and I are lying on my bed, facing each other, staring into each
other’s eyes. His left little finger is wrapped around my right
little finger. We have not said anything for at least a minute. I
have a horrible suspicion that we are in love.
love. Alice Chambers in love.
CANNOT BE IN LOVE. LOVE IS VERBOTEN FOR YOU.
why is that, Matthew, may I ask?
AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH. WHY WOULD ANYONE LOVE YOU. YOU ARE UGLY, STUPID
IS LYING. HE WANTED SOME SEX. HE THOUGHT “SHE’S GOT HER TONGUE
HANGING OUT FOR ME - I DON’T EVEN LIKE HER, SHE’S AN UGLY FAT
LOSER, BUT WHATEVER, SHE’S SO DESPERATE I WON’T EVEN HAVE TO
had sex ages ago, so if he’s that bored and repulsed by me why
hasn’t he put his trousers on and fucked off then?
you don’t have an answer for that, do you? You fucking loser.
gives me a slow smile. It makes his brown eyes crinkle up underneath.
It is a sly, shy, happy, utterly beautiful smile. I feel my own smile
start in response and in this moment I feel there is nothing more I
want from life. I have now tasted the best - the absolute best - that
the world can offer a human being. This is the pinnacle. Anything
good from here on in is just a bonus
remember, just for a second, that what I think is Matthew is actually
me. Of course it is me. The real Matthew, from what I remember, could
hardly string a sentence together and is unlikely to use “verboten”.
probably graduated to internet chatrooms now. Course he has. Stalk
children in the comfort of your own home why am I thinking about him
now? I'm lying on my bed with a beautiful half-naked man who is -
however improbably - apparently interested in me. Why am I thinking
about Matthew now?
this not ever going to go away?
answer is no, it's not. It doesn't ever go away. You just learn to
accept it as normal and live with it. Or spend your entire life out
of your head on drink and drugs, or selling yourself, or hysterically
scrambling to the top of the corporate ladder in a desperate struggle
to be someone different, or any of the other variations on “not
living with it” I have seen in my time.
I live with it, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I should just fucking
forget about it.
suddenly terrified. I can't have sex with Martin, what if he thinks
I'm laughably crap in bed? What if I freak out and have a flashback
at a crucial moment? What if he gets upset by my pubes?
of the insecurities I have, sexually speaking, is that I flatly
refuse to shave my pubic hair. I don't know why that is, exactly; I
have no trouble with armpits or legs, but the thought of anything
more intimate provokes an immediate and hysterical emotional response
along the lines of: "I WON'T DO IT AND YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!"
As a result, my hair sprawls where it pleases, wild and untamed.
Occasionally I clip it a bit, as I have a couple of very long tufts
which give a kind of Mohican effect if left, but usually it just does
its own thing. The idea of shaving
makes me feel like a prepubescent and, for obvious reasons, I hate
that. But it's also the norm. People expect it. Martin probably
kissing me again. It's really nice. No, it's more than that, it's
great. He smells lovely, and I want to bury my face in his neck but I
don't because I'm not sure whether he wants me to. Whether this might
not be real, or somehow might turn out to be some huge hurtful joke.
There are so many conflicting emotions – happiness, lust,
astonishment, guilt, shame, fear, insecurity, the overwhelmingness of
being this close to another person after so long – that I'm
starting to feel nauseous, which isn't helping on any level.