(Planet Me)
Saturday, October 29, 2011
A Study of Reading Habits, pt 2.

The clocks go back to winter time this weekend. An archaic throwback to heightened daylight savings time to increase production on munition in a war from 100 years ago. A war my grandfather lied about his age, and fought in the trenches for.

Eleven years ago this weekend, I knew exactly where I'd be right now. In all probability, I'd be in a nightclub in Birmingham City Centre with four or five regular friends, after having held court for a few hours at a Wetherspoons, and now waiting to just about pay to get in, or hanging up coats in cloakrooms before planning nightbuses, or maybe waiting for a cold cider and the dancefloor to play a song from a few years previous to that when I was still vaguely connected to whatever the new trends were in pop music. Hard to believe sometimes how many people I have kissed.

A few years ago, I'd be thinking "Ace! Clocks go back, an extra hour free on the town!". Now, I'm thinking "Arse! Kids will be up at 5.15 in the morning."

In the time I have had this website, which became a blog, much has changed. Two weddings, two divorces, two children, deaths, a nothing-to-declare number of sexual partners, four homes, four jobs. And so much more. I won't declare the number of sexual partners, even though I remember a lot about everyone I've slept with, the dates, the rooms, everything to do with every touch and push and kiss. All of these lives, they came together for a moment, a few hours, a night, a few weeks, months, and then they went in a different direction. And, with the small world of the internet, and Facecrack, often you find them without wanting to, with mutual friends, of shared interests, and find that they've got married, they've got children, now we're fully grown.

The binges of sex. the infidelities. the stupid risks. the people who I thought I might have grown old with and very quickly realised in the morning that I couldn't, for reasons not related to them, or to me, but to combinations of circumstances, of where I was in my life, where they were in theirs, where the world was in all this.

The women I clubbed with sex! Larkin wrote. Where are they now? Married with children. And isn't that amazing? They may not have looked at me and seen who I thought I was. Maybe they saw who I actually was. Maybe what they wanted from this life was something I could never give them. I was thinking this. These days I am one of the millions. As indeed, I always was, even if my ego wouldn't let me realise it. But for everyone I've ever kissed (probably) they are the centre of someone's world. Someone else's wife, or husband. What an rare thing that is. How beautiful it can be.

But these long nights, sleepless nights, that became mornings, and hangovers, and regrets. The long dark nights of the soul. The moments where we did and said things, stupid, young. For so many years my life was without an essential narrative, but a bunch of events that happened. For others, who were lucky, they met their partners earlier in their lives. They got to start that journey sooner. They got the better house prices. They didn't get the ex-wives, the divorce settlements, the motherfuckers at the Child Support Agency hounding the mostly honest men of this country. I'm not jealous or better. Maybe I started a little late, but at 34, when my life partner and I started our great adventure together, I still have moments now, sixteen years after I first met her, when I look at her and think damn, she's the most amazing girl in the world. And that's the greatest feeling in the world.

And everything else that ever happened lead me here, so I cannot regret it. If it had changed, I wouldn't be here now. Love is the greatest adventure of all.

It's funny that you blogged this, because I was thinking along similar lines a few days ago and almost blogged it too. Power outage nixed it, though, and the mood has passed.

I don't have the divorces or children, but most everything else is the same. I packed almost all of it in from '89-'95. As you say, there's no point in regrets because it got me where I am today, and I have a pretty good life now. Still, there are 2 things I might have handled differently because I hurt 2 incredible people. I didn't mean to, but my headspace at the time made any other reaction on my part almost impossible. I hate that I hurt them. I'm sure they've long forgotten it now, though, and I hope they have amazing lives.

I'm so glad that things have turned out so well for you. Enjoy your adventure!
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