Flash Gordon sends me a choice of dates when he’s free to see me. None of them suit my diary, and I’m not really sure I want to see him again anyway. He is a nice person and a real little gent, but he doesn’t float my boat which is currently high and dry in the dockyard. I let him down gently telling him an ex has reappeared on the scene.
These bloody exes of yours, he texts back. I can’t even get a drink with you let alone waltz into your life and hog you forever. If you gave me a chance you’d forget all those fairycakes.
I’d forgotten I’d used this excuse before. If you’re going to lie you need a good memory. Or a d.o.b. that doesn’t being 194…
He forges on regardless:
All I want is to cook you a meal, tell you all my crap jokes, scrub your back in the bath and give you a deep tissue massage that will take your breath away.
Now this sounds like a pretty irresistible offer no matter which way you cut it. I mean when was the last time a good-looking 28-year old offered you such a teaser of temptations? I may allow him his way at some point, but for the foreseeable future, I think I can hold out.
At 7.35 I go and meet Tom Cat at the Elgin. Not much to look at but charming, polite and easy company nevertheless. In the present circumstances, this should be sufficient, but my Fit Bloke Alert doesn’t go off, so I know it ain’t going nowhere.
We have a couple of drinks and he removes a stack of papers from his man-bag. It’s the book he’s trying to write which he wants me to look at. Writers don’t really like looking at other people’s work, unless it’s truly appalling.
As Gore Vidal said: Whenever one of my friends succeeds, a little something in me dies.I
scan some of it, and it’s not bad – a tad overwritten, but about love and angst from the male perspective which is interesting. And guess what? Men have feelings too, but frankly, who gives a damn?
I give a critical appraisal of his style, offer a few pointers I learned way back in creative writing class, and hand it back to him. I wish him lots of luck. I know how hard it is trying to write a book. I also know he’ll never finish it.
We go for a Thai meal and a little vodka-fuelled chemistry sparks between us. He pays me loads of compliments but that’s just sycophancy and when he asks if there’s somewhere we can ‘go for coffee’ when we finish eating he adds:
‘You live near here, don’t you?’ with a most unsubtly raised eyebrow.
I definitely do not want to invite him home. I tell him there’s a café round the corner that serves good coffee, but I don’t want one, and he rescinds his request graciously.
As we leave the restaurant, he offers me his cashmere sweater because it’s chilly outside, and as we walk to my car he slips his arm through mine like an old pal. He’s rather sweet and chivalrous but…no bells. Not even a distant chimelet.
We peck a kiss goodbye; I get into my car and he walks off towards the station. One more Hallo…one more Goodbye. I'm tired and am really looking forward to getting into bed. Alone.
Friday. I trust you noticed I hardly mentioned CC at all yesterday and my philosophy of hoping he doesn’t call me so I can get over him quicker seems to be working. That and the Bach Flower Remedy that my daughter, Lily, prepared for me. She gave me a consultation last week while I was on a real CC low, and I found myself talking to her like she was a shrink or something.
She has a calm and caring way of discovering what ails you and I told her all sorts of personal stuff that maybe I shouldn’t have, what with her being ‘our kid’ ‘n all... When I'd explained the situation and my mixed-up feelings, she went off to prepare a potion. She added wild hawthorn for anxiety, walnut for melancholy, marjoram root for self-determination and arsenic in case none of the above worked. I’ve taken eight drops so far and I feel better already.
Around noon, I’m sitting at my desk tapping away and the postman rings. Twice.
I'm not expecting anything and then I remember...Rugby Player told me to look out for a parcel...