Accepting Stories

It no longer surprises me when I meet someone and instantly think “Yep, I want to get to know you better.” It’s also no longer surprising to me how often this happens.

There’s a common saying about luck: luck has to find you before it can bless you. The more chances you give it to find you, the more times it does. The more I actively look for and take chances, the luckier I am.
It doesn’t stop me thinking I’m useless with people and will never get with the sort of people I’m worth.
I’m reading another self-help book, and this one seems decent. It was recommended to me by my counselor. It’s called “The Happiness Trap” and it makes a shit ton of sense.
I won’t go into too much detail – that’s what the book is for – but something that’s resonating with me is the view that our thoughts are just reactions. Our thoughts are just stories and words reacting to the stimulation around us. They are not the truth. They do not predict the future. And they aren’t always helpful.
Because I have the thought that I’m useless with people, I try hard when it comes to people I like. I obsess over their reactions and play with infinite ideas for dates and jokes and sex. It’s all a waste of time and energy.
Because – in all my arrogant humility – I know I’m good. I know I’m worth it. And that’s a helpful thought.
I received a letter from my father the other day. It made me so angry. It took me a while to realise that, actually, it only made me feel so angry. Realising that stole all the energy from my anger and allowed me to look at what was causing it.
This letter is the second time he’s ever told me he’s proud of me.
The first time was at my school’s final ball. At that stage in my life, I didn’t like wearing nice clothes, believed sex was for marriage and thought dancing was stupid. I’d been feeling my then girlfriend’s pussy and arguing with myself whether marriage required a church or not. I was also dressed in the most ludicrously-fitted suit to ever drape a body. I didn’t want to go to the stupid ball and listen to stupid speeches by stupid jocks about the stupid friends they’d made at the stupid school, and I definitely didn’t want to do any stupid dancing: I wanted to stay at the hotel and make out.
My girlfriend decided that sex was only for marriage and vanished herself to the bathroom. My father’s impeccable timing led to him knocking at the door to help me with my tie – school taught me nothing other than how to climb trees.
I was quite distracted. My mind was in a large amount of “what the [non-offensive swear-word]?”. I felt queasy and guilty and lost and horny and my father pulled me into a bear hug and with a tear-filled voice whispered “I’m so proud of you.”
It was about then that I started to realise I didn’t give a fuck.
I didn’t tell him this. I awkwardly hugged him back and said thanks. I noticed he was crying. It was the second time I’d ever seen him cry. The first was when his father died. We’d loaded the wood-shrouded body into the car together. We turned and my gran was stumbling out of the church, her face wrenched into a grimace of grief as the boot door hid her soulmate’s body. I looked at her face through my soaking tears and all I could think was “she looks hilarious.”
I wanted to laugh. I wanted to burst out laughing at the sheer stupidity of it all. Behind me, I heard what sounded like my dad laughing. I turned in horrid wonder, a grin spinning onto my face, but he was crying.
I realise something about my father: to him, family is everything.
It’s not to me.
I hate this seven-page letter. I can’t write anymore.
——
And that’s not a helpful thought. I wrote everything above five days ago. This post has been sitting on my screen since then, reminding me I need to write. It just hurts so much. So I kept reading the book.
It offered some new ideas.
Driving analogies work best for me.
Taking a corner at speed requires a subliminal balance of traction and angle. The better the angle, the less correction, the less traction needed. The less traction, the less resistance, the higher the speed.
It’s all pointless if you enter the corner backwards.
The state of your car before the corner is vital. It must be steady, balanced, perfectly paced and perfectly lined. The better the entry, the less fiddling in the corner, the faster the exit.
To better myself, I need to accept who I am now. I cannot move through the next corner successfully without being at peace with all the things inside me.
It feels like I came out of the last corner correcting crazily, feet blurring in a panic on unresponsive pedals as I saw at the wheel. I’m still not back in control, I’m still gripless and lost but I have time. The next few corners look simple and unmentionable. I don’t know what comes next, but I have the time to accept me before it comes.
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Happy Foots

I went for a walk this morning. It took me and a hot coffee over wet grass to a small bench and – when I looked back – I realised my feet can’t even walk straight.

I like feet. I especially like small feet in high heels with painted nails and the right amount of sensitive spots.
So when I shared a bed with Dutchy and we slept back to back on opposite sides of the bed and she kicked her feet back and tucked them between my legs because “they’re cold” I discovered I was very much awake.
And I really wanted to sleep. I’d had four hours the night before and had to walk two dogs in five hours. So I told her about me “liking” feet. Normally, if I say anything that slightly resembles a move on her, she increases the distance between us tenfold.
This time, she simply responded “Oh. I like that being done to my feet. Now I’m turned on.”
She then insisted on swapping sides of the bed. Which involved climbing over me. Which reminded me that, though she’s not my ideal (her bum’s too small, for one), she’s still incredibly hot.
She curled herself up against the wall, pushed her feet back between my legs and fell asleep in 13 seconds flat.
It took me quite a bit longer.
 I’d already accepted that I’ve fallen in love with her. Not as in “OMG I want to bang you really bad, you’re so hot” but more as in “Let’s go sit on a beach under the stars and cuddle and talk and kiss…and then let’s find a bed and fuck  – hard.”
All of which proves to me that yes, you can fall in love with someone platonically; that yes, love is definitely and inescapably a choice; that yes, it doesn’t need to be acted on; that yes, you can love more than one (or even two) people at the same time.
It also reminded me of all the reasons I don’t like relationships.
There’s a sense of entitlement to a relationship – a sense of ownership. Your actions are no longer your own, decisions are shared. You become “someone-and-Gareth” and refer to yourself as “me-and-someone” and somewhere in that hyphenated world you can lose all sense of who you are.
And that would be ok, if life were simpler. If life was all about getting married and having kids and creating a family and identifying as said family and that was all I-and-whoever wanted and had ever wanted, then losing myself in those hyphens would be perfect.
But if that were me, then I’d probably not be interested in the people I am and I certainly wouldn’t be writing.
It doesn’t matter to me if she loves me back or not.
Because when I woke up in the morning (feet still entwined) the attraction had faded with the alcohol. It’s still there, but it’s not a motivator. I was kind of happy when she left: my space was back.
And though my space is lonely, it’s mine. It’s been damaged and bruised and hurt by the expectations and conditioning of a generalised populace, but it’s still there.
It’s hard to stay in that space though. I keep having thoughts along the lines of “I should totally ask her out.” I can never work out why, though. Why should I ask her out?
And there isn’t a single reason that comes from in me. I don’t even know what answer I’d want from her. It just feels like the norm. “oh look, pretty girl, you like her, ask her out.”
I don’t get the need to add a label. And what I’m slowly realising is that what I have with Dutchy is what I’d like with many people (although, I’d prefer it if sex and lips and tongues and feet slipped into those relations).
She does not make me happy, but I can create happiness with her. Just like I can with Porsches and writing and whisky and math and drifting and books, though to a more complicated degree. And that’s what I want: people with whom I can create happiness – who preferably have sexy feet.

Dream Dates

We cleaned our teeth together. She looked as lovely as ever. Work had been long; I was tired. We were talking, gently and quietly. I think I mentioned Downton Abbey.

She told me how she’d watched it with her other boyfriend the week before. I smiled and asked how that had gone – I knew it wasn’t a show he’d enjoy.

She cleared her mouth of toothpaste and grinned, stretching up. It had been fun, she’d said. She hadn’t seen much of the show.

She went into detail as I finished cleaning my teeth, leaning against the wall in a way that dragged my eyes all over her body. Her smile grew. I approached her as she talked, reaching out for her hips, wanting to pull her to me, wanting to kiss her the way she deserved. She caught my hands and stopped me, licking her lips as she went into extra detail. I matched her smile and pushed through her hands, running my finger under her top, onto the soft skin of her stomach.

Fear shone in her face. She backed away. I stopped, confused. My finger left her skin. The fear disappeared. The desire returned. She carried on talking. I reached out once more.

Again, and again, and again this happened. Acid boiled within my chest, searing to my skin; pain blocking my words and cutting my emotions. The pain was so intense, it woke me up.

It had been a long time since I’d had a dream that odd. Anger, frustration and an overwhelming sense of confusion forced my body completely awake. The scene I’d dreamt was reminiscent of the last nine months – albeit in a condensed situation. There’s only so many times a person you love can tell you you’re attractive whilst not wanting you before you stop believing them.

My counselor’s words were easy to remember: I wasn’t angry; I felt angry. Words I’d read followed simply: “Your emotions are a clue. Witness them, feel them, respond to them, never attach to them.”

I breathed deeply, and tried to analyse what was going on. Obviously, I was still torn up by the complete lack of intimacy with Someone. I was never going to get answers to that. I was surprisingly ok with that.

It showed me my fear: that those I’m attracted to aren’t attracted to me. That everything I have to offer isn’t enough.

It also told me why every time there’s a new person on the scene I try so desperately hard.

And the cool thing is, I don’t have to fix my fears. I’m aware of them, now. There’s a decent part of me that’s rolling on the floor, laughing and saying “well fuck you then if you don’t find me good enough. Your loss.” There’s a more sensible part that realises that’s a cover. That it still will hurt to have my fears realised, but that that’s completely ok – and normal.