Love, sex and interminable pop-culture references

Author: Innocent Loverboy (Page 2 of 8)

Institutional casual transphobia, and why it sucks

Something that most of you may have missed:

During the week a local councillor was suspended from the Green Party of England and Wales for transphobia. As co-chair of the GPEW’s “Women’s Group”, she made the “unremarkable factual observation that transwomen are not female” (not my words). She was ousted from her position for this.

Kathryn Bristow, her co-chair, is a transwoman – or, as the co-ordinator for the Bridgwater Green Party puts it, “a man who wishes to be identified as a woman”. The GPEW councillor in Sunderland weighed in on this, including sentences like this:

“I have witnessed female colleagues issued with death threats and threats of rape by trans rights activists, so in comparison, I have only had a small taste of this vile behaviour.”

gpew sunderland councillor

The prevailing wisdom in the under echelons of the GPEW is that, despite the fact that we passed a gender self-ID motion at Conference, trans people (and, more specifically, M-to-F transwomen) are dangerous to women and children. Pink News reports on this story here.

Yesterday I received an e-mail from my local Green Party (of which I am still a paying member) in which the writer, a party contact, said this:

As a party that claims/seeks to respect science it is outrageous that someone has been suspended for saying that transwomen are not female. Firstly, it’s true. Transwomen have XY chromosomes, the definitive marker for male sex.

local green party contact

He followed this up by saying that “telling the truth is, for [him], a matter of conscience.” So I did the same.

My e-mail read thus:

Much as I shouldn’t be surprised by any of this, I am astounded that this sort of viewpoint exists within the GPEW and maybe even some fringes of [my local GP].

Transphobia is not, in any way, an acceptable point of view, and as much as it can be an ‘accidental’ prejudice, it is nevertheless a prejudice, and both dangerous and damaging in every imaginable way, comparable to racism, sexism and homophobia. I have already had my issues with whorephobia (SWERFism) in the GPEW; on this issue, however, I am not content to be silent.

First of all, although ‘sex’ is biologically defined by chromosomes at birth, ‘gender’ is a social construct, and often weaponised. As a cisgender male, I’ve been subjected to “boys don’t cry” narratives (occasionally with those exact words); the recent tragic death of Sarah Everard has added weight to the right-wing media’s “girls are weak” and/or “need protection by men from men” sort of thing. All these viewpoints are damaging. They are insulting. They do not help. They also promote gender stereotypes which we should be working to eliminate.

We should not be focusing on ‘protect our daughters’, rather ‘educate our sons’. However, it is equally important to acknowledge that not everyone is a daughter or a son.

As a social construct, and as a matter of consent, gender is intrinsically flexible and changeable, and it is the individual’s right to make that decision (as many times as they wish; gender identity can be switched at any time, and as there are more than two genders in existence, this decision can be made multiple time), it is incredibly dangerous to label someone as one gender, especially if they have explicitly said they identify as another. If you are uncertain, it is possible to just ask someone what their gender identify and/or preferred pronouns are; neither question is offensive.

It is grossly offensive to call someone who identifies as a woman ‘a man’ or ‘male’. This is a genuine insult and has no place in acceptable, moral discourse. Trans people have suffered under the pressures of societal norms for far too long (and they shouldn’t have suffered to begin with). The right-wing press label trans activists as unnatural; they are seen with suspicion or unwarranted curiosity for the simple act of not being cis, or hetero, or both, or either. Even at an inclusive event, trans people are often singled out – a lesbian activist group at Pride in London came under fire for handing out anti-trans leaflets, saying that transwomen are not women. Jess Phillips MP recently read out a list of “women and girls” in Parliament, purported to be a list of all female victims of violence, but excluding all transwomen, who weren’t on the list as its author considers them to be ‘not real women’.

Do you have any idea how insulting this is?

It’s been said at some point that the GPEW is tying itself in knots about trans rights when we should instead be focusing on the climate emergency (and we should, but we are not a single-issue party and I would urge us not to become so). But we shouldn’t be. It is not an issue to be debated, it is a simple fact:

Trans women are women
Trans men are men
Some people don’t have a gender
Gender is something you identify yourself

and

TRANS RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS

and I will not stand by while anyone says anything different. Come at me if you will, but everything I have said above is correct.

ilb (he/him)

I make no apology for anything I said in the above. I joined the GPEW in 2010 because I saw it as an inclusionist, radical left-wing party and this is the first time I have been genuinely shaken by something somebody in the party has said (even if it goes against party policy).

I am sharing this on my blog because I feel that it needs to be highlighted before the press gets their hands on this story.

I am not resigning from the GPEW, but I plan to challenge these damaging and transphobic views in my local party’s upcoming AGM. I will, of course, update you with anything else that arises from this.

Connections

I started a new job this week.

It is, to use the common parlance, about bloody time. I’m aware some people have been off work for much longer, but – as much as I complain about it – unemployment does not suit me. I’d be happy sitting at home drinking tea and playing HuniePop, with the occasional foray into sex blogging, but I need the routine and innate satisfaction that my chosen industry gives me.

Before you ask, no, I’m not in porn. I’m also no longer an actor. But still.

Like most other things in my life, this came along basically by chance. I got the call last week, and this week has been effectively a trial week. I was told I’d get more work this morning while making the coffee that’s been sustaining me.

When I mentioned the workplace a couple of weeks ago, my mother (who has the same sort of mental Rolodex as I do) instantly mentioned somebody I haven’t thought of for years. She had worked there too, and might have been able to give me some information. Did I want her contact number?

What my mother doesn’t know is that I already have her contact number.

For a while – and when I say “a while” I’m referring to the fact that I’m not entirely sure how long – I was sort-of-kind-of trying to date her. My mother, who had seen her crying at work and felt her parenting instincts kick in, invited her around for dinner at one point and I promptly spent the entire evening flirting being friendly. A month or so later, we went to see my mother in concert together (she was in a wind orchestra for a while); after filling up with millionaire’s shortbread, we exchanged numbers.

I wasn’t sure where to go from this point. I was recently out of a relationship and didn’t really know how to ask someone out (long-term readers may remember that I don’t). But, after weeks of dithering and indecision, my dad – who is a wizard – told me to ask her out.

But I’m an idiot who doesn’t know how to do that, so I asked my mother to ask her if she would like to get a coffee with me at some point. Mother reported back that coffee sounded nice, and to just text her to ask.

Which is, incidentally, what I should have done to begin with.

We never did go for a coffee. Our available dates didn’t match up, and the one time they did, she had a death in the family during the preceding week. She eventually moved into a relationship, as did I, and what we were left with was a distant friendship.

So I got in contact with her. Her cheery voice shines through her texts – in every letter. Her use of emoji radiant. Her positive attitude infections. By my second day at work, I felt confident in dropping her name. Everyone has something positive to say about her. Everyone says hello, so I have more excuses to continue texting.

Maybe I’ll get that coffee after all.

Soft Porn Sunday: Sarah Hunter & William F. Bryant

“What’s your name?”
“I am Beauty.”
“I can tell that, but what’s your name?”

THREE TIMES. It’s one joke, and not even a particularly good one, and yet they wheel it out three. whole. times in movie that’s a scant one minute and twenty seconds long. My guess? They didn’t think to give the character a name – neither does she have much of a personality, really, but that’s not her fault.

In any case, this is a different spin on Sleeping Beauty, and if they hadn’t already made Maleficent into a thing, I might be more interested in this. As it is…

Appearance: Sleeping Beauties (2017)
Characters: Beauty & Harry

I may cringe a little at the dialogue, but to tell the absolute truth, I quite like this one, even if it’s by no means a cinematic masterpiece. At the very least, the concept is fun – Beauty is found by a pair of construction workers, and most of the plot centres around them – their friendship and later rivalry, and even a sort of fraud storyline, unscrupulous Richard (Andy Long) stealing good guy Harry (Bryant)’s architecture plans.

Beauty, despite being the title character, has very little to do with the plot. She’s just… there. Naked.

At the very least Sarah Hunter plays her well enough. Not that she has much to do, really, but she does it well. Her first exposure to the modern world, after centuries of slumber, is amusing – completely engrossed in hotel television and assuming Harry is a wizard for making it happen – and at least a part of her character is established when it turns out she is fairly shameless about changing clothes in front of a bloke she barely knows.

I never truly thanked you for saving me… but I’d like to try!

beauty

Aaaaaaaaaaaand… cue the sex!

This is the first sex scene in the film, and let’s be honest, the fact that it’s between Beauty and Harry shouldn’t really come as a massive surprise, should it? It’s also a looooooong scene, each of the ‘o’s in that word representing a minute. Seven-minute sex scenes are rarely ever a thing. If they’re hot, that shouldn’t really matter…

but then again…

The reason for having sex with Harry having been established is one thing, but adherence to continuity appears to be a completely different concept here, as Beauty’s dress appears to vanish between shots, and by the time she’s lying on top of Harry giving him a kind of aggressive kiss (apparently two seconds later!), she’s completely naked.

A wizard did it. And then he ran away.

This kissing bit – and there’s quite a lot of kissing, really – goes on for a while, and for a few moments, I did kind of wonder if this was all the scene was going to be. Despite all the nudity, in fact, it’s relatively chaste – there’s plenty of touching, but nothing overly explicit. It’s well over a minute before Harry gets around to kissing Beauty’s breasts, and even that is done in a relatively censored way.

Not that I complain – lest we forget, this is soft porn and there’s only a limit to what they can show – but it really does seem desperately slow. The necessary boob-kissing is followed by a bit where she takes his shirt off, one button at a time, which both takes up a lot of time and she clearly struggles with one of them, which they left in! Nice one, movie!

It sucks.
Look me in the eye and tell me she’s anywhere near his dick.

More kissing (yawn), followed by the least convincing soft porn blowjob I’ve ever seen (yawn), until a few minutes go by and we have a slow mix to something approaching penetrative sex. This is standard doggie style stuff, but at least it’s fun. There’s a lot of energy on Harry’s part and Beauty is doing her fair share of moving. We also get some sound effects here – moans and the like – which we haven’t seen before. It makes a difference and also reminds a horny ILB that this is a sex film, so there’s some good in that.

Harry's been decapitated.
I mean, she keeps her crown on, that’s pretty fashion-conscious.

This goes on for a while – in fact, probably too much of a while; Harry looks bored by the end – so it’s something of a relief that, five minutes in, they switch to the missionary position. This is also fairly energetic – by which I mean they are rocking back and forth and Beauty has her mouth open – and there are some nice touched too, like a point where her hands are placed on his back, as if to hold him in place. This then goes on for two minutes (!!), before it quite simply fades to black.

Missionary impossible.
I think one of those is a statement nail, but it’s kind of hard to tell.

The whole thing is overlaid with a kind of circular instrumental mediæval (or later) music thing, mostly plucked strings (harp/lyre?) with orchestral violins behind it, which is pretty on its own, but doesn’t match the scene. I get the concept – this is a time-displaced princess from a earlier era and it’s an attempt to be in keeping with the fantasy theme – but it neither matches with, nor is it appropriate for, the sex. I can’t see electric guitars working here, really, but it makes me very sleepy, and if I’m going to be watching a film, I don’t want to fall asleep during!

Overall, though, I don’t hate this. The individual components – characters, actors, setting, music, scenario – are all pretty. Individually they work well, but put together it doesn’t quite gel into something cohesive enough. It’s also far too long to be the kind of sexy hit I need (this is a problem I usually have with hardcore; softcore doesn’t usually do this!), which makes me wonder if they just filmed all the footage they could and decided to use it all.

Something I’ve also noticed – and this is positive – is how body-diverse this scene is (if that is a thing). Harry still has body hair, which most men in softcore have shaved (or waxed) off. Beauty, while she is undeniably incredibly beautiful, isn’t skeletally thin, either – which isn’t to say she is a large woman; she does, however, have a slightly fuller figure, which makes her look healthy, as opposed to anaemic and worryingly xylophonic.

It’s mot much, but it’s noticeable.

Come together, women of the world!
It’s IWD, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t throw in a shot of Beauty’s feminist power tattoo.

I can see what they are going for with this scene – and the film as a whole, really; as I said above, the concept works – but its length and mood both confuse me. If it’s meant to be smoking hot, it doesn’t work (the music is off-putting), and it doesn’t call out as being something one is meant to fap to. Having said that, it is long and Beauty is pretty and even Harry isn’t bad to look at, so if one has time for a long, leisurely wank that neither starts nor ends with this, then it might be something handy (ahem) to have on hand (ahem!) should something come up (AHEM!).

And then there’s the rest of the film too. So don’t worry – you’ll be seeing her magically become naked again.

It’s all about the Munie, Hunie

Every day for the last week (and a bit), I’ve always set some time aside to play HuniePop.

For those of you who don’t know what HuniePop is, it’s a dating sim with voice acting, multiple location/interaction settings, clever writing and an innovative puzzle game (of the tile-matching type) replacing the standard “conversation selection” during dates, as in other games of the genre. I’ve even been having dreams about playing HuniePop, so it’s a big deal in my life right now.

And why is this?

For the past couple of weeks I have also been under a not inconsiderable amount of stress. Both my girlfriend and I are looking for jobs and, realistically, we have both been offered one; as of now, though, we are both still awaiting telephone calls confirming them. This period of inactivity has resulted in a lot of alone time to think, and we all know what happens when I think.

Just before lockdown started I had made a mental recovery from the large accident I had in 2019 and was starting to work on my body image. Lockdown hit at the worst possible time, just after my birthday and while I was having a difficult time at work. Eroticon was cancelled at the same point, and so was the annual music event I was going to play at.

I stayed strong, but there was a lot of internal turmoil. The physical exercise I was trying to do (and there wasn’t much of it, but I was making an effort) fell by the wayside and, as 2020 wore on, I started to feel worse and worse about my body.

The turning point

If you’ve been reading, you’ll know I lost the job I loved at the beginning of the year and, since then, I’ve been lying awake most nights thinking about my life (and, also, I’ve been lying to my girlfriend, telling her I’m fine – I’m not really fine, but I don’t want to add to her worries).

I’ve always had a problem with self-image and what little self-confidence I once had is being increasingly eroded. I don’t like the way I look and I’m no longer confident about the way I talk (the job trial I had yesterday was the first time in a while I’ve been able to talk with the assurance that anyone is listening to me). I can see people displaying their talent, or their physical attributes, or both online (and in real life, such as it is) and I do, sad to say, feel totally inadequate.

Girlfriend said, and rightly so, that – what with being in a relationship with her and therefore not trying to attract anyone – I don’t need to worry about my physical appearance. But it’s not that simple. I don’t find myself attractive, at least not physically, and that is a problem for me. Next time I go to Eroticon, I’m guaranteed to be surrounded by beautiful, body-confident people, and that always makes me feel excluded.

It’s me doing this to myself, I know. I’m my own worst critic. But then aren’t we all?

And what is to be done?

I suppose that’s the reason why I’ve been playing HuniePop. The girls in the game don’t look at you with judging eyes or make you doubt how you look. On HuniePop, I can flirt and I can date and I can talk and talk and talk, and if a date goes wrong, at the end of the day, it’s just a game, so I can try again until the tiles are in a better configuration.

And the girls will talk and ask me questions. If I get it right, they smile. Sometimes they giggle, sometimes they compliment me. I always do the same to them.

Life is difficult.

But if I can’t be happy with myself, at least in HuniePop I can be some semblance of the person I want to be – or, at least, a person with the confidence I’d like to have. With the girls in HuniePop, I can have the sort of confidence I’ve never had in real life.

That’s right. That’s okay. That’s what helps.

At least a little.

Wo ist mein Handie?

“So, apart from being silly, what would you say are your core strengths?”

She genuinely said that. I don’t mind the silly part. I just don’t have any strengths.

“Okay, well, I’m humorous,” I lied, “and sometimes making people laugh is my only aim in life.” (That part, at least, is true.) “And I’m knowledgeable. I mean, good for a quiz. ‘Brain’, they used to call me at school.” (That part, at least, is also true… mostly. Nobody’s ever called me ‘Brain’. I was ‘Brains’ for about a week.)

The interviewer smiled politely.

“You said you’re good at IT, and you can play the guitar,” she pressed, shuffling notes. “Are you good with your hands?”

Am I? I do, indeed, play the guitar. I type on keyboards without having to look and see where the keys are. I can flick through the shuffle feature on my iPod without having to do anything other than press the button twice. I can even write longhand, which… is a skill, I suppose.

Not to mention all the wanking, and additionally the fact that, two days ago, I brought someone to a shaking orgasm with nothing but my right hand and a generous helping of adroitness. The rhythmic beat of her clit against my thumb certainly suggests that I am good with my hands.

But I couldn’t say that. Nor could I say yes in all honesty. My left shoulder has been frozen for months and that arm doesn’t extend or flex. Doing the YMCA is impossible, as is playing the violin. I also have a tendency to drop things – pens, phones, my glasses, sex toys.

I don’t think my left foot has ever recovered from having a full-size Doxy impact with it from a great height.

And, of course, I can’t take a firm hold of a breast while licking someone out. I discovered this, again, the other day. The best my hand could manage was to flop around limply on her stomach, like a dying fish.

But I couldn’t tell her that either. I needed to have some sort of answer, though, one that would get me the job.

“Yes?” I settled on.

The gift of brevity.

Penetrate

Just before I slide my smooth, firm cock inside her, I’m euphoric. Not just at what is happening, or what has happened up until now, but about what’s about to happen.

I like the smooth, spreading motion that her lips do as I ease myself inside. The way her labia minora tease the head of my cock, the very tip feeling everything as I go further… deeper.

I like how hard I get, growing harder than I thought I could while inside her. As her inner walls contract around my shaft, I can feel it all. The pulse. The movement. The warmth. So hot, so wet. Where I belong.

I love, love, love the sensation when she tightens up around me. Sometimes I wait for this before I start moving. Sometimes I don’t. It happens after we finish as well.

I am euphoric for all the things I’m about to feel, buried deep inside her cunt.

It hasn’t happened for years… but I’ll never forget the feeling.

And I am craving it right now.

The Blame Game

I was watching porn, and I knew it was wrong.

It’s not my fault, I told myself furiously. I’m doing something wrong, but it’s not my fault. At the end of the day, it probably was… if one can find fault with porn; I’ve no problem with it now… but I couldn’t tell myself that.

It’s her fault, I settled on. If she did go out with me, I wouldn’t need to watch any of this stuff. I’m only watching it for the kissing, anyway, and if she kissed me, then maybe I could…

A bare-faced lie. But then again, I never would act on any of my crushes. It was probably hard enough for her anyway. In any case, this was different. Porn was about sex. I never imagined having sex with anyone I fancied – even a hug would be enough. I didn’t get hugs either, but…

It’s BBC2’s fault, then, I offered. If they weren’t showing Dangerous Touch then I wouldn’t be watching it.

Never mind the fact that I always perused Radio Times for every bit of erotica I could find on Channel 5. BBC2 showing something was a novelty. I’d probably have been watching it anyway, no matter what channel it was on, but nevertheless. What was I supposed to do – blame the entire media?

It’s the production company’s fault, a little voice said. They’re making sexy stuff and putting it on TV. It can’t be your fault if you’ve got no control over what film companies make.

My head started to hurt as the cogs in my brain whizzed around trying to find someone else to blame. My parents? No. My sister? Hardly. My friends? Probably not – although Lightsinthesky’s constant sex talk didn’t help. My school? I didn’t know; our year 9 sex ed may have been relatively limited, but they didn’t talk about the ethics of porn.

I could take pot shots at everyone, but then I was the one watching the porn. I could have easily turned off the TV, but I didn’t. I just kept on watching.

At the end of the day, the only one to blame was me.

So I did.

QuoteQuest: Walter

It is always by way of pain one arrives at pleasure.

marquis de sade

and

Some boys are sissies by nature but I was a sissy by conviction.

frank o’connor

I am, to use the common parlance, a wimp. I’ve never been quiet about that, or ashamed – it’s just who I am. I am incredibly sensitive, both mentally and physically: look for a soft spot, and you’ll find one all over. Any sort of stimulus is one I can feel, and at the correct time, the right sort of physical touch is all I need for a galaxy brain moment – get my right nipple in your mouth as I’m about to come, and I’ll most likely see through time.

Walter knows where it's at.
Hard same, my friend.

But I don’t like pain very much.

Understatement of the century, right there. I can’t stand pain. Hypersensitivity isn’t a friend there, and although I’m always receptive to being touched (anywhere, by anyone) – back scratches, hair strokes, long cuddles, spooning despite what GOTN thinks – I can’t abide being hurt. It doesn’t do much for me, and it doesn’t help. It’s a distraction.

And it makes me cry. Some people find crying boys sexy. It’s not meant to be sexy.

Of course, this doesn’t mean I haven’t been hurt during sex. Alicia used to spank me very hard while I was on top. I’d howl with pain, which she interpreted as pleasure, but she seemed to be enjoying it, so I didn’t say anything. I almost died of dehydration giving the Seamstress head underneath a duvet (but kept going until she came, for… reasons). Catherine’s lack of restraint left a hand-shaped mark on my arse; energetic sex with Louise left my muscles sore; I even managed to injure myself once, during sex with Jilly, slamming my head against the wall (but that was an accident!).

I may not be aiming for pain during sex. But I’m no stranger to it. It just… happens. This is the sort of thing that happens to me. I’m expecting it, frankly.

I’m also not overly comfortable with delivering pain. I’m not a particularly violent boy, and even with the consent that’s necessary for any sort of sexual contact, I don’t really know how to do it. I’ll do a few (soft) spanks if she wants – I’m a percussionist, after all – and I’ve even wielded a vegan rubber-tipped flogger at some points. But this is, in every case, for her pleasure, and at her request. Given the choice, I prefer kisses as foreplay.

This extends outside of the bedroom, of course. Slaps in porn make me flinch. Crying babies make me nervous. I don’t like shouty teachers, or strict parents, or authoritative bosses. I had a massive panic attack once watching a fisherman kill a fish. Upset children are a specific weakness, too – mostly girls, in fact. I can’t emotionally deal with any of these things.

And I really don’t like pain.

I’m aware this may be painting me as the antithesis of so many of my fellows in the sex-positive community. But it’s for the reasons above that I don’t partake in BD/SM or hardcore porn. If I can live a softer, safer and more comfortable sex life, then I will… because, on the most basic of levels, it doesn’t hurt nearly as much.

Doesn’t mean I don’t fuck hard, though.

QuoteQuest

Missive to a Miss

Between ten and fifteen years ago I had a stop-over in Manchester on the way home from… somewhere up north; I forget where, exactly. I know Manchester with a kind of vague familiarity which makes it seem both navigable and forbidding.

Seeing as I only had about 45 minutes to kill, rather than heading out to do anything interesting, I walked down a street I knew from Piccadilly Station, into a corner shop, and bought a sandwich, a chocolate bar, crisps, a Sprite and an issue of Batman: Legends.

On my way back to the station I pulled out my Nokia 8210 and started writing an SMS message.

[Pause while ILB feels himself age exponentially and is suddenly confronted by his own mortality. As you were.]

I’m in Manchester briefly for a stop-over from [wherever it was]. How are you doing?

My message was, as far as I was aware, loaded with subtext. There was a lot to be said in “how are you doing?”. Quite clearly, in fact, my text had a much deeper meaning. What it genuinely said was something like, “hey, I know we’re friends, but I’ve genuinely got a crush on you and I wanted to tell you that from a safe enough distance so I don’t get hit. Manchester is very far away so it seems like the right time.”

Except that was all hidden. Hopefully, however, she’d get the message. It was Valentine’s, so obviously she would.

I’m not well, she pinged back. Laid up in bed with a terrible virus – well, you’ve got to end up in bed with something on Valentine’s 😉 I hope you are okay!

It wasn’t the message I was expecting to get back. But then again, it wasn’t a bad message, either. I was sorry to hear she was unwell, and so I thought I’d respond, trying to avoid the obvious “I’d rather it were me in your bed” comments which I would never have had the balls to send in the first place.

I’m sorry to hear that, I tapped back. Maybe I can see you soon once you feel better? Happy Valentine’s!

Yes, that seemed safe.

I swiped back in at Manchester Piccadilly and was just scanning the board for whichever train would get me southbound as soon as possible when my text alert sounded again. My heart, which was already beating painfully fast due to the fact that I’d sent an unsolicited Valentine, ricocheted around my chest for a while before it settled down enough to get my hand into my pocket.

Happy Valentine’s to you too!

I stood there in something between shock and awe. Here, on a screen in front of me, was a response to a Valentine which didn’t consist of revulsion, ignorance or outright rejection. From someone who I actually fancied. On Valentine’s Day itself. With an exclamation mark!

What could this mean?!

I found my train, got a double seat to myself, set up my lunch and fired up one of the CDs I’d brought with me to keep me entertained throughout the journey.

But I didn’t reply to her message… for I had nothing else to say.

Or, at least, I did.

But I wasn’t going to, was I?

Watering Hole

You’ve got infinite patience
And the scent of the sea
Love these days when I’m near you
Watering hole, watering hole

Scene: It’s 8pm or thereabouts, and it’s autumn, so it’s already dark outside. I’m sleepy – leaning to the right, my head resting against the cool glass. The rain rolls down the window, and as I let my eyes blur, the watery shades of cars going past become little, indistinct lights. The M1 is busy – it’s always busy – but I’m in my little bubble here, so I’m all right.

I’ve got James’ seventh studio album Whiplash in my Sony Discman, my trusty, battered headphones putting up a valiant effort and filling my ears with the familiar music. I’ve listened to this album so many times in the past couple of years. Among all the tracks, hidden behind things like She’s a Star and Waltzing Along, sits Watering Hole. I have no idea exactly what the recording process for this was. But it’s trippy.

The rumble of the coach’s wheels, the whoosh – whoosh – whoosh of the cars beetling down outside, the constant patter of rainfall on the pitch-black windows and the deadpan mumble of Tim Booth all blend into one.

I may be chill, but I’m not content. The weekly coach trip back to London means that I’ve had to leave Rebecca, once again. The trip there, on Friday evenings with my magic box, is a fun one, full of anticipation and excitement (and perhaps a little horn). On the way back, it’s a feeling of deflation. I may, of course, be filled with good memories, accomplishments, achievements and a general good feeling (and, let’s be honest, probably well-fucked, too, as we tended to have sex just before I left).

But it’s not a good feeling. Nothing positive is awaiting me at home. I have work tomorrow and I hate it there. I’m not fond of school right now, either; it’s far too stressful and doesn’t really let up. I’m looking forward to seeing my friends, but that’s about it. Whiplash is my saving grace. I’ve got Gold Mother in my box as well, so I might put that on next.

I do this every week, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise. It doesn’t, really. I’ll do it again next week. And the week after that. And the week after that, as well.

A cloud shifts and the dark, rainy M1 is temporarily bathed in milky moonlight. This makes me feel better, for some reason.

And I start planning next week in my head.

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