Anything But

Don’t want to write about the events in Leeds, my hometown, today. Except to say they were shameful. Disgusting.

Instead I shall waffle. Another blogger prompted me to write a perfect dinner party list. This time I went for…Charles Bukowski, Kim Addonizio, Mariella Frostrup, Billy Bragg, Tracy Emin, Dorothy Parker, Bill Bailey, Tim Minchin, Victoria Wood (mainly for the party games) and Li Po. Maybe Umberto Eco as long as he promised to lighten up a bit. Not Brian Cox as I would already be the token physicist. They would be a handful but I quite like doing “wild” even if I’m not the best at instigating it. Sometimes I go too far. I once danced on a pub table at lunchtime wearing only a pair of black lycra briefs.

The Brian Cox reference was because I seem to be surrounded with female bloggers who would have him as first pick. If it’s the physics thing I am clearly missing a trick. Maybe I should invite them over to see my proofs of the Special Theory of Relativity.

Not that this sort of thing is a priority. I recently had a discussion about whether it’s better to write poetry in flagrante, or once you have calmed down a bit. Some people favour one or the other. Wordsworth  thought it was emotion recollected in tranquillity, and also the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; so a bit of both. I like to capture emotion as it happens, but often find that in retrospect what I have written is a bit rubbish and it needs polishing with a calm head and heart. This led on to a discussion of whether you are most creative when you are a bit…errr…unstable. My twopence on that was that I am relatively unstable most of the time so couldn’t really comment one way or the other. My best mate chipped in “Well you’ve been a lot less bonkers since you stopped chasing women”.

Remarkably, that’s true. I’m a lot more comfortable with myself now that I don’t give a rat’s ass. My priorities have re-focused and I’m probably having a lot more fun now, despite the numerous practical life difficulties that have surfaced over the last twelve months.

The difficulty with that is that at 48 I am at an awkward age. Old enough to appreciate the freedoms of being single, but too young for the contemplation of sleeping alone at night for the rest of my life not to cause an internal “yelp” of disappointment, and worry that I’ll end up like John Betjeman, who at an advanced age said that the only thing he regretted was not having more sex.

My favourite psychologist Jeremy Sherman came up with the term “loaner” rather than “loner” to describe a potential solution to middle age after all the child-bearing is over and done with. I suppose he was looking for a polite way to say “fuck-buddy”. The difficulty there is how do you start that conversation?  I once asked that mostly rhetorical question to my happily married best mate. He just shrugged at me. No idea. We are both, traditionally, a long way down the spectrum toward being the monogamous pair-bonding types so it is something of a foreign country, one that would not even need contemplating were I not in the situation I find myself. And maybe you can’t always teach an old dog new tricks.

 

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