Monday, 27 May 2013

Day 20 PV

In which I spoil a date by being horrible and bursting into tears.

I have Sinead O'Connor's Nothing Compares to You on repeat in my head. When that stops it's Thank You For the Days by the Kinks.

I'm missing Virgil. Like Crazy. But I'm not thinking of that song.

I had my third date with Eli today. So far we have been for a drink and a woodland walk. This date is an art exhibition (on me) followed by lunch (on him). Disappointingly I do not fancy Eli even though he is a nice guy. It's not going to be a date date, as Virgil would say.

Eli's also got sadness of his own. Ironically while this makes him understanding and tolerant of my problems it also makes him less of a good person to spend time with. Without physical attraction to make me happy and distracted, I tend to get upset in his presence.

First I am annoyed that he arrives wearing a football top. Obviously I don't tell him this, but I don't want to go on a date with a man in sportswear. I'm not the fashion police but there are limits. Next I am unable to hide my exasperation when he persists in the opinion that the artist has 'ripped off' comic art in some of his paintings. When he jokes that we're having an argument I disagree with that too and say, 'Not at all, we're having a discussion.'

Eli hasn't slept for several days and he is incoherent and blurry. He wants to go and look at a painting which is emotionally significant for him. He always visits it when he comes to this gallery but can't remember where it hangs. I say, 'Ask that attendant over there.' Somehow missing the uniformed man in the background, Jay approaches a teenage girl who is lolling in a chair and fiddling with her phone. She steadfastly ignores him as he politely asks if the Waterlilies are in this bit of the gallery.

We find the Waterlilies and I argue with him about that too. He says the work changed his life. I say that it was the person who introduced and explained the piece to him who did that. Then he says, 'You don't like it, do you?' And I say 'Of course I like it. Everyone likes the Waterlilies. How could you not?'

It's not a good date. If it were the first date it would have been a disaster, I would say. If I'd been the guy, I would have been thinking: "Why the fuck is this woman even here, she so clearly doesn't want to be?" I might even have walked out on myself.

Fortunately we already have some connection, but I'm miserable. I miss Virgil. I find myself thinking about how he is the best company and my favourite person to hang out with in the world. I feel as though no one else can make me happy. It's dreadful behaviour. I can't believe I'm doing this on a date. I'm being bought lunch. Maybe I am not in the right frame of mind to go on dates.

At the table tears start leaking out of my eyes and running down my face. Eli notices eventually and when he asks I confess that I'm pretty awful today. He's lovely about it. We talk about relationship endings, exes (he's still recovering from a hard break-up), new beginnings and so on. He tells me he knows how I feel and that he wants to help. He hugs me several times. I wonder whether we will in fact just become friends.

Eli makes an origami Chinese junk and insists I throw it into the river while thinking of something I'd like to get rid of with it. I sense I'm supposed to say 'Virgil' or 'regrets'. I want to say 'jealousy' but instead I say 'fear'. I'd love to get rid of fear. It seems to have fucked up just about everything I've done for the last few years. We watch the little paper boat float away in the fast-running brown water.

I don't remember when I was last really happy. It must have been over a year and a half ago. I feel totally rinsed. Wrung out. I need to start feeling better.

I think: bad things happen to us all at times. Right now I look at friends in loving relationships and I feel the loss of my own, but so many relationships finish. For years perhaps I was someone that other people looked at enviously, thinking that my life was happy. I miss being able to love Virgil to his face, happily, even though I still can in my heart in a sad way.

Some people are crushed by their disappointments, others recover. I want to be a survivor. I don't want to go under.

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