46 (CC's age) is a pretty good number, so I log on to toyboywarehouse and metaphorically trade him in for one 22-year old and one 24-year old who both contacted me last night. One’s fair, one’s dark, and they’re both called Dan and are 'curious to learn more about the older woman' so who better to teach them than Yours Untruly? Either way, I’m Dan-ned if I do and Dan-ned if I don’t.
We email back and forth awhile - I have no idea which is which but no matter – and I wonder if it might be amusing to arrange to meet them both together.
In the afternoon, I prepare for a short business trip which will give me a chance to rethink some of my less-than-brilliant ideas most notably that last one.
Tuesday. Skopje. I’m travelling with a group of fifteen women headed by HRH Princess Katarina of the Balkans on a fact-finding mission to promote investment and tourism in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
On the first night we are invited to dinner at the British Embassy by His Excellency the Ambassador, Sir R.U. Really-Worthit and his wife, Lady Izzy Really-Worthit. We stand around in our ball gowns making small talk and drinking abominable Balkan plonk.
A group of thick-set Macedonians have been drafted in to make up the numbers. They look like rottweillers and talk like mafiosi. I spot a couple of younger men across the room and when dinner is announced, I make a beeline for their table.
After dinner, they take us out clubbing – not something I tend to do much back home. As we are travelling with the royal party, we have a fully-armed police escort, and a fleet of chauffeur-driven bullet proof Mercs. It’s hilarious.
When I get up to go to the loo in one particularly outré disco, one of the female heavies comes with me. She clears a path through the crowd, brushes aside the queue of young girls in the Ladies and fast tracks me into the nearest stall. I wonder if this is what is meant by the Royal Wee?
We all get hammered on raki and the evening leaves me feeling as flippant as a funfair and as light as meringue. A good feeling.
The rest of the trip does what it said on the brochure. We visit museums, mosques and monasteries and I make a couple of new girlfriends among the group. One of them is psychic and while visiting an archaeological dig, she comes over all spiritual. We’re walking across some old burial pits and her antenna picks something up. She turns to me suddenly and says:
‘That man you’re thinking about - you have to let him come to you…’
I stare at her for a moment and nod sagely. In spite of it all, I am, of course, still thinking about CC 23/7.
Wednesday. I check my emails and find I have several new recruits on toyboywarehouse, none of whom float my boat or twang my thang. I’m starting to worry that I’ll return home to the mortal dread of all single people: a Blank Holiday weekend. Rugby Player for all his bravado is terminally unreliable and the Desperate Dans have gone off the radar.
Saturday. After a gruelling three-hour car journey from the Kosovan border to the airport, followed by a stopover in Vienna, I get home to find my internet is down. This is quite inconvenient, the physical equivalent of having both arms cut off at the elbow and both legs at the knee.
I try not to panic or shout at Bashar in Mumbai, Prakesh in Bangalore and Kemal in New Delhi but they talk to me in tongues using words like protocol, logfile and encryption. Follow instructions as I may, I STILL CANNOT PICK UP MY EMAILS.
A migraine circles my head like a hungry scavenger then dive bombs through my skull into the side of my temple. It starts pecking away at the left cortal section of my frontal lobe causing my own hard drive to crash. I leave the unpacking ‘til tomorrow, take two heavy-duty prescription pills and go to bed, praying that the problem will have resolved itself by morning.
Sunday. Still no internet connection in my home office. The migraine has now dug itself in for the duration and every time I move, I see Aurora Borealis and hear Very Strident Music. I struggle on regardless taking my laptop to the nearest café to check my emails. Nothing earth-moving business-wise, but one of the Dans has returned to basecamp and we make a tentative date for next week.
CC has now set up shop in the part of my brain not being assaulted by the Red Army Ensemble. He is peddling his wares which include Bad Vibes, Negative Energies and Terminal Grief Syndrome which all come in my size.
I mentally compose tracts of a letter to him which all sound articulate, convincing and feasible but I don’t note any of it down, so when I actually put fingers to keyboard, I can’t remember a single word. What I do write comes out sounding stupid, needy and pathetic. I take more head drugs and go to bed.
Friday. Rugby Player and I have a date arranged for tomorrow. I text to ask if it's still on and he confirms an 8 o'clock pick up for an 8.30 table. This time it sounds like it might actually happen. I’ll wear the lingerie he sent me, but more for me than for him. I doubt he’ll get to see it.
Cute Face bleeps in. We’ve had no contact in more than a week, ever since he’d forgotten our last arrangement and I’d told him off. Frankly, I never expected to hear from him again.
Wat u up 2? Ive got the raging horn. Shall I cum over? Hehe