Love, sex and interminable pop-culture references

Category: Love (Page 1 of 2)

ILB’s posts about love, crushes, limerence and suchlike


For the fourth time that day, I regretted not bringing a hat to Chessington. Although the continuous beat of the sun had proven quite effective in baking off the water I was covered in from Professor Burp’s Bubbleworks, it was still feeling quite oppressive as we stood patiently in the queue for Seastorm.

Lightsinthesky had left us a while ago, accusing us of living in “pencil-land” when we both refused to go on Rameses’ Revenge. Einstein and I were enjoying ourselves, however.

What neither of them knew was that I had had A Moment™ earlier that day. As usual, nobody had wanted to sit next to me on the bus, so I had a double seat to myself – most of the rowdy boys opposite me were more concerned with making V-signs at lorry drivers than haranguing me, so I had a quiet journey. As we pulled into Chessington, however, the radio blasted an Elton John track the instant the second bus came into view.

The first person I saw through the window was Zebra, the girl I had a crush on. Granted, she was the only one I’d been looking for, but the combination of the music’s swell and her long, dark hair (and beautiful toothy smile) had a profound effect on me. At that moment, all I felt was love, love, love, and the dark and difficult year I’d just had seemed to simply melt away.

As Einstein and I clambered onto Seastorm, she hovered into view again (and I mean that – her feet never seemed to touch the ground), accompanied by her short, cheeky friend and two tall, white girls with glasses. Eventually, I’d end up with a crush on all of them. But, at the time, I only had eyes for her.

“Look, there’s…” I started, but I never got to finish my sentence, as she faded into a blur when Seastorm started moving. I held on, let out a few whoops every now and again, and thought to myself, this is all right. Everything’s all right.

For the rest of the day, I kept an eye out for her, although the milieu of warm bodies throughout the park was too dense to make out her shape. I went on as many rides as I could, for sure, but I never did see her after Seastorm.

As it grew darker, the teachers corralled us and we were duly shepherded back onto our respective buses. I sat in the same seat, the multitudes prepared their V-sign fingers, and I trained my eyes on the window I’d seen Zebra sitting at that morning. As I’d hoped, she materialised in exactly the same place, smile fixed to her face, looking straight forwards.

She wouldn’t see me unless she turned to the right.

So I stared…


Seventeen years ago, on this day – the twenty-eighth of December, 2004, something happened.

2004 hadn’t started well for me (apart from this, but those four days don’t count), and it was only by the summer that I had really managed to restart my life… or what could really be counted as a “life”. That summer, I spent seventeen days in that which I will term Good Company. By autumn, I was fairly confident, insofar as who I was.

And I had a crush.

Seventeen days into December, the list of those going to the DF event that spans the useless void between Christmas and New Year was released. I was on it, of course, I was the first to book; a quick scan of the names revealed the fact that Leaf was on it too. I’d seen her in the summer, of course, and in the autumn… but this was winter: a chilly, but romantic, season – and we’d be out in the countryside somewhere. If we got together, we could hold hands and look at the stars without any London light pollution.

Don’t be silly, ILB, said my brain. You’re not going to get together with her. She is younger and prettier and popular and wittier. And besides, she’s seventeen.

I was twenty, but I didn’t want to push that.

On the twenty-seventh, I fell into a ditch on the way to the event. I was largely unhurt, but I’d ripped a hole in my new trousers. At the venue, my kind redheaded friend sewed it up. Leaf wasn’t watching, but I’d seen her there.

There were seventeen steps up to the attic room where the Secret Friend envelopes were. I wasn’t her Secret Friend, but since the scheme was meant to be done in secret, you could hypothetically put anything anywhere. I deposited some things I’d bought for her in York in her envelope, in addition to a couple of handmade things, including a felt heart on which I’d painted “She’s A Star” in yellow. I stopped short of putting an “I fancy you”-type message in (I was never that bold). I also had to leave some space for her real Secret Friend.

I’m not sure that what I was doing those days was trying. Lots of kisses and flirting and coupling up and sex happened at DF events, but I never got to do any of those things (going some way to explain my opinion that I’m not very attractive). On the twenty-seventh, I held Leaf as I guided her up a slippery path. That evening I told her, “I like you”, which could have meant anything. I danced until two and got no sleep that night.

Seventeen years ago, on the twenty-eighth, I was in the bedroom I shared with a few others, chatting casually away until Leaf came in, slightly tipsy and high on the general euphoria. She’d also just kissed three people and was hungry for more.

“Who wants to be the fourth?” she called, lying supine on the closest bed.

Don’t do it
Don’t do it
Don’t do it
Don’t do it
Don’t do it
Don’t do it

My heart thumping seventeen times a second in my chest, I walked over, bent down and pressed my lips to hers. She had the scent of woodsmoke and tasted like alcohol and pineapple. She slid her tongue into my mouth and we melted into a full-on snog – messy, inexpert, experimental. And maybe a little too long.

Seventeen seconds of bliss.

I gave her a quick peck as an ending, stood up and walked out, slightly dazed at what had just happened.

I’ve just kissed Leaf. I’ve kissed the one person I came here wanting to kiss and I’ve just managed to do it. I’ve been wanting to kiss her for months and never thought I would and I’ve just kissed her. Take me away now; I’m done.

For the rest of that evening, I was very giggly. I went back into the makeshift club night, but somebody was playing hardcore trance, so I went into the kitchen and danced to Build Me Up Buttercup on an old, clapped-out CD player with my closest friends.

I took seventeen pictures with my new digital camera over those few days. On the bus on the way back to civilisation, Leaf pulled a silly face for me to snap. Years came and went, as they do, and although I saw her on seventeen more occasions, neither one of us ever acknowledged that we had shared a drunken kiss on a bed in winter 2004.

I’m fairly certain that, as I was kiss number four, I was nothing more than a statistic to her. But, for me, that was a life-changing event.

Because it proved to me that, given the right circumstances, place, time, and mood, I was indeed – if not dateable, or even shaggable – at the very least kissable.

I didn’t kiss anyone for the next few years, and in the seventeen years since then, I have kissed six other people. Every time, I’ve enjoyed it.

I will be forever grateful to Leaf.


“Have you talked to Loch Ness recently?”

I probably need to point out at this moment that my mother didn’t actually refer to my former classmate as ‘Loch Ness’. We used to call her that at school (privately, not to her face) because her name looked a bit like the Loch Ness Monster rising in humps put of the water. I do believe it was my friend-who-is-a-midwife who came up with that one.

In any case, I had been talking to Loch Ness after stumbling across her on the street and getting her MSN address. In fact, I’d been talking to her quite a lot. And I’d been talking to her about quite a lot.

As it turned out, since we lost contact Loch Ness had been dating a lot of my friends from secondary school. She allegedly got her first boyfriend in year 7, which seemed realistic… once she was legally able to, she started sleeping with them too (and, although I never thought to ask any of them, I’m willing to bet my entire reputation as a hopeless social misfit that at least one of the punk rock fans in my year lost his virginity to Loch Ness).

I’m still not sure why she told me this.

“It’s not nice being single after being in a relationship for so long,” heartbroken ILB said at one point, “there’s no fun.”
“Does you use of the word ‘fun’ have a sexual connotation?”
“Maybe, I mean, I wasn’t really being that specific but…”
“Because once you’ve had some ‘fun’ it’s hard to stop, right?”
“Hey, question. Have you ever had a crush on me?”

This was, I am 100% certain, why my mother had asked about her. She made a big deal out of the fact that Loch Ness was very pretty, and being perfectly aware that I was just out of my first relationship, assumed that this was a direction I was heading in. (She was less keen on her throughout junior school, when Loch Ness tended to invent stories. One of her boldest claims: if Oliver Cromwell had accepted the throne, she would be a princess.)

Fortunately, I had an answer to that.

“Didn’t I marry you at one point?”

And indeed I had. I mean, the ring had been made out of Play-Doh, all the guests had been wearing school uniform and the best man had been a pushmi-pullyu comprised of Robinson and my friend-who-is-a-midwife tied together with a scarf, but I did indeed marry her. If my memory served me correctly, I stopped her as she passed my table and asked her to marry me.

I’m not sure if a year 1 wedding hastily arranged following a maths session counts, but nevertheless.

“So you did! Happiest day of my life!”

Now that I could believe.


There was a pause. Should I go back to talking about sex, or answer her question?”

“I want a divorce,” I said.

Guest Service Award

I’d barely checked in (and put my bag down) when I realised that I was, in fact, bored. I’d been bored all week – I had to be in the city for a few nights and had nowhere to go – and had spent quite a while in the big market square playing Pokémon Sapphire. I had, in fact, been there since Thursday, and had managed to source places to sleep until Sunday night. To whit, I acquiesced, walked to the most convenient hotel I knew… and asked for a room.

My bag stashed in my room, I took myself back down to the lobby/bar area and sat at what amounted to being a bar (although it wasn’t too much). The girl who had checked me in came up to ask what I wanted to drink, and it was at that point that I got a look at her properly.

Let’s get a bit of context here. I was 19 or 20 (or thereabouts) and had spent the entire day playing music (if what I do actually counts to the discerning listener as ‘music’). Following a week of boredom ending with a day of cacophonous racket, the one thing I really needed was a drink. My overwhelmed mind beginning to decompress, I noticed a couple of seconds after I started speaking that the girl I was talking to was incredibly pretty. I noticed in the mirror that the look I was giving her was somewhat appraising, and then a moment later that she was giving me the same sort of look.


“Hello, could I please have a Friar Tuck?” I asked clearly and politely. “That’s full-fat Coke with a shot of blackcurrant cordial, if you’ve got that.”
“Coke and blackcurrant?” she repeated.
“Yes,” I sighed, and then fished around in my head for the necessary addendum to the question. “It’s a non-alcoholic cocktail invented in Nottingham and it’s…”
“It’s what I drink!”

I blinked.

“Excuse me?”
“It’s what I drink! Coke and blackcurrant! I like the combination! It’s very sweet! I’ve never met anyone else who likes it!”
“Oh!” I ejaculated. “Excellent!”

She handed me my Friar Tuck and, for a few seconds, both of us paused. It took me a while to remember I needed to pay for this, and as I fumbled for my change, I could feel her eyes on me. Focus, ILB. Focus.

After an eternity of silence and smiles, she drifted away to check in some git who had arrived specifically to distract her from me, and I found some solace in the trivia machine in the corner (I was the first to play it, as she told me later, so I was first on the scoreboard by default; I did quite well, nevertheless) for a while. A few games later, with my wallet lighter in my pocket, I finally took a sip of my drink.

It was the best drink I’d ever had.


I got back to my hotel room burning with energy, excitement, and a few other things. What do I do for her? was the question blazing trails through my head. Buy her something? Just be polite and thankful? Maybe I’ll ask her out. No, that’s stupid, when am I going to be here again?

I sat at the little desk that all hotels seem to have and pulled out some headed paper.

I know, I’ll write her a song, I genuinely then thought. And, after a fashion, that is exactly what I did – a few verses and even a chorus. I even used the word “exuberance” once, non-ironically. In my head, it resembled the finale from Antonín Dvořák’s ninth symphony (although, when I added chords a week later, it sounded nothing like it). I finished three pages of scribblings, crossings-out and corrections, signed my name and…

what do I do now?

I couldn’t just go and give it to her. Weird guy checks into hotel you work in and writes you a song? That’s creepy. I stashed it in my bag, made myself a tea (also a hotel room thing), and looked for something else to do.


After breakfast the morning after (which I almost didn’t make it to: I was there three minutes before it ended), I went back to my room to pack (and, let’s be honest, clean up). On the desk, once I’d moved off all my stuff, I noticed a little card I’d overlooked the night before: a nomination card for a guest service award. I pulled out a thick black gel pen and carefully wrote out her name on it.

It proved more difficult to write out exactly why I was nominating her for an award. Somehow “I have only met her once but I think I have a crush on her, and moreover, I think she has a crush on me” didn’t quite sound right in my head. I wrote out something generic about being friendly and helpful, and quickly added “…also knows what my drink is” before taking it to the counter.

I checked out, paid for my one rented ‘movie’, and handed the card to the lady now occupying the counter.

“Oh, she’s a honey,” she said after glancing at the card. “I’ll make sure she gets this.”
“Oh, thanks,” I said, before adding, “well, tell her I said hello. I mean, you too. I mean, it was a very pleasant stay, I mean, yes, thank you, yes.”

ILB, the master of wondrous wit and ready repartée.

“Will we be seeing you again?”
“Oh, yes, yes, I’ll come back, I will, I promise,” I squeaked as I walked out of the door. Standing outside for the first time in twelve hours basking in the warm air, I took a few long, deep, steadying breaths before trudging my way back into the milieu of the city I knew so well.

I went back to that hotel once more, with 47 in tow at that point. It was then that he told me that he knew I was ILB.

I never saw her again.

QuoteQuest: Never Really Gone

It will always be a mystery to me how we can’t forget the love that forgot us.

jm storm

It’s been ten years, and yet it still doesn’t feel like she’s gone. Every now and again, it feels like she’s still here – about to walk through the door, or maybe she’s in the bed sucking her thumb, or calling me, asking to be read a story. My love right now reminds me of her, and although she is very different in many ways, if you twisted my arm, that may be why I was attracted to her in the first place.

Many people weren’t sure what to make of her. Lots of people saw a short, angry girl with temper issues and an unchecked violent side; while I can see their point, I saw something else in her: someone both intelligent and attractive, frustrated by social protocol and a world that was holding her back.

Sometimes things remind me of her. I have very vivid, unpleasant memories of her doing things that she knew would upset me, and then getting angry at me for being upset. Sometimes she would tell me she didn’t care, or that she was ashamed of me, or that there was something about me that she found unattractive. She told me to “man up”, even though I hate that phrase.

The bad things – the things that hurt, the unresolved, unexplained things that still leave a mark – come to me in my dark moments. At night, when I can’t sleep, I think of things she said to me. I sometimes let out a silent scream into the unforgiving night; I don’t deserve this, I tell myself, so why does it bother me?

When I dream, I often dream of her. In those dreams, we are still together. We’re probably still in our twenties. In nearly every dream, she is cheating, and gleeful about it. I scream and cry and panic, but she just giggles as she skips away to have sex with someone else. In life, the memories make me hurt. In dreams, the hurt comes from any number of hypothetical situations.

I wonder, sometimes, if she feels the same way about me, whether she acknowledges the intricacies and vague lack of explanation that happened at so many points in our love. Once, I asked her if there was anything without closure for her; she said there wasn’t anything. The same couldn’t be said for me, and for ten years, it has been the lack of a why that haunts me. I may not be a logical person, but I need a reason.

I’ll never get one.

Whether or not I’m forgotten, I don’t know. She moved on to something she always wanted, which I couldn’t give her – she married a Dutchman, got the job she wanted and even had a son. She has, in layman’s terms, a normal life, and that’s something she was striving for. Knowing her, I’m very much of the opinion that she has Completely Moved On, and that if I am in her life, I am little more than a faint echo in the distant past.

But I never will. I can make valiant attempts at it, but I never really will move on.

And so I keep the love in my mind… and with it comes all the hurt.




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.

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.


What’s this?
A hair!
She left a hair on the board!
It’s mine now.

The impending splash (2000)

The silver girlone of the unfortunates I had a crush on – was, through no design of her own, the unwilling recipient of yearning, angsty poetry. I spent my time, during breaks and lunch, in the library writing it.

We had a sort of routine. Einstein would sit there, saying very little; Lightsinthesky would be working on one of his unspeakably violent sci-fi novels or trying to draw what the inside of a black hole looked like; Music Man would be writing things in ɿɘvɘɿƨɘ, ɒƨ wɒƨ ʜiƨ wɒγ; Man o’ War and our token black friend would be engaged in some sort of discourse about the events of the day…

…and I’d be writing my poetry.

Whether or not the silver girl, with whom I later became friends, was ever aware of what I was doing was uncertain, but I’m fairly sure she didn’t know. I certainly never showed it to her; I also had the only hard copy of what was essentially becoming an anthology of woe (although I typed it up, thirty poems later, for my GCSE English teacher to read). Life kept chugging on, but my crush stayed doggedly stuck where it was, and so the poetry kept coming.

The Christmas holidays came and went, and for those two weeks I refrained, before writing one on the very last day about how she probably hadn’t thought about me, not even once.

Eventually, after months of complete inaction and some incredibly embarrassing moments, I wrote The Impending Splash. This was a completely fictional yarn about going swimming with her (ironically, since going swimming with her was how I originally noticed her attractiveness), waiting for my turn on the diving board (again, ironic; I don’t do diving boards) and noticing, before picking up and keeping, one of her hairs (although where I’d put it while wearing nothing except Speedos…).

It’s only yesterday that I realised how creepy that sounds. Certainly her hair was pretty, but I didn’t actually need to own any of it. Take that to its logical extreme and there’s some stalker-level stuff there.

You may be pleased to hear that real-life ILB didn’t then start following the silver girl around looking for loose hairs to plunder. In fact, I stayed far away from her in case she suddenly became physically aggressive in some attempt to exact revenge for my desire. As the years went on, and we gradually became friends (me ardently following her career as she became briefly, but deservedly, famous), my love waned, and with it went my desire to touch – maybe not take, but at the very least touch – her hair.

And then, after a GCSE Science class, she left some of her hair behind – having briefly brushed it before getting off her seat. Loose strands drifted to the floor, little blonde wisps… and I was the only person to notice.

Go on, ILB. You know you want to.

“Hey, ILB! You coming?” Einstein called from the corridor.
“Right,” I replied, bustling off after him, leaving the silver girl’s hair where it lay…

…making sure, as I did, to touch it – ever so briefly – with my foot.

QuoteQuest & KOTW: The ILB who Loves to Love

We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.

tim robbins

I’m a horny sex blogger. I write posts about porn, oral, and dirty sex. I love sex, even though I haven’t had any for years. I’ll talk about it. I’ll promote it. Hours can pass and I’ll still be discussing it… with no filter. Thirteen years of sex blogging does that to a boy.

And yet I’m still thoroughly aware that, love sex as I do, my focus has always been on love.

I mean, it’s in my handle, c’mon.

I’ve always found it easy to fall in love… possibly too easy. It’s never been easy to actually be in love – successive teenage crushes on which I never acted making me increasingly upset as life went on. In a few years, I went from occasional glances to out-and-out pining, and finally to going home every single day to cry for an hour because I was in love. Since the age of about 13, in fact, there hasn’t once been a time where I didn’t have, if not genuine love, an “official” crush.

I didn’t, however, actually entertain the idea that my affections would ever be reciprocated. Despite my Head of Year (to whom I was quite close) telling me that people would be flattered, I was convinced – fairly quickly, as it matters – that I was unlovable. It didn’t do to be fancied by ILB. I was fairly convinced, throughout my miserable ecstasies, that those who I loved must have been constantly wondering what they did wrong.

If they thought about me at all. I’m not sure if any of them did.

Careful! Or I’ll fall in love with you!

innocent loverboy

Love, to me, has always been associated with guilt. I’m still sorry to the people I loved. But I can’t take any of it back. I may have fallen in love easily, but it’s not like I could control it.

In the more recent years, even though I’ve been in genuine, actual, real long-term relationships, I’ve still struggled with the concept. My dark moments tell me that, no, I can’t be loved. Girlfriends have cheated, or cast me adrift, or become so critical that every night was a challenge. Every time I get close, life seems to conspire to remind me of this. I am unlovable.

I’m trying, and believe me that I am, to convince myself otherwise.

It isn’t easy.

But I’m working on it.

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