Perseverance

Whispered something in your ear
It was a perverted thing to say
But I said it anyway
Made you smile & look away


― Cigarettes After Sex, Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby

 

It seems a strange coincidence to have chosen this notebook to scrawl the first draft of this story given the previous pages contain a sad lament about having scared RG away. The words were written some months ago, probably before FR came into my life. It all seems like a long time ago somehow as I sit in Grenzwert listening to something approaching dance hall and drinking my final beer of the weekend. An assortment of the usual suspects are here and I get a friendly smile from an off duty barmaid while she’s choosing her drink and a quizzical look from a DJ I’d spoken to once or twice. Sunday night is a chance for the service industry glitterati to finally relax. I was uneasy about having to work tomorrow and wanted dearly to cling on to the weekend. I’d had a very low key Sunday, catching up on sleep and going for and incredibly gentle run and cycle in an attempt to flush out some recent excess. Oh and I woke up in RG’s bed yesterday. She was even there too. I was secretly very pleased with myself.

Eighteen months of neurotic angst and late night drunken listening and I had finally held that lovely, angry and slightly broken woman close. At last I’d been able to kiss and caress her in the way I’d always wanted but had long given up on ever experiencing. The night had started off down a very different path. I’d woken on Friday with a terrible hangover but I’d had to foresight to book it off. I had to pull myself together to attend one meeting but it had been a relaxed affair with a charming but slightly ditsy colleague. She was going skiing that weekend and I confess to finding the idea of her wrapped up in ski gear quite alluring and I probably wouldn’t have bothered to attend the meeting for anyone else. Still I had to preen and clean ahead of a date that night who was coming from Lucerne. We’d chatted for a while with amusing results and she was cool but I think we both realised she was too tall and pretty for me the moment we met. As we were finishing dinner, RG sent me a message looking for a partner in drinking crime. I walked my date back to the HBf and went to meet the young temptress in the bar she worked at.

We settled into  our usual patter which now has an easy rhythm. It sometimes puzzles me that I find her so easy to talk given all the contrasts in our lives but there are few people here I’ve spent as much time with even if there is almost always heavy drinking involved. As things wound up there she implored me to head to another bar where her friend would be working. It was on my way home and although I’d probably had enough to drink in for the entire month in the past 24 hours, I of course acquiesced, even if I did feign slight reluctance. This was getting to be a bit of a pattern, the two of us were spending more and more time alone together, where as previously we’d tended to “accidentally” bump into one another quite a lot. As I said previously, I’ve simply stopped trying to overthink it and just embraced it for whatever it was. Things get hazy but once the ashtrays were handed out I knew we’d entered the lock in zone. It was slightly ridiculous but I had no desire to fight it. I think there were shots at some point and a blonde girl she and I had dubbed Rapunzel asking me to pay for my lock in beers. Of course RG got her rounds for free. We stumbled out as the sun was coming up and RG floated the idea of wine. I knew her friend IFS wasn’t going to be interested so accepted what I took to be an implicit invitation.

I wouldn’t even remember gulping the couple of glasses of red until later the next day but it did go some way to explaining the sting in the tail of my hangover. It took me a few moments to work out where I was when I woke. The arc of bright sunlight I opened my eyes into didn’t help but once I saw the half naked woman beside me a lot of happy memories thoughts returned and I lay my head back on the pillow and smiled and sighed. Then she told me that I snored, a lot. This I already knew of course but she didn’t seem too offput by the whole thing thankfully so I wrapped our collective stupor and her body up in my arms and we talked more and more. I realised I could probably lie like this all day and I was delighted she didn’t seem to mind. The talk continued with her recounting yet more craziness from her childhood. When talking to her about this I can’t help but feel protective but worry a little that I’m treading a fine line between healthy concern and patronisation. I really admire this lady though, she’s so fucking clever and capable. She hides her anxiety behind a tonne of bravado though and I feel privileged that she deigns to give me the occasional glimpse behind the front. I want to sing Nothing’s Gonna Hurt You Baby into her ear but of course I don’t and never will but I think I’ve convinced her that I really do care.

How did this actually happen? The details elude me but after IFS went to bed I was in no real state to get myself home so had asked if I could crash. And then I just remember seeing her face, that smile, those giant brown eyes and luscious lips and just thought fuck it. As soon as I moved towards her she lunged toward me and we were kissing. I recall, with clarity, my delight at the seeming compatibility of our kiss even if some of the piercings in her face provoked a weird sensation. We stumbled to the bedroom and  collapsed together. I watched eagerly as she removed her top as I’d already seen enough to know that her breasts were amazing. She knew it too and seemed to rather like showing them off, I inspected them closely and commented on the comic book hero embossed nipple piercings. This is something I am unlikely to ever forget and will probably be prone to bringing it up from time to time in less than polite company. I had ample opportunity to gaze at them again the next morning until a knock at the door from her flatmate meant she threw on a bathrobe.

She came back though and had put on some coffee that I was then cajoled into fetching from the kitchen. I worried slightly about what her flatmate might think of the whole scenario but she came back in gave us both a friendly but tired wave before she left for work. She muttered something in Swiss German as she left, RG explained that she was complaining about having to get up early. It was about 5pm, it had been a beautiful day on the scant evidence I’d managed to gather. It would be dark soon but I didn’t want to leave that bed. As braindead as I was, I was still together enough to suspect that this might well be the last time I would ever get to grace these sheets. I messaged Pete suggesting a hair of the dog in the middle distance and her asked me what time I got home after I suggested I’d get up soon. It proved difficult to locate my socks and for a time I feared I may have to ask to borrow a pair from her but I retrieved them eventually. They didn’t smell great. I realised I probably looked terrible not least because I lacked the elasticity of a 22 year old but I kept the neurosis at bay and kissed her softly goodbye.

I achieved very little of note there on in during that Saturday. I met PP for a few beers and I danced and wittered excitedly about bits of my evening. We even went back to the bar were IFS was working, she greeted me with a smirk and asked where RG was. I suggested she was probably still in bed and smirked back at her. She’s a lovely woman in her own right and I liked that we had this little moment. She seemed to be happy for me in a teasing way, I couldn’t be happier and stopped by the bar for a high five on departure. I needed sleep and food, probably with the order reversed. I managed a takeaway pizza and slept like a satisfied baby that night. It’s perhaps not the healthiest but this had all been a bit of a boost for my flagging self esteem. There’d been a time when I’d thought that I’d completely misread the signs with her, in a very embarrassing way, but this made me feel at least somewhat vindicated. I was also really happy that things didn’t seem weird between us. Whatever happens (and I suspect that might be a happy one off) we seem to get one another and I think we’ll be cool. I wouldn’t say no to a sequel though…

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