Thursday, 29 November 2012

Circus Boy 10 - Just a Bootie Call

Now IIRC I didn't hear from Circus Boy for about a month, and I pretty much had put it down to experience and forgotten about it - even more so because at this time my Dad got very, very ill. We are talking moribund here. My Naughty Little Sister Mandy came over form Germany because we thought he was going to cark it at any second and she wanted him to see his new grandchild before he died. My older sister phoned to see if she had to come up the weekend Mandy was here, and was told by the MacMillan nurses in no uncertain terms that not only should she come, but if there were any family members who wanted to see Dad before he died, they should come ASAP.

The old bugger lasted another month!

Then out of the blue one Thursday - it's usually a Thursday, I must be his Thursday Girl - Circus Boy phoned and asked me if I wanted to go for a drink to the open-mic night. Except it was 10.30pm, the open mic would have surely been closing and I had a son but no babysitter. So I said no. He then wanted to come around, but since I felt a teensy bit annoyed at his 'no contact for a month but now you just drop everything for me' attitude, I said no, I was tired and going to bed. But I wasn't horrible, and we chatted a bit. then the second he was off the phone I stuck on facebook about how I had just had a booty call, cos I have no doubt that's what it was.

That Sunday I went to bed exceptionally early, even for me. I put my phone on 'very quiet' when I go bed - I still can't sleep without it next to me cos I still have a bit of Steve-stalking fear - so that if I am awake I'll hear the little 'beep' it makes, but if I am sleeping there's no way it would wake me. So I was drifting off and I have to admit I did hear the 'beep', but I was too drifty to attend to it, and fell off to sleep.

I woke up to find I had FOUR missed calls from Circus Boy, but no message left, and no text to explain. Now I actually felt a little bit guilty, because I had heard the one beep, and maybe he was stranded somewhere and in trouble and.... well, do you see how my rescuer mentality gets me into trouble?

So I texted saying sorry I hadn't replied, and was he ok, cos seeing all the missed calls had got me worried. Then I went off to work. Kept checking my phone to see if he had replied, but nothing, not a sausage. Got home from work and about 6pm he texted, but said NOTHING about the night before, just asked if I was ok or some such (can't remember, but can remember he said bugger all). I texted back saying all the calls meant I'd been worried and I hoped this meant he'd escaped the mad axe murderer. (I'm not being nuts here am I? Four missed calls would generally mean there was something a bit urgent going on, wouldn't it? And one would generally feel obliged to explain one's importunity in such a case, wouldn't one? <Prince Charles mode now off>) He then texted back a set of instructions on how to dodge axe murderers. This was not a reply and even M_ from work, who is notoriously romantic (so much so that she even held out hope for Steve to come good), was unimpressed.

Fast forward almost week of hearing nothing from him again. Once again it is Thursday night, and once again my phone rings. But it is only about 8pm, and this time Circus Boy is phoning to see if he can come over after open-mic night. So I said yes.

This may be a good point to catch you up with my bed situation. You will recall that Circus Boy and I managed to break my bed. I decided that the repair with tape really wasn't a keeper, and so I'd ordered another bed - a metal one. It was self-assembly, but I am Queen of the Flatpack, so no problem, and I had it up within a couple of hours. Now experience made me query the strength of its construction, as I could see that the central joint was the main load-bearer, and it was held together by one small screw (I'd need a diagram to fully explain this, but take my word for it). So I wrapped loads of sellotape around the joint as a precaution (I was out of electrical and gaffa tape by this time).

About a week later I had a drunken and ill-advised cop-off with a negligible bloke who turned out to be married. Not that he ever admitted it, but I am convinced it is true. Mad thing was, I was trying to be grown up and sensible, and I decided that because he was 40-odd he fitted the bill. How wrong could I be? But still, one drunken grope and fumble and a bit of bouncing too far on that bed, and the whole bloody thing collapsed underneath us! So, in a matter of six weeks I had managed to break not one but TWO beds. Oh how proud I was!

But I know my rights, and so I got in touch with the sales company and quoted the Sale of Goods Act which states that products should be fit for purpose, and since beds were used for sex as well as sleep, they most definitely should not fall apart during the act, however vigorous. Gotta say, were great, the girl who phoned me went through a good few bed suggestions with me that I could choose from. I said that if they sent someone to take my bed down and put the new bed up, then I would pay the difference in price (cos it was about £200 for the one I chose), but otherwise I wanted the new bed completely for free to compensate for my time and inconvenience. She said that was perfectly reasonable, and so that is what happened - I put up the new bed (much more sturdy) and I got a much better bed than the original - YAY!

At the time of putting up this bed, I had sort of thought what a shame that I would never have the chance to test it with Circus Boy, but by this time I was pretty sure this wasn't going to happen, and it was the furthest thing from my mind when he came over that Thursday.

So when he got here we were immediately into the chat and catching up on what we were up to, and then Circus Boy said, 'I don't know why we don't see eachother very much because I really like you.'

'Well maybe we don't see much of eachother because you blow hot and cold - one minute you are all over me and the next you ignore me, and I don't know where I stand.'

And do you know what he said? What he had the CHEEK to say? He said, 'I don't think that's me - I think that's you. You are the hot and cold one - I actually think you are what they call Emotionally Unavailable.'

'You what!' I was laughing with surprise, because emotionally unavailable is a phrase used on Baggage Reclaim, so here he was, accusing me of being what HE is, and he was able to do that because of stuff he'd read on a website I had recommended to him, to help him in his personal relationships! I was well miffed.

I pointed out that he was the one who hadn't contacted me for a month.

'Well, you could have rung me,' he said.

'That's not the way it works, and you know it,' I said, and his little-boy-caught-out grin told me I was right, he DID know it.

And then the killer blow from him - 'you unfriended me on Facebook!'

'I EXPLAINED THAT!! And I told you to send me a friend request if you wanted to, and you didn't!'

'Well it still upset me. I thought we were friends....'

So after a bit of discussion, we decided that yes, we could be friends, and I actually felt a bit relieved that now I knew where I stood, and I wouldn't be worrying about what he thought of me, and he could relax cos he wouldn't think I was wanting anything more, and I felt fine with that.

After loads more chatting and laughing, it was really late, about 1am. I was going to Birmingham the next day after hydrotherapy, for an consultant orthopaedic appointment with one of the residents. This was a big deal for various reasons and so I wanted to get a good sleep for it, which I told Circus Boy. 'So I'll have to chuck you out now.'

'Can't I stay here?'

Well, I suppose it was a bit late to be wandering the streets without a unicycle, so I said ok. Bbut where would he sleep? 'I can bring you down the spare quilt and pillows, but you're quite tall, so you might want to take the cushions off the sofa and sleep on them on the floor.'

'I'd rather sleep with you'

'I don't generally sleep with my mates.'

But he gave me one of his puppy-dog looks and so I thought, oh, ok, it's not very comfy down here. 'But NO FUNNY BUSINESS!'

I thought he was completely disregarding this instruction when he got into bed naked. I knew for sure he was disregarding it when he started groping me. With his penis.

'Look, I told you, we're just mates now, this isn;t going to happen.'

'But why not? Why can't we be mates who sleep together?'

'Because that's just messy, I don't do messy...'

This conversation continued along much the same lines but with more and more added snogging for about an hour. And then I suddenly thought to myself, 'hang on, here is a 24 year old that I fancy the arse off, begging me to have sex with him. And I WANT to have sex with him. So why the hell am I saying no?'

And that is the closest I have come to playing hard to get with him. Pathetic aren't I? :-(

But at least the bed got a damn good testing.

I was late to hydro the next morning, but I decided the way to go was to brazen it out.

'Sorry I'm late, I have no excuse aside from being an utter slut who's had no sleep cos I've spent the whole night shagging a boy.'

Luckily only M_ had got there before me, and she just wanted an excuse to believe that me and Circus Boy were destined to be together, and here it was. So we had a nice morning chatting about what had happened and how and all the gory details.

Cos by this time I was fulfilling my own 'messy' prophecy. That morning he'd had a bad back, so I'd done a bit of naked fixing it (that isn't a euphemism, I quite literally did naked physio). And then on my way to work I'd dropped him outside his house cos it was chucking it down with rain, and he'd sat chatting for ages (whilst I held up half the town due to inconsiderate abandoning of the car rather than proper parking - but I'd thought he'd just jump out). Then as he went into his driveway he turned to blow me a kiss as I drove past. It's that sort of thing that makes me sort of fall a bit in love with a person. But that is the old me, so while my heart was still being an idiot like it has for the whole of my life, my head was telling me this was another 'hot' and that could only mean that 'cold' was on the way.

'I promised I'd add him on facebook'

'So have you?' asked M_

'Have I heck as like. If he really did want me to be his fb friend, he'd send a request himself.'

Then that evening he confounded all expectations. He texted to find out how the orthopaedic appointment had gone. It was the last thing I expected, really thoughtful.

So maybe things were changing, maybe he was ditching the hot and cold?

We will never know, because I was about to screw things up between us BIG TIME.....

Wednesday, 28 November 2012


Yesterday I got into work, and B_ said to me, 'you're going to thank me when you see who I've booked in for you.' I thought he was being sarcastic, because I always get given the people with mental health problems (I worked in mental health for years), or people who are difficult to deal with for whatever reason. So I sort of went, 'oh yes, what have you got for me now?' and he said, 'no, I mean it, you really are going to thank me.'

So I looked. And I thanked him. Mr Eyecandy was back!

Mr Eyecandy was initially B_'s patient a few years ago, and (as his name may suggest) he was HOT! Every Tuesday when I knew he was coming in, I'd put my lipstick on and I'd find any old excuse to go into the waiting room when he was there - the magazine rack had never been so tidy or the fish so well fed. If I had no feasible excuse, I'd just wander back and forth past the door trying not to let my tongue hang out too far. 

And then he became my patient. He needed craniosacral therapy, and I'm the only one who does it at the clinic, so there wasn't another option. It was one of the biggest challenges of my professional career. 

I have never, ever dated a patient - I have never even been interested in one (well, there was that one incident in 1989 where I gave a patient an appointment on Xmas Eve at the Accident Hospital mainly so he could sing Xmas carols for me, but that's not exactly the same thing). Even when I've got really close to long-term patients, so close that they have asked ME out, I've always said no, and been internally quite shocked, because (and this is apparently quite old-fashioned of me) I don't for one second allow myself to think of a patient in that way, however hot they may be. I know some physios think it is ok to date a patient if you transfer them to another physio, but I think it shows you were thinking about them in an unprofessional way in the first place. Patients should only ever know Karen the Physiotherapist, and as a physiotherapist I am nothing like the out-of-work me. Well, I am, obviously, but work me is a lot more tolerant and a lot more caring than out-of-work me. She also doesn't swear like a trouper, drink like a fish and snog unsuitably young men.

So having Mr Eyecandy as a patient was wonderful, but horrendous in equal measure. I already fancied the pants off him, because he hadn't been off limits, because he hadn't been my patient. And now here he was, in all his lovely partially-dressed glory and I was trying my best to be professional, even though I SWEAR he was flirting with me. Although B_ in the adjoining room was apparently trying really hard not to laugh because I 'was using my flirty voice.' Now craniosacral therapy is very hands-on, but the patient is always lying down, so once treatment was started, I could concentrate on business. And his lovely hair. And his lovely nose. And his lovely hands. And - well, you get the idea. But then I realised (with a little thrill) that he needed visceral manipulation. Which means you have them sitting on the plinth in front of you and you put your arms around them to reach under the rib cage. Then you try not to let them know that your heart is beating nearly out of your chest and you are having to try really hard not to snog their neck. That last sentence only applying to Mr Eyecandy of course.

Oh, they were happy Tuesdays, those were. Somehow I managed to keep my head enough that I didn't make a complete idiot of myself/get struck off/get anything more than slightly told off by The Boss.

But now Mr Eyecandy was back and my heart was flipping, because I would have to go through this all again (poor me, hahaha!). Thing is, it isn't just the way he looks - he is in general so totally my type. A bit arty, skinny but wiry, nice hair, well-spoken, sensitive, into self-help, damaged by life. 

Still, maybe in 3 years he had pigged out, lost his job, his dress sense and his hair, and joined the Tories. 

But of course he hadn't. If anything he was even more perfect than I remembered, and I LEURVED HIM again on sight. But I was prepared, and I was determined. I WOULD maintain my professional demeanour at all times, not least because no patient deserves some loony physio mooning over them. 

It was a partial success. I spoke to him completely professionally, no flirty voice, no girly giggling at his funny little comments, no cheeky through-the-fringe glances (seriously, I do think I maybe did all those things 3 years ago. I am ashamed. But maybe I can use it as an example of how my experience has improved my practice. Or maybe not). Then he got on the plinth, and I was fine while I was going through some exercises. Then I had to go to his head to do the craniosacral, and HIS HAIR IS SO BLOODY PERFECT, all shiny and soft. Plus, he's chatting away with his beautiful lips and can't tell that I had a little bit of a bigger breath-in than normal, and could smell his shampoo, and it is lovely and the smell of HIM is lovely too. Then there is that face, that perfect face, and I can see the perfect shape of his perfect nose to really good advantage from here.

The end of the appointment time comes, but we are still chatting, so I don't even finish on time. I book him in for next week. He wants a specific time to fit in with his work, so I offer to book him a second week ahead to make sure he can get it. I leave the offer of an appointment every week til the end of time unspoken.

I need his notes from 3 years ago, so I leave his current notes for the secretaries with a post-it attached - 'please can I have this man's old notes, because I heart him'. I am SO unprofessional :-(

At lunchtime when I was whittering on about this to B_ , M_ and J_, M_ asked, 'do you think he knows?'

Good question. Hmmm. 'I think he might remember :-( ' Because I was more obvious before, I think. If he was completely new, I don't think he would have noticed any of my secret adoration. 

B_ says I am going to get into trouble. At this rate, he is right. It's not like I'm being like the GP who would give completely spurious breast examinations. Or like the medics I used to live with who talked about 'teat clinics' and really objectified women in a pretty horrible way. But as much as I joke about it for entertainment purposes at work, I do feel bad.

If anyone has a  hair shirt, I can make good use of it.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Picking up the Pieces

A little pause in the Circus Boy saga, cos we are near the end by now (although he is always popping up, so who knows). I wanted to talk about some recent changes in my life.

The last year has been lost really. Ever since the first Sunday in December last year when Dad collapsed and was taken to hospital with pneumonia, I haven't really had time to do anything except live day to day. My life has been a mess - my house and my work have reflected that pretty much.

It's the little things that get you. I avoid certain rooms at my Mum's cos she leaves piles of his clothes around, as though they still need ironing. Last weekend I went to the shops and had it in my mind to get some pop, then in the aisle I saw it - Schweppes lemonade. I picked it up and put it in my basket, and it was all I could do to not cry right there and then, but I have a well developed stiff upper lip, and I know how to use it. You see, Dad was fussy about his lemonade - he would only drink the cloudy sort, or Schweppes. It took me unawares, seeing that bottle, and reminded me that I was never going to have to buy it for Dad ever, ever again.

Went home and cried and didn't stop for two days.

But otherwise, over the last few weekends I've been getting my life back together. The house is now clean and tidy except for the spare room (which contains all the crap I've moved from the other rooms). I've started to sort out my work. I've started taking my asthma meds properly, and taking my vitamin tablets again. And strangest of all I have stopped drinking.

I've always liked a drink at the weekends. Even if I wasn't going out, I'd have some wine. Then I got a tummy bug, and I've not wanted it since. 4 weekends of no booze - weird. I currently don't see the point in drinking unless I'm socialising, so for now I'm not going to do it.

But the biggest change? The biggest change is a move forwards, not back. My older brother's death 6 years ago was the first time it came home to me that I wasn't immortal, that life was short and not to be wasted. So I got divorced. This time, partly through talking with Circus Boy that festival weekend, I've realised that my Dad lived his life for other people - for his parents, for my mum, for us kids, for his bosses. That's not a completely bad thing, if the people you put first are doing the same for you, and if you aren't losing yourself and your dreams completely. I think Dad did lose out on lots of his dreams. What's worse - I've realised I have no dreams. When me and my husband (my son's dad) split up, I hadn't thought any further than 'being free'. I had no plan of what to do with that freedom. I still don't, but that's going to change, because having no dream to lose saw me in a worse prison (domestic violence) than marriage ever was. I'm now free of Steve, and there's no reason I can't do anything I want - I just have to find something to want :-)

Clean house and clean me. The Invasion of the Bodysnatchers would appear to have begun.

Except it hasn't - this is me, and I am BACK

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Circus Boy 9 - Conversation

A little bit I forgot that I'd wanted to put into last night's post.

By the time that weekend had ended, I really felt like we knew eachother quite well, because we'd been in a car or talking outside for massive wodges of time, and especially on the second day, when I was upset about Dad, it was all quite intense, and for me very cathartic. But this conversation was from the first day, and was a bit of a recurring theme until I dropped him home.

At the first festival Circus Boy was having a right old fret about some friends who hadn't turned up. Apparently they (a couple of girls, I think) had been supposed to be meeting him with their camper van, but they hadn't even responded to his texts. So we spent a bit of time looking for their camper van in the car park field (this did not take long as there were only about four vehicles there), and he spent a LOT of time texting them and then trying to phone them.

Finally he got through to them, and then I really wished they'd carried on ignoring him, because it precipitated another one of his emotional tantrums. I don't know if it is all the drugs, or if this is his character, but it is one of the most trying parts of being around him - you are so dependent on his mood, When Circus Boy is happy, he makes the world a wonderful place to be. When he is angry, he is angry with everyone and everything in the vicinity.

So once he'd stropped about how awful they were, and how people always let him down, and how he would never do anything like that to a friend, and he'd thought they were good friends of his, but LOOK, they really weren't, and he was sick of how many times people he thought were friends turned out not to be, I finally got the story from him.

The girls HAD come to the festival, but when they had found they had to pay to get in, they had decided not to bother. I secretly couldn't blame them (there wasn't a Cat on a Turntable, remember), but I did think they could have phoned/texted to let him know.

'Well, that's it, I'm not speaking to them again anyway, even if they want to meet up some other time,' he declared.

'How long have you known them?' I asked - partly thinking he was probably over reacting and it wasn't worth losing a friendship over, but partly remembering the 'love of his life who had shagged his mate' that he had known for all of two weeks.

'About two weeks,' he said. I obviously wasn't surprised.

'I think there's a bit of a pattern here, Circus Boy,' I siad. 'You've known them even less time than we've known eachother, yet you made all these judgements and had all these expectations, when really, you can't know anyone at all in such a short time.

'I know you! I know you owuldn't let me down.'

'No, you know I didn't let you down this time - who knows what I might do another time, because you've only known me about a month, you haven't seen more than a few glimpses of me, a lot of what you see is me presenting my best face, because I don't know you well. And that's all I've seen of you too [I didn't mention that the fact his 'best face' included so many tantrums was a teensy bit worrying to me]. So all I know at the moment is that I like the parts of you that you've shown me so far, but I have to wait and see if I like what you show me in future before I make rash judgments. But you're deciding people are wonderful on first meeting, and then expecting them to act that way, and then getting angry with them when they don't. But it isn't their fault, because they haven't change,d they were always like that, you just didn't know them.'

He wasn't convinced, I knew. 'Yeah, but I can tell what people are like by their aura, and the vibes they give out.'

'Oh Circus, Boy, if that was true, you wouldn't so often be let down by people, because you'd be expecting them to act flaky. There's a good website that I've found really useful in sorting out where I was going wrong with men, but it works for all relationships and working out who is worthwhile and who isn't, it's called Baggage Reclaim, you should google it.'

I never thought he would, and we returned to this subject many times over the weekend, because a lot of the people we met, who he introduced me to at festival 2, you would have thought they'd been friends for years, and this mostly wasn't the case - in most cases I knew the work colleagues I met better than he knew his friends (and I didn't know my work colleagues that well). It never occurred to me that he would look at the website I recommended. Much less use it against me.....

Friday, 23 November 2012

Circus Boy 8 - Memory of a Free Festival (or two)

About two weeks passed, and I had completely put Circus Boy out of my mind. Now don't get me wrong, I really had liked him, but ever since Steve I am a lot more wary about men. I no longer fall headlong into them like I used to - and this is a good thing. I kind of sit back and wait now - I see what they are really like rather than falling for my vision of what I think they might be like or what I think they could become like. So all the way through, much as I enjoyed his company, I also saw many MANY potential problems that said we were not suited. Now this is a major advance for me - because (as an example) Circus Boy has the same surname as Steve (no, they aren't related, I made sure of that), and his birthday is the same as the day me and Steve met. Ridiculous as it might sound, in the past I would have taken these coincidences as being a omen - a sign that we were meant to be together.

So I hadn't thought too far into the future (aside from planning our hippy wedding, obvs), and after his little display that last night, I really felt no regrets about walking away. Well, maybe a regret at no more hot-24- year-old in my bed, but hey.

It thus came as a bit of a shocker when he phoned one Friday night. Now the funny thing was, I'd only been chatting with K_ at the clinic the week before, and I'd said he was binned, and she'd said, 'yeah, until he phones you up with a sob story and then he'll have you eating out of his hand again.' How I laughed.

'So you need someone to drive you to two festivals tomorrow? Ok then.'

Now I can make an excuse and pretend that I did it out of the kindness of my heart, but that isn't strictly true. He needed someone to ferry around his fire stuff and DJing stuff, and his Dad couldn't do it. I would imagine pretty much everyone he knew couldn't do it either, cos I'm damn sure I wasn't the first he rang. Thing is, I didn't have a lot on. I was a bit of a heel, cos I was meant to be going to Sue's house on Saturday for a night of girly chat, wine and food with her and Heather, and I phoned her up not only to cancel but to talk about what to wear, what to take etc. I am NOT a good friend, am I? Still, they had the last laugh....

But I just could not resist the chance to DO something - something exciting, something to make me feel alive. You know, life when you aren't abused is much easier, and much happier, but dear God, compared to the adrenaline rushes and the long-term stresses and the walking on eggshells, at times it can feel DULL. And here was the chance to go to not one but TWO festivals, free - cos Circus Boy would pay for everything.

I went to bed that Friday night feeling like Cinderella about to go to the ball. But first I had to sort out three million things - dry food for the cat, holiday food for the fish, money, packing a bag, what to take etc. Finally I left the house on Saturday morning about 11.15 - I was supposed to pick Circus Boy up at 11.

So imagine my surprise when he gestured me around to the back door and he opened it WEARING ONLY HIS PANTS. And DEAR GOD were they small! Or was he big, I just couldn't bring myself to examine properly for fear of blushing, because I had already decided that it was friends only from now on.

So in typical Circus Boy style, he sat me down at the table and made me some revolting green tea while he ate breakfast, then sat chatting for ages, before discovering that his directions to the first festival were locked in his father's office. And his father wasn't in. So there followed a very tense conversation, unreasonable as ever on Circus Boy's end, that ended with his Dad deciding that the only thing to do was to come and let us in there.

Circus Boy went off to have a shower, leaving me to deal with Dad. Who wasn't best pleased to find that when he unlocked the office, the directions weren't there. So Spoiled Bastard Circus Boy threw a complete strop and had a proper paddy about this - because of course it was all his father's fault. I can't really describe it, it was like watching a toddler. And his Dad didn't really say a word, except to say Circus Boy was being unreasonable, and that he would go and get some instructions online. Which he did. Then, while Circus Boy got all his stuff together, his Dad began to load the dishwasher, and I helped him, while he asked me questions that appeared to be primarily designed to suss out my age - 'so how old were you during the miner's strike?'

So finally we get in the car about 1pm, and set off to the festival. Via three out-of-town shopping parks trying to buy paraffin. FFS, you're a fire-juggler, did it not enter your head to get some paraffin beforehand???

FINALLY we were on the road, and at this point things picked up dramatically. We were halfway there on the motorway, and we'd been chatting most of the way (well, Circus Boy had been telling me all about how his parents had screwed him up), then out of the blue he said, 'you're a really good driver, aren't you?'

I must have looked at him a bit shocked (I was) cos he continued, 'yeah, you're really quick and decisive, you're fast, but safe, and you don't get distracted, you always know what's going on around you.'

Well HELL YES! Thing is, I've always known I'm a good driver, cos I did an advanced driving course in Scotland, when the Trust paid for it because it lowered their car lease-holder insurance premiums. But Steve had always insisted I was a rubbish driver, nowhere near as good as him. Him with his provisional license cos he's never passed his test, probably because he drives like an utter boyracer cunt.

Finally we got to the first festival. You know Father Ted? Well this was Craggy Island Funland, but without the attraction of the Cat on the Tunrtable. It honestly looked something like this:

But first impressions dispelled, I actually had a really good time at this festival. I would have had an even better one if I'd been able to have more than one glass of wine, but I had a job to do, and I was going to do it to the best of my abilities. Cicus Boy did his DJing pretty early on, and that was a bit boring really, cos it's not my sort of music, but I wandered off and the bands here were pretty good, so the afternoon really flew by. We spent a lot of the time sitting on the grass listening to the bands and talking. Once it got dark, Circus Boy did his fire thing, and that was really cool, he is very good at it.

So by the time all this was done and packed away, it was gone 11, so off we sped to festival number two.

I was doing really well with the driving, I thought. In fact, the driving back to Circus Boy's house was the best bit of the whole trip. He was on a high from performing, and so he was playing music really loud, and I was feeling very useful and ALIVE, and it was a motorway drag so it was really fast. Back at Circus Boy's house, we unloaded the car and loaded up more fire stuff, before setting off for festival number two.

Now at least Craggy Island Funland had been next to a town that was on the map. No such luck with festival number two. It took me an hour to get to within a mile of it, and then another hour and a half finding the actual place. It didn't help that my finely tuned aggression antenna was picking up that this was really pissing Circus Boy off, especially when I found it a bit funny. Cos none of this was my fault, I was only following his navigation, yet he seemed to want to blame it all on me.

FINALLY we found the place - only for me to miss a turning on the way in, and end up in a ploughed field, driving round and round :-O  Worse - the field was on a hill, so everyone at the festival could see us!

So we gets there about 3am, but undeterred Circus Boy set up his fire and did his thing, whilst I did my best to get very quickly drunk (I had SO much catching up to do!) at the real ale tent. I don't like real ale.

But the funny thing was, there were people I knew there! Some people I work with were there - and even odder, one of them knew Circus Boy, and had done 'for years'. Once all this was done we went and sat around a fire until the sun came up. I had about three hours sleep in the car, and then got up to try to sort out my extensions. Yes, I had worn extensions. Yes, I am mad. Yes, it is impossible to sort out extensions in a portaloo.

The second day was actually quite emotional for me. It started out quite funny, cos it was chucking it down with rain, but Circus Boy was determined to do his DJ set, so he set up his decks in the open air, and covered them, and him, with a tarpaulin. This is him doing his set. And in the background is my little green car :-)

As you can see, this festival wasn't exactly Glastonbury either. In fact, the slightly odd thing about this festival is that there were only two acts on the Sunday. So there was a LOT of downtime. I drank a lot of hot chocolate with some friends of Circus Boy. At one point we did some 'balloons', which I thought was going to be helium, but felt very much like the gas and air you have when giving birth, so that was possibly the highlight of my day. The other highlight was looking at the picture Heather sent the day before of the food she'd eaten at Sue's. I was cold and a bit upset by now. This was happening while my Dad was ill, and my sister had phoned to say he was ok, but I was tired, and not even the slightest bit drunk, but very emotional.

The odd thing was, Circus Boy is actually very good at dealing with emotional distress. We talked a lot about Dad, and about my Mum and our difficult relationship, only complicated by her dementia, and my feelings about it.

We had to go back home about 3, so that I could be home in time for my son getting back from his Dad's. It was a lovely sunny journey home, and we were talking about nice things, like his plans for the future (getting a van and driving everywhere he wants to go) and his future travel plans (South America), and we parted on a very friendly basis. In fact, the looks he had been giving me during the weekend, and the talks we had had, and the hug that he gave me when we parted, all sort of led me to think that maybe Circus Boy was back on the scene properly.

I was unwashed, had greasy hair and matted extensions, but none of that mattered, I felt like The Business, because I had spent my weekend doing something unusual with someone I liked - who I thought might like me too.

I especially thought this when he texted the next day to say thank you and what a good time he had had, oh and had he left a box of CDs in the car? He had, so I texted I'd pop them round after work the next day (Tuesday) and would leave them round the back if he wasn't in.

Which I did. And this is my facebook status (and my replies to some comments) afterwards:

"OMG, does the boy never wear any clothes, or was he lurking in pants deliberately? And he grabbed me! Lucky I had to go to take Mum to see Dad, or my resolve may very well have gone right out the window. I am so shallow, this is definitely making me reconsider my turning down the role of on-call shag. :-O"
"And was very flustered as due to steps up to the door, when he opened it, my eyes were at crotch level."
"Haha, I swear I almost choked on my own drool! then had to try to talk sensibly while he was wanting to know about the postage costs for LED juggling skittles. I wanted to say, 'how can you expect me to have a sensible conversation when your tackle is RIGHT THERE, look, RIGHT THERE!!!!!" 
Given all this, I was fairly hopeful that I would see him fairly soon, even though I'd had to run away pretty sharpish to go to see Dad. We'd got on really well at times, and I had come back from the festivals on a real high, I'd felt absolutely wonderful, like my weekend had been worthwhile and like my life was finally getting back on track.

Unsurprisingly, at this point Circus Boy disappeared again. But not for good.....

Friday, 9 November 2012

Circus Boy 7 - Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

So you left me on a lovely Saturday morning, waiting for Circus Boy to get back here on the train so we oculd go for our walk. And waiting. And waiting. >:-(

So eventually, about 4.30, I phoned and asked if we were still doing anything today or had he changed his mind?

'Oh, no, of course we're doing something! I just need to finish up a few things here and then get to the station, and... yeah, the train gets in at 8, come and meet me at the station.'

Well I was a bit miffed that he'd have happily let me hang around all day waiting for him, but the thought of an evening out was cheering me up fast, cos I'd been playing Jimi Hendrix and it had me in the mood for a nice psychedelic outfit - and I had just the one in my wardrobe, and some fab glitter platforms to go with them. And HOURS to get ready.

So that's what I did, and five to eight saw me walking down the high street in a bit of a happy daze, so much so that I almost walked past S_ and her partner - they were out for a night out and so I stopped and chatted to them for a while. Then my phone went and it was Circus Boy at the station and where was I? I said I was nearly there, so he said he'd come and meet me. Of course, he was on his unicycle. Might have guessed really, except he must have taken it out the night before - who on earth takes their unicycle clubbing? But the minute I saw him, I felt really happy, especially when he waved from down the road and cycled over to give me a big hug.

He also had his juggling kit with him, so we walked over to his house to drop everything off. His Mum was there, it was the first time I'd met her, and I was a little bit apprehensive, but she didn't immediately screech at the top of her voice, 'OH MY GOD WOMAN, WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH MY LITTLE BOY, YOU ARE ALMOST AS OLD AS ME YOU HARLOT!' so that was a bonus. And I think we bonded over discussion of washing powders and the problems of not having a washing line as we hung out the laundry, because I like to be helpful, especially when I know it will earn me brownie points with parents. Then she went in to watch the Olympics, and we sat outside, me sipping orange juice and Circus Boy getting stoned.

'So, shall we go for that walk then?'

WHAAAAAAAAT!!!! Had my great clonking GLITTER platform boots suddenly been rendered invisible? But undeterred I went along with it - as far as the edge of town, when impending darkness and potential dirt tracks combined to have me stumble over. Luckily he caught me, and then, finally, he decided to change plans. Great, I thought, images of crisp glasses of dry white wine forming in my head. But they don't have many of those at the children's playground.

Yup, that is where he took me. Joey Essex would be proud. Though to be honest, it wasn't that bad. It was a warm night, and watching him on the overhead bars was quite entertaining. Then we sat on the swings and talked for ages, he was telling me about how he'd been bullied as a child; various tales of horror involving exes who abandoned him abroad, broke his heart or went mental on him; and how he wants to set up a different society, where money doesn't matter.

Eventually it started to get a bit cold, so he said did I want to go home? I said I thought it would be a shame to not pop into a pub beforehand, and it was at this point that he confessed he had no money. Well what do you know, all my suspicions are coming true. So I said why didn't we pop into a pub on the way home anyway, cos I had some money.

He said yes, and then became very animated about the owner of one of the locals, saying he wanted to talk to her about maybe doing some fire there some time. Now this pub is my pub of choice, and I am in there a lot, with my friends, lots of whom know the bar staff and the owner quite well, so they know me a bit too, but I didn't tell Circus Boy this - not that he gave me a chance really.

So we walked in and the lassie behind the bar immediately said to me, 'aaah, I thought we'd see you in here this weekend, with your boy being away!' (she knew cos this was where I'd come for lunch the day before). Surprisingly, Circus Boy was visibly rattled. 'Do you know R_ then?' he asked, naming the owner.

'Sort of - she wouldn't know my name or anything.'

Then I turned around and M_ , another friend, was right behind me, so we started to chat, I introduced Circus Boy, and then, and this is really odd, he started BACKING AWAY. So after all the times I'd spent talking to his mates and people he vaguely knows, the minute I chat to someone - whilst including him in the conversation - he makes it clear he's not happy, and wants out. Which M_ obviously noticed, so we brought the conversation to a close.

We went outside at the back so Circus Boy could smoke, and we'd not been there long when C_ and D_ came over. These turned out to be people Circus Boy sort of knew - but he then proceeded to spend the rest of the night with them!

The good bit being that C_ was quite old and had lots of money on him and was happy to pay for the drinks (although I did buy a round cos otherwise I'd have felt like a right scrounger). He was also dead set on going to the dive bar/disco where I'd met Circus Boy, so off we trotted. By this time Circus Boy was trollied, and was being very affectionate. He was also finding everything I said hilariously funny, even when it really wasn't, but of course I was loving that.

When we got to the bar/disco, S_ was already there with her partner, so we danced and chatted with them for a bit. This was actually the highlight of the evening, cos we were really getting on at this point, talking and daft dancing. At one point when I was dancing and Circus Boy was talking to C_ and D_, some younger trendy girls came over to me and said, 'are you two together?' pointing to Circus Boy. Bloody hell, I thought, they want to know if he's my son and if it is ok to cop off with him or something. But no. When I said I really didn't know, it was early days, they said, 'oh, you should be, you look really good together,' and I was unreasonably chuffed.

Then someone wandered off with Circus Boy's hat (he often wears this bowler hat), and he got really stressed about it, so we went looking for it. We then heard a rumour that someone was catching a taxi with it, so we headed outside, and for a horrible moment I thought he was going to rip the bloke's head off - but he luckily didn't, and sufficiently calmed we went back inside.

And then he disappeared. One minute he was there and we were chatting with everyone, the next minute he'd gone. Not to worry, I thought he'd gone to the loo or something. but he didn't come back. I was dancing with S_ for ages, but then the evening was starting to wind down, and there was still no sign of him, so I went for a quick scout around. Still nothing. So even though he'd left his jacket behind, he must have left. I decided to knock it on the head, and so I picked up his jacket and went out the back exit. I was just crossing the beer garden when I heard someone shouting, 'Karen!'

It was Circus Boy, he'd been huddled in a corner with C_ and D_ in the shadows of a parasol, so I'd missed him when I'd been looking. Well, I was very annoyed.

'Where the bloody hell have you been?' I shouted.

'What do you mean?'

'I mean I've been on my own in there for well over half an hour, no idea where you were, I thought you'd gone home!'

'Hey, hey, what's this about?? It's not like we're together or anything...'

'NOT LIKE WE'RE TOGETHER!!!! That's nothing to do with it! You didn't say anything before you buggered off, you didn't have the courtesy to mention you were out here, it's nothing to do with whether we're TOGETHER or not!'

'We are nothing to eachother, we don't owe eachother anything....'

'Are you not listening or something?? I'd be annoyed at ANYONE who had done that, just wandering off and leaving me on my own.'

'You weren't on your own, you were with your friends'

'EXACTLY!!! So if you'd said you were going outside I wouldn't have cared and would have come to find you when they left. Do you not get that??' Because he really didn't seem to. In fact he was still bleating on when S_ and her partner came over to say goodnight. Then looked embarrassed cos we were so obviously arguing/entertaining the watching beer garden, and off they went.

But that interruption had sort of cooled things down, and what with that and C_ constantly going on 'don't argue, don't argue', I kind of decided it wasn't worth it so I said I was off home too, and Circus Boy came with me. Then C_ and D_ wanted to come home with us, but I didn't really want two men I didn't know coming to my house, so we went to Circus Boy's.

They all sat around talking shit, and I sat there listening to them and drinking more wine. About 3am I nipped up to the toilet, and as I came out his mum was waiting for me, looking knackered and a bit upset.

'Oh God, I'm really sorry,' I said, 'I didn't mean to wake you up.'

'No, it's not you, it's them, they've got really loud voices and they keep laughing so loudly. Do you think I should say something?'

'Yes, definitely! It's your house, they should turn it down - or chuck us all out if you want.'

'No, no, you can stay, but I really don't want anyone else here..... Yes, I'll go down.'

So we did. She wasn't nasty about it at all, just told Circus Boy that he needed to wrap the evening up, that is was late and time for people to go to their own homes. Well, Circus Boy started kicking off :-O  Honestly, it was a bit like watching a toddler temper tantrum, all 'you never let me have any fun', 'am I not allowed to have friends around to my own house?', 'no, I'm not going to, what are you going to do about it' etc.

Well, I'd had enough of this rubbish.

'Circus Boy, what the hell do you think you're playing at?'

'Leave him Karen, don't upset him, I'll talk to him tomorrow, ' said his meek little Mum. Well bollocks to that. I've been abused for six years, I'm not scared of a beating.

'Don't upset him?? He needs to be upset! I know he's had a hard time,' here she looked at me a bit funny, and I'm not sure if she was wondering what I meant or was surprised I knew, 'but that doesn't mean he should be allowed to get away with treating you like this.' Then I turned to him, 'the way you talk to your mother is totally unacceptable, it's HER house and so it's HER rules, now, party's over and it's time to let her get some sleep, and don't even bother telling me what you think of me cos I don't care!'

'Yes, Circus Boy, it's time for your friends to go now. Come on, off you go.' And Mum, newly emboldened by my little speech, put the other two out. Then off she went to bed.

Circus Boy was a bit miffed for a bit, but then we were chatting fine again until he started talking about his lifestyle and how he wanted to make a go of his DJing, fire, and general circusnessish. I admit, I should probably have kept my mouth shut, but by this point all the doubts I'd had were very near the surface, especially with the way his Mum had seemed a bit scared of him. So I said,'yeah, but thing is you can only do all that stuff because you have parents who support you.'

'They don't support me, they think I should get a proper job.'

'I don't mean like that. I mean like now, you live here, and it's free, so you can save for a van or whatever. And when you are off abroad or living away anywhere, you always know they are here, and they can bail you out any time. You don't realise how privileged you are - most poeple can't rely on parents like that because they just wouldn't have the money to be able to help however much they might want to, whereas for you however bad things might get it really is like the Pulp song says, If you call your Dad you can stop it all.'

This predictably went down like a razor blade stew. But somehow we got past even that, and eventually, pretty much as the sun was rising, we went to bed. And had sex. Twice. But.....

I felt like he was doing it to - I don't exactly know how to explain it - to dominate me. Not in a 50 Shades way, but just, well, subtly. Like I say, I can't exactly explain it.

Then after waking me out of a sleep for round two, he FELL ASLEEP mid-shag!!! O.M.G! Because then you are left with a conundrum. Should you carry on and hope he wakes up? Or just jump off and give it up as a bad job? I went for the latter, cos I was bloody tired, it must have been about 8am by that time.

I snoozed for a bit then realised I'd better get up if I wanted to be home for The Archers. Up I got, and dressed, and as I was putting on my boots Circus Boy stirred. In an evil parody of the first time, he said, 'what are you doing?'

'I'm going, I need to get some sleep.'

'You've just been asleep, ' he grumped, turning over to face the wall.

I picked up my extensions and flounced out of the room, completely ineffectually.

Downstairs I sat and chatted with his Mum again. Without the extensions and pristine make-up, and with the addition of a stonking hangover I must by now have looked older than her even if I was younger. We talked about how she shouldn't let him walk all over her. She said he would be fine when he sobered up, and that it was often impossible to get any sense out of him when he was off his head. So after a cup of tea, I wandered off home.

Later that afternoon, I got a text from Circus Boy. This I was NOT expecting. I read it, it said 'U left ur inhaler here'. Just that. No kisses, no calling me lovely, or wishing me lots of love or anything. Very stark, but no worse than I'd expected. But what I realised, with a mounting sense of horror, was that he probably thought I'd left it there deliberately so that I'd have to go and get it, thus giving me an excuse to see him. After all, I could die without it.

Well, sometimes there are things more important than death by bronchoconstriction, and pride is one of them. I texted back, 'that's ok, got loads of them, don't need it xx' I added the kisses because that is my custom, and I was showing I am the bigger person. Oh well, repeat prescription first thing Monday it is.

So that's the end of me and Circus Boy, at least that's what I thought at the time. For a short time, I was right....

And then I wasn't [To Be Continued]

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Circus Boy 6 - And Breathe

Now it may seem a bit odd that I really like this chap (he is definitely a chap rather than a bloke) and yet I wasn't falling all over myself to go out with him, and it does cross my mind from things he said later (but which I sort of think were headfucks actually) that maybe he thought I was giving mixed signals, but the fact is that my feelings were always mixed about him, and after all the Steve business, and the subsequent 'ooops, I'm almost with a psycho again' incident on my first foray into dating (yet to be blogged here), my confidence in my ability to judge people really wasn't there.

The thing is, when I was around him, Circus Boy would drive away all the worries from my head, but then when I had chance to think, I had severe reservations, and part of that was how much I was getting to like him, and also this weird thing about how I was kind of in awe of him and felt inferior. I suppose to explain this, he is half my age, yet is living the sort of life I had always thought I would have. Alternative lifestyle, making money doing something creative, travelling the world, no ties, not the usual run-of-the-mill nine-to-five drone, which is how I felt around him. I felt a fraud, like he was thinking I was something I'm not. I cannot count the times I said to him, 'I'm just a normal Mum,' and his answer would be, 'no, you definitely aren't that.' But it only made me think that he didn't see me as I am.

Yet the only reason he could have this lifestyle was because of his parents - he lived with them (though he insisted this was temporary, it seems kind of a *long* temporary), pays little or no rent, has his food bought for him, laundry done etc. Plus his parents are stinking rich, he went to loads of posh schools cos he was always getting expelled etc. Not the sort of life most people have the chance to live. But also, maybe the sort of life that screws you up, so maybe a bit of a reason for why he is as he is? Yet his attitude to his parents was always that they were completely unreasonable and didn't get him. He seemed to blame them for a lot, without really seeing the good things he'd got from them. If you want to put a Pulp record on here, I'll reference it in the next post.....

But the other side of this alternative lifestyle was also a down - his attitude to drugs and sex. Sex first - he gave me the distinct impression from various throwaway comments that he's bisexual and shags lots of friends of both sexes, and shares girlfriends with his mates. I am a boring old fart and I am not in this sort of place. Now I KNOW that I am a good shag, but I don't think that would count for much, I think he's a biy who values quantity over quality, and for whom the major criterion for a potential partner is availability. So this sort of was a bit of a downer. Though at this point I was closing my eyes firmly to this problem.

Now as for drugs, I can't preach to anyone about drugs cos, well, I can't. But I don't do drugs at all nowadays or for many, many years, and his attitude to drugs really seemed kind of weird. Like he would fret about pharmaceutical drugs and 'putting un-natural things into your body', and would go on courses about how to eat purely from the wild, medicate with herbs and things like that. Then next minute he'd be sucking up ketamine like an overly-enthusiastic vacuum cleaner. Or lighting up yet another joint. The boy was never without some sort of mind-altering substance. Which leads nicely to the next problem in my mind....

...He didn't always remember things. Like he would forget whole conversations. For instance, remember that conversation when he was at the festival that lasted for two phone calls and over an hour? Didn't even remember making the calls, it turned out, which was why he didn't remember to contact me at the start of the week. Not that this was the only time, which made me wonder if he only got in touch when he was off his head, and didn't like me when he was compos mentis?

A minor worry was a couple of things in his relationship history. He'd been arrested for domestic violence. Now you can imagine how that rang massive bells when he said it, cos 6 years of abuse is enough for any woman, even one as doggedly dim as me. Yet he never struck me as that sort of person, and his story, which I was inclined to believe, is that she attacked him, he hurt her fending her off, and she called the Police on him after the fact. Charges didn't arise, but he has a major grievance against her, as you would. But remember this cos it is important later.

Next odd relationship thing was when he told me about a girl he'd gone to a festival with, and she'd gone off and shagged his mate when he was asleep. So he'd thrown all her stuff out of the tent and gone totally crazy at the pair of them, as you would. He went on and on about how betrayed he felt, by her more than by his friend (who maybe wasn't one of those close enough to share girlfriends with?), because they had been soul mates and meant to be together.

'How long were you two together?' I asked, cos we all know how gutting it is to be cheated on.

'A week.'

And no, he didn't mean at the festival, he meant him and this soul mate had been together A WEEK.

Then aside from this nuttiness, most of all, what was with the hot and cold thing? Why the 'let's go to a festival' then the 'disappear' then the 'oh, come to the festival', 'oh, I'll move in for a few days' thing? Whatever the reason, hot and cold is never good.

Unless you are a commitment-phobe like me. In which case, whilst annoying, it is also kind of reassuring cos it can't become serious with a disappearer, and you don't feel so flaky if you're being flaky to someone even flakier.

So all in all it was a nice surprise to hear from Circus Boy on Saturday morning, bright and early (before mid-day, which must be a first). He was a half-hour train ride away, having spent the night with friends (yes, I know), and was planning on coming back in a short while, so did I fancy going for a walk? Well of course I did, and was really happy at the thought, so he said he'd text when he got to the station so I could meet him. What a lovely plan for a Saturday!

But of course, things didn't go to plan. Which I will try to blog about tomorrow cos it is a real long one.....