Monday, 31 December 2007

THE DAILY MALE continues...31/12/07

Thursday. A horrible night. I wake every half an hour with a dragging sense of something terribly wrong in my life. My mouth turns down at the corners in misery as the memories of last night wash over me and I fight back the tears as I wriggle myself back to sleep.

At dawn, I am drawn up through the depths like an underwater swimmer who longs to remain on the sea bed. I shun the naked light of day and try to return to oblivion by diving beneath the covers, but I’m awake now and I must face the truth. MLP and I are over. How many more times can I do this?

I get up early and flip the radio on. Terry Wogan is playing Laura Brannigan singing Gloria and the line ‘If everybody wants you, why isn’t anybody calling?’ strikes a sardonic note. I pick up my weights and try to rustle up some endorphins, kick start my metabolism, and fight off the depression. I shower, sit down at my dressing-table and phone up anyone who'll listen as I relate the latest saga of my having been dumped.

This is the Road to Hell as every time I tell the story, I tell it better and the better I tell it, the more it upsets me. I am trying to do my make-up which is not only difficult but stupid, as the tears moisten my mascara which streaks down through my foundation resulting in a salty, smeary paste instead of the flawless finish as promised by Estée Lauder.

The sisterhood is suitably sympathetic but reminds me that it was always finite, that I knew it would end sooner or later and isn’t it better to have ended now, as I haven’t had time to get too attached. HAVEN’T I?!!! Why do I feel so shit then?

I battle through the morning and by lunchtime have pulled myself together sufficiently to reel in some back-up. I text Oxbridge and Brad Pity with the good news (for them) that I’m back on the market, and they both sound pleased and keen to see me. I go out for supper and to the theatre with a group of old friends which I find very comforting, in a This-is-the-future-in-a-Retirement-Home kind of way.

Over the next few days, I allow myself to think about MLP for about three minutes every hour before cutting off his blood supply and pushing the memory of him as far away as possible. He is absolutely and strictly forbidden to live rent free in my head.

Saturday. Although I have loads to do as I’m going away ski-ing first thing in the morning, I can’t cope with the Saturday-night-is-the-loneliest-night-of-the-week-syndrome, so I text Flash Gordon to tell him I’m free if he is. He excitedly offers to see me Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere. Perhaps I should rename him Martini (for those of you too young to remember - this was the strap line of their advert in the 1980s starring Joan Collins!)

We arrange to meet at the Elgin and he arrives just after me. He greets me with a warm hug and a kiss on both cheeks and goes straight to the bar. I study him from my table by the window. Could I? Should I? Would I? Not really. He is truly nice-looking and well-dressed as before, but nowhere in my chemistry lab do I find a Bunsen burner bubbling away with any degree of enthusiasm. And I’m sure he’s lied his age up. He looks about sixteen; I don’t even think he shaves yet.

We go through the usual What-you-been-up-to? natter and when it gets too noisy for conversation, we go up the road for an Indian. I feel a bit mean using him to sublimate my loneliness tonight, and I wonder, en passant, if the rest of him is in proportion with his short stature. He could be hung like a buffalo in which case I’d be missing out big time, but if he was, I can’t help thinking he would have dropped this juicy little nugget of information into the conversation somehow, as in:

‘Did I ever tell you about the time I had to take my girlfriend to the hospital to have her foufou re-modelled?’

We leave the restaurant and he moves in for a snog, but I do my little ducky divey dance and brush him away.

‘I live just round the corner!’ I say in mock shock. ‘I know a lot of people round here so PDAs in the street are not really appropriate…’ which of course we all know isn’t true.

He slinks off with his tail between his legs and I go home and finish packing thinking how glad I am to be getting away and vowing to leave all painful thoughts of MLP behind.

I go to bed wondering if he’s with his new squeeze having their first encounter, and how that feels for him. Exciting, probably. Well, it would, wouldn’t it?

I set my alarm for 5 a.m. and try to get some sleep.

Sunday. Calm Best Friend and I set off early for our Club Med ski trip with forty other singles. No sooner are we at the Gatwick check-in than we’re joined by a tall, dark, handsome, charming guy sporting the same luggage tags as us. He and I have a momentary eye fuck but I decide to let CBF have first dibs as:

a) I don’t need another involvement just now
b) she hasn’t had a boyfriend in a while
c) I don’t need another involvement just now and
d) I’m tired and I keep repeating myself.

I check out the rest of the motley crew but no-one remotely piques my interest. Calm Best Friend goes off shopping and Check-in Charlie (CC)and I hang around together chatting until the departure gate number comes up. We sit together on the plane and he entertains us for the entire flight. He is quick-witted and clever, every comment twisted into a hilarious metaphor.

I find myself inexorably drawn to him... but try not to show it...

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

THE DAILY MALE...continues...26/12/07

‘I’m multi-tasking like women can!’ I say, trying not to sound too bitterly, twistedly ironic. ‘Clever that, wouldn’t you say…being able to watch TV and THINK at the same time?’

This would have made him laugh in any other circumstances but he doesn’t laugh this time.

‘Just watch the film,’ he advises, like this will solve all my problems.
‘It’s really good…’

I chew my lip for a while then perk up a bit as I have a flash of inspiration, or is it desperation?

‘Any reason why we shouldn’t have sex tonight?’ I query engagingly.

He sniggers and says: ‘I s’pose not’ and I momentarily feel a little better, like I have something to look forward to. I’m not convinced, however, that making love when you know it’s for the last time, is such a good idea…

Eventually I settle down and we actually snuggle up and I pretend to watch the film. My body language, however, is horrendous. I’m wrapped around him like a drowning woman clutching a life raft. One of my legs is thrown around both of his and I’m holding both his hands like I’m trying to create an unbreakable circle. But it’s already broken. I know that. He’s drawn away from me if not physically, then certainly mentally.

When the film (what film?) ends, I ask trepidantly: ‘What now?’

‘I’m shooting’ he replies having a long stretch.

I get up and walk out. I busy myself in the kitchen. He comes looking for his trainers and with a slight sense of embarassment, I open the broom cupboard and hand them to him. He scowls and shakes his head, then goes back into the living-room to put them on and collect the rest of his stuff.

I remember his Nike t-shirt I’d slept in then hand-washed and ironed lovingly like it was the Turin Shroud or something, and I go to the bedroom to get it. I hand it to him but I cannot meet his eyes. I do not want to watch him leave. I’ve played that scene too many times before. It hurts. We stand opposite each other in the hallway and I take his face in both my hands. I turn it this way and that kissing him on both cheeks as I studiously avoid his sweet and tender mouth. It’s the way a mother would kiss a much-loved child goodbye. He plants a smacker on my lips like he did that very first time, but this time as I draw back, I’m not giggling.

‘Talk to you later’ he says cheerily.

I raise one eyebrow.

‘Or tomorrow or the next day…’ he goes on.

I pull a 'wha’ ever…' face, open the front door and he walks.

‘Don’t ever be afraid to phone or text me,’ I call out, as he heads off down the stairs, and I close the door firmly behind him.

I take the deepest breath and set my mouth into a thin, determined line. I march into the bathroom, pluck The Robe off the back of the door and stuff it into the washing-machine... ready for its next wearer.

Monday, 17 December 2007

THE DAILY MALE - continues...

This pathetic and futile gesture tips me over the edge, and a wave of the deepest sadness sweeps over me. I return to the living-room and slide onto the floor at his feet. I crouch between his knees and take both his hands in mine. I look up at him and try to speak but my voice cracks like bad plastering – something he’d know nothing at all about!

‘I just want to thank you for everything’ I croak, and a big, fat tear leaks out of my eye and plops down onto his combats.

‘Thank you for all the lovely dates.’ I sniff. ‘Thank you for my birthday and Valentine’s night and that breakfast you brought round. Thank you for making me believe that I could maybe, one day, love again. Thank you for always turning up when you said you would – more or less. Thank you for all the sexy texts – at the beginning anyway…’

And I trail off as my voice and heart are truly breaking now and I don’t want him to see the impact that he’s had on me. Nor do I want to make him feel guiltier than he already may. Or for him to see me how I suddenly feel… which is very, very old.

‘How do you feel?’ I ask trying to hold it together. ' that you’ve told me?’

‘I…er… I feel sorry’ he answers openly. ‘But we always knew…also, I feel…er…a bit relieved really…’

That last was said way too chirpily but although I knew he’d feel this way because I’ve been there, it somehow upsets me more. I wonder how long he’s carried this burden around for, how long he’s wanted to tell me it’s over.

’Does your mum know about me?’ I ask suddenly.

‘Of course.’ He answers.

‘And does she know what you were going to do tonight? Does she know about…S… Sarah?’

I manage to avoid spitting the word out. It was my grandmother’s name.

‘There’s nothing to know, is there?’ he answers and I wonder if my premonition was right when I’d imagined his mother telling him not to see me anymore.

Had she in fact said: ‘Leave that older woman and go out with someone your own age’? If he’d been my son, that’s what I would have advised.

He gets up and slides the DVD he’s brought into my player. As if this is going to make a difference to my life, he tells me brightly that it’s ‘a really good film’. We sit awkwardly on the couch, or at least I do. He seems quite comfortable now. And why shouldn’t he be? He’s been fed and watered, he’s offloaded me in a reasonably decent fashion, he has a new girlfriend to look forward to and now he’s going to watch a ‘really good film’! Life must seem pretty terrific.

I wriggle around and hug my legs to my chest seeking his attention but he is now totally focused on the movie. Men are so weird. If they’re doing one thing, that’s all they’re doing. I fidget some more and he eventually asks: ‘What’s up?’


Wednesday, 12 December 2007

THE DAILY MALE - continues...

‘Do you want me to go?’ he asks, his voice little more than whisper.

‘No’. I reply. God! That would be terrible. It’s bad enough dealing with it with him still here, but at least I’m managing to hold it all together. If he leaves me now, he’ll take away the biggest part of me and I’ll have to go through the seven stages of bereavement all by myself and I really don’t fancy that. Not yet. Not tonight.

We go back to the table and I make some semblance of eating the very-tasty-in-any-other-circumstances stuffed peppers.

‘Very good!’ he mumbles, chewing loudly and nodding approvingly between mouthfuls.

‘I’d like to smash your face in!’ I growl and he looks surprised at my sudden aggression.

He then embarks on some long-winded story about how when he was sixteen, his divorced parents got back together to support him at a football match and he scored his best ever goal with both of them watching.

It all comes out like white noise to me and I don’t give a flying fuck about him and his fucking parents and his fucking football. The reality of what has just happened is starting to hit me, swishing around in my head like thick slurry in a cesspit and I know as sure as eggs is eggs that a deep depression will descend on me very soon.

I exit the kitchen again leaving him to clear up. I actually do not want to be in his company any longer. I consider hurling myself onto my bed and doing a big, sobbing, drama queen number but it’s not really my style and would serve very little useful purpose. I hover about in the hallway, chewing my thumb, then go and sit down on the sofa and soon he comes in and sits beside me. I move away.

‘Look, I’ll go shall I?’ he offers.
‘Do you want to go?’ I ask menacingly.
‘No I don’t…but…’
‘I don’t want you to go. But please try and understand the way I’m feeling. I’m trying to deal with what you’ve just told me and I’m experiencing all sorts of different emotions. I’m not going to try and sublimate them by acting normally to make you feel better. I’m just letting them run through me at their own pace until they find their own level. It all feels a bit scrambled just now… if that makes any sense to you at all…’

He doesn’t say anything. We stay silently one on each end of the sofa, and I think what a waste it is to have him here for the last time, and not be close to him. I get up and go into the kitchen for some water. His trainers are lined up neatly against the skirting board and I pick them up and hide them in the broom cupboard. That’s bound to stop him leaving, isn’t it? No shoes? Oh I’d better stay with her forever then…

Friday, 7 December 2007

THE DAILY MALE - continues...

I swallow hard, look at him and shrug. I don’t really trust myself to talk, but as the confident, capable, cope-able, older woman, I know that talk I must.

‘I always said I would never hold you back from the rest of your life’ I say quietly, with a generosity of spirit I do not feel. ‘I told you I would never try to curtail your freedom…’

The one I call ‘My Sad Tape’ is playing on my kitchen cassette player. Gerard Kenny croons You Are My Fantasy, Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald wail On my Own and Barry Manilow follows with Somewhere down the Road. I only have myself to blame. I made and inserted the tape and I pressed Play. It could be my choice of music that eventually drives them away... Maybe I should invest in something by Autopsy or Maggot Maniacs, but why should I buy music that I don’t like only to get stuck with it when they walk out?

I suddenly feel I can’t do this conversation any longer so I scrape my chair back from the table, throw my napkin onto my still full plate and stomp out onto the balcony, snatching up his cigarettes and lighter as I go. I light the fag and draw on it so deeply and so fast that I get a terrific head rush.

On top of the two vodkas, my emotions are rocketing then plummeting to titanic depths. I am now reeling and giddy. I look down the three storeys to the street below and imagine myself hurtling to earth, my scream piercing the night like his words pierced my heart. Is he worth that? Definitely not. My children and grandchildren don’t deserve it either. Not for an unemployed little Essex boy who refuses to go down on me, but with whom I just happen to have fallen a little bit in love. And I’ll live to fight another day. I always do. This is just another blip, another debit in my love account, a credit in my memory bank, and something I will no doubt not learn from.

I stay outside shivering in the cold, waiting for him to come and find me, and eventually he does, drawing me gently back inside.

‘We woz doin’ it out ‘ere this time las' week!’ he comments, as if he’s telling me something I didn’t already know.

‘Yes!’ I concur sardonically. ‘And now you’re dumping me! What the hell’s that all about?’

‘I hate that word…’ he says.

So don’t do it, I mutter under my breath, and sniff loudly.

Friday, 30 November 2007

THE DAILY MALE - continues...

We sit down to eat. MLP seems very quiet. This doesn’t worry me unduly until he suddenly goes: ‘Er.. Wendy…’ and I drop my cutlery with a resounding crash, cover my ears with my hands and say:

‘I don’t wanna hear this’ because I know - I just KNOW - what’s coming.

He never calls me Wendy. Hun, babe, but never Wendy.

‘You have to,’ he says calmly and pain like a thousand poisoned arrows stabs my heart leaching its venom into every crevice of my viscera. What a terrific appetite suppressant that is!

I lower my head unable to look at him and although I always knew this would happen, I did not know appalling it would make me feel. The word ‘revastated’ comes to mind... a bitter combination of resigned and devastated.

Why do I put myself through this? Will I never learn? Are the joyful highs really worth the crushing lows? And despite my cavalier ‘Toyboys? Huh! Love ‘em and leave ‘em!’ advice to others, I’m clearly incapable of doing this myself.

I don’t know if there was any particular moment when MLP began to go off me. It’s not a question you can ask, really, is it? Something I’d said, something I’d done, some over-demand I’d made, the way I’d looked at him as he left the last time, a taking for granted even...but when this conversation I always knew would come finally gets under way, I find myself totally unprepared for it.

We’ve been seeing each other for ten and half weeks. And every time I saw him, I never really expected to see him again. And if it’s any consolation, this time, I am right. A Pyrrhic victory in the event...

‘A girl asked me ou' on a date last week’ he begins.
‘And did you go?’ I counter.
‘Nah! It wouldn’t 've been right’ he replies.

We sit in silence as I wait for him to continue. He’s eating all the while, seemingly enjoying the infamous stuffed peppers, obviously relieved that the end he's been seeking is now in sight.

‘She’s a girl Michelle knows,’ he goes on, chewing appreciatively, cutting into his second one, the red one, with the extra cheese on top. ‘Her name’s Sarah – I’ve seen 'er dan the pub a few times. I quite like 'er. And then ‘chelle tells me she really likes me!’

What am I supposed to say? Mazeltov!

‘I’' he pauses, swallowing loudly, 'I’d like to go out with ‘er but I wouldn’t do that while I’m still seeing you. I’m not like that.’

What the mind doesn’t know the heart doesn’t grieve over. You could've got away with it, baby...if you'd been clever enough.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

THE DAILY MALE - continues...

Wednesday. I text MLP to confirm the new dinner arrangement for tonight to which he replies in the affirmative, and I drift happily through the day oblivious to the fact that at 8 p.m. my life will hurtle headlong off a cliff.

In the afternoon, I go to the re-opening party of a cigar emporium to whom I have supplied goods for a number of years. In fact, when I first began my antique humidor business in 1972, they were my first customers. Much to my surprise, I bump into the ex-Love Of My Life – a married zillionaire I’d had a wild and passionate affair with all through the 1980s. Our paths haven’t crossed for many a moon and although he’s grown older and lost most of his thick dark hair, the old charisma still oozes out of him like oil from a beached tanker.

I am rather surprised by how flirty he is, given that when I got divorced, he stayed married. The old magic is alive and well and when I leave to go home and get on with the unemployed labourer's dinner, he hugs and kisses me goodbye several times squeezing my arms tightly as he does so. As soon as I am in my car, I call him. We have an intimate conversation during which we re-visit the finer points of our unbridled sex life. I tell him I’d love to meet up with him again ‘even just for coffee’ and he promises to call. I doubt if he will. If his wife finds out again like she did the last time, all shades of shit will hit the fan and he certainly wouldn't want that at his time of life. As for me, I'd welcome him back in a New York minute.

I get home and finish preparing the meal we never ate last night and MLP arrives on time, in his not so usual way. I give him a huge hug on the doorstep, telling him how much I’ve missed him and he mumbles, after a heavily pregnant pause, that he’s missed me too. He helps me prepare the grilled halloumi and prosciutto-wrapped asparagus starter, then I realise we're low on vodka and send him down to the offie with a £20 note.

He takes my keys and when he lets himself back in, I say brightly: ‘I liked that!’ and he says: ‘What?’ and I say: ‘You coming in with my keys.’

He smiles enigmatically knowing all the time he’s about to dump me.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

THE DAILY MALE - continues...

Friday. I go to a business meeting which finishes early and I call Flash Gordon to confirm. We meet near Marble Arch. He is a really nice-looking, well-dressed, articulate guy BUT…he is a veritable toy boy – surely no taller than 5’2”. We buy some cappuccinos and go and sit in Hyde Park. I find it hard to meet his very blue, long-lashed eyes which are boring into me the entire time. I ask myself what the hell I’m doing here, and how would I like it if my so-called ‘boyfriend’ was meeting other women for afternoon tea? After 20 minutes, I tell him my meter has run out and he walks me to my car, kisses me goodbye and says he hopes we can meet again soon.

Within seconds, he’s texting me:

‘You took my breath away. I was not prepared for the searingly beautiful, stunningly attractive and disarming lady I met. Wish it was I opening a bottle on the sofa with you tonight! Going to the gym to get you out of my system.’

Blimey! Keep talking…I text him a thank you for the compliment and he hits me again:

‘You were wonderful company and if all that transpires is a friend then I’m all the richer. I’ll think of you at the gym with every press, thrust, sprint and jerk!’

Wow! Er…hmmm…What a shame I don’t feel the same …

I go to my mum’s for dinner and try to stay above the surface despite no message all day from MLP. I’m starting to founder when a welcome text comes through from him.

‘Hi hun I’m at my cousin’s avin a smoke xx’

Now I can rest easy tonight and start worrying again tomorrow.

Saturday. My daughter drops my grandchildren over to me for lunch and in the afternoon I take them out to the park opposite. They’re wearing their Heelys so I take along a pair of ski-poles, tuck one under each arm, while they grab hold of the ends. I then begin to jog while dragging them along, whooping and screaming with joy. I’m the horse and they’re the cart. After a circuit round the perimeter, I collapse onto the grass laughing and panting, thinking how blessed I am to have these darling little girls in my life.

They go off to the playground and I watch them from a nearby bench. For no particular reason, I text MLP to ask him if he likes stuffed peppers. My instinct tells me that anything that involves me cooking for him should provoke some response. His reply comes straight back and we enter into a dialogue filled with innuendo about what to stuff them with, which culminates in him accepting my invitation to dinner on Tuesday.

In the evening my old friend, Martin, takes me to the Mandarin Oriental on our usual understanding, where we drink champagne while he eye-prowls the joint like a lounge lizard looking for prey. He has no luck there, so we go on to Zuma where again, he fails to find anything remotely pullable. Me: I ain’t bovvered. I’m not sure where MLP is tonight but I presume he’s out with friends. I am slightly miffed about not seeing him on a Saturday night but c’est ma vie. I can’t be making the running all the time.

Around midnight, I have a very strong sensation that he’s snogging someone. She’s probably a fat chav with cheap shoes and her tits hanging out. I hope I’m wrong.

Tuesday. The two-day silence is broken by a couple of texts from Flash Gordon wanting to see me again ‘if nothing else just as friends’. I don’t really need any more friends. I also get one from the long lost Rugby Player who I wind up by pretending not to know who he is.

I shop for food for the evening and spend the afternoon lovingly preparing the stuffed peppers and other delicacies for MLP’s 7 p.m. arrival. At 5 p.m. his name appears on my mobile screen, and my heart leaps then sinks. A foreboding of doom swirls malevolently around my head like fog in a 50s thriller.

I answer hesitantly and as my instinct has warned me, he sounds subdued. When he begins a sentence with: ‘My mother…’ I mentally finish it with: ‘…doesn’t want me to see you any more.’

A small tornado blows the fog away as I listen to what he has to say. Dear Mama has come home from work feeling unwell, so being the dutiful son that he is, he has helped her into bed and made her a fried egg on toast. He does not want to leave her so can he come over tomorrow night instead?

*&^%@~>?/£$!!!! But at least he’s not cancelling altogether, and the food will keep. I’m disappointed and relieved all at the same time and I make the right sympathetic noises, wishing his mother better (bitch) and looking forward to seeing him tomorrow.

I immediately dial Nutty Best Friend and invite her to come round thereby staving off an evening spent thinking about all the other reasons why he may have cancelled. The imaginary chav with the big tits comes to mind, but if he’d been making up a story, surely he wouldn’t have used his beloved mother’s name in vain?

I beat Nutty Best Friend roundly at Scrabble and give myself a pedicure before going to bed.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

THE DAILY MALE - continues...

MLP stretches languidly and tells me that his back and legs are aching. I lay a towel out in front of the fire and he undresses down to his boxers and I sit astride his beautiful body and give him a long, slow massage. I could baby-oil his skin all night: it is so smooth and soft and I feel at one with him in the firelight. Dionne Warwick is warbling on the iPod and when she sings I know I’ll never love this way again… I think that maybe I won’t.

I roll down off his back onto the floor alongside him and we begin to make love, gently at first and then as intensely and passionately as we ever have. I snatch at the sands of borrowed time but they slip through my fingers as I know they must. When we finish, we lay together naked stroking each other tenderly and talk until way past midnight. He says he loves listening to my stories and the way that I tell them. That he tries to express himself better when he’s with me, to use a wider vocabulary and articulate more. Yet again, I wish I could stop the clock, but I know it’s ticking towards the time when he says:

‘Sorry baby… I just can’t do this any more.’

I put on his discarded t-shirt which I shall not give back as I wish to sleep in it forever, and I get up to make him some tea. After he drinks it, he puts on the t-shirt I bought him in Paris and gets ready to leave.

‘I have one more question,’ I say as he goes to open the front door.
‘Is it a serious one?’ he asks narrowing his eyes.
‘Yes’ I reply. ‘I need to know when I’m going to see you again. I need to know when we say goodbye, when will be the next time we say hallo.’

I can't believe, with all my age and experience, that sometimes I can be so uncool.

He looks relieved that it’s not that serious and says maybe Sunday – he’ll let me know.

Thursday. I’m due to visit Eurotrash’s gallery again with my business partner, who couldn’t make it last time. I text him to tell him I’ll be there at 1 p.m. to which he replies ‘Great’.

When we arrive, exactly on time, his colleague tells me he’s popped out for an hour. I am not amused. What a coward, a loser, a prat and a wanker. I make a mental note to cross him off my list, glad I have other contenders to fall back on.

I call MLP for a chat in the evening before I go out to films with a girlfriend, and I text him ‘Goodnight’ when I get home. He replies ‘Goodnight babe. Speak to you tomorrow xxx’ which makes me smile, but I wonder if he will or if he won’t.

Just as I’m falling asleep Flash Gordon from the toyboywarehouse website texts to say he’s ‘drooling to meet me.’ As I’m a sucker for a drooler and am feeling so insecure about MLP, I give him a quick call and we agree to meet up for coffee tomorrow if we can both fit it in.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

THE DAILY MALE - continues...

By way of an apology, I go out and spend a small fortune on a big, fat, juicy, organic steak for him which I can always eat myself if push comes to shove...or shove comes to push... his face in it.

I don’t really know why I get so aggressive about MLP! Everything he’s ever done to upset me has mostly taken place inside my own head. He is a good, decent, caring, genuine, polite, helpful, sweet and honest human being but if he’s not calling or texting me every hour on the hour, I turn into a paranoid schizophrenic. If he was, it would drive me mad anyway, which says more about me than it does about him.

He arrives on time (as always) and my heart melts (as always) when I see his darling face. He looks lovely: clean and scrubbed and shiny, hair very neatly slicked back, and smartly dressed. He’s ready to go straight out to the Comedy Club, but looks mighty relieved when I tell him I’ve binned that idea and we’re staying home.

I cook the dinner which he eats with much gusto and appreciation. He does the washing up and we go into the living-room, then out onto the balcony. It’s a balmy night and he stands behind me and wraps his arms around my waist. I lean back into him and feel him grow hard as he presses himself towards my buttocks.

A shudder of desire rises swiftly in me and I arch my back and rest my head against his shoulder. He nuzzles my neck and I angle myself into him feeling his erection through the cloth of his jeans. He starts to unbutton them then lowers his hand and unzips mine. The street is quiet below, and we giggle conspiratorially as we both drop our trousers and start to make love al fresco. He thrusts into me, panting in rhythm, enjoying the risky business of not being rumbled by the neighbours.

Apart from being afraid of toppling off the balcony, the position we're in is not very comfortable. Call me old-fashioned, but I like making love in a big white bed. MLP climaxes suddenly but I don’t and he withdraws, puts himself away and we go back inside. My emotions are now all over the place and I suddenly decide I want to have A Talk. What I really need is An Orgasm.

I ask how he would feel if tonight were the last night we were to spend together and he looks at me as if he’s about to burst into tears. I quickly tell him it isn’t, but how would he feel if it was? Without missing a beat, he says he would miss me a helluva lot, that he is very attached to me, that he thinks about me all the time, talks about me all the time, but wishes he was older. How sweet is that? (It never occurs to me to say that I wish I was younger!)

We talk around the issue of his wanting children and I joke about us adopting a Cambodian orphan. The fact is we both know our thing must end at some point. I tell him I would never wish to curtail his freedom nor divert him away from the path of his life. Much...

He says again how much he loves being with me, and when he comes to my flat it’s like ‘coming home’. He adores being looked after and cooked for and I make him feel like a very special man. I suggest, in that case, that we just continue to enjoy the basic fundamentals of life which are food and sex. After all, what more do we need from each other?

He hugs me tightly and asks if I will always be his ‘special friend’. I say ‘Of course, and one day I want you to phone me and say ‘Wendy, I’ve just had a son…’ but I don’t really mean it. I don't see myself as Fairy Godmother to some ex-toyboy's kid but another relationship.

There is a bittersweet sorrow to our being together, feeling strongly for each other yet knowing a future is impossible. I really love him tonight and I know, in his own way, he loves me. And yet I can hear the clock ticking and the sound is growing louder and louder...

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

THE DAILY MALE - continues...

During the weekend, Oxbridge texts me but I don't bother to reply. I don’t care about him at all. He hasn’t made me smile or laugh once, so that’s never going to work, is it?

Monday. As I reach the Eurostar terminal to head home, I get a very unexpected text from Finn. He’s the lanky young Kiwi who sort of asked me for money a while back.

‘Back in the country for 10 days before going back to Auckland for good. Would really like to catch up before I go x’ ergo: I could use a fuck.

I notice my battery is low so I prowl the terminal looking for a power point, plug my charger in and stick my wheelie in front of it so the station police won’t see me stealing electricity from the French Government. As the juice is coming in, it’s going right back out again, as I can’t resist texting Finn back.

I tell him I am ‘seeing someone’ to which he replies ‘I understand but no-one has to know’. I say: ‘I would know and I respect my guy too much to do that to him’ making it sound like I’m a decent person or something. I’m actually trying to get him to sit up and beg which he does.

‘We had something that blew my mind so much I hoped we could do it again. You are a real catch - fantastic in bed and I always wanted to be with a woman like u xx.’

Flattery may get him everywhere…

‘I’ll see…' I reply ...'if he pisses me off and I get horny one afternoon, I’ll call you. I do remember you were rather well hung…’

‘Yay! That’s the spirit. I just want to burn it up for old times sake. Can’t wait to see your amazing body again. My package is pretty good but it’s what you do with it that counts. Xxx’

I board the train pondering the fact that unbeknown to him, MLP is on Very Dangerous Ground. Not having even kissed me, never mind anything else, on our last date to that lousy Indian restaurant nearly a week ago, he’s left me textually abandoned all weekend in Paris.

As if picking up on my grumpy vibe, he redeems himself by phoning as the train exits the tunnel on the English side, but my battery is bleeping low so I tell him I’ll call him back when I get home, which I do.

We have a bit of a non-conversation during which it becomes clear he has forgotten our date for next Wednesday night, for which I’ve got some comps to the Canal Café Comedy Club. He says he’s working nights this week (at least he’s working) and promises to ‘try and sor’ somefin’ out’ so we can still get together. As accommodating as ever, I say ‘Don’t worry babe, work comes first’.

I don’t mean it. I should be coming first. At the moment, I’m not coming at all.

Tuesday. At home having a quiet night in - my first in months – I find myself irrevocably drawn to There’s a young chap called Flash Gordon who’s been messaging me a lot, so I give him my number and he texts then calls me.

He sounds like a lot of fun, upbeat and flirty, and he pushes for an immediate meeting. We arrange a daytime drink on Friday afternoon. I also tell him I am ‘currently seeing someone and I won’t two time him’ which is a handy cop-out in case I'm not smitten but don't want to offend.

He says he’d be happy for me to ‘use and abuse him at will’. Hmmm! Things are looking up!

MLP calls me out of the blue, as if he knows I’m up to something. We discuss tomorrow night for which he has managed to free himself, and I return him atop his pedestal.

Wednesday. Knowing he’s worked all night, I text MLP that we don’t have to go to the Comedy Club as planned, but can stay home and I’ll cook. He replies that he is ‘very tyard but not bothered what we do as long as we’re relaxing. im not sure that I’ll be v. responsive tonight anyway’

Brilliant. Just what I needed to hear. My toyboy, who is clearly an old fart in training, wants a good meal placed in front of him before falling asleep on the sofa in front of the tele.

I compose a variety of sniffy texts ranging from:

‘What’s the point in me going out with a 28-yr old if he's going to behave like a 68- yr old?’ to

‘If you’re not going to lick my lips, at least have the sense to read them. You need to keep me sexually satisfied as I’m hardly interested in your brain or your wallet both of which appear to be permanently running on empty’ to

‘I really fancy making love with you tonight so why don’t you take a Viagra and I can bounce up and down on your hard-on while you get some sleep?’

I impulsively send the last one which I hope he receives in the manner in which it was (not) intended, i.e. humour as opposed to barely-concealed criticism.

He doesn't reply...Now he’ll feel under pressure to perform and is bound to disappoint which is not a good way to start the evening...

Thursday, 25 October 2007

THE DAILY MALE...continues...

Saturday. I wake up feeling excited as this afternoon I’m off to Paris to meet my dear friend, Suzy, who's flying all the way from Texas for her 50th birthday. I'll be happily busy all weekend and if I could unplug my brain and leave it behind, I gladly would. If only Dyno-rod could vacuum out our heads and hearts once in a while, they’d make a fortune.

Mid-morning, my girlfriend Michele, who’s been having a tough time men-wise following a catalogue of dating disasters on the internet, asks me to take a look at her new profile which reads as follows:

‘Right - I'm really fed up with this now. Out there somewhere there has to be a tallish divorced man with decent table manners and children, who lives in London (or seriously within 45 mins. without a helicopter), who can look in the mirror and smile, knowing that he has made the best of himself!

Let's get a few things straight - I am not looking or a meal ticket, my photographs are all taken in the last three months, I weigh 8 stone, and what you see is what you get. I am shallow: if you don't make an effort to look good and keep yourself in shape then don't contact me, because it's just an insult if you can't be bothered. If you are married - then get a life and make sure it doesn't include me.’

I find this hilarious! I'm sure she’ll get a huge response as all the creepy crawlies will come out of the closet thinking she’s a feisty dominatrix.

At 1 p.m. I board the Eurostar to Gare du Nord, a journey which I love. I’m excited for Suzy who’s on a plane from Houston, as it’ll be her first time in the French capital and I’m so looking forward to showing it to her.

I give my texting finger a rest (at least for the 20 minutes I’m in the tunnel where there’s no signal anyway) and we meet up as arranged at l’Hotel du Quai Voltaire right opposite the Louvre.

Night is falling, and as we walk along the left bank and across the Pont Saint-Michel, Suzy gets her first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower twinkling in the evening sky. Her jaw drops and her eyes fill with tears. After dreaming of it for so long, she simply cannot believe she is actually here. I take some photos of her to capture the moment, and although I’ve been to Paris more times than I can remember, it’s as if I’m seeing all the iconic sights for the first time, with renewed wonderment, through her eyes.

The next day dawns hot and sunny and every building just glows with pride in itself and its unabashed beauty. We spend a thoroughly enriching morning wandering around the Musée d’Orsay feasting our eyes on the best of the Impressionists. Pure unadulterated cultural heaven.

Paris delivers at every turn. I guess that’s what you get for having collaborated during the war and not had the Boche bombing the shit out of you. The glorious weather and stunning architecture is a salve for my troubled soul. I normally come to Paris to dash about on business and shop on the hoof, but this trip is totally touristique.

I also finally get to Père Lachaise cemetery, the burial place of the great and the good including Jim Morrison. He has a fairly insignificant grave but it’s an international shrine, covered in flowers and candles left there by the pilgrims: hordes of kids who weren’t even born when he died in 1971. They stand around trying to squeeze a few tears out as they stare at the untended stone. I know The Doors were huge and Jim was gorgeous but apart from ‘Light my Fire’ which José Feliciano made famous first, I can’t think of a single one of their songs. I am more impressed by the tombs of Colette, Edith Piaf, Rossini and Oscar Wilde. I guess it's an age thang.

In the evening, we go to dinner at that quintessentially Belle Epoque brasserie, Le Grand Colbert, which Suzy remembers from the film As Good As It Gets. Unable to resist, we order the frogs’ legs - slivers of tastelessness dripping in garlic butter. The rest of the time is spent walking, talking, eating and shopping. I buy MLP the least tacky Paris t-shirt I can find in Galeries Lafayette. If he goes off the radar, I can always cut it up into small pieces and use it as a duster.

Sunday. I’ve managed not to text MLP all weekend but for no good reason, while sitting having a citron pressé in the Jardins des Tuileries, I send one to Eurotrash. Being without a man in this of all cities, makes me feel incomplete. Lovers walk by arm and arm and despite the fabulous time I'm having, I succumb to a pang of loneliness.

‘It’s a beautiful day in romantic Paree. Why aren’t you here with me?’

Of course, the minute I send it, I regret it. Why did I do that? I didn’t have to do that! About three hours later, he replies:
‘It’s a lovely day here too…x’

Well, thanks very much, asshole, but I’m not interested in the fucking weather report…

Saturday, 20 October 2007

THE DAILY MALE...continues...

Friday. I wake up with a fog of depression hanging over me and decide the most sensible course of action is to have a serious talk with MLP. I shall do this while sober. I shall be big and brave and I shall tell him that I know this is an impossible situation, and as I am becoming more and more attached to him, it would be better to end it now before we get in any deeper, and suffer more hurt when it ends.

When I’ve made this speech, I shall expect him to object very strongly, sink to his knees and tell me he has fallen 'irevokebly' in love and would not lose me at any price. He will insist on us being together forever and will forgo having children just to stay by my side. And then I shall be disappointed, because as George Bernard Shaw said:

"There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it. "

Realistically, he will accept my reverse proposal. He may be upset, he may be relieved. He may lose face with his friends, to whom he has surely boasted that this glamorous, older woman is fawning all over him, cooking him dinners and giving him diamonds (fake!) But he'll get over it. As shall I...

I reach for my mobile and text Eurotrash. I’m meant to be seeing him with my business partner this afternoon but the latter now can’t make it.

‘Interesting text at 03.55… I take it you were pissed! My partner can’t make it this p.m. Shall I come anyway?...x'

Having had the earlier heart-to-heart with myself, to my mind I’m single again. And then the life-affirming homily comes to mind:

‘The best way to get over one man is to get straight under another.’

I talk to my friend Frannie about it and she grounds me. She’s a Capricorn, very pragmatic. I’m a Cadburycorn – slightly nuts.

As the work day progresses and my focus veers from personal to business stuff, I become more confident about who I am. My success is based on what I have created in my antiques business and my writing career, and at my age - as I tell myself - I should be able to manage a little love angst slightly less emotionally. At least being unhappy in love lets you know you’re alive, even though most of the time you wish you were dead.

By mid-afternoon, I have not heard back from Eurotrash who is probably sleeping off a night of hedonistic over-indulgence, but I decide to pop in and see him anyway. And of course, I have also received my daily onslaught of phone calls and texts from Oxbridge. He’s keen as mustard and twice as hot. His pursuit of me feeds my ego, but little else.

Feeling much stronger in my resolve not to chase impossible dreams (this mood won’t last!) I get myself dolled up, and pop in to the gallery unannounced. I find Eurotrash hungover, dishevelled and slightly grungy, plus he’s just had a delivery of 1970s furniture from Brazil which he's humping around the room settings.

The minute he sees me he goes into high-camp-girlie-flap mode, waving his arms in the air, running his fingers through his hair, stroking his unshaven chin and pulling at his thousand washed t-shirt. As I approach to kiss him hello, he covers his mouth with his hand.

‘Mein Gott!’ he exclaims. ‘Vy you didn’t tell me you voz coming? I’ff chust eaten a Libanese! I must shtink!’

I find his discomfort empowering.

‘Com see ze new additions!’ he cries excitedly and grabs my hand to lead me through the gallery pointing out some fabulously dated old pieces, the sort of furniture impoverished newly-weds of my generation used to buy and throw out the minute they could afford something better.

Once we are at the far end of the showroom, he abruptly puts his sartorial and halitosic discomfort aside and lunges forward to kiss me. He does indeed reek of spices and garlic, and I wrinkle up my nose, turn my head aside and push him away.

‘Look vot you do to me!’ he declares adjusting his erection this way and that. I cannot help but drop my eyes in its general direction and it is mighty impressive. I raise an eyebrow and purse my lips.

He flattens me against the wall and tells me how much he’s missed me and what a high he’s been on since our date the previous week. I’m quite taken aback by this and ask him why, therefore, has he not been in touch?

‘You told me you voz zeeing zomevun’, he counters, ‘zo I tought I’d take a shtep back and vait.’

Fair point. His patience (7 days!) may have been rewarded. I intimate that my ‘relationship’ is not going all that well, that we’re mentally incompatible, and it has little chance of surviving. His reaction is a mix of smug satisfaction and mild panic.

I don’t trust Eurotrash one little bit. He’s too good looking and smooth-talking to have only one woman on the go at a time. He smacks of decadence in a Berlin 1933 sort of way, and clearly has more than a passing penchant for sex, drugs and Thai spring rolls. What I do like about him, however, is that we are in the same ballpark intellectually, and at 43, he’s a lot closer to my age than MLP is, or any of the other boy toys I tend to consort with. Plus he’ll never break my heart because I’ll never love him.

I extricate myself from his embrace, collect the paperwork I need and leave the gallery with a wiggle in my hip and a spring in my step.

I go to my mother’s for dinner and because I’m bored, I drink a glass and a half of Mateus rosé which makes me feel maudlin, so I text MLP:

‘Hope you had a good day babe. What you up to the wknd?’

He doesn’t reply. Message - or none in this case - received and misunderstood.

Texting is an addiction for which there should be treatment available on the NHS, counselling booths at all railway stations and airports and the Text Police posted on every corner with loudhailers warning ‘Step away from the keypad and no-one will get hurt’.

I go to bed feeling disappointed with myself for not having maintained any semblance of control, integrity or decorum but the thought of getting up to no good with Eurotrash shines like a beacon at the end of a long dark tunnel.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

THE DAILY MALE...continues...

MLP throws himself down on the sofa and in no time at all, he’s fast asleep. What is it with men? Is this genuine tiredness or just oblivion-seeking as in: ‘If I shut my eyes, that’ll shut her up.’ I was about to have a bit of a go at him and maybe he sensed this. The ‘go’ stays in my mouth swirling around like an evil mist in a Victorian melodrama.

I lie tensely in his arms unwilling to relax against him, because the minute I do a deep sadness floods through me. I knew it would. I seriously think I am going to have to end this. There's no joy in it any more. And I can’t understand why he’s shlapped all this way, having had to borrow money for petrol, when he doesn’t even want to have sex. What the hell’s that all about?

Although I’ve booked our long weekend in Spain and we've talked about a day trip to Paris, something tells me these plans are not going to come off. All this booking in advance is just me trying to dominate the situation and secure some kind of future with him...Like the Beatles sang: 'Can't Buy Me Love...'

I am truly, madly and deeply attached to this man and my heart is breaking in credit for when he leaves me. I think it would hurt him too at this point, but he may also be relieved. I doubt he'd put up an argument.

My tension transmits itself to him and he stirs and opens his eyes. Before I can control myself, the ‘go’ escapes my gob.

‘How come you weren’t in touch with me all week?’ Damn. Damn...take it back.

‘I get really sad when I don’t hear from you…’ I go on, trying to justify myself and not blame him for an emotion I should have control over.

He pauses awhile before answering simply. ‘I’ve had other things on my mind.’

‘I know…’ I whisper and snuggle closer to him. He’s always so honest and authentic - always totally himself. I can’t argue with that.

He dozes off again and I sigh deeply. This is not designed as a criticism but obviously it is. What is the point in him being here exactly? Apart from his physical presence, I’m not getting anything out of it. I try to enjoy the proximity of him, but it only frustrates me. At midnight, I wake him up and suggest he continues sleeping in my bed.

‘You can leave early in the morning,’ I reason, but he stretches and says the traffic will be too bad then and he must go now. I get up and take the dirty ashtray and glasses into the kitchen. I hover there awhile but he doesn’t follow me. He’s putting his shoes on, gathering his belongings and getting ready to leave. My heart feels like a rock in my chest.

I go back into the living-room and stand on my footstool which makes me taller than him. I have no idea why I do this other than to give myself superiority. I feel rejected but he wraps his arms around my waist and hugs me lovingly. I jump down.

‘Speak to you tomorrow’ he says as he opens the front door, but I know full well he probably won't.

As I close the door I take a very deep breath. I make a pact with myself that every time he does not text or call, shall be used as a stepping stone away from him. I need to return to my Control Tower which has been carelessly unmanned for the past two months.

I can space these stepping stones as close together or as far apart as I choose.

In any case, every moment we spend together is now like advance mourning. I am in little doubt that my prophecy will fulfil itself. I can’t enjoy it for what it is any more. Not that I ever really did, so nothing’s changed except the depth of my feelings.

I clear up and go to into my study. I check my messages on toyboywarehouse and reply to four guys I haven’t bothered with before. I can’t really be bothered with them now, but what the hell? I forget to turn my mobile off and go to sleep.

At 03.55 I am awoken by a text. It’s Eurotrash obviously trashed:

‘God’ he writes. ‘I wish you would be next to me right now…x’

Bloody foreigner! Can’t even speak the Queen’s English - but I smile because somebody wants me, then I turn over and go back to sleep.

Friday, 12 October 2007

THE DAILY MALE...continues...

At some point during a very long and tedious working afternoon, I experience some kind of mental epiphany. All the pain to do with MLP’s lack of contact dissipates and I decide, for the foreseeable future, to operate my sex life on a first come first served basis. Plenty of men out there…why waste all my time and emotion on just one?

In this new spirit of love and freedom, I text Eurotrash who I haven’t heard from since our date last week. If I’m going to play the numbers game, I may as well go for broke. I have three (well, six) balls in the air and whichever ones land in my lap first, will be the first in my lap.

In the evening, I set off for the theatre with my old (and I mean old!) friend, Lord Saggy Chops. As I step into his limo, my mobile rings. It’s Eurotrash. I obviously can’t talk, so I tell him I’ll call him later. Colour me boosted!

The show is second rate. What’s going on with the West End these days? They’re charging the highest prices for the lowest performances.

I switch my phone on during the interval just in case I’ve missed anything and by a strange stroke of serendipity, it rings immediately with a number I don’t recognize. It’s MLP! from his mother’s mobile because his is out of credit. He sounds subdued and rather down, and when I ask what's up, he says he’s had some bad family news. He won’t elaborate and I ask him gently if I can call him later. My later list is getting longer.

I fidget through the rest of the show and when I switch my mobile back on as the curtain comes down, there’s a text from Oxbridge and a voice message telling me he’s sent me a text. Belt and braces? So uncool...He’s actually starting to annoy the shit out of me and I haven't even met him yet.

I manage to give his Lordship a modicum of attention over dinner ordering only one course to encourage him to do likewise, so I can get home and phone the boys back. It's past his bedtime anyway so he's happy to comply. I peck him on the cheek, thank him effusively and leap out the limo as it reaches my door. I'm calling MLP back as I climb my stairs.

He tells me one of his uncles has had a heart attack and I make all the right sympathetic noises. He’s also had no work on this week and can’t afford to top up his mobile or buy petrol for his van. I try not to hear a veiled request for money and consider having a t-shirt printed with ‘My boyfriend is an unemployed builder’ on it. Wearing this with a Prada suit could start a trend. I offer to buy MLP dinner tomorrow night and he says he'll let me know...

Thursday. The now ubiquitous early morning call from Oxbridge. I have nothing to say to him other than I’m very busy just now and seeing my boyfriend in the evening. He obviously takes this on board as I don’t hear from him again all day.

I call Eurotrash back and get his voice mail. I have another business meeting with him tomorrow anyway. At 6.30 p.m. MLP calls to say he’ll be over in an hour. I am beyond delighted.

I am always astounded when I first set eyes on him at quite how good-looking he is. Beautiful almost. He has paid a lot of attention to his appearance tonight and hugs me long and hard when he comes through the door. We have a drink at home then go out to Khan’s for an Indian. Boy has that place ever gone off!! The restaurant lost its license a while back so now you can’t even get a lousy shandy. The waiters are surly, the food is shite and the lights are too bright. In many ways, it's like dining at noon on the banks of the Ganges. Conversation between MLP and I is stilted and far too sober.

I pay the bill quickly and we go home, put on some music, and retreat to the sofa. In order to inject a little joie de vivre into an otherwise lacklustre evening, I start throwing chocolate raisins at him. It’s all rather childish and contrived but he rises to the challenge and catches most of them deftly in his mouth like a performing monkey.

I worry about the ones he misses melting and staining the sofa so I rummage around until I find them. I crawl behind him and wrap my legs around his waist, and I undo his ponytail. I plait his hair then hold it out of the way while I suckle his neck, something I know really turns him on. He tells me a feeling as warm as honey is spreading right through him and maybe it is, but something else tells me we will not make love tonight.

He mentioned once we didn’t have to do it every time we saw each other, which I found weird...

Sunday, 7 October 2007

THE DAILY MALE...continues...

We settle back on the sofa and I relax despite knowing he’s not staying tonight. The earring I'd given him had fallen out during our fuckfest so I put it back in, smothering it with Germolene first as he says his ear is sore. At 11.30 p.m. he gets up to leave.

‘If you’re not too busy this week, I’ll come up and see you one evening’ he says as he kisses me goodbye.

‘Thursday?’ I suggest happily, knowing I’m busy Tuesday and Wednesday. ‘Maybe we’ll get a take-away?’

And he nods, hugs me and goes home. I sleep on the wrong side of the bed, the side he slept on earlier this afternoon.

Monday. I text my Man in Oman apologizing for not having been able to talk last night and I suggest he calls me back. He doesn’t.

I don’t hear from MLP all day, which is fine. (Fine used in this context is obviously Anything But.) I text him to say how much I enjoyed our lovely Sunday together but I receive no reply. He seems to have stopped texting me which makes me wonder if a) he’s deeply secure in the relationship or b) he's cooling.

Tuesday. I awake up with a heavy heart and a sense of loss. No particular reason. I imagine how I’ll feel when it’s over and it hurts. I think back to a conversation we had when he mentioned how much he’s looking forward to having a son. This means he’s got to meet someone, get married or not, get her pregnant, get a job, get a home, get a life and this must surely happen within the next 2-5 years. Every day we spend together is borrowed time and the longer it goes on, the closer we are to the end of it. I discuss this at length with my friend, Frannie, who reminds me that I may well tire of him before he tires of me. No chance. I know myself too well…

I notice a new ladybird climbing the door frame to my ensuite bathroom. I have deep faith in these ‘lucky’ ladybirds. It's good to have something to believe in.

A day and a half has gone by since I heard from him, so I mess about on to give myself a little confidence boost. A guy called Oxbridge has mailed me three times. I ask to see a photo and it's Phwooar! He asks for my phone number. I tell him I’m currently ‘seeing someone’ and will not two-time him, but I also say that being cynical and realistic, I don’t expect it to last. The longer it takes MLP to get in touch, the shorter Oxbridge's wait will be.

Driving over to spend the evening with friends, with MLP’s TWO DAY silence resounding in my ears, Oxbridge calls me. I can’t get it together with my Bluetooth and keep cutting him off. He keeps calling me back – nothing, if not tenacious. He is terribly well-spoken and although shy and reticent at first, warms up when I go into my accomplished older woman 'interview' mode.

We discuss the wonderful new energy developing in society whereby long-closed doors are now swinging open. No more must a woman wait to be approached, often by a man she’s not interested in. With websites like women can go shopping for a mate of any age, shape and size and take them home to try on in front of their own mirror! And if they don’t fit, they can send them back and try out another one!

I feel refreshed by this new contact who asks me to call him whenever I like. I text him later in evening to say my mind is wandering and he replies that he loved talking to me and that I sounded hot. Surprising really, considering the treatment from my so-called ‘boyfriend’ is currently somewhere north of Siberia.

Wednesday. The hollow place in my heart left my MLP’s lack of communication is partially filled by Oxbridge’s early morning call. We chat a while and he asks if he can call me again later. It feels wrong somehow...Mid-morning I cave and text MLP asking, as casually as I can, if he still intends coming over tomorrow night. If not, I’ll need to make an alternative arrangement, God forbid I should stay Home Alone for once. As he fails to reply, I text Oxbridge to say the sunshine is making me restless, I’m bored at my desk and does he fancy escaping for a coffee later? He says he’s sorry he can’t, so I console myself with a double helping of cheese on toast.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

THE DAILY MALE...continues...

At 1.55 p.m. I compose a text which I send at 2 p.m.: ‘Er…it’s nearly 2 and the lunch is nearly ready. And u r where exactly?!’ No kiss. I’m too cross. No reply.

At 2.03, with plans to put all the food onto a platter, drive over to his house and tip it through his letterbox, I phone him. He answers cheerily: ‘Hi Babe! Won’t be long – just coming through Camden. Can I bring anything?’ and my voice, twelve octaves higher than usual, sings: ‘No it’s fine, just bring your own sweet self. I didn’t want to overcook anything that’s all… See you soon!!’

I walk to the hall mirror, look at my image, blink a couple of times and slap myself round the face. That feels better. I should have done it earlier.

Why would he not have turned up? Why would he have let me down? Why am I so fucking insecure? Because I’ve played this scene before, that’s why, and it ended badly with a lot more expensive food. And I swore then I’d never do it again…allow myself be made a fool of by some young buck, yet I know in my hopefully romantic heart that I will continue to repeat the same mistakes over and over, because I believe that maybe this time it will be different.

He arrives at 2.20 p.m. with some of the Sunday papers I’ve already bought and I’m so happy to see him, I wouldn't have cared if he'd brought last Sundays. I throw my arms around his neck, and he hugs and kisses me and compliments the way I look. I enjoy seeing the appreciation in his eyes at the trouble I’ve gone to in both my appearance and the delicious meal. I ask him to carve the chicken and I dish up the vegetables and we drink the wine and enjoy the late lunch. He helps me clear up then I send him to the sofa while I finish in the kitchen. I expect him to be asleep by the time I join him and I’d allow him that for simply having turned up.

When I enter the living room, he’s leafing through the Daily Mail which he throws aside and pats the cushion next to him for me to sit down.

At that moment, my mobile rings and my jaw drops when I see the name on the screen. It’s my Man in Oman who I haven’t heard from in the longest time. I kill the call but take a second to re-adjust my surprised face. MLP looks at me questioningly.

‘It’s the guy I was meant to go to Dubai with…’ I explain shaking my head and muttering ‘What a tosser!’ I throw my phone onto the coffee table to confirm my disdain and total lack of interest.

This seems to ignite MLP's ardour. He grabs my arm possessively and pulls me down astride him. He kisses me deeply and raises his hips and I grind down onto his burgeoning erection. He slides his hands up my thighs and discovers the suspenders holding up the black lace-top stockings. This stokes the rising fire and for the next two hours we make wild, abandoned love until we are both spent and soaking with exertion. And then I let him sleep. He’s fulfilled his obligations which were to turn up for lunch and make love to me. Not that difficult, surely?

I potter about, contented to have him here even if he is out of it and snoring. I wake him at 7.10 p.m. and we spend a cozy evening eating leftovers and chilling out. He shows me some football clips on some lads’ website in which I feign amusement and interest.

We snuggle up to watch ‘Cold Mountain’ and he produces a joint (the 3rd I’ve had in 50 years!) A burst of energy assails us and we start moving the furniture around. I plan to buy a plasma TV which he suggests should go over the fireplace. He says he’ll come over and chase in the wiring, then re-plaster and re-paint the wall. All I can hear is ‘I’ll come over…’. Colour me happy.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

THE DAILY MALE...continues...

According to what he told me last time we spoke, he was due to have a very big Saturday night out, so he’s probably going to want to sleep all day. Lying in my own bed pre- getting up, I daymare that he arrives at my house very late for lunch which he eats dreamily and uncommunicatively, and then crashes out on the sofa in front of the football to snore the afternoon away.

I imagine waking him at 7 p.m. to feed him again and then he goes home. I’m really good at winding myself up and by the time I reach my shower, I am so pissed off, I visualize myself lamping him the minute he walks in the door. We have a huge argument and it ends badly with him storming off. I’m grumpy and negative and my enjoyment of preparing and cooking the meal is marred by the worms going round in my head.

I phone my friend Frannie to flap about my fears and she tries unsuccessfully to appease me with platitudes like ‘Why on earth would he let you down?’ to which I have no sensible answer other than: ‘Why wouldn’t he?’

At 11 a.m. I set off to St. John’s Wood for the circumcision of my first husband’s grandson by the child he had with his second wife. Oh, do try and keep up! Despite my weird mood, I have a lovely time, catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. It passes the morning and, when I leave, I feel very guilty because my children want to come back to me for lunch and I tell them they can’t despite having a fridge full of food for someone who may very possibly Not Turn Up.

Trying to think positively, I finish getting everything ready, and change my clothes seven times eventually settling for black underwear with stockings and suspenders with a black denim skirt, black and white low-cut top and medium height heels. It makes me feel sexy but stupid. This is Sunday lunchtime and I’d normally be wearing jeans. He’s due at around 1.30 but by 1.45 with no word at all, I am bouncing off the fucking walls.

The chicken, potatoes and parsnips are roasting in the oven – the rest of the food is sitting expectantly on the kitchen worktop waiting to be cooked. I phone Frannie again in a state of high anxiety. She's doing her own Sunday lunch so can’t really talk but tells me to calm down and/or phone him. I will not phone him. He should have phoned me to either say he’s running late or is on his way or isn’t coming.

I’m now convinced he’s still fast asleep on somebody else’s sofa or, perish the thought, somebody else’s bed!

At 1.50 p.m. I register that I am not yet feeling depressed, just very, very anxious. Depression will kick in later. I refuse to pour myself a glass of the excellent Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon I bought specially, because I want to feel every agonizing nuance of my emotions without diluting them with even a smidgen of mind-numbing alcohol. I rubberneck out the window, a little flutter of relief and excitement passing through me every time a car turns into my road, but none stops.

Then one does and begins to park. It’s a great big Audi. It’s obviously not him but I still flatten myself against the cold glass pane to get a good look at the blonde woman getting out. It could be him but only if he’s dyed his hair and had a sex change.

I return to the kitchen to check the burn status of the contents of my oven. The afternoon stretches before me in a haze of insecurity, misery and pain. I imagine him eventually turning up at 4.30 p.m. and me reprimanding him. He apologizes but I say that this time, sweetheart, flowers, chocolates and breakfast at dawn will simply not be enough. I imagine him thinking ‘Sod this for a game of soldiers’ and dumping me ‘cos I’m nothing but a nagging harridan and he’s a carefree youth with no agenda who does not want to be tied down to an old lady’s demands to be at the lunch table at a certain time.

I contemplate the waste of money on buying all that food at his request: an organic free range corn fed chicken, fresh peas, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, parsnips, Yorkshire puddings and gravy… I make a contingency plan to eat the chicken for the rest of the week, dump the potatoes in the bin and make a soup with the rest of the vegetables. It’s always good to have a plan…

Sunday, 23 September 2007

THE DAILY MALE...continues...

Then I really do start to feel guilty. I have no idea what MLP is up to tonight, but whatever it is, I doubt he’s snogging a stranger. I have a feeling the Eurotrash story won’t end here, and if MLP spends one more afternoon snoring on my sofa, or failing to call when I expect him to, the pomegranate/belly button merger could take place sooner rather than later. Eurotrash walks me to my car and offers to follow me home. I manage to decline.

Friday. A quiet, rather slow day, brightly perked up in the evening by a jovial, chatty phone call from MLP confirming our arrangements for Sunday lunch.

Saturday. I wake up early and see that I have ten unread messages on The feisty, kickass older woman has stuck two fingers up at society and has leaned over into the playpen and picked herself up some boy toys. The boys in question are mostly just looking to fulfil their Yummy Mummy fantasies but one of my correspondees intrigues me. He is so funny, he makes me laugh out loud which is very seductive, so I send him a private photo and wait to see what comes back.

‘.... when I was reading your profile I found myself moving closer and closer to the screen....until I fell off my seat and twated my head…so now, thanks to you, I have a bulge in my trousers and a lump on my head! I demand you rub it better ;) Yours is more than just a photo, it's a beam of radiant light snapshotting the possible sensuality and intelligence of a beautiful woman.’

‘If you think that pic is hot’
I reply, ‘you ought to see the ones I didn’t send ...give me your private email and I'll make you bang more than your head!’

Saturday is family day and my granddaughter’s 9th birthday with a pottery painting party at The Clay Café in Hendon. In the evening I eat out with my friend, Frannie, then go and see the excellent French film Orchestra Seats which features a still youthful, elegant older lady who’s living in a retirement home.

‘What’s she doing there?’ I whisper to Frannie. ‘She’s not much older than us!’

‘She’s not…’ Frannie replies, ‘…but at least she’s growing old gracefully!’ Oh how we laugh…

The whole day passes without any message from MLP but I’m cool as he’ll be round at 1.30 p.m. tomorrow for his long-promised Sunday lunch. When I get home I prepare the chicken and the vegetables for the next day and watch War of the Roses in bed.

Sunday bloody Sunday. I awake inordinately twitchy convinced that today’s the day MLP and I are going to fall out. I don’t know why but my instinct tells me all is not well. I also know I should not have allowed myself to become so attached to this boy. You’d have thought I’d have understood about damage limitation by now, what with my past experiences ‘n all. I have allowed him to inveigle his way into my head and my heart where he has become firmly stuck. This is a very bad place for him to be as the prognosis can only be fatal…

Sunday, 16 September 2007

THE DAILY MALE - continues...

He falls into a deep, contented sleep taking up the entire sofa, snoring like a freight train and preventing me from getting on with my work. I watch him for a while marvelling at his utter gorgeousness. A perfect nose, fulsome mouth, arched black eyebrows, long, thick lashes, olive skin, black hair and three day stubble, he looks very… er….Turkish. My heart-shaped diamond earring sparkles in his earlobe. As far as erudite conversation is concerned, his score is zero. But as eye candy… Off The Scale. I ask myself when eye candy will stop being enough.

At 5 p.m. I have to ease him out the door because one of my old suitables is taking me out for supper and to the theatre. He asks a fair few questions about this and I know he’s jealous. Good. He’s talking about going to Turkey for three months in the summer anyway and I jokingly ask him if I’m allowed to go out at all while he’s away. He says Absolutely Not. I have to stay home at all times and wait for his calls. Sad thing is, the way I feel now, I probably would.

I sit sleepily in the dark womb of the theatre playing with the strands of his hair caught in the elastic band from his ponytail which I now wear around my wrist. When I get home, I call him as he has asked me to do, but it goes straight to voice mail. I leave a goodnight message and go to bed.

Thursday night. Shit. I am a traitor and an infidel. I do not deserve the love of a good man even if he does refuse to use the L word…:

I have a late business meeting with a very good-looking Austrian art dealer I met when researching 1950s Brazilian furniture for my book on future collectibles. When I first set eyes on him my FBA (fit bloke alert) went off, although I suspected he might be gay. This was neither here nor there, as I do currently, you may remember, Have A Boyfriend. The camp art dealer is perma-tanned, with very blue, piercing, fancy-a-fuck eyes. His hair is choc brown and curly at the nape of his neck and he swans around his Gallery flamboyantly showing off his ‘conceptual room settings’. One step up from a Eurotrash interior designer if you ask me.

After showing me round and loaning me a rather rare art book, he closes the gallery and invites me to continue our discourse at The Electric Brasserie in Notting Hill. No sooner are we sitting down than we immediately go onto non-business stuff, and I find out that he is, like me, twice-divorced but with four to my two children who he rarely sees. (I see mine all the time!) He tells me almost immediately that his father is a Count, and although he may inherit the title, the more he waffles, the more I wonder if he may indeed be a Count in training, minus the ‘o’.

I order a very strong, very spicy bloody Mary, a choice he much admires, and it arrives with half a bottle of Tabasco in it. I tough it out, and just about manage to maintain the conversation without coughing my guts up and turning puce. The drink goes down like a litre of lava and when I’m halfway way through, he orders me another. We graduate swiftly into deeply personal territory and relationships, on which I am the font of all knowledge.

The fiery vodka loosens my tongue and soon we are exchanging confidences like a pair of anticipatory lovers. He suggests dinner and we both don our magnifying specs to order from the illegibly small print menu pitched at the under 25s. There is some comfort in being able to do this without embarrassment. Eurotrash is 43 and had I been with a toyboy, I would have squinted and struggled and ordered entirely the wrong thing, but I would not have got out my ageing portable half specs.

By the time the Seafood Platter To Share arrives, he’s stroking my arm which I enjoy, whilst feeling ever so slightly guilty. I pick up the crackers and attack the lobster claws sliding them out of their coral shells and feeding them onto his plate. He sexily slurps a couple of oysters, his eyes never leaving mine, and the inference of his tongue savouring the slippery mollusc leaves little to the imagination. We decide we both fancy a ciggie so he buys some Malboros and we light them like addicts who’ve been denied their drug of choice for way too long.

The Electric is becoming way too noisy to maintain any conversation, so he pays the bill and invites me for a nightcap at a moody little bar in Kensington Park Road. As we walk down the street, I realise he is quite short, but I am wearing incredibly high heels - a clear statement to myself and to him. Thursday being the new Saturday, the bar is heaving and we have to stand rammed up against each other while he orders me a Mojito and himself a glass of champagne.

Already three sheets to the wind from the Bloody Marys, I tell him the only place to drink these is in Havana and he goes all misty-eyed as I describe the crumbling glory of that wonderful city of cigars and salsa. The bar gets busier and he presses closer, joking that he’s arranged for all these people to be here on purpose for that very reason.

I laugh lasciviously and pick up a pomegranate from a fruit bowl on the bar, split it open and begin feeding it to him seed by juicy seed. He starts stroking my outer thigh right up to my armpit whispering in my ear how much he’d like to eat the pomegranate seeds from my belly button.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

THE DAILY MALE - continues...

He leaves me at 11.30 p.m. as he has an early start to Cardiff the following day. I follow the match and his team loses so I text him a few words of sympathy like I givashit. He replies straight back which is inordinately important to me, considering he must be feeling like a bottomless pit of soccer despair.

In the evening he calls and regales me for twelve whole minutes with the finer nuances of the entire match. I hang on his every word even trying to make intelligent observations based on the radio commentary which I took the trouble to listen to.

I resist saying: “Never mind dear, it’s only a football match…” remembering the t-shirts they sell in Oxford Street with the logo Football is Life. I am flattered that he feels close enough to me to share his abject misery and I 'there-there' him and make the appropriate sympathetic noises.

Wednesday Morning. I’m sitting up in bed working on my laptop with MLP asleep by my side. Having established that I was busy Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and he was busy Thursday and Saturday, he’d popped over to spend the night late on Tuesday. I made him dinner of chicken soup followed by a Spanish omelette and salad I’d prepared earlier.

After dinner, we'd settled on the sofa and had a few drinks. We'd talked and laughed and hung together and I suddenly decided I’d had enough of him wearing the ring his ex-girlfriend bought him which he professed not to be able to get off.

I went into the kitchen and returned with some olive oil which I rubbed over his finger eventually managing to remove the offending article. I now feel he’s even more mine and I tell him so. He smiles enigmatically. I then proceed to re-open his closed-up earring hole with a rather girlie heart-shaped fake diamond ear stud of mine. Possession is nine tenths of the law.

At around 1.15 a.m. we go to bed and lie there face to face gazing deeply into each other’s eyes. Mine are asking a million questions and he slowly begins to talk:

“I…er…I need to tell you something…” he begins.

Oh shit… oh shit… what’s it going to be?

“Is it bad?” I whisper trepidantly. “Do I want to hear this?”

“Prob’ly not but you're gonna anyway” and he laughs much too loudly for the room.

“You know when you texted me…”


“…and you spelt it ‘l-u-v’…”

“You see! That doesn’t count…and I really regretted it afterwards…”

“But you said it to me one other time…”

“No I didn’t! Did I? When? I don’t remember…Did I?”

“You did. In the car once…anyway…listen…shut up and listen. I like everything about you. I like being with you all the time. There’s not a moment in the day I don’t think about you. I even Google Earthed you the other day… but…er… Love… to me… it’s such a big word. And people misuse it. It’s like… enormous and I would never say it lightly unless I really, really meant it. I just wouldn’t. It’s…too important…so…”

“I know, I know… it’s OK baby…I quite understand…it’s just that when I’m with you sometimes, I get all swelled up and…and …”

I stop talking but I want to say “…and I do love you” to him now because I think I do. I stroke his face instead and feel both happy and sad, because he’s said some lovely words to me tonight but he’s not about to tell me he loves me. And I want to tell him all the time. I mean All The Time. At the end of every phone call, when I send him a text, at the beginning and end of each kiss, definitely when we’re making love. But now I feel I can’t ever say it again because it’s ‘too big’.

I do know that if he ever says it to me, he will really, really mean it, though. And for some reason I think this is going to happen in about three weeks’ time.

Next day, he joins me again on my morning business outings and we come back early and I buy him lunch at The Cochonnet. Then we come home and I get my laptop out and because I've got Air Miles, next thing I know I’m booking us a weekend away in two months time. Crazy.

Friday, 7 September 2007

THE DAILY MALE - continues...

Instead of making him wait for an answer, out comes a spontaneous attack of textual diarrhoea:

I’d love u to make it up to me. I’d also love to spend some quality time with u like we did at the beginning. All I wanted tonight was to have a long hot bath together, massage yr poor foot and sleep in yr arms. U don’t know how much you mean to me either. I’ve been really sad this week not seeing or hearing from u. Go and have fun with your mates. I would never begrudge u yr lads time! U r totally free. But I’d like to know when I’m seeing u so I can look 4wd to it or plan other stuff. So how would you like to make it up to me?! And when? X

I'll start tomorrow morning with a suprise he replies. C u then x

Shit. He’s going to turn up on my doorstep at 8 a.m. and find me looking like an unmade bed, And it’s Saturday and I like to have a lie-in. And I have plans for the rest of the day. And I still need waxing.

Saturday. I wake up at 6.55 a.m. and follow my instinct into the shower. I spend thirty minutes doing my make-up to look like I don't have any on (it's easy - just leave off the lippie). At 8.36 I get a text from him:

Hi babe I’ve broken a bone in my foot. What do you want for breakfast?

I wonder if these two sentences are in any way related. I also wonder how he plans to get up my stairs with a broken foot and actually, how dare he even contemplate arriving on my doorstep uninvited?!

I text back: I want you for breakfast but you should probably be in A&E.

No reply until 9.40 a.m. when my doorbell rings and what happens next is probably the most spontaneous and romantic thing anyone has ever done for me.

My boy limps in carrying a bouquet of yellow roses, a box of Godiva chocolates, and a carrier bag from the terribly overpriced local deli containing two cappuccinos, four fresh croissants, a loaf of nutty, seedy bread, six organic eggs, a jar of homemade raspberry jam and a piece of wonderfully oozy Brie. Blown away does not even cover it!

Smiling from ear to there, I take the flowers and carrier bag from him and hug him as tightly as I can. He smells like heaven, looks slightly sheepish, and is so orgasmically handsome that I just want to hold him close forever and forget the stupid self-imposed and unnecessary agony of the week before.

We discuss our situation over breakfast, and I realise that he's actually done nothing wrong. I just created one gigantic over-reactive obsessively female misunderstanding. His only reason for not calling was that he didn’t want to intrude on my busy life. This is not a hanging offence – until I made it one.

He would prefer me to make the running, which I’m delighted to do and wants to see me as much as we both can, within the confines of our individual lives. After breakfast, we go to bed – a delightful way to spend an hour or so, except for the fact that both my mobile and landline keep going off which is normal for a Saturday morning. I ignore them both which is not normal at all.

We spend the day together. He comes with me to Portobello Market where I have some antiques business to attend to. I enjoy having him with me despite the slight encumbrance and in the afternoon, I leave him sleeping on the couch while I visit my children and my mother for the minimum time possible. In the evening he takes me to Ping Pong in Marylebone for dinner.

High and happy from the day’s events, I rapid neck two very strong Mojitos then do the stupidest thing a woman can do when he goes to the loo. I text him I luv u x. The minute I've sent it, I want to disappear and die in my own handbag. I am so embarrassed by the impetuous action of my drunken thumb, I pray that he's left his phone at home and I can get to it and delete the message before he opens it. How can I have been so unbelievably uncool?

He returns to the table as if nothing has happened and I realise with relief that my prayer may have been answered. Halfway through the next course however, his back pocket goes off and he brings his phone out and reads the message. I suddenly find myself deeply fascinated by the internal contents of my duck spring roll while blushing like a Bloody Mary.

He reads the message, says 'Aaah', smiles at me and carries on eating. I start gabbing about Darwin’s theory of relativity or something equally space-filling much too loudly and much too fast. If only someone would take the spade away and hit me over the head with it, I could stop digging.

How dare the Mojitos do my texting for me? I am mortified beyond belief.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

THE DAILY MALE - continues...

Thanks! I reply once I've reached Edinburgh and come out of my meeting. Warm and sunny up here. What you up to? X (roughly translated as WHEN AM I GOING TO SEE YOU?)

He replies that he’s painting a ‘poxy ceiling in someone’s house’, and then I get: What you doing tonight? Missing you! Xx

My joy knows no bounds and I reply, as accommodating as The Hilton Hotel Group:
Not back til 11 p.m. but would love to c u if you don’t mind so late.

To add braces to the belt, I PS: U busy all wknd? (roughly translated as WHEN AM I GOING TO SEE YOU?)

Why did I do that? I didn't need to do that...

In reply I receive Nothing. Nada. Rien. Zilch. Bubkes. So I’m back to Square One but instead of being heartsick, I am now thoroughly pissed off. With myself, with him, with everyone who dares breathe in my general direction, but pissed off somehow feels better than heartsick and the anger propels me through the day.

On the Easybus back to Baker Street, I finally get a reply.

Hi hun, how was your day? Hope it went well. What time was you planning to get home? X

His reply only took 6½ hours. Why did I worry? I get in my car to drive home and I bite the bullet and phone him. He’s just come out the shower and is getting dressed. I mistakenly assume this is because he will be over shortly.

I’m grubby, tired and I need waxing but he is, of course, more than welcome. Instead of confirming that he is about to fly to me on the wings of love however, he tells me he’s hurt his foot playing football and is therefore off to play snooker 'with the lads'.

I am so livid I end the call, and fling my mobile phone over my left shoulder in disgust. I then unhook my seatbelt to grapple around frantically for it and when my eyes return to the road, I am about to be totalled by a dirty great meat truck hurtling down the hill towards me in the pouring rain. He may be worth something, but he’s certainly not worth dying for.

I get home in a filthy temper, light a cigarette and walk into the bedroom with it. What on earth am I doing? Not only am I smoking, I'm smoking in my bedroom!! I make up my mind enough is enough and I have to end this fucking farce once and for all. My thumb sets about pounding the keys.

Do not wank me around. I threaten. I’m not some 22-yr old you can fuck about with. You’re winding me up! You said you missed me so I invited you over and then you tell me you’d rather see ‘the lads’. Is this fair? You’ve really upset me and I didn't need that.

Well that was the final version. The first four were unprintable and definitely would have alienated him forever what with me wanting to plunge my fist down his throat and drag his bollocks up through his oesophagus.

Once I've got that off my chest, I actually feet better. Relieved, released, free – of him, of the aggravation of trying to maintain an impossible relationship, of everything to do with involvement with the opposite sex from this day forth now until forever.

I wait for the reply with my mouth set in a grim line shouting 'Coward!' intermittently at my mobile phone. I realise I am starving. I take an egg out the fridge to scramble and a text comes in. It’s loading….it’s a long one…please G-d let it be from him!

It’s not becoz Id rather be with the lads. The lads don’t get togther very offen and my foot is not to good either. Im really sorry for upsetting you. It’s the very last thing in this world I ever want to do. Im very very attached to u and you mean a hec of alot to me. I just think im not sure if we are full time or part time lovers. I dont want to u to think 'this boys to much' and get on your nerves! Xx

And suddenly we’re Romeo and Juliet again. Abelard and Eloise. Tristan and Isolde. Kermit and Miss Piggy.

And then there’s a PS. Please alow me make it up to you? Xx

Sunday, 2 September 2007

THE DAILY MALE - continues...

I go to my cupboard and sniff his shirt, like the answer lurks somewhere in its armpit. I contemplate cutting off one of the sleeves and sending it to him like some sinister Cosa Nostra warning: 'Next time it’ll be your arm...'

Feels more like my arm’s been cut off - or any other stupid, childish, over-dramatised, non-sensical, self-indulgent pity fest you can think of.

I have an invitation to go to a cocktail party, but I contemplate staying home alone to wallow in my misery. Slashing my wrists with a Stanley knife sounds like a plan or maybe I’ll drink a bottle of vodka, finish off the Pringles and go to bed to watch Desperate Housewives, 'desperate' being the operative word. I go to the party.

When I get in, I check the TV listings and notice that Newcastle United were playing Zulte Waregam in the UEFA Cup. That might explain what he’s doing tonight.

Mindful of the fact that I haven’t eaten and will therefore have to add ‘night starvation’ to my list of sufferings, I stick a potato in the oven. This is one of the potatoes I bought for him. I never buy potatoes for myself. Fattening carb-ridden white pasty doughy things.

It sits squat and lonely on its piece of foil in the oven with the broken light which he’d promised to fix several times and didn’t. O melancholy potato, borne of the womb of our blessed Mother Earth, why am I eating you alone? Forgive me, dear reader. It’s the vodka talking.

My deadline to call him, previously set at 6 p.m. then extended to 7, 8, 9 and 10 p.m. passes, and eventually, not being able to bear it a moment longer, I prepare a text:

'Hiya! Hope you’re OK. Do we have a problem? x’

It takes me half an hour to compose these nine words, and me a writer… I don't send it. I go instead to my wardrobe for another deep sniff of his shirt and check to see if my lucky ladybird is still patrolling my bedroom window. She is not. I eventually find her lying dry and lifeless on the bedroom floor. Dead as a dodo and stiff as my next drink.

I retire early to seek oblivion and sleep fitfully with my mobile phone clutched like a life raft in my tense little hand.

Next morning, I rise early and set off for Edinburgh on business. Sitting on the Easybus to Luton half way up the M1, I finally receive a text from him.

‘Hi hun enjoy yr day in Edinbruh. Call me when you have time. Speke to u l8tr. Xx'

Cheeky F*cker! But my soul soars and despite the road works, traffic delays and the possibility of me missing my flight, I am as happy as a pig in shit. I revel in the receipt of his heavenly missive and manage to control myself for THREE HOURS before replying.

Thursday, 30 August 2007

THE DAILY MALE - continues...

Thursday. I resist texting MLP but by 1 p.m. I lose the fight:

‘Be good to feel your arms around me and my legs around you again soon’.

I don’t hear back from him at all. What a slap in the face that is! Not all day and not all night so I text Finn again because I’m feeling lonely and abandoned.

He replies very keenly and after a few soul-searching seconds (that’s as long as it takes me to search my soul) I invite him over. The minute I’ve done it, I regret it so I rescind the invitation thereby driving the poor boy nuts.

At 11.45 p.m. Arrogant Rugby Player texts me from his chalet in the Alps to tell me his thighs are burning from a hard day’s ski-ing. Like I giveashit.

This is the first full day since MLP and I met that we have not had contact. He does have a propensity to leave his mobile phone in odd places, and I console myself with that thought. Also the fact that he could have lost it or had it stolen or emigrated to Tanzania without bothering to tell me.

I also remember that he is often out of credit and this affords me some modecum of comfort.

Friday. I wake up drowning in a well of loneliness. I wish I wasn’t so needy – for company, love, approbation, admiration. I need to work harder on making myself whole and strong on my own. All I want is someone to want me...It hardly seems to matter who any more...

If I don’t hear from MLP today, I shall...WHAT?

In a flash of inspiration, I 141 his mobile and it rings and rings before going to voice mail. Had he answered, that would have meant he was available to text or phone me and I would have wanted to know: Why hasn’t he?

I go about my busy day which ends with a deafening silence. Questions career around my head:

Where the fuck is he?
Should I phone him?
Is that ever a good idea?
Shouldn’t women always play hard to get?
Will I be damned if I do and damned if I don’t?
Why is this part always so terribly hard?

Answers on the Comments link PLEASE!

Monday, 27 August 2007

THE DAILY MALE - continues...

I go to a friend’s to play Scrabble and he texts me again at 11.30 to say ‘Goodnight baby. Have a good sleep xx’ and I’m on cloud 69 again.

Tuesday. Have a good productive work day, and forge ahead with my new book on future collectibles. I also make up a new homily:

A man should be an accessory in your life. Not your entire wardrobe.

I tell myself I won’t hear from him today and I don’t but I cope with it. He texts me at 10.45 p.m. to say that he misses ‘my company and my laidyness’. I go to bed doesn't take much!

I text the Rugby Player who’s in Verbier just to keep the wheels oiled.

Wednesday. What a turn-up for the books! I get a text from Finn, a 25 yr-old New Zealander I met on the internet last summer with whom I had a brief fling. It ended badly after three dates, with him sort of asking me for money, although I was never really clear whether he just wanted the cab fare home or some sort of financial handout. Some people think toyboy = gigolo but this is not so, and I am not, nor ever have been, a Sugar Mummy. Sweet? Yes. A mother? Also... but it ends there!

It did make me question whether I would ever consider paying for it though, and I came to the conclusion that everybody pays for everything way or another...

‘Hi W, I have been back in NZ for 3 months. I know I was a complete ass last time but would you like to meet up again? We had something that blew my mind. Truth is you were the hottest woman I ever had – a real catch…Sorry I was rude…I would love to see you again.’

I am tempted to revisit the situation but mull over the effect this may have on my conscience. (Yes... believe it or not, I do have one!) I text him back haughtily, telling him I’m currently 'involved with someone'. I don’t mention that that someone needs to haul his cute, little ass up my stairs PDQ or I may call in my first reserve, whomever that may be.

I get stick from my girlfriends about even conversing with Finn again. They remind me how upset I was by his behaviour back then and I remember with a twist of torment that he’d committed the cardinal sin of making me feel old.