An unexpected happening

An unexpected happening

It should have been nice but he just wouldn’t talk about what I wanted to hear about. Instead he’s boring me to death with photos of restaurants that I’ll probably never go to and castles and churches and stuff.

What I wanted to hear about was his feelings about how it went. His relationship with M, his relationship with M’s parents, etc. But he was reticent (which makes me think that there’s more to it, of course.)

So I was bored (a bit – it’s not fair to say it was terrible – anyway, we were having a few pints which is always a good thing and he had only come back from his holidays a few hours before and he is really into the photography thing so it’s fair enough.)

We were at Bar Blanco, just across the piazza near our flat. It is one of the few bars open at the moment (most open next week when everyone is back.) It’s renowned as a place that gay people go to. It’s not a “gay bar” as such but a lot of gay people go there – mainly the younger, hipper ones.

I noticed a guy stood up near our table. He had the most dreadful shorts on. Or they looked dreadful on him anyway. He was reasonably tall, slim body, a half-grown hipster-style beard and he was probably in his mid-thirties. These details I noticed later. The only details I did notice were these dreadful shorts. I am unable to explain to you why they were so dreadful. They looked like “little boy” shorts being worn by a grown man.

I went to interrupt the photo show by telling A that this guy had the most dreadful shorts on when I saw the guy looking at me.

The next thing and he was flouncing behind A (so directly in front of me), between the tables, then round behind me and back to where he started. And, out of the corner of my eye, I could see that he was staring at me. He was actually hitting on me!

Of course, I told A, adding “unless he’s hitting on you?” It was my little joke. I then added “but that’s unlikely.” A responded that he hoped he wasn’t but, secretly, maybe, he was a bit jealous? ;-)

Anyway, although I wasn’t (am not) interested as I have F, it gave me something of a thrill and some delight that, at my very advanced age, a guy of under 40 should actually be hitting on me!

Soon afterwards, we left. A walked me to my flat even though his car, blocked in by a Ferrari, was parked right by the pub. Afterwards, I wondered if A was going back to see if it was really him that the guy was hitting on (not really …….. maybe?)

Mother of My Children – Apply now!

“Family are important”

He wanted me to blog that I had said that since he found it strange or funny or both. Not the sentiment, you understand, just that I had said it.

But, to understand the statement, you need to understand the background.

He has a girlfriend. Or a might-be girlfriend. Or a maybe girlfriend. In any case, they’ve spent some time together.

“Have you met her parents yet?,” I ask.

Of course not. Relationships, for some people, go at snails pace. I know that, but I like to ask these things. Like I liked to ask “Have you kissed her yet?”

Please note that I didn’t ask for intimate details. I really don’t want to know about others’ sex life. A) it’s not my business and B) it is better not to be put into a position of imagining it all. I really don’t want to know. But, on the basis that, once, I was told about a girl with whom he had ‘had lunch’ several times and who was a ‘serious contender’ for the title of ‘Mother of my children’ – but who, with further questioning turned out to not know she was in the running for ‘mother of my children’ title and, in fact, had absolutely no idea that he was even interested in her, I like to ask questions to try to determine the ‘real’ state of things.

For your interest, the answers were 1. No and 2. Yes.

The ‘No’ was because ‘it’s complicated’. Complicated by the fact that the mother is a friend of a cousin and, therefore, word would spread and then ‘Mother’ would be involved and he doesn’t want interference.

I can only imagine.

But I justified my question by stating that ‘Family is important’.

After all, if she is to win the competition for ‘Mother of my children’, you need to know that a) you LIKE the family and b) that the family LIKE you.

He did make a valid point of the fact that this would be impossible for a partner of mine.

But to counter that I would say that, even if I could have children with my partner, my family would never know, let alone be involved. And, in any event, my family wouldn’t like my partner on the basis that he would be a man.

So the correct statement should be that ‘Family are important – as long as it’s not mine’.

Anyway, it seems like the competition for ‘Mother of my children’ is moving forward.

Of course, to me, every new one is a winner. That’s because I only get the barest of information about them and I only get that after asking A LOT of questions, since information is NOT forthcoming. It would, indeed, be easier to get blood from a stone.

And, sometimes I get a bit frustrated. Hence the question ‘Have you kissed her yet?’ And, anyway, asking a question like that gets a real response – at least non-verbal, which can sometimes say more than a verbal response.

I guess I’m quite wicked sometimes :-)

Is this really what we have in store for us? God, I hope not (well, at least for me).

Everyone is different; has a different character and, most definitely, different needs.

I really don’t care if you are married, co-habiting, single (by choice) or anything else (I’m not sure if there IS anything else) – as long as you are happy and as long as (if you have a partner), I don’t want to kill your partner or partners :-)

To be honest, what you do with your life is absolutely none of my business – unless it directly affects my life – in which case it is my business. Of course, if you ask me, I may or may not (depending on whether you’re asking for a confirmation of what you think or really asking me) tell you what I think.

Luckily, for my lovely readers, this blog is about what I think (at this moment that I’m writing, of course – in two hours I could think the opposite although, in this case that’s unlikely).

From Lola’s blog, I read this article entitled “All the Single Ladies”.

The strange thing is that I was quite disturbed by it. I mean, unsettled. Basically it was saying that, given the way that society has changed and the general ratio of men to women, being a single person was now more likely.

Perhaps I was unsettled by the truth of it, for it is not a truth I want for myself.

I understand that some people say they are happier alone. Bar a very few people, I cannot believe it, I’m sorry. True, not every society works in the same way and, for sure, partly why I am happier being ‘with someone’ is that I was brought up to believe in a household where two adults live together (with or without children).

And friends are important. Good friends are irreplaceable, of course. I have many friends. Not thousands but enough for me. Being in a friendship takes work on both sides. And yet, there are friends (like Best Mate and I) who don’t need to be in contact for quite a while and just pick up the friendship where we left off. And I would do almost anything for Best Mate. She is there, even if I am having problems with my partner or even if I don’t have a partner. I love her to bits.


She is not the same as a partner – and I don’t mean for sex. After all, for sex, if I wanted to, there is a tall, leggy prostitute that hangs on the corner of the street and is there when I take the dogs out for a walk. We even say ‘hello’ now. Well, why not? Anyway, as an aside, business seems to be quite good for her. Maybe it’s one of those businesses that thrives in crisis periods?

But I digress. And, anyway, she is a woman so not really interesting to me.

So, if not for sex then what is a partner for? Why is it that I consider it essential for my life and others (including the woman who wrote the article) don’t?

But, then again, the article doesn’t say that a partner is not essential but that, given the fact that she dumped her (probable) partner some time ago, assuming that she would be getting one later and could settle down when she felt like it, and now, finding that a partner is unlikely to be found, she has, in fact, come to a realisation that ‘this is it’ and that she had better get on and enjoy what she has.

And I think that is my point.

My greatest fear is to be old and alone. Since I don’t have (and won’t have) any children, unless I have a partner, I shall be alone when I am old.

But it’s not even that, really.

After V, I thought that, given my age, I would remain alone. For those of you that have been readers for over three years, you will know this.

But I found, after a few months of being alone, that ‘being alone’ was not an acceptable life for me. I NEEDED a partner to share things with, to cuddle up with at night and, mostly, to not feel ALONE. ALONE I cannot handle. And, as you may know, I thought that I cannot be the only person in Milan who thinks this way and so I went out to find the other person who felt the same (or, more or less, the same).

And I think that’s the problem with this woman. She hasn’t come to terms with what her single life is and doesn’t want to commit. And, by not committing was thinking that when the right man happened along, they would both know and everything would be fine.

However, as I said before I started the online dating search, it’s no good waiting for Mr Right to come knocking at my door if I am stuck there night after night. No, I needed to go out and FIND him.

And I think that, in spite of her positiveness, she is, in fact, ALONE and, possibly too busy to feel LONELY – but she may well feel lonely later and that she is fully well aware of that.

Friends, of course, will be important to her but there are those times when (even when you’re with friends) you feel alone. With a partner, I don’t get this feeling. With F, I don’t feel alone anymore.

Anyway, sorry for the ramble. They are, after all, just my opinions and thoughts.

Stop looking for your soulmate

For those of you who have been reading this blog over the last 2 years or so, you will know that, having thought I had found my soulmate, I found that I hadn’t, apparently. At the end of it I thought that, given my age and, having already done it all twice before, I wouldn’t even be able to find someone else to live with but then I changed my mind. I decided that I DID need to be with someone and that there had to be someone out there, somewhere, who was looking for me. I did the internet dating thing to save myself having to go to bars and clubs, seeing it, as I do, as an alternative to those social places.

I was determined. I don’t know that I ever thought I would find my soulmate or, even, if that was important. What was important was to find the ‘person for me’. I had some preconceived ideas about who that would be. The criteria narrowed after a short while. They couldn’t be too young nor too old. In the end I found someone and, to be honest, that someone was a surprise and (partially) unexpected. But I remain intrigued about how people find their soulmates and, even, if that really exists or if it is your soulmate but only for a period of time (that period being undetermined and indeterminable).

I remember my sister. She, as I told her more than once, always tried too hard. Her criteria, it seemed, was always non-existent. If they moved and were male it was enough. Now I look back on that as probably her trying to hard to be straight and conform, since she has a girlfriend now.

I was at a friend’s house on Sunday. She is setting up this internet dating lark. She is very clear. She doesn’t expect to find the perfect man on the internet – only to determine exactly what she DOES want. To be able to refine her criteria. But, I wonder, is she just saying that?

Anyway, I was interested to read this:

Relationship gurus expend enormous amounts of energy debating whether “opposites attract” or, conversely, whether “birds of a feather flock together” – largely, it seems, without stopping to reflect on whether relying on cheesy proverbs might be, more generally, a bad way to think about the complexities of human attraction. Should you look for a partner whose characteristics match yours, or complement yours? The conclusion of the Pair Project, a long-term study of married couples by the University of Texas, is, well, neither, really. “Compatibility”, whether you think of it as similarity or complementarity, just doesn’t seem to have much to do with a relationship’s failure or success, according to the project’s founder, Ted Huston: the happiness of a marriage just isn’t much correlated with how many likes, dislikes or related characteristics a couple does or doesn’t share. Compatibility does play one specific role in love, he argues: when couples start worrying about whether they’re compatible, it’s often the sign of a relationship in trouble. “We’re just not compatible” really means, “We’re not getting along.” “Compatibility” just means things are working out. It simply renames the mystery of love, rather than explaining it.

According to the US psychologist Robert Epstein, that’s because a successful relationship is almost entirely built from within. (He cites evidence from freely entered arranged marriages, arguing that they work out more frequently than the unarranged kind.) All that’s really required is two people committed to giving things a shot. Spending years looking for someone with compatible qualities may be – to evoke another cheesy proverb – a classic case of putting the cart before the horse.

For F, of course, his most ‘successful’ previous relationship was with a blue-eyed, English, Taurean. He cites this often as if to explain why he is with me. He is saying that it is ‘inevitable’ that we would be together. Conversely, of course, it could also be inevitable that we will split up!

I look for things that we like ‘together’ and find few. I worry that we don’t have enough in common, the most obvious being my love of all food whereas he is so picky. As I said to my friend (mentioned above), if F and I had met in some bar or club, I’m not sure that either of us would have given the other a second look. We met only because we had chatted for some time first.

Yes, the pictures I saw of him – he was sexy. But, mainly, he was funny – he had the ability to make me laugh and feel better. He still does and may it long continue.

As his friend R said, he was ‘ready’ when we met. So was I. We both wanted the same thing and so, together, we can get the same thing from each other.

And, I suppose, that’s why V and I split up. We no longer wanted the same things. F is not V in any way. V wasn’t M in any way. F and M are not similar either. Being compatible or not seems, as it says, to be unimportant as to whether it works or not. You (both) just have to WANT it more than anything and be prepared to step off the deep end and see how it goes.

And that, together with making those small sacrifices to make your partner happy seem to be the only requisites to have a happy and loving relationship – for however long that lasts.

For the above ‘piece of advice’ plus other tips (that can replace your New Year’s resolutions) go here and enjoy :-)

The day before you came. Only 365 days ago.

I sit here, at the new, old table. It is cold. Not freezing, just not so comfortable.

I have many things to do today. I have a plan. It is, after all, a year (tomorrow night) since we first met. I cannot believe it is a year already and, yet …….. is it only 365 days? It seems like less and more at the same time.

I like having a blog. It reminds me of things that I may have forgotten. For example, this is what I wrote about our meeting, before we met, as I was getting ready – “This one actually seems important but will, in all probability, end up like the rest.”

Well, it didn’t.

And, about the night we met, I wrote “I want this. I want him.”. And, I still do.

And this song came up recently and, although it is a little strange in that it is sung as if it’s not a good thing, for me it explains that there was a time before F and then the time after. So, enjoy, since I think it is one of their greatest songs anyway :-)

On being British

I like being British.  Am I proud of being British?  Well, to be honest, not always.  It’s not that I’m not proud, it’s just that, well, I’m British and being proud is not seen as a good thing.  After all, as we all know, ‘pride comes before a fall’ – and when someone has been proud, we see their fall as just desserts.

But I do like being British.  Firstly, I speak English (obviously, proper English – none of your mispronounced, misspelt, New World stuff for me).  In spite of the fact that the Chinese language (I forget which one of them) is actually spoken by more people in the world and Spanish is up and coming, English is still the universal language for communication.  I thank our Empire for that (and the Americans power following its demise).

Secondly, we have ‘ways’ of being; ‘ways’ of doing things that I use to my advantage, especially here.

And so I was reading this and the fact that the Immigration Minister has pronounced that there should be instruction on ‘how to queue’ because that is at the heart of Britishness.

There again, in my opinion, is the problem with people.  They get ‘Britishness’ completely wrong.  It’s not the queuing that’s important although, yes, people who jump the queue will result in a load of people who feel resentment and, these days, anger.  No Britishness is all about ‘not standing out’ from the crowd.  Or, rather, not making yourself stand out from the crowd.

Of course, if just ‘not standing out from the crowd’ were essential, we would have no famous British people until they were dead.  The thing is that you are allowed to stand out, providing that it’s not because you have been making yourself stand out – i.e. someone can push you forward as long as that someone isn’t you.

Of course, the correct response to this, should you find yourself standing out there, through no real fault of your own, is to be completely self-effacing; shy but not embarrassingly so; properly attribute your ‘success’ to others or the team; be truly grateful that there are others who think you are there (out of the crowd) even if, of course, you feel you did not possibly deserve it, etc.

Of course, there are always exceptions.  In fact, there is one exception to this overall rule.  That is when you are drunk.  And by drunk I mean very drunk (totally pissed, wasted, rip-roaringly drunk).  Then you can do anything you want – but, of course, you must regret it and suffer for it from the next morning and on until the end of your life!

Which is why I found the article so funny.  Hadley Freeman’s take on what is actually required to be British I disagree with, in the main but I will go through the five points:

1.  I’ve always found that dinner at 8 means that you will sit down to eat at about 2 minutes past 8 – unless there are late-comers, who will be frowned upon as they have made themselves stand out!

2.  We don’t always (in fact rarely) react with squealing excitement.  Understated excitement means not making yourself stand out.

3.  OK, I agree with 3 – or you say something like ‘Oh this old thing – bought it years ago’ as if that makes up for the fact that whatever it is is the most stunning item of clothing in the room.

4.  No one really cares how well Marks and Spencers do – what’s important is that the quality of their underpants is second-to-none and that their food quality is absolutely amazing but sooooo expensive.

5.  Just not true.  We do date.  We also court and, as she correctly says, ‘pull’.  But she misinterprets ‘pull’.  When you go out on a date it is with a predefined person for a meal or a drink or to the cinema.  When you ‘go out on the pull’ you are single and very much hoping that, by the end of the night, you have pulled someone who may, or may not, be a future date.

However, I just loved the end bit to number 5.  This is so true, especially of me (although I found online dating a way around the getting drunk bit).  But, just for those of you who don’t read the article, she says that the British method of coupling is like this:

go to a party, get extremely drunk, drunkenly kiss someone you have been making eyes at for some time but obviously never spoke to because you were sober then, go home with them, move in with them the next day, marry them.

It really made me laugh.

The thoughts count

Of course, I find some things most endearing.

Yesterday afternoon/evening, he asked if I was coming over to his place.  I replied that I would like to, if that was OK for him, to which he replied ‘yes’.  Before that (or, rather, during that exchange of messages) I was chatting to Best Friend, really to sound off about the problem and ask for her advice.  She told me what I knew already, as all good advice should be.

And, so, I went round.  This time, instead of coffee, I had a beer.  I needed some courage to talk to him as I knew I must.  We looked online whilst he was trying out different combinations of bookshelves/CD racks for his new flat, CDs being one of the most important collections for him.  We laughed and chatted and talked about the options and it was during this that he said, as usual, the two phrases that make me smile.  I hate and I like.  The problem is that he misses the final word – this/that/it/him/her/them, etc.

Of course, I should tell him.  But there’s just something about it that I like.  Is it wrong of me to put off telling him for a bit longer?  He now uses switch/turn off the light rather than turn down and I know he wants his English to be perfect but I just really like it when referring to something (for example, Farmville, which, to be honest, given all their problems I wouldn’t pay good money for (and they’ve taken away my Christmas Tree, the bar stewards)), when something goes wrong he will say I hate rather than I hate it.

Later, we go to bed and watch telly for a bit.  There’s some dreadful documentary about Princess Diana.  Some dreadful and ugly woman who is, probably, nobody, is being interviewed about how she was receiving phone calls from Diana all the time during the days before her death.  I dozed off.  The program ended and I woke up – he was asleep next to me.  I kissed him and he woke up and we switched the television off.

As he turned over and I snuggled up to him to try and get him warm (he was really cold last night), I said that I had to tell him something.  I said that the thing was about what he had said and that, whilst not a problem now, I knew it would be a problem sometime in the future.  He said we would talk about it tomorrow as he was so tired and so sleepy.  We shall see.  But at least I’ve told him, so I already feel better.  What he chooses to do with this information is up to him.

During our conversation last night, Best Mate said that he obviously feels the same as I do and, even if he may say other things, his actions say a lot.  Which they do, I know.  But it’s also the thoughts that count.

The Right Thing To Do

I wonder why I’m here. By this I meant, originally, why I’m here, in this meeting, where they are talking in two foreign languages – the first being Italian and the second being engineering, which is as foreign a language to me as any other, proper, language.

But after what F said last night, I even begin to question this in a bigger way; making it a bigger, broader question.

Why am I here, in this place, at this time? For what purpose? What am I here to achieve? Or, if not for me to achieve, for someone else to achieve, through me, perhaps, maybe, kind of?

I am an ‘all or nothing’ guy. Perhaps. Maybe.

Or, perhaps not. Given a choice or, rather, given no choice, perhaps I would settle for less than ‘all’ but more than ‘nothing’, if less than ‘all’ were the only thing on offer. But, even if less than ‘all’ were the only offer, would I just go with less than ‘all’, convincing myself throughout that this ‘less’ could be turned into ‘all’ in time?
Am I, or would I be, deluding myself?

At what point would I wake up to the reality? The one where I know or come to know that ‘all’ will just not happen.  At that point, what will I do then?  Will the time in between now and then be too long?  Will it have been a waste of time?

I want to say ‘Tonight I’m not going to come over’. I want to say it but the actual thing (i.e. not going over) is NOT what I really want, of course. I only want to say it for effect – to effect some change, some uncertainty. To give back what I felt; what I feel, what I still feel.  Uncertainty. Change. Fear.

But that’s just ‘playing those games’ and I swore I wouldn’t do that this time; I don’t want that this time; I have no time for that this time. Time is short – and none of us need this; neither of us need this.

And so, whilst listening to the two foreign languages and the games that are, almost certainly, being played out in this very room, I contemplate the right response; the one that won’t leave me too vulnerable, won’t limit my choices, won’t need me to go back on my word, won’t add to the pressure but also the one that gives me the ‘all’ I crave.

Or, maybe, gives me the ‘something’ that is, surely, better than the ‘nothing’ it could be. Or is it?

So, I toy with the options.  There’s the being upfront and honest option.  There’s the saying nothing and just getting on with it option.  And there’s the response option‚  I prefer the first or the second.  But the second will make me continue to feel as I do, not unhappy but unsure……….and frightened.  Frightened of what may not be or, maybe, what may be, especially if it doesn’t come close to what I actually want; or do I mean ‘need’.

I don’t think I can do the response option since that opens up the game and I definitely don’t want that.

He had a dream last night, where something had changed and his boss was not happy with the result but did not tell him directly but, rather, told someone else.  He said that this was typical English.  Where we are so polite but don’t actually tell the truth to people face-to-face.

I said that we weren’t all like that.  But, of course, we are.  He said that we were, meaning most English people were. But it’s not just the English but the Italians too!  Although perhaps the English are more practised at it and, therefore, appear to be much better.

If I am to prove that I am not like that, I guess I have to chose the upfront and honest option.  Say it like it is.  Roll over with my belly exposed and hope, yes, very much hope, that it is the right thing to do.

Update: We text.  He phones.  Is everything as it was before?  For him, maybe.  For me, well, yes and no.  Yes because nothing has really changed and no because the future has changed.  But, as I listen to his voice I remember looking at his face this morning, just before I got up and thinking how much I love him.  And, maybe, that ‘less’ is worth it after all?


It’s a long weekend here.  And it’s been a great weekend for me.  Well, for me and F, really.  We’ve spent time with friends but also a lot of time together.  In fact, as you can tell by my lack of posting, most of our time has been together.  Only today we both need to catch up on things and, so, this morning, after breakfast, he went back to his house and I should, now, be cleaning and washing and sorting out my clothes and taking the dogs for a walk……all before he comes back later for us to spend some more time together.

And still,  nearly two months later, I can’t get enough of him.  Even this point, although it allows me to get some stuff done (including this post), I wish he were here.

And even the stuff that we have done this weekend, I cannot remember.  I remember that Saturday I wanted to post some stuff about some funny things that happened on Friday, but that I have now forgotten.  It has all merged into a blur that is both long and short, as good times are supposed to be.  But, perhaps, if I go backwards, I will remember more……

Last night we went to Al&R’s place for dinner.  There were 8 of us in total.  After dinner we played parlour games – well charades based on films.  They gave me two ‘easy’ ones to do as, obviously, all the films were in Italian and some were Italian or other foreign films that I would not know.  One was Gli Abbracci Spezzati – Broken Embraces, more of which later.  To be honest they were very kind as it was easy and we had already talked about it over dinner.

And, then, we had to do a turn – singing, dancing or acting.  This kind of stuff has always scared the shit out of me.  I have acted on stage quite a few times and, from what people have said over the years, I have a great voice for doing monologues and the like, but, as always in these situations, I remember nothing; can think of nothing to do.

In the end I sang to a version of Anyone Who had A Heart – and, whether through kindness or not (but probably kindness), came joint first (everyone having given points out of 10 for the performance).  I think F was proud of me.  He seems to treat me as if I am something very special sometimes, especially with his friends.  And for that, amongst many other reasons, I love him.

Before that we had been to order furniture for him and a wardrobe for me.  The problem was that some of the furniture for him won’t be delivered until late January, when he is in his busy period for work, working 14-hour days with, maybe, only one day off per week.  Still, I have offered to take time off work and be there for the delivery and assembly of said furniture.

Even if I would much rather we were going to be looking at something together, to live together, the new place is only 5 minutes from my place and, so, is a great improvement on the existing situation.  But now it seems likely that he won’t be able to move there before Christmas and S returns early in the New Year.  Obviously he knows that he can stay with me and it may yet happen and for me that would absolutely perfect – even if it is only for a few weeks.  A trial period of living together would be just what we needed I think.  Let’s see what happens.

Sunday was a quiet day of doing nothing.  Saturday night was at his place and so Sunday was breakfast at the bakery/café as normal.  Then doing very little, except I did take the dogs out for a long walk – although had no time for anything else.  And then we went to see Gli Abbracci Spezzati.  A Spanish film from Pedro Almadòvar.  One that F wanted to see, particularly.  He had avoided seeing it because of me and he worries that I won’t understand which is sweet and thoughtful.  I keep telling him not to worry and that he should just go ahead and I will be fine.  Which I was.  F2 (A’s girlfriend) came with us and we met up with A afterwards and went for a pizza.  It was a lovely evening and what followed that was passionate and intense and truly wonderful.

And, Saturday, was just at home all day and into the evening.  A day of being together.  And he made some sort of courgette quiche thing for me and I made trifle for him.  And we had wine and sat and talked and just ‘were’.

And Friday night, too, after work.  And that’s when some funny things happened and were said that I was going to blog about but now I have forgotten.

And we have talked.  We talked about a friend of mine who cannot trust the man she loved – which led on to the talk about trust in general and he said that you shouldn’t (couldn’t?) trust anyone.  And later yesterday I told him that, whether it was right or wrong, I trusted him, completely because that is the way I am and because I can’t have a relationship where I don’t trust the man I’m with and he laughed and said that when he had said that you shouldn’t trust anyone, that didn’t include him.  And I knew that anyway.

And we talked about sex.  And how it all changed for him last summer and it became something less important and, almost, boring.  And I understood although I explained that he makes me more like some sort of animal and that I can’t get enough of him, in any way, including sex and I explained why I got out of bed at 6.30 a.m. on Monday morning – because I knew that I would be unable to leave him alone and that it would annoy him and I got out and had a cigarette and played some games on my phone.

And he turns me on in ways that I cannot explain because there are some things that turn me on and yet I had always thought they wouldn’t.

Now, I write this as I clean the flat for he decided to come back here tonight.  His decision completely.  I had assumed (and had said so) that I would be at his place, tomorrow being work and everything.  But he decided he would come here.  And so, with the place nearly as clean as I can get it and with some clothes to sort out, I look forward to seeing him again.

>No, I ache to see him again, even if it was only a few hours since I last saw him.

The story that cannot be shared

I really don’t know how to explain this but I’m going to try.

Last night we went to a concert given by Ornella Vanone.  The problem is that, if you’re not Italian or lived here for a long time, you may not even know who she is.  Until a few weeks ago, I certainly didn’t.

She is, I understand, in her mid-seventies.  She has a good voice and sings love songs that, according to FfI are almost all about saying goodbye to a love and saying that she’ll wait for them to return.  All heart-rending stuff.

It was a good concert.  My first time at Blue Note which, as it is a jazz club, I had thought would be rather sleazy.  As it turned out it was rather nice.  Almost quite posh.

Ornella is Italian (from Milan, I think) and sings with a slightly husky voice.  A nice voice.  Not really anything that special but nice.  Of course, I don’t understand the words and, when she’s speaking, either because she’s old, or drunk (someone said she drinks a lot) or just because she’s playing to a Milan audience, her Italian is difficult to understand for me and she speaks very fast.  OK so I get some of it but not really enough.

F keeps asking if I understand.  I don’t want him to translate everything, not least because it will get so annoying for him.

But, with some songs, he goes really quiet, whilst on the other side of me, FfI is wiping away tears.  And this is the bit I want to try and explain.

Even if I could understand her words, her songs to their fullest, I’m not sure I would be so moved by them.  There’s a history that I cannot share.  Cannot even hope to share.  There’s a story behind all these songs, a story that’s different for everyone.  But, of course, that’s normal.

What I’m trying to explain (badly) is that, whereas, if I was with people from the UK or, even the USA, there would be a common, shared history to the singer.  I mean, if I was in the UK, and with someone from the UK and we were to watch someone like, say, Shirley Bassey, then, even if she’s not my favourite singer, we would all know something about her, about her history in the country, about some of her hits, about her love-life or private life or things like that.  It makes her a ‘real’ person and a person who can be ‘shared’ by you and those around you.

Whereas, here, I could not share it, could not be part of it.  I wanted to be part of it but, unless I were to read all about her, study her and her music, put each song into the setting of the time, I cannot be a part of this.  It is a history beyond my capability to perceive, to live, to have.

And to me this was striking and difficult to determine how I should feel about it.  On the one hand, it’s not important, of course.  On the other, it is a part of F that I cannot share.  I don’t mean the past, for, of course, the past is gone and neither of us can share our pasts with each other; only recount stories but never relive them.  No, this is also the future.  For the future or (in the case of the concert) the present, has a part of the past that is beyond either of us to share with each other.

We (F & I) are supposed to be going to see Joan Armatrading next year.  Being my favourite singer, it is important to me.  Her songs hold special meaning for me.  I know most of the words to the songs; can sing them with correct inflection, breathing, etc.  But, if we go, F, although with me, cannot be with me during certain songs.  Cannot be in my head or fully understand nor appreciate the meaning and the subtlety of each word.

It was a good concert.  Probably, if I had grown up knowing her, her songs, the history, I would have said ‘great’.  But I cannot say that.  I don’t know if it was great.  Was she always like this or was this substandard?  How the hell would I know?

What I do know is that it was good and that, being with F was all that really mattered.  As he held my hand or kissed me or lay (just for a moment) his head on my shoulder, it felt good and right and perfect.  And all I wanted to do was hug him whilst this (to my perception) slightly mad (and mad-looking) old lady, moved around the stage, drunkenly or unsteadily or maybe she’s always like this, singing songs about love or about the end of love, with a voice that reminded me of how, probably, Shirley Bassey is, now, in concert.

And, in my heart, so full of love for F, there was an ache for the ‘missing’ part; the part of me that is outside his experience and a part of him outside mine; a part that cannot be shared for, in a final way, we are, in fact, from a different culture, with a different history and in spite of anything that we may build together, a future of shared experiences, loves, hates, friends and enemies, there will always be this ‘missing’ history, the story that cannot be shared.