No one told me the end of a fifteen year relationship would smell exactly like barbecue chicken. But this, as it turns out, is misery’s signature scent. It has been sixty-one days since my partner left me with the words “I’m leaving you” and with little to do but sob into well-finished floorboards.
At first, I sobbed into the floorboards beneath the sounds of Cher: Empowering Homosexual Diva.
I’m listening to Mercury Rev, now. Also, Midlake, Danger Mouse, The Boss and other emotionally constipated white men. Cher is gone but the house still smells of chicken and I cry three, possibly four times every day. Chiefly, I cry in the loo.
Should you feel mildly troubled by this disclosure: don’t. I’m doing okay. I am engaged by projects and people of extraordinary quality. Really. I am working with some of the best thinker-activists you’ll ever meet toward goals no less lofty than civic good. I have loving parents, good, good friends and two handsome cats. I exercise daily.
However, the house still smells of chicken.
Chicken purchased from a man of belligerent friendliness which recalls the 70s Australian bush-chiller Wake in Fright. Chicken eaten in bed. Naked. Chicken consumed with a near-grandiose revulsion between great sobby gulps of unsatisfying oxygen and cries of ‘I AM GOING TO DIE ALONE”.
The cats eat most of it. The cats eat the corpse of the bird with the same heedless relish they will one day visit upon mine. Yes. You will find me dead, smelling faintly of chicken grease clutching the Girls box-set in a hand that has been gnawed to the bone by a tabby named Eleven. Probably.
As you can tell from my elevated and sunny tone, I have grabbed the opportunity for personal development. Just as I have grabbed the chicken: with cruel detachment and in one slippery hand.
Oh, kids. I think I fucked up.
I did EXACTLY what the ethical person ought to in the weeks following an ugly, devastating and unexpected break-up. Viz. immediately find a perfectly wonderful human of great erudition, fuck their hot, tall body to a vulgar mash and then, just as they begin to look at you with rare love, turn into a Succubus of Selfish Hate and apportion to them the blame for all the pain from your previous shitty relationship JUST BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T ANSWER YOUR TEXT MESSAGES WITHIN FIVE MINUTES OF RECEIPT, YOU MAD WHORE, HELEN. (Dude. I’m so sorry. Forgive me. Be my friend. You can’t know how sorry I am.)
I am ashamed. I am ashamed and I am not very good at humans.
I need to get better at humans. I don’t want to do this sort of thing to a sweet person again. And, I don’t want to live in a love-vacuum with someone who loathes me again. I don’t want to cohabit at all. I don’t want to reproduce; my eggs are probably powdered, anyhow. I don’t want to consume you whole.
All I want. All I want. Well, at my age, all I want is to move from unstinting self-regard and a wan obsession with my “needs” and desserts to real friendliness; to genuine intimate and accommodating interest in my fellows.
Also, I would quite like to have sex, eventually.
To this end, I have decided to “date” persons and to do this with an attitude of minimum expectation and of maximum respect. I am aiming to date one-hundred persons by the end of the year so, naturally, I seek your help in attaining this goal.
If you are neither biologically old enough to be my parent nor young enough to be my issue, I cordially invite all comers to a low-cost assignation.
I would like to embrace all sorts of people. However. I should say that I have, ahem, an “issue” with addiction. Particularly alcoholism. I can’t be around it. And, I’ve an issue with those to whom it has not yet occurred that the material conditions of existence determine, in large part, the shape of a person’s life. Yes. I know. I am looking for a moderate drinker from the left. WHAT THE FUCK AM I THINKING?
Good luck with that unicorn, Razer.
Clearly, if you’re a racist, an essentialist or have ever uttered the sentence, “You know, that David Icke makes a lot of sense”, who the fuck even ARE you?
Of course, you should know before accepting my invitation that I (a) will blog all details of our encounter in this space and (b) am really – despite a genuine desire to be better – quite a tit. And I’m not just saying that as a sort of coy double-bluff that will have you refusing with a “No, no! You are clearly lovely.” I’m not. I’m awful. And if we are to have any hope of a second date, it’s pretty important that you are, too.
I have attempted to compress our mutual awfulness in short advertisement form:
Sexually ambivalent middle-aged crank seeks unusually literate hard-left nut-job for mutual distraction from suicidal ideation.
44-year-old newly divorced chicken carcass seeks fellow Marxist snob for complex hate-fucking.
Ageing poseur with unhealthy interest in spanking and the works of Jean Baudrillard seeks recently bathed human.
Baffling old woman with reasonable cans seeks more-or-less sober life-form who genuinely dislikes Coldplay.
This is who I am. I am a heartbroken heartbreaker who never learned to hold her tongue. I think I’m right but am thrilled by those who satisfactorily prove me wrong. I am full of love. I am full of revulsion. I am leaking with compassion. I am the world’s worst snob.
Oh. And I can’t eat barbecue chicken in company.
Anyhow. If you’re up for a meeting in flattering light and don’t mind being the topic of polite inquiry (which will always have ME as its central topic of derision; never you) then be in touch.
My first date is next Monday with a lady from Twitter called Bernadette, She is bringing her mum. Who is 83.
It’s part-heartsickness, part-art. It’s Kathy Acker in Sweet Valley High. It’s Co-Ed Sluts Vol 2 Look Back in Anger. Oh, I don’t know. It’s a way for me to be knee-deep in nuts masquerading as “experiment”. Whatever this thing is LET’S DO THIS THING.
Let’s do the Helen One Hundred.