Thursday, 28 October 2010

The phone is not my friend

I don't like the phone, and I don't really know why.

It's fine in a work setting, part and parcel of our day to day.

In my home life, I don't like it. I put off calling people. I put off answering or returning calls. I haven't had a land line for four years now.

It doesn't feel like a thing I want to do, call people that is. I email, I send cards, I arrange to meet folk by text message and see them face to face.

As a teenager I spent hours on the phone, often to people I'd seen a few short moments before. When did my aversion to the phone appear? I'm not certain.

There are a very small handful of people I actively call. Even then, I prefer to call them rather than be caught out. I don't mind if it's a purely practical thing, but the notion of calling just to chat isn't something I enjoy.

I never quite figured it out. It's impossible to read people in the same way as it is face to face, but the same can be said of email.

A ringing phone should be a nice surprise or an opportunity to catch up with someone you haven't seen for a while. Instead it just seems intrusive. In a world of mobile technology calls can be screened, and I do.

Boyfriends seem to be the exception to this. There's a excitement in getting to know someone, knowing chat is just chat. Knowing they want to talk to you. Knowing you can do just that, and nothing else. There is an anticipation or, further down the line, comfort in hearing the voice of someone you want to be close to.

Despite my reluctance to communicate this way, I've just spent an hour chatting a friend and it was lovely.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Decisions, decisions....

I'm just back after a lovely week or so of a conference, visiting friends and another wedding – the second in two weeks. I've also just agreed to a week's holiday for a friend's 40th and I am number 13, the only single person.

What do all of these have in common – I was the token single girl in amongst a multitude of couples. It stings a bit. Not because I am unhappy or jealous but because as others bring their plotting and planning to the table, I only have my voice. Being the minority isn't much fun.

There's a trip afoot for Hogmanay to a tiny Scottish island off the west coast. I'd love to feel the bitter cold sea air on my face and walk the island's paths and hills.

But, there's a but.

The group is, once again, made up of couples and the token gay man – too I become the gay man's substitute partner at social occasions. I love these people, they are my friends but I don't love an unmixed group.

It makes me feel lonely.

As others turn to kiss each other and welcome in another year, I will wait in line until someone remembers I am there.

Of course, I can host another party here at home or be amongst different friends. I wish I didn't have to decide now. A deadline is looming.

If don't go I know I will be sad to miss it. If I do, I know I will be sad that there is no one to kiss me a happy new year. I know I'd be fine. Feeling left out, no matter how unintentionally on the part of others or self indulgently on my part, is never much fun.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Letter to the man who is not my lover

I saw you last night. I didn't expect to. In amongst the friends, there you are with your girl. I was caught. I knew this could, would perhaps, happen at some point. I just didn't know how it would make me feel. Leaving my friend would create questions. I stay, pleased to see you and utterly unnerved by your presence.

I have met her before only in passing. I know who she is but we are not friends. She is skinny, pretty and child like, and friendly to the person she doesn't know.

I tried my hardest to behave as if nothing has passed between us. To ignore you would be strange.

As we chatter and mull over quiz questions, there is your gaze, held a little too long, as we talk amongst our friends.

There is a look of knowing behind those eyes. Those bright, pale eyes which I cannot deny. We cannot speak of what has been said, but it is there and present.

I am shocked by how I feel. I am full of jealousy, confusion and a little pity for her, knowing what you have said to me. But you, well, you are under my skin.

I do my best to be normal, whatever that is. But my heart is racing.

I had put you and your words out of my mind. I had resolved that, as flattering as they are, they are ultimately meaningless without action and that I deserve someone who can do as well as say. I write it off as a surreal episode, a dream.

Yesterday evening has undone it.

When you look at me, talk to me, it is as if you see all of me. There is no hiding who I am from you. For a change, I don't mind this. I try not look at you or think of your words but they are there, hanging between as we talk.

Very recently I rejected a man who I once loved. He is married and a father. After fifteen years, we have found a great friendship but a drunken night left him asking for more. I said 'no' with ease. I don't want someone else's man. Could I do this with you?.

This is not something sexual or frivolous, there is a fire in my belly, at my very core, that wants to reach for you and know you will hold my hands.

I know you are not mine, and are unlikely ever to be. I will not chase you, or seek you out. But, if you came to me, I could not turn you away.

Friday, 8 October 2010

A little success

Less than four months into my new job, today I got a new job title. I'm not even out of my probation let alone on a permanent contract. I became 'Head of....' rather than the manager I've been for the last two jobs and in a fantastic organisation.

It's an odd thing. My job is the same, as is my salary, but somehow that doesn't matter. I'm not concerned by status, but my last proper boss (before the self employment) and I had a very poor relationship. It undermined me, and all of my confidence. It helped destroy the shaky and dwindling sense I had of who I was.

I don't care what anyone calls me, but what I do care about is that not only have reminded myself that I am actually capable, but that other people trust me too. I'd forgotten what that felt like.

I didn't know my title was changing before it was announced to all the staff. It's lovely to have a little validation and excitement about my future again.

I can do, and be good at, what I love and believe in. I feel very privileged and pleased.

Sunday, 3 October 2010


Last night I saw the musician. The man who three weeks ago blind sided me with his words. Words that I didn't, couldn't, see coming.

We sat in my car in the small hours of the morning like teenagers. Not going home, not wanting to leave each other. The last time I saw him felt like some strange dream. I had no idea how he felt.

I don't know how to capture the intensity of this emotion, his words, my feelings. I am tired and confused.

Our hands tangled and untangling, foreheads pressed together, just sitting. Desperately trying to figure out what to say.

He tells me he is at risk of falling madly in love with me. He tells me I am in his head, his thoughts. He misses me.

I love these words. This time I believe him.

What to do?

He is in a relationship. He is not married and has no children. They have been together for a long time. I suspect he stays because it is familiar and settled. We daren't talk about it. I don't want to know.

He asks me if I could cope if there was a transition from there to here. I don't know if I answered. It is pointless. These are just words.

I will not be a mistress. He doesn't want this from me anyway, but still I need to say it. I tell him I deserve a whole relationship, that I am angry that he can tell me how he feels without any thought to what I am to do with that information. I won't have my heart played with.

No matter how hard I try to fight this, and stop his words, I can't. He asks me if I feel it too, and I can only say 'yes'.

There is only one other man in my past who has spoken to me so intenesly. One man, who truly and passionately loved me. I ran away from our relationship because it was too much when I wasn't ready. That was a decade ago.

The musician is talented, clever and attractive. He is a well known face in my little corner of the world, so I was always surprised when he took the time to chat to me. I am surprised to discover that he comes a little unstuck around me. He's wondered why I'd bother with him. He tells me he is nervous and excited when he sees me, that he babbles and fumbles for words whilst trying to impress me. It looks like he and I are a little in awe of each other. Blimey.

Eventually, we agree we must go home. We agree we need to think. We agree that we need time to find out if our thoughts are just madness.We agree that we will not have an affair. We agree that we will let each other know if minds are changed, risks run from.

I suspect, however, that we may freeze. Neither of us pursuing the other because he is someone else's.

The thought of him is dangerous. He makes my heart sing and it terrifies me.