I've been remembering the glory days.
Now, it's easy to gloss over things and only remember the good, so let me state that university was pretty much good and bad in equal measure, there was also boredom, poverty, discomfort (it was chuffing cold) and frustration. It wasn't all dancing, drinking and shagging.
My housemate, not Pops one of the others, was doing her teaching placement at the local grammar school. It took boarders. The boys' house master was one - I've Googled this to ensure that despite naming him, his anonymity will be preserved - Dr Adonis. Housemate and Dr Adonis were buddies and so, eventually, Tass (as we came to call him, a shortened form of his first name), Pops and I became buddies too. At the end of the year, our second, housemate left for she was only doing a one-year PGCE (while Pops was signed up for four-year course and I was there for the standard three).
Second year had been pretty hectic on the shagging front as I'd broken up with first love at the end of first year. Also on the emotional front as I met and fell in love with best friend. (What can I say, I have no boundaries. A theme we shall return to, no doubt.) At the very beginning of third year, or at the end of second, housemate told us that Tass had come out. *Curses* For Dr Adonis was a very studly muffin. Short, stocky, unbelievably hairy - seriously he was half man, half shagpile (and I choose my words carefully) - he had the most open face, beautiful brown eyes (like melted chocolate) and mischievous grin. He was stunning and he knew it, but was also self-deprecating, witty and charming. His accent was Greek, as you would expect, with a slight hint of Scottish. He was smart. He was warm. He was wonderful.
We spent a lot of time together in third year. I met his partner, Mike, another teacher. It was a shortish-distance relationship. An hour or so on the train. They were lovely together. I liked Mike, Tass loved Mike. It was all good.
One night, at Tass's flat on the school grounds, after a splitting a bottle of wine...we had sex. And we kept having sex sporadically for the rest of the year. This is odd because it was quite possibly the worst sex I've ever had. Tass identified as gay-bi, but basically he was omnisexual, bless him. Anything with a pulse was fair game - I was certainly not the only lassie he slept with that year and I quake in my boots when I imagine how many lads (I remember a story of him catching a bloke's eye on the train and meeting him in the train loo for some quick relief - Virgin (oh the irony) Cross Country trains were not known for their luxurious facilities so I was rather bewildered by this turn of events. However, despite all that action the man had very little technique. He was rough, he was perfunctory (surely this isn't a man-on-man thing). It was rubbish sex, it really was. But he was so sweet and we were good friends and there was no love there to make it messy. I adored him. I loved his pelt. I loved hanging out with him. The sex was sort of incidental.
Not to Mike though. Mike found out later and while he could accept train man and various other indiscretions, me and the other close female friend were beyond the pale.
And I felt sad about that, but not guilty. I have no idea why. I should have felt guilty, probably. I mean I liked Mike. But I knew I was no threat to him and I thought it was Tass's responsibility to police his boundaries, not mine (truth was Dr Adonis had fewer boundaries than me, but surely Mike knew that).
And it's an absence of feeling I've carried over to adulthood. A strange blindspot. I think husband needs to have an affair. I think it would do him the world of good to have someone new and wonderful in his life. Put a spring in his step and lead in his pencil. I don't want him to leave me. I don't want him to fall in love per se or at least I don't want to be relegated. I certainly don't want to feel threatened. But those polyamory types are on to something, no?
It won't happen - husband does not share this oversight. Husband is a one-woman man.
But for me, and best friend and Tass, sex does not equal ownership. Of course, Mike and best friend's husband felt differently...
wow badger - that is getting pretty deep for this old gwamma ......................
Sometimes I am awesome.
Best friend is stonyass broke until the marital home sells. She might be stonyass broke after that too, depending on what it sells for. At the moment she's living at a friend's house rent free, but she still has to cover the mortgage and student loans and whatever else. A couple of times she has said she does not have money for groceries...
Thanks to the joys of Facebook, I was able to contact her housemate and arrange for best friend to have a care package waiting for her: housemate snagged best friend's shopping list, bought said items, got a box of wine, a bottle of gin and sundry other treats (cheese, choc, coffee). God love best friend's housemate. Now all I have to do is Paypal the money - easy (we're pretty broke ourselves, but I cleared this extravagance with husband). This is the best surprise ever (hopefully).
I did once manage to visit her (in the US) on her birthday, completely unannounced. I think this surprise is even better though...
Badger - you are one wee darling friend !!!!!!!
Today my heart is a bigtop tent. Inside is a circus. Best friend is accounted for - a safety net has been put under her high wire act. Train friend, whose mother has just died, has been comforted by the Pierrot and the promise of funeral sweetmeats. I stand in the centre, wearing a shiny hat and brandishing a comedy whip. I am marshalling my resources. An invitation has been sent out to bacon man - come in and watch the show, you have a free pass to see the elephants perform. Husband has been applauded for his feats of strength. Small boy is capering around the seats, handing out hot honeyed nuts and singing 'we will, we will rock you!' Pops is nearby - I think she put up the posters advertising our grand show. Life is precarious, but precious under the gaudy canvas.
I try. Once a Eng Lit student, always an Eng Lit student.
Let me unravel a ball of story wool for you. Remember, though, that the truth is only one strand spun together with the words - where there's art there's lies.
I began my second year at university. Pops was pretty much my only friend (wooed with homemade fishcakes on a chance visit) as first year had been devoted to applying the bellows to the ashes of first love. I got excellent grades in first year, not so much in second year (when it counted). I treated every first seminar the same - a trial to be overcome. Naturally reserved and awkward unless under the influence, I had formulated a standard opener for all those yearmates I should have have got to know the year before, but hadn't: hi! I'm sorry, I don't know your name.
I walked into creative writing 101. This was the class I was most excited by; the class I'd had to audition for by submitting a portfolio. I saw the back of a head. Neatly formed, with short brown hair. It seemed bathed in a pool of light. 'Hi! Can I sit here? I'm sorry, I don't know your name.'
Her name was best friend and she was surprised I was sorry, because how could I know her name? She'd only just arrived from UMass on a one-year placement. Her voice was sweet and soft, like molasses. Her hands. I will know her hands until the day I die: small, fine, strong. It was love and awe at first sight. From the moment I saw the back of her head bathed in the Autumnal sun of a northern English afternoon, it was love.
It was a slow waltz to friendship and I almost ruined it by stepping on her toe during the overture (is that a mixed musical metaphor? I fear it is). We recovered from that accidental bruising. I spent days and nights at her place - on the campus out of town, in a bleak tower: married quarters for overseas students. I got to know Mr best friend almost as well as best friend. He was wonderful too. He saw light and shadow, manipulated photons to create magic. He drew back curtains I had never known were there. My drunken bones slept laid out on their carpet while they slept behind a tangible dingy grey curtain. Bloody Mary breakfasts quelled hangovers, but did little to dampen my pangs of imminent withdrawal.
Best friend and I wrote together. Walked together down muddy paths and traversed an aqueduct that spanned a tidal river. We trudged along a canal, scoping suicide spots for fictional lovers.
I worked in a chippy. I was tormented by the impossibility of my love and the vileness of the owners. I would stare out of the window on to the dark and rainy street and wait for the pubs to turn out so that we would be busy. I'd block out the sounds of Mr Chippy's porn by humming to myself a song best friend had introduced me to
What is it with youtube vids and MDA recently? If it defaults, here's a direct link: [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYzyOVsVicM[/url]
I washed up the gravy pan, the curry sauce pan and the mushy peas pan; plastic bags stuffed full of dead rabbits were under the sink. Lucky feet surrounded my feet. The woman hated her daughter (adopted) and adored her son (natural). Knowing I was adopted, she asked for validation, 'No mother could love a cuckoo, could she?'
Midnight. Sent home with congealed chips and unrequited love.
Money in my pocket, Pops and I would go dancing. Snog a stranger. Some of the less strange came home. Matt, Mick, Tom, John, Rory...I forget the names. The parties blur now. I wasn't keeping count.
I took best friend and Mr best friend to the Isle; they took me to Manchester to watch PJ Harvey's Dance Hall at Louse Point tour. We were inseparable. But soon the year was over and with it their stay in Blighty.
I am working on it, but I need translation help...
Chippy - deep-fried fish and french fry shop?
Snog - smooch, kiss?
Blighty - England?
And OMG, that remark about loving a cuckoo... I am floored. May she burn her tits in her deep-fryer, even after all this time.
[QUOTE=Crabbcakes;1126542]I am working on it, but I need translation help...
Chippy - deep-fried fish and french fry shop?
Snog - smooch, kiss?
Blighty - England?
And OMG, that remark about loving a cuckoo... I am floored. May she burn her tits in her deep-fryer, even after all this time.[/QUOTE]
Fish and chip shop = battered fried fish, chips are kind of like French Fries' dirty cousin. Northern chippies are known for serving chips n gravy, chips n curry sauce, chips n mushy peas and...wait for it chips n cheese - or any combination of all of these. But what really blew best friend's mind was the chip butty. White bread (often a soft, floury bap [think big burger bun without the seeds]), thick butter, chips and sauce of your choice (tomato or brown). They also sell pickled eggs, pies and things. In Scotland they batter and deep fry pizzas!
Snog = kissing avec tongue, groping optional
Blighty = yes, Engerland
The cuckoo comment is a far shortened summary of what she actually said, which went on for hours and hours each Saturday afternoon.