I’m fucking done with bullshit!

I'm fucking done with bullshit

I’m afraid this is going to be a bit of a rant. I’m also unhappily saying that it’s all my fault as I should have known what I was doing. But I forgot or ignored my base instincts and did something really stupid and, for sure, now I will pay for it – in several ways, just like I did before.

Before. For almost 21 years. V (my previous partner) was lovely. He was kind (well, as long as he wanted to be), fun, entertaining, engaging, etc.

He had one major flaw. Or, rather 2. The first was money. I used to joke about it saying that it burned a hole in his pocket. He would get cash and then spend it almost within seconds. And then he would run into debt and, more than once, I would have to bail him out.

The second thing though was far worse. It was the lying. I mean to say, he lied (or told half-truths, white lies) all the time. But, when it came to money, they often became full-blown lies. I got used to it and I could read the signs. Most of the time, I knew the real reason for something – being that he had no money or had a debt with someone, etc. His “trick” to get out of the “problem” was to start by lying and then, eventually, to run away. To hide from people and things as if hiding would, somehow, fix everything. The lying, though, was the very worst of it. And, as I’ve said before, the thing I hate/hated the most.

And, now there’s FfI. I’ve always known she was crap with money and, very much like V, would borrow money from people and, sometimes, never pay it back. But, whereas it might have been slightly delayed in the past, I always did get the money ….. eventually.

So I was in a situation where I needed to “use” her company. I made sure that she would be well “compensated” and, as it was through her business entity, I thought it would be better – after all, running a business is a different thing, isn’t it?

I did have slight misgivings, of course, based on her past dealings with money and the fact that she has always been the female version of V. But she had a proper accountant for the business and so, I thought, it would be OK. She had a separate business bank account, so that would be OK.

Of course, my initial misgivings should have been enough. Plus, after agreeing to it, she sent me a couple of private invoices that she was struggling to sort out. She had invoiced incorrectly and, seeing the comments from her customers, I understood how to fix them – but I could see that she was completely clueless. Much like V used to be. I fixed them for her but continued with our “business” anyway. Stupid, stupid me!

So, the first couple of transactions went OK and I felt more relaxed. The last transaction, however, didn’t go so well. Her accountant raised an invoice but really late. Then it was paid. By now she had this “potential husband” so was jetting off everywhere with him. I knew I would have to wait for the money. Several times she asked me how much it was.

But the new “potential husband” was keeping her away. But it was all going to be perfect. She would live in Australia or Hong Kong and they would buy a flat in Milan. Except, she finally got home and it was all over. Apparently, it wasn’t all going to be perfect. And she needed work, she told me. Of course, that wasn’t helped by the fact that she had spent most of the last couple of months away – in Ibiza or the mountains in Piedmont or anywhere except Milan – so she had lost out on work and now, it being June/July, there IS no teaching work.

Then I was told that her accountant had stripped her account (including my money) because she “didn’t realise she had signed some papers at the beginning allowing her to do that”! As I said, the private invoices should have been enough to warn me that, when it comes to business, she is total crap. So she tells me she is sacking the accountant and closing the business (not such an easy thing to do here, in Italy, which was why she managed to get the business in the first place for free – the person who’s business it was, didn’t want to pay anything and so convinced her to “take it from her for free!”)

But don’t worry, she says, I will get paid on 1st July and will “pay you then”. Having not heard from her in almost 2 weeks, I was genuinely concerned that all was not well. So phoned (no answer) and then emailed to check she was OK. He phone was “broken”, she said. I phoned again. She was rushing around to lessons, she said. I will get paid on the 10th, she said. And I’ll “pay you then”, she said. Let’s meet up at the weekend, she said. Call me, she said, as my “phone is broken”, she said.

By this time, I realised that “my phone is broken” meant that she didn’t even have the money to recharge her phone. This has happened before so it’s the usual trick. And, if she can’t even recharge her phone, then things are really bad. No money for anything. Let alone paying debts or rent, etc.

So, I thought, OK, let’s wait until Monday but, she wanted me to call over the weekend, “even if just for a coffee”. On Saturday, I telephoned twice but got no reply. I emailed to say I had tried. I thought, OK, she’s now avoiding me because it means difficult questions must be answered.

Last night I heard what seemed like a crash in another room (as if something had fallen down) and Dino was crying. I was worried something had fallen on him so sat bolt upright and got up. He was fine and I couldn’t see anything had fallen so guessed he had been trying to get up and, with his bad hips, struggled as usual (hence the crying) and had possibly been scraping the floor or wall with his paws in his effort to get up (which could have sounded a little like a crash of something.)

I use my telephone to light the way. I notice there is an email from FfI. Stupidly, I have a look.

Her phone is still “broken” (no money to recharge) and now she has “no internet” because she is in the mountains (escaped from Milan (or she says so and it’s not true) to her friend’s place miles from anywhere) and, can I call her after 11.30.

The fucking nerve! But it keeps me awake. For a couple of hours. I am so angry. I am angry with her for the bullshit lies. I am angry with myself for trusting her for a moment. Never again! This is the last time, I tell myself.

And, you know what? No, I won’t fucking call you. Maybe I’ll email you to tell you to call me “when you have the fucking money to fucking recharge your fucking phone”.

And, then all I could think of was she was, in essence, a female V. As unreliable and full of bullshit as he was. But I got rid of V and I should get rid of her. Or, at least, never put myself in a position where she owes me money.

Although I won’t call, I won’t send an email either. I’ll say that I have been just far too busy. That I meant to phone but it’s all been completely crazy and I completely forgot. Or something. I’ll wait for her to call me. And as for something that, by virtue of the stuff I did for which she now owes me, we were supposed to do together in September, fuck that! Unless she pays me in advance. There again, I’ll just make up excuses. But I really don’t want to be in business with her ever again. You’d have thought I’d have learned by now, eh? 21 years with V was obviously NOT enough. I am really, really stupid.

And, have I lost the money? Possibly. I’m expecting something like “I can’t pay all of it but here’s €50 and I’ll get the rest to you as soon as I can”. And, maybe I’ll get it in October? Or I won’t get it ‘cos something else has “come up” that she didn’t realise. I’m just expecting bullshit.

And, I’m fucking done with bullshit.

Not first, last nor everything

Not first last nor everything

2nd June is a national holiday here.

It is also the date that I met V all those years ago. Of course, I don’t forget that. He remains a significant part of my life even if a “past” part.

But as the years go on and my relationship with F becomes fuller with memories that we have of our own, the date itself becomes less important (although it will always remain significant.)

During my trip back to Milan I had several calls and texts. I don’t answer them as I am driving and really don’t want to be distracted when I’m hurtling along the motorway!

So I looked when I got back home.

And one of them was from V.

Obviously from an English phone. But it’s too strange. The things that are written are as if we are still together. Except one sentence:

I hope you feel comfortable to think of me and us on this very special day

Well, yes, of course I’m comfortable. I had already thought of it, of you – but it’s memories now and not the here and now. Here and now I’m on the beach, soaking up the sun. This is my life now.

One thing was a bit unfortunate although it may have been a slip of the fingers on the keyboard – he said it was 28 years ago – whereas, in fact, it was 27. I couldn’t resist pointing that out. Was that bad of me?

But, anyway, I’m afraid I can’t reply in the same way as he wrote. I told the truth which is that I don’t forget and am grateful I met him 27 years ago. For, as I’ve said before, I wouldn’t be here now without him. I wouldn’t have been lying on a beach on the Tuscan coast if it weren’t for him. But, I’m afraid he’s not “my first, my last, my everything” as he put. He was but now he isn’t.

And, anyway, given his modus operandi, the stuff he writes or says aren’t always exactly the truth. And if it is the truth, this becomes lopsided relationship since it isn’t reciprocated. It’s not that I don’t wish him well, nor that I don’t have love for him, it’s just that he isn’t my everything (nor even my first or last).

He’s someone who was a big part of my life and because of whom I am here, with F and for that reason he remains a part of my life. But only a part.

Life threads – so frail?

This was a draft post from March of this year. I don’t know why it wasn’t posted and, maybe I meant to say more. But I think it stands anyway. So, here it is.

As my regular readers know, a lot of the stuff I post is stuff in my head which bears no resemblance to what I actually do or say nor to what people who don’t read this blog think that I’m thinking. Nor, sometimes, to reality.

For the stuff in my head is intangible and floats and changes depending on the crap that I may be thinking about at the time.

And so, this morning, I wake up with that feeling of dread. Again.

There’s no reason for it. Or, rather, there are reasons but they aren’t real … yet and, quite possibly will never be real. They are, of course, my “nightmares” of the waking hours – as opposed to my nightmares when I am asleep, of which I’ve had plenty just over the last few days. Not the same. All different.

So, this feeling of dread. It’s as if something bad is just about to happen. Like I’m on a knife-edge of a reality where everything starts to go horribly wrong. And, yet, nothing has gone wrong so far.

But the feeling persists. Maybe it’s the recent incidents involving V? After all, the fall from who he was to what he is now (as far as I can tell) spans less than 6 years. Can a normal, ordinary life have so short a thread that is can become unwound in such a short time? Well, yes, of course. And I’ve known that for such a long time too. I remember teaching a guy on a programme called Restart – a government funded programme to get unemployed people into work.

This guy told me how he’s had a good job, wife kids, house, etc. And within a couple of years lost it all simply by being made redundant. He’s been a roadsweeper at one point and told me of having people spit at him. He was a decent guy who wanted to work but then, all those years ago, by the time you were over 50 you were considered “past it” (I was about 25 at the time and I was teaching people how to rewrite their CV, write letters, etc.)

And, of course, from that point it’s not far to be one of those people without a home, no prospect of any type of job and sleeping on the street.

I loved you for a bit and then I didn’t

I loved you for a bit and then I didn't

I wondered if I’d get anything.

My guess is that, by now, any credit he had on his Italian phone would be gone and, so, I thought it was unlikely that I would be able to get hold of him. I mean, directly of course. I could phone his mum or dad and ask to speak to him.

Anyway, he didn’t forget my birthday and, as usual, I get a text from him, wishing me a happy birthday and, as usual, expressing undying love for me. It’s unfortunate that, with all the lies over the years, I am completely unmoved by this.

He also tells me that he’s “in England at the moment.”

Of course, I already know this. Except that I know it’s not really “at the moment” but for good.

I know that an excuse will be forthcoming, eventually, so I think that we might as well get it over and done with and ask, in my reply, if everything’s OK. Are his mum and dad OK?

This would give him the opportunity to come up with the excuse. The one I’m thinking of is that he has “gone home to look after them.”

Instead, he ignores the question but send me this video to watch:

Ellie Goulding – How Long Will I Love You.

Of course, the answer to that was about 18-19 years, I guess. I so want to reply that – but it wouldn’t be nice, so instead I say thank you.

I suppose that Ay hasn’t told him what I know. If she calls me later, I will ask. Just to make sure. She and I need to stay on the same page with this, of course.

I’ll accept his reasons, whatever they will be. It’s not like I want to trip him up. I don’t hate him after all. It’s just a bit sad.

Plus that he really did love me but only for a period of time. And, then, he didn’t love me any more!

The recurring teddy bears

Recurring Teddy Bears

He had died, apparently.

His dad said something to me about “not wanting to bother me” or somesuch thing. I cried. It felt wrong that they hadn’t told me. I was upset, for sure.

Earlier, we’d been watching a film. It was a cross between a thriller and a horror movie.

There had been a teddy bear which something embroidered into it. I asked F what it had been on the teddy. He told me it was an “M” (or was it “em”?) When it had been seen, everyone’s eyes went pink, including the teddy bear’s!

Some kids were playing in their room. It reminded me of Peter Pan. Four kids of different ages, jumping on the beds as if on trampolines. It could have been on stage. It may have been on stage – the camera angle being from below and to the front of them – as if outside the room – there was no wall or it was as if the wall wasn’t there being the front of the stage.

Their mother called them for tea. They ran off. The teddy bear was on the floor, near the nightstand, in front of the nightstand and had a sting of pearls around it or, at least, a necklace with beads. It was dark in that particular corner. A hand reached out from under the bedside table and pulled the teddy bear back underneath, breaking the necklace and, so scattering the beads/pearls over the floor. They rolled around noisily.

I got up to go to the bathroom. I asked F if, in fact, I had asked him this question. He said “No.” It had been a dream that I was awake and half-watching the film whereas, in fact, I was asleep and, most probably, fitting the dream to the sounds of the film.

And, then, later. When he died.

And I don’t quite remember whether it was afterwards (after I had got up to go to the bathroom again) or during the dream that I had had the keys to the flat given to me because that was what he had wanted. And I remember the special teddy bear I had bought him years ago – a limited, numbered edition, with wire-rim spectacles and a rolled up certificate. It had been sitting on the small, child’s chair in the hallway. And I didn’t even, at the time, have any reason to look and less to remember and, yet, I did and had remembered.

And was it during the dream or after I had woken that I was torn between wanting to be the beneficiary of the will and wanting to wash my hands of everything because being a beneficiary was also being responsible for all the shit he had left behind.

In any event, I was upset and I cried more than once (but that was definitely in the dream.)

And, for certain, when I was awake, I didn’t want it to happen – to have happened. For all sorts of reasons.

And, I wonder, when will I be able to shake him (and the problems and issues he brings) out of my life?

I don’t know if I really did wake so many times to go to the bathroom or I dreamt it. These were just two of the dreams I had last night. There were others but I don’t remember them.

Nuggets of truth. Perhaps?

Nuggets of truth.  Perhaps?

There is some truth, of course, although that’s not always guaranteed.

But only a small amount. The story I know will not, almost certainly, be the one I will hear. I know that already. I don’t know when I will hear the story directly but I know that, at some time it will come, when we eventually meet.

Of course, I don’t really care about the story I will be told for already I know a truth (but not THE truth for that, I suspect, will never be really known) and, therefore, I know the story to be told will be, to all intents and purposes, fictitious. But when I get told that story, I will accept it and not ask probing questions to trip him up. What purpose could that possibly serve?

The story I will be told will be something like: I had to come back to look after Mum and Dad.

That bit, of course, is not even slightly true and that’s not the bit that will contain any small bits of truth. The small bits of truth will be in the detail of the story told to me.

Of course, there is a long way to go before that story gets told to me, so anything may happen in the meantime.

But it makes me a little sad. As I mentioned, I have been reading up on my old posts, checking links and making sure they aren’t corrupted with strange characters. I’m up to the point where I have been a few weeks in the perfect-flat-in-the-perfect-street. And the major thing that I have been reading about is the lying that was done before that. And, so, the story will be a fabrication of lies and, as that was the reason we split in the first place, I am sad that it (the lying) will be continuing.

But I have become like everyone else in his view. Or maybe it was always so and I was just too dumb or stupid or blind or blinded by love that I missed all the signs that were slapped in my face.

But, let’s move on to the story I know, which contains more truth than the story I will get but also huge omissions that I will never (nor will anyone else) know.

Ay and her boyfriend, E, were over.

We went out for one dinner. F didn’t go away so he was there too. It was lovely.

But Ay and I gossiped, of course. Gossiped about the “family” – not mine but hers (and, yet, in some way, one of my families too). Which, of course, makes it also V’s. And, it couldn’t be helped but we gossiped about V. Or, rather, she gossiped about V and I listened.

It seems, now he’s there, that he hasn’t told anyone what really happened. We talked about the strange telephone call from her grandfather (where he said he had missed a call from me even though I never made the call.) I told her why I thought he had made the call. 1. Because V was there and really wanted to talk to me or 2. Because V had told him things and he was checking I was OK and not “caught up” in trouble because of V.

She told me that, almost certainly, those reasons were wrong. He would have rung because he had had nothing from V and needed an excuse to talk to me with the hope that I would “spill some beans”. But, in any case, I have very few beans to spill. Or, rather, I had very few factual beans – the beans I have being pieced together and some of which are “supposed” beans.

It seems he is acting like the prodigal son. He has no money, has no job, etc., but is happy to live and be fed and looked after by his parents. It seems that his other sister, P, is helping him to get benefit money and the “plan” is to declare that he is there to provide full-time care for his parents.

Ay and her mum are not particularly impressed since, for all the years so far, he has provided nothing in terms of help – of any kind, while they have – and not been asking for any benefit money either.

Still, it remains to be seen if he will get any money for this. With the crackdown on “benefit scroungers” in the UK, I’m sure they will want to make an assessment of the parents – and that won’t be comfortable for anyone!

But, more than that, it seems a shame that someone who, at one time, had a promise and future, will never realise any of that potential. On the cusp of half a century, instead of forging ahead he will find himself trapped in this spiral of requiring hand-outs.

I had written during some posts at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 of how, I wondered, he would cope without me. In fact, he has and is “coping” but not in the way that I had imagined nor in a way that would suit me. Nor, I imagine, in his heart of hearts, is it what he envisaged for himself.

And so, I wait to hear the story that he will concoct to give to me. And, of course, whatever I hear, I already know will be mainly a fantasy.

Which is the greatest shame. It could have been so different but I do not feel responsible. I am not responsible. He has “achieved” this all by himself. Still, it makes me sad.

Is there no escape?

I had a post from someone on Facebook.

In fact, this woman isn’t the sharpest knife in the box so, in fact, I had the same post about 6 times in about 6 seconds!

“Could you call me Please xx”

She remains a Facebook friend for reasons that are unfathomable, even to me. I was never really her friend. Nor that of her husband. These were colleagues of V’s. They also thought that he was a friend of theirs which I knew was really false but it’s not for me to tell other people what they should think. Anyway, I’ve found that people don’t really understand (him or the way he works).

Just like when I told my friends that my father was a real bastard. They used to think he was so charming.

And, now, at this moment, I wonder if that’s why I was with V for so long? They both hid their real personalities so very well. Except that I know my father was a real bastard whereas V is a nice guy really – you just mustn’t take anything he says too seriously for it may or may not have elements of truth in it.

Anyway, immediately my heart sank. Usually, she is drunk when she talks to me. Or seems drunk. I’ve seen her drunk a few times. And she gets quite maudlin when she’s drunk. And goes on and on.
Before I had time to react (apart from the sinking heart) she was phoning me.

I debated whether to answer or not but decided to anyway. I knew what this conversation was going to be about. V is set to haunt me even if he has left the country.

There was a cursory “How are you?” followed by a quick, “I hope you don’t mind me phoning.”

Let’s get on with it – I thought. And she did.

“Do you know where V is?” she asks me. Is she drunk? I can’t quite tell. But I know she has a serious problem with alcohol.

“Yes,” I reply. I mean, why wouldn’t I tell the truth? I then think that perhaps I should not have said this. I think about the fact that she might ask for contact details. But I decide that I’m not giving contact details to anyone. It’s not my business and I refuse to get drawn in ………..

Except that, by saying I know where he is, already draws me in, doesn’t it?

Oh, well.

She asks me where he is and I tell her (in general terms).

She calls him a bastard and I understand why she would. V was always borrowing money from her husband (who had/will have plenty of money because his parents are very, very rich.) I would have put money on it that he owed M some money, if you see what I mean. And I would have won that bet, it seems.

Then she told me other things. I was right about the money – €3K. Plus, he had taken advance payment from a private student which, quite obviously, he will never be able to do lessons for – unless they travel to the UK. Also, she is worried about the fact that she recommended him for the “school” in which she teaches and for which, until 3 weeks ago, V also taught. It’s a big thing here, if you recommend someone for a job. It’s a big minus against you if they “fuck up”. And, of course, V had not given any notice so the first the school knew was when he didn’t turn up for his lesson (on the Monday, I guess.)

“And what about his flat?” she asks.

I explain that he appears to have abandoned everything – flat, job, life and, most importantly, debt and “done a runner.”

I give her a brief summary of what happened. Leaving out certain details – like the fact that I had bought some things from him and had seen him a few times, etc., etc.

She informs me that, unbeknown to me, a lot of things in the flat are actually theirs (or rather her husband’s) in that they bought him the fridge (and, I guess, the kitchen, the TV system, etc., etc.) – all things that he implied to me that either he had bought or had been donated by his then-boyfriend.
Seems it ain’t so (but I am shocked that I am even really surprised – and in a way, I’m not!)

I did say that there were also a lot of things of mine in there (in that I had bought and paid for almost everything he took/I gave him when we split) that I couldn’t get. I added that, as far as I was concerned, I had already let go of the stuff over 5 years ago and so there was no point worrying about it. I didn’t add that I had paid for some things and got them before he left.

She said that her husband had said the same thing. She said that they had even paid his electricity bill (but obviously not the most recent bills?) She said that she met him for lunch in January which he said he would pay for but then his card “didn’t work” and so she paid. Even she realized that, with V, that was the way it was.

She had been trying to phone him for the last 3 weeks or more but he didn’t answer and now the result was that the “person you’re phoning isn’t available”. She called him a bastard again. I suppose she had justification but, despite myself, I felt a little sorry for him. After all, he was always like this. I caught myself thinking that it was their fault, really. They are adults and should have really known better.

But, like my father, he oozes charm and fun and, yes, love, when he wants to (well, a kind of love). He hides his true self and, it seems, got much better after we split. Or, perhaps, he had been honing those skills whilst with me. Maybe I was good to practice on.

And, yet, I “gave” money to him in the final weeks – although I’m grateful I got what I did.
I tell her that I think it’s unlikely that she will ever see the money, things or, in fact, V again. She agrees.

She then wants to agree to meet up for an aperitivo. I agree, though my heart isn’t in it. They aren’t really “my sort of people” and he is incredibly boring, whilst she is a drunk. And also a bit boring. And also she keeps calling everyone “lovey” which I truly hate. I explain how lovely that would be but to bear in mind that I am very, very busy right now with hardly an evening free – which is also true.
We don’t set a date but she says “Keep in touch.”

We finish the call. I feel uncomfortable again. It’s not as if I want or need to protect him in any way. But, still, it’s only a matter of time before someone asks me to give them contact details. Which I won’t. But, still, refusal is not really good. It won’t make me happy but it will be necessary.
I suppose I should be grateful that I got lumbered with so little by his leaving so abruptly and, certainly, without him “owing” me so much. I do feel a bit sorry for his “victims” but, once again, they are adults and such is life.

I’m also quite grateful that I have stifled the urge to find out more from his family. I’ll get to know soon enough but I don’t want to pry. And, yet, I really want to know – but this feeling will pass. Anyway, some things are better not known, I think. Particularly when it comes to V.

Horror and frighteners, part II

What is true?

I no longer know.

So, I arrive back from the funeral, tired, sitting with J whilst she makes me mugs of tea, chatting. Everything is OK but, you know, the funeral and F and all. I’ve left him there and I feel a bit guilty but I know it had to be done.

And then I get a text. It’s about 4.30. It would seem innocuous but ………

“….Can you recommend any hotels around Milan where we can stay when we come over in April?”

And I realise that to write down the horror and shock that I felt is nigh impossible. I don’t know if I can impart to you how I feel (felt), since I know that something is very, very wrong.

The person (not the person who sent the message) implied in the message still, when he contacts me or when I hear things about him, creates some kind of pit in my stomach. This pit whirls and twists and it seems as if my innards are being sucked in and twisted around. I can be nervous. I can be angry. I can be worried (for both myself and him and, sometimes, everyone around). As I read the text I am all of these things. This is continuation of recent events, for sure.

I text back to ask what has happened. Apparently, he’s been “acting strange and desperate for the last couple of months” and today he rang and “something’s not right and I don’t feel comfortable staying there.”

Even with me, he’s been acting strange. But, then, when I saw him last Sunday to do the final “collection”, he seemed fine and happy – although, as usual, there were some strange things. The place had been a tip. I convinced myself that it was because he was “moving” but even then I knew that not to be true. The electricity had been cut off. He explained that it had been done by mistake – but, still, it was weird. And then there were the things that he was trying to sell to me that he could have taken to the new place – they didn’t take up any room. But, I know I don’t know the truth – just what he wants me to know. But I thought it was all done and dusted after Monday. It seems not.

I call her. I want to find out what’s going on, even if there’s a part of me that really doesn’t want to know or get involved. But, of course, I can’t NOT get involved. I imagine terrible things. I imagine him committing suicide; being homeless; being in prison.

There have, it seems, been a number of calls over the last couple of months begging for money. £500 first. Then £2000. Nobody has that kind of money to give him. I explain the selling of stuff and the amount he’s had from me over the last couple of weeks. Now the suddenness makes so much more sense. Plus the offer of things that didn’t make sense, for moving into a smaller place wouldn’t necessitate the selling of small things that were his “pride and joy”.

She knows drugs could be involved. When she was there last time, she found the paraphernalia for drugs and every evening different people would come round and he would lock himself (and them) away in his bedroom and she may not see him again. Sometimes, they would order take-away pizza, sometimes not.

I told her what he had told me. I told her he had shown me pictures of the new flat. She replied that he was a liar. Which I knew. But, still ……

He had phoned her mum, in tears, requesting money and telling her that “they” were going to kill him.

Before, he had phoned his mum, crying and saying that he didn’t “want to die here.”

We speculate a bit on what could have happened. Maybe people were chasing him, threatening him? Maybe, he really WAS in danger. Probably he owed people money. That was certainly normal. I tried to reconcile the phone calls he had made with the person I saw, very briefly, only 4 days before when he came to collect the last of the money. I gave it to him and said that I couldn’t stop as I was having a lesson. This was true. Even the previous Sunday, he seemed happy and normal (for him) and we had chatted for a couple of hours.

But this changes everything. How difficult it must have been to keep up the pretence of everything being OK whilst, in reality, it wasn’t? Unless, of course, this too is a lie. And we both agree that we will never know the truth.

I have several thoughts whilst we’re talking. 1. Damn, I should have taken more stuff. 2. This might mean all sorts of trouble for me. 3. I hope he’s OK. 4. I was at his place a couple of times over the last couple of weeks – what if the people chasing him (if, in fact, there are people chasing him) trace me?

There is a fear in me that I haven’t had for a long time. For about 6 years, to be precise. Although there were some moments after that.

I tell her how much money he’s had from me. It doesn’t make sense. Effectively, I gave him enough. Perhaps, by then, no amount was enough? Still, it’s enough to get back to the UK, for certain. So why the last call begging for money so he can get home?

I feel a bit guilty too. I could have “bought” more. I was very careful to let him think that I was using all the money I had. I’ve been burnt too many times in the past. But I could have given him more. But another part of me is glad that I didn’t and is slightly miffed that I gave him any at all! Effectively, I’ve bought my stuff back and bought him a ticket – if that’s what he’s doing.

After we finish talking, I get a text. He said he was going to miss his flight and now they can’t get hold of him.

I imagine him lying in a pool of blood somewhere down a backstreet in Milan. Would I ever know? Would the police come knocking at my door? Would some drug dealers or a “Mafia” come knocking at my door? Would HE come knocking at my door?

I really don’t know what would be worse! But I don’t want him to come to any harm. I definitely would feel terrible if he were killed or seriously injured. I would always feel I could have done more.

But, then again, I really don’t want to be involved. This world he now inhabits is not my world.

I am so fearful of all the things above and I am starting to panic a bit. Where will this lead?

I decide that if he did come knocking, I’d take him to the airport and put him on a flight back to the UK. He shouldn’t be my problem any more.

I suggest that perhaps they can’t get hold of him because he’s already in the air?

Later, I get a text to say that he caught a flight to Bristol. Later still, that his sister collected him from the airport and they got back to Birmingham about 4 a.m.

I want to text him to ask if there’s anything I can do here. But I don’t want to do that. I can’t do that. I can’t get mixed up in any crap that he has created in the last 6 years. For this, all this, whatever it is, is all down to him. This was not “our” life. This is the life he has made for himself after I said that our life together was finished and done. He is no longer the person I knew. I don’t mix with people like this. I don’t know their world nor understand their life.

At about 4 a.m. (about the time that he had arrived in Birmingham, as I learnt later), I wake up and start worrying about what happened to him here. I start worrying if the “people” will find him there? I think about the fact that I could have done more. I think about him running around the streets of Milan, running from people who have no good intent toward him.

I am also annoyed with him that he wasn’t even a tiny bit truthful with me, even these last two weeks. I am annoyed with him that he has fucked it all up in such a short time. Did he learn nothing from all our time together? It seems, no.

I wish F were here for then I wouldn’t worry, nor be angry, nor negative. F takes away all these things just by being here.

But I know all this will fade and, probably soon but, at this moment, at this time, I am in the middle of some horror film, some thriller where the outcome will be bad for all those involved.

Anyway, as I write this, he is back there. Of course, if any of this is true, he won’t ever be able to come back here. He may even have to look over his shoulder there for a long time, if not, for ever!

I know I haven’t explained this very well. We’re a few days later and the abject horror has subsided as I get on with my (very ordinary) life. The fear lessens as the hours and days move further from that text. I’m kind of glad that F wasn’t here. I probably won’t tell him. Maybe. I don’t know. For sure, that part of my life has an almost closed door now, which is undoubtedly for the best. He’s no longer “just round the corner” and I don’t have to be concerned that I can be dragged into something in the future. Probably, when we next meet (for that time will come), I will get some strange and totally false story. But, you know, I don’t actually care. After all, from 6 years ago, it’s like we’ve been on roads that are going in opposite directions.

He will always have a place in my heart for he is a lovely guy – as long as you don’t scratch at the surface. And that’s almost what I saw the last time I was with him. This nice, friendly, happy guy, making a life for himself. Even if the truth, the underbelly, was not like this at all.

I’m sad that he couldn’t tell me. And relieved that I didn’t know. For what would I have done if I had known anyway?

Getting my stuff back

I was apprehensive.

The text messages had been weird. Too familiar, too intimate. It had given me unease. I concentrated on the body of the text. We agreed on prices. Then there was a sudden “Can you give me some money in advance.” I see that nothing has changed. And, of course, I know very well how people, in general, are “dealt with” and so I know the tone really means nothing. It all is, after all, a great big lie.

Still, I have this strange feeling of unease as if, any moment now, I’m going to be hit with some information that I really won’t like. It shouldn’t affect me but I’m wary in case, in some way, it does. In my head, the answer is “no” to any question regarding loans.

As usual, I’m asking “Why?” Of course, on the surface, it’s plain and simple but my experience tells me that nothing is quite as it appears. He’s not doing this as a favour for me, how ever prettily it’s all wrapped up; nor is it in memory of “us”. I don’t believe that one for a second. Still, it’s odd.

I had a text the night before confirming everything but saying that he had “no electricity” to recharge the batteries on his phone as the electricity has been cut off. The story of this is both funny and ironic. Apparently. I suspect it’s neither funny nor ironic. I’m not even sure if he understands the word ironic. He’ll tell me tomorrow, apparently.

The day dawns and I find myself nervous. I’m nervous, in part, because I’m wondering how I’ll feel seeing the things that, in the main, I bought, being “left” or “thrown away” or “sold” (if he can find a buyer which, at such short notice is hardly likely). Will I feel sad? Will I feel some draw? In spite of myself. I’m also worried that I will be hit with some information which leads to a request where I will have to say “no”.

I’m nervous about the dinner service that I will be getting. Maybe F won’t like it with his “minimalist” approach. Ah well, it can always go down to the cellar. I shall have it anyway. And the chair. And the cocktail cabinet. The rest I’ve said “no” to. After all, where would we put it? Come to think of it, where will we even put the cocktail cabinet? Another for the cellar? These things I only left behind with some sadness. I guess, the difference would be that it wasn’t because they were “us” but because of the few things I have left from the UK, they were things that I really liked.

I had people over for dinner the previous night. Take-away Indian. Just for a change. There was FfI, FfC and L. I told them about the exchange of emails and the agreement we had reached. They weren’t happy. I got the feeling that they didn’t trust me. Or him? FfI reminded me of a comment he made all those years ago of “I could get him back any time I want.” He wasn’t right then and is certainly not right now. But my friends are worried.

“Have you told F?”, I am asked. I haven’t. Their question is heavy with alternate meanings. I do understand but they don’t apply. And, yet, my friends are incredulous that I haven’t mentioned it. I haven’t mentioned it because he has hardly been here since last week and he has more than enough to worry about, what with PaC and the rest of the family. He is tired and under stress and this is of no consequence.

But that is not the real question, is it? The real question is “Is F comfortable with you seeing him?” It’s so hard to explain that it’s OK. At least, I’m sure it’s OK. We don’t work “like that” and never have. It cannot be explained and, to be honest, until I met F, I wouldn’t have understood or believed it either. It’s called total trust and it’s what I like about our relationship and I refuse to be deterred by people who cannot believe in it.

But, you know, for a moment, they put doubt in my mind.

But, I find it impossible to explain because it’s not in other people’s experience so they don’t know how it could possibly work. Of course, everything was fine, as I expected.

So, I drive to the place. His house. I park nearby and ring the doorbell. I’ve forgotten which floor. I thought it was the 7th. Turns out it is the 4th. I am let in and introduced to Max. I don’t ask who Max is because, quite frankly, I don’t care. I see the stuff in the hall. There’s a LOT! CDs in bags. The dinner service in bags, wrapped in sheets and pillow cases because neither V nor I have newspaper or any packing material. I hope nothing gets damaged.

I wonder if it will all fit in. I note that the chair is broken. It wasn’t like that when I left. But, it can be repaired and I will get it repaired. It’s also not so clean. In fact, I decide to have a cigarette first before starting to load the car. I sit in the kitchen with Max whilst the DVDs are packed. Max tells me he’s not a good cook but he had made cous-cous for lunch. He’s right, it looks dreadful.

Whilst sitting in the kitchen I notice how filthy everything is. I’m used to living with F where cleaning is like a drug. It’s not here and it makes me feel uncomfortable and dirty. Funny how quickly my standards have changed.

We load the car. Everything fits. I pay most of the rest of the agreed price, keeping some back for the delivery of the cabinet. I will get that on Monday evening, apparently. Just in case, I’ve kept some back.

I get home and unload everything.

F arrives back earlier than expected, just as I’m cleaning the kitchen floor. He sees the service and really likes it. I am relieved. He also likes the chair. I am doubly relieved. He’s also happy to go through the CDs (although he will already have most of them.) And, since he came home on Sunday, we’ve been thinking about where to put the cabinet.

Although, surprise, surprise, I don’t have that yet.

Now promised for Thursday. We shall see.

But the unsurprising bit of news has been given – the deposit money for the new flat may not be available. I’ve ignored it. And, on Thursday, in my wallet, will be exactly €50 more than we’ve agreed. Which will be perfect.

And, then it will be done. Done and finished – the end of it all.


Strange days indeed.

These are peculiar days and not only because of PaC.

There’s an email I’ve received, the tone of which I find incredibly odd. I won’t go into details and I could be very, very wrong, but it’s freaked me out a bit.

Then there’s “the other thing”. I won’t go into details – at least not yet, but it’s a thing that has been growing slowly over the last couple of months and, in particular, the last couple of weeks. It makes me feel alternatively frightened/sad/angry/despairing. Today, I feel angry. Yesterday, I felt a little lost. Sometimes, I just need F to be around. He doesn’t need to do anything but the very fact that he’s there gives my confidence a boost. And, of course, he’s not at the moment. And I can’t bother him with this, right now. A result of yesterday was that I had about 2 hours sleep last night and, maybe, that’s partly why I’m angry today – but it’s only a part. I’m also angry because I cleared things in my mind and I thought about things long ago and I WILL NOT LET IT HAPPEN AGAIN!

PaC, on the other hand, is not at all good. Maybe I was right after all. Sadly.