sitting next to me at the bar.  He's nothing special in the looks department, although he reminds me a little of Chris Martin from Coldplay (who I have a bit of a thing for) and his body is to die for.  I don't think it helped that I had been to the movies in the afternoon and spent 2 hours ogling Ryan Gosling with his top off.  It was quite depressing to come to the realisation that I would have between Fat Chance and No Chance to have a romantic (oh, who are we kidding? sexual) encounter with a guy like that again in my life time.  In fact, probably closer to No Chance, let's be honest here.  Goddamn libido.  My life will be that much simpler when the menopause hits and my sexual desire goes for a long lie down.

Anyway, young man is intrigued by my accent and we chat for a while.  I am grateful for the attention, it has to be said.  Thank you Universe, for this little distraction from my messy and complicated emotions.  Thank you for this little boost to my ego, after wailing over my lost husband and dead baby for an hour or so this afternoon.  It couldn't be better timed.

Ultimately, we part to go to our tables and I think no more about it.  The next couple of hours are spent in a blur of talking, sushi and (in my case at least) martini consumption.  The dinner comes to a close and everyone is happy to make their way home.  Except me.  I don't want to go home.  I have nothing to go home to.  And I am certainly not ready to stop drinking.  My two martinis have definitely taken the edge off but have left me feeling a little bit reckless.  A little bit destructive.  I feel peeved and also embarrassed that I am the only one that feels this way.  I know I am not in danger of my behaviour spiraling out of control, but I just want more of a buzz, some excitement, loud music, possibly dancing.  I want to lose myself for just a couple of hours.

It's not very mature behaviour for a 44 year old, admittedly.  I knew I should have had more of a misspent youth and got it all out of my system then.  I resign myself to an early-ish night, thinking Sod It I Am Going Back To My Friend's To Drink All Her Grapefruit Vodka While She Is Sleeping - Until I Am Legless - You Just See If I Don't.

We walk out of the restaurant and, low and behold, who is the first person we bump into?  Oh young man...your stroll to get cigarettes from the bar across the road couldn't have been better timed.  I hadn't appreciated how tall he is, while at the bar.  He's 6ft 6, making me - even in my heels which make me over 6ft tall - feel petite and diminutive.  Oh dear.  I can feel a bad decision coming on.

We chat for a couple of minutes.  He asks us all to go for a drink. My friends demurely decline.  I pause. He senses my temptation and within minutes my friends are in cabs and I am sitting in a bar across the road with a young man holding my hand.  There are no prizes for guessing where he ultimately wants this to go, I think to myself wryly.  Well, what was I expecting?  A conversation around our favourite classical literature?

We kiss.  Holy Mother of God, his lips are like nectar and he is a fabulously gentle and sexy kisser.  There is a part of my brain saying not cool, this is so not cool and rolling its eyes in a reproving way.  But mainly it is just screaming YIPPEEEE!  It was so nice to just sit there, in the corner of a bar full of strangers and smooch with this relative stranger (I had at least got his name by this point, so maybe he now classified as an acquaintance, don't you think?) just for the sheer pleasure of it.  My urge to get drunk dispelled and was replaced with an urgent desire to get laid.

But as reckless - or maybe just impulsive - as I felt I was being, I knew for sure that I wasn't going to have a one night stand.  Been there.  Done that.  Only twice admittedly, but it's never left a good taste in my mouth afterward (I know what you're thinking, depraved reader...and No, it was not due to the old spit/swallow conundrum.)

So after 2 hours of wild snogging, first in the bar and then (with obvious glamour and sophistication) in a darkish alley, where the chemistry is established without any doubt whatsoever, I end the night (despite heartfelt pleas, which actually aren't that hard to resist).  He takes my number, but I doubt I will hear from him again.

Which is a little irritating.  I have another week to go and it would have been a very satisfying distraction.  Just the chance to run my hands over his taut abs again, would be quite thrilling.

So I will dwell on this pleasant daydream, while sitting here smothering my lips in chapstick.  A vain attempt to soothe the 2 inch circumference of skin which has been removed around my mouth. Ah, the detrimental side effects of a 2 hour snogging session.  My lips are going to look like shit for at least 3 days.

But I have to say, it was worth it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Unintentional Eavesdropping

I press the phone closer to my ear.

In the background I can hear muffled chatter and lots of laughter.  An American woman, requesting ever so politely to a waitress that none of her food comes within spitting distance of butter.

"Hello?  Hello, are you still there?  Hey big guy - talk to me!"

I press the phone even closer to my ear, straining to hear the sound of my son's voice, but he is too obviously engrossed in the happy family situation he is a part of, while on holiday with Ex and American Girlfriend.

I try to shut out the sound of her voice, intermingled in normal everyday conversation with his.

They sound really happy.  I can almost hear the smiles in their distant voices, via this unusually clear mobile phone reception.  I feel the bitter taste of envy rising from my stomach and the tears begin to smart behind my eyes.

Oh, not again.

For God sake, you big nelly...are you not over this already?

Just when I think I have a handle on this.  On her.  On him and her.  And them (meaning, of course, the boys), I get challenged.  I get a peek into their life together and Oh-My-God it always sounds so bloody picture perfect.  So very balanced.  Two loving adults.  Two happy children.  One small yappy type dog. What could be better?

It just still makes me sad that it isn't me that is able to provide this for them.

Finally, Johnny Drama returns his attention to the phone, whilst still clearly distracted.  "Bye Dad!  I mean Mum.  I love you...bye."

The phone is duly passed to his big brother.  I get to overhear yet more laughter at the dinner table.  Oh joy.  Lucky, lucky me.  "Hey Mum.  I went in a tow truck today!  Bye."

That's it.  That's my lot for today.  I hang up the phone and try not to cry.  Thank God they're happy.  Thank God.  Thank God.  Thank God.  It's all I want for them.  But, fuck me, it hurts that they just sound SO happy.  Surely a little bit of a grump, maybe a moan or two, possibly a few tears, wouldn't be too much to ask?

I miss them.  It's been 10 days since I have seen them and, despite having a lovely time in Chicago with my friends, I am beginning to crave my boys.  Life is beginning to feel distinctly off-kilter without them around.

It's been a fun summer.  We have already been to visit friends in Stockholm and had a blast swimming in the Baltic (brrrrr) nearly every day.  Seven kids, one dog, two cats and three parents (intent on having at least one alcohol free day, but never quite managing it.  Can't imagine why.).

The boys are approaching their 6th and 8th birthdays and seem to have turned a maturity corner.  They are becoming young men.  Their company is delightful.  I am head over heels in love with them right now.

And I guess it's a good thing that I am not the only one.

It's what I have always wanted for them - to be surrounded by love.  To be a part of a really happy family.


Right.  Where's my drink?  Let's make an attempt to drown these tears (and the sound of their combined laughter) in a litre of California's finest.

After all, looking on the bright side it's not as if a hang-over is going to matter...I'm not due to get woken up at 6am and be on 'summer fun' duty for another 4 days.  Might as well get the vino opened and make the most of it.