Saturday, April 14, 2007

Chapter Two

It’s dark when I get home - both in my head and in my flat. It doesn’t get any easier, coming home to an unlived-in living space, nothing different from when I left it nearly twelve hours earlier. The curtains still open, my washing still pressed and wet against the porthole window of the washing machine. It’s been a disgusting day – not helped by Danny-the-chav-Mullins and his ‘cracking bird’ line, nor helped by the fact that Maria Delaney wouldn’t give me an inch of independence with the ‘Women Who Surrender Their Lives For Their Pets’ piece; and I’ve still brought it home to re-edit it. Of course, Angela Johnson loved watching the events unfold through her slitted eyes. It was all made worse by the fact that the Girl About Town columnist, Victoria Harris, has been signed off-sick for 2 months. It seems she’s been ‘about town’ a little too much - checked into rehab for coke and alcohol addiction, is the rumour. Mind you, working for Delaney would drive anybody to drugs and drink!

I kick off my shoes in the kitchen and root through the cupboards for something resembling dinner, but I’m too tired and sad to bother. A shiny packet of noodles hits the pan of boiling water for 3 minutes and, hey presto, another meal for one! As I walk into my lounge I can’t help but think of Danny and what a joke he really was. Thank god I didn’t sleep with him – that would have made things even worse! Then I remember the picture messages that he’d text to me last week and how they were rather appealing. Is a chav who isn’t wearing ANY clothes still a chav? As I scroll through the messages I find the photos that he’d sent of himself in the shower and feel a slight twinge of regret somewhere between my pelvis and my ribcage. At least, I think it’s regret – it might be hunger. He looked quite good in the nude – the white foam sliding down his pallid belly and the distinctively attractive soapy bulge hidden beneath the suds that gathered between his legs…...

My ansaphone is flashing silently in the corner of the room, like a mute child wanting attention and I’m ashamed to say that it rushes through my mind that it might be him, having second thoughts and begging to take me to The Ivy tonight as apology. I press the flashing green button and hear my mother’s voice, loaded with her new, fake American accent,

“Hey, baby? It’s me, baby. Your mother! Honey? You just gotta get over here soon – it’s simply loaded with gorgeous men. Much sexier than those pasty patsies in the UK. So, babeeee, when ya comin?”

She’d never called England ‘the UK’, until she moved to L.A. 2 years ago with her new partner. But then again, in the last 2 years my mother has adopted many new characteristics – a new accent, tanorexia, fake nails, fake hair colour, a plethora of new ‘friends’. No, I’m insane to even think that Danny will be having second thoughts. It’s only after looking at those damned shower pictures that’s made me like the idea of him again. I know that, deep down, I’m simply suffering with D.S.S. - Dumpee-Sickstomach-Syndrome- also known as being emotionally unemployed.

I don’t bother with the telly and take my bowl of noodles to bed with me – nothing like snuggling up against a cold ceramic bowl to make you feel lonely between the sheets. I strip down to my knickers and climb between the stark duvet, balancing the noodles on my knees as I twist back and struggle to plump the pillows behind me. In a way it’s completely self-indulgent eating noodles alone. It’s slovenly and hedonistic to dangle the noodles from a fork, a full arm-stretch over your head, and direct them down into your new-born-chick open mouth. My mobile bleeps and I suck in a stray noodle quickly before reaching down to my bag and pulling it out. 3 new messages – one from Jennifer and 2 from my friend Tamsin. But I’m not going to talk to them tonight. I’ve still got to write up the piece about ‘How Body Language Affects Flirting’ and I can’t be bothered to explain how another relationship has failed.


By 11.45pm I’m still wide awake. Despite laying here, in the dark, with my eyes closed, sleep isn’t coming. Instead I have a couple of small movies playing out inside my eyelids, and they’re not very entertaining. My Crap Efforts At Dating has just finished and now How I Attract a Legion of Married Men began about 3 minutes ago. It’s giving me an appetite for popcorn, and it’s extremely uncomfortable viewing, watching the last six months concurrently makes me realise how dire it’s all become.

Married men. In a way, they guarantee great sex – they’re experienced and road-tested, probably bored with their ‘twice-a-week’ and desperate to prove to themselves that they’ve still got ‘it’. I’ll never forget the slick lines of Adam, (who I didn’t know was married until after he’d shagged me senseless. For 2 months!) “Have you got Star Wars pants on babe? Cos your arse is out of this world!” His technique was mind-blowing and left me flushed and disorientated for 2 days. He was a mortgage advisor and would leave messages on my mobile and house phone, his fake-posh voice saying, “Hello madam. I am a mortgage advisor; do you want to see the benefits of a large endowment? I’ll be round at nine – I want your knickers off ready!”

He really wooed me and I fell for him in a big way. He was smart and stylish, funny and clever and a real metrosexual. He couldn’t walk past a Banana Republic shop without buying something, he owned five pairs of sunglasses – all of which made him look like David Beckham in the Police sunglasses ad, he made the perfect Sunday roast and only ever wore Calvin Klein boxers. He was perfect. And then I discovered that he was married.

There was Pete – the really nice guy with severe acne scars. It was a problem eating with him – his skin was like cottage cheese with a fork drawn through it and his idea of eating-out led straight to McDonalds. Then the gorgeous James. Tamsin had said from the start that he’d be a hard dog to keep on the porch – and she’d been right. I’d caught him on the steps to Oxford Circus tube station kissing another woman when he thought I’d gone to Barcelona for the weekend with the girls. He hadn’t figured that I’d forgotten to update my expired passport and only realise at the last minute. The look on his face when I tapped him on the shoulder, mid tonsil-massage,

“Sophie!” his eyes bulged with horror.

The smack around the face didn’t make me feel half as good as I’d hoped.

And then there’d been the prospective ‘great date’ who wilted as he became progressively drunk. I drove him home and when he invited me in, I accepted - against my better judgement, but it was more to make sure that he got home, rather than a preamble to anything else. He disappeared immediately after opening the front door and so I stood, puzzled, in his dark hallway. “Go through to the lounge!” he yelled, an excited urgency to his muffled voice which came from another room somewhere. I stood in the doorway and he reappeared, leaping onto the sofa in grey y-fronts and yellow t-shirt. Like an excitable puppy he threw something across the room, “Catch!” he yelled. So I did. And the split second that I clutched the tumbling bumper box of 18 condoms, his fiancée returned home! I turned to her, both of us equally stunned, and handed her the box as I said, “poor you,” and made for the front door – quickly!

The clock in my bedroom flashes an ominous 12.23am as my mind continues to race with these moments of horror as I then remember Jonny - the body builder who could only get turned on at the thrill of getting caught 'at it'. He fancied himself as a Schwarzenegger type and shaved more than just his face. He also exfoliated and moisturized, religiously removing every hair from his body from the ears down. I didn’t particularly like the bald body look, especially when his chest hair began to grow back – it was hedgehog stubbly and scratched my boobs to shreds! He had to go. Along with Ronny – who was addicted to internet porn – his computer was virtually humming with subscriber-only websites and downloads.


Chapter Three

I wake up only four-and-a-half hours later at 6.15am looking like a bloodhound…..

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"his skin was like cottage cheese with a fork drawn through it" - yuk! I have dated married men, and have done for years. It's a strange world, a cross between being thrilling and exciting, and then knowing that you're second best.

I can't stop myself now. I'm in too deep. But I strongly advise every woman not to get involved with a married man.
At least Sophie had some senese.
Unlike me.