Laying in bed this morning at about 9.15 sleeping off a big last night. Rigby is sprawled across my chest and the radio beside the bed is on while random, dreamy thoughts drift through my head. Somewhere in that something coalesces. It’s the song on the radio that gets my attention, an old song by Elvis Costello I haven’t heard for too long that evokes feelings if not memories. I listen to the words as if trying to recollect them, “everyday I write the book…”, cheery, happy, clever. Amid this I abruptly think that what I must but never do is to submit if I really want to live happily ever after. Not to person, but to an idea, to a notion, a possibility, I have to sublimate this strong, stroppy character to become something quieter, less ego, less adventure, more humble if you like. Let things be rather than trying to control them, let the flow take me quietly and uncomplainingly, and the woman to take me by the hand to lead I don’t know where without a second thought.
It was strange that all this happened within me in those few moments. By the time the song ended I was wide awake. It seemed a flow-on from what I thought yesterday, how I need someone strong, though this was the other side of it: I could be more weak, just for a little, less me.
I saw the entrepreneur again yesterday afternoon and was reminded why I like her. There was a jolt seeing her, her smiling face, her irrepressible energy and good nature, the sexy curves, the dark hair and good looks. I was stirred by her as I’m not often, and not just by her physical attractions. Plenty of times you meet someone and feel yourself roused, but it passes, a moment later you’re doing something else and what could have been becomes never will be and you don’t give it a second thought. That’s life. It’s different with the entrepreneur. Funnily enough when I think of her some of that male strength I’m trying to subvert comes to the fore. I can easily imagine us naked in the same bed, but just lying there, her within my grasp, our skin touching, quietly talking, laughing, for a moment her whirring dynamo stilled to lie there happily in my arms. It’s a sweet domestic scene more than anything.
For a long while I wondered if maybe she was the right one for me: really comfortable in her own skin and life, confident, happy, unpretentious, sexy. Tick, tick, tick… I was surprised a little as I had not thought that before, but then I wondered again if maybe I was wrong. Maybe I’ll know Thursday when we have dinner. She certainly seems keen.
Then last night there was a party in Thornbury. I went with the African, a woman I like but I have now the closed the door on romantically: we are neither right for the other. I knew no-one at the party, but had a good time drinking champagne and red wine and talking to a variety of intelligent people about interesting subjects. Much of it was stimulating, a lot of it fun. Towards the back-end of the night I got talking with a pregnant woman who was thrilled by my ventures and offered me her encouraging best wishes.
I got home a bit after 2 , and after the usual pfaffing around (ie watching some of the footy I had recorded), went to bed. I wonder if those unfamiliar notions that visited me this morning came from last night. There I was, a confident and interesting man, a man you could easily leave to his own devices knowing he would strike up conversation and make friends. It’s good, and that’s what happened, but even I wonder sometimes if it is not just a little too easy. Perhaps no-one can understand that, but for me it’s like a veneer beneath which I somewhere exist, vulnerable like most people, and afraid sometimes, and all the rest of it. The words may flow, the lines snap out, but I feel a little sometimes as if I’m on auto-pilot, there in the conversation, listening intently, asking questions, being perfectly sincere, but at the same time with my hands on the levers knowing exactly what to push and when.
Ultimately what all we crave is innocence. We seek it in others. Often we look to find it in ourselves as well.