I am learning how to summon up the emotions I have for the past, listening to music and empathy seems to hold the key, I’m going to try smells too but for the time being, I listen to the lyrics and feel my experiences run through me. Alex left such a huge scar on my heart that it’s hard to put into words how I am left without him. We never imagine that love is going to end when we are living it, the shock of being told it’s over is so overwhelming it can kill. I never thought I’d get over him, in some ways I won’t, I still would like to speak to him even though I am odds with how he treated me two years after our less than amicable break-up! It’s a saga, much more of a soap opera than seen on most daytime television. The illicit love affair at work, turned into a big romance, a love story and finally a sad finale of pain, insanity and violence. Shall I tell more…?
I’d heard about this new guy at work, and was told he was weird looking but my type, what did that mean? I eventually got to meet him on a training course; I was attending the last day of the week-long event to meet my team, the men I had to look after, yes like a mother hen! He was odd, tall, skinny, and adolescent almost with big ears, Roman nose and a slightly demonic look about him. An intense character who seemed to care little of what people thought of him as mostly they appeared to like him and if not like, possibly envy his gregarious personality.
I really thought nothing more of it at this time; you’ll see a familiar pattern that I am now very aware of, if I think nothing, why not!? Work was chaotic, a new department, and a lot to prove to my superiors, myself and the team I was supporting. Someone once said during the time I worked with the sales team that, ‘all roads lead to Rachel’ and it was true, they did. I had three telephone lines, Lionel my manager, a team of ten sales executives, leads coming to me, customers calling me, customer services querying orders, escalations, oh and more! Immersed in all this I had no time for men, Peter and I had been the last thing and that was over, I was 21 and what could a man offer me other than trauma? Anyhow I was working with enough of them, attention wasn’t lacking so I was entertained. That was at least until the premier of James Bond’s Goldeneye!
The company I worked for were sponsoring the Birmingham premier and as the newest and hottest team we were given a table. Off I went to Karen Millen and purchased a gold dress, well what do you expect? There was little to it but my figure at that time meant I could carry it off! We all had rooms at the Novotel on Broad Street, I had brought along the necessary provisions; music and a big bag of grass, first drinks of the night were at the Metropol hotel, martini’s, shaken not stirred! I don’t recall whose arm I went on but I arrived at the Odeon bar with my eleven men ready for more drink and the movie. After sitting through the first of Pierce Brosnan’s Bond roles, dinner was to be served back at the Metropol. Off we trudged in our evening wear and penguin suits toward the coach and onward to where our food would be served. We were possibly, no what am I saying? definitely the rowdiest table, we drank a couple of bottles of wine each, heckled Gary Newbon, a small time television personality and encouraged some poor woman to bid over a thousand pounds for a football in the charity auction. I can recall Dillon one of the Sales Executives ordering more wine and giving his room number, we weren’t even staying at this hotel! After dinner it was time to dance, and I always like to dance. I slinked around the dancefloor, Jed and Alex occasionally joining me when they weren’t chatting. Chris danced with me too, I had a big crush on him; he was so sweet, angelic almost but nice boys rarely like me, they sense the danger!
When we were done with dinner and dancing we headed back to our hotel and hung out at the bar drinking Bailey’s on ice. It was getting on so I suggested we head to my room for a smoke out, what with the minibar and a few of bottles of wine, who was likely to turn down an offer like that? Numbers had been reduced, there was me, Jed, Dillon, Alex and James. Lionel and the rest had long since been ditched; you know how the cliques work. At one point I can remember Jed crawling on his hands and knees out of my room! Dillon had sloped off, he never could keep the pace and eventually there were three, James, Alex and myself. James and Alex were discussing music, each adamant that he had the best tape, Alex proceeded to collect a tape from his room, one track on it was Galaxy by War, I was impressed. I don’t remember James leaving but soon Alex and I were alone and locked in a look that seemed to go on for hours and yet I’m sure it was just moments. He took my breath away, we were soon in each other’s arms, kissing and making love so passionately I thought I was going to die right there and then. Excessive drinking followed by smoking very potent marijuana had left my stomach reeling, I made my way to the bathroom to relieve myself of the alcohol that was poisoning me.
Here’s something; why is it when in a drunken mess women vomit into the sink? Whatever is wrong with the big white telephone? I’ve never understood but since this episode I have made sure to remind myself how messy puking in the sink is. I must be graphic here, just remind you of the state we get in! Puzzled at why the chunks wouldn’t go down the drain I tried scooping the vomit into… guess where? The bath, that’s where, notice I still deny the toilet its purpose, that of a waste disposal unit! In my pathetic state I neglect to realize that if the vomit won’t go down the sink then it’s highly unlikely it will wend its way to freedom through the uncannily similar drainage system in the bath.
You know its love, or you realize soon after when the man you are sleeping with wants you even when you smell of booze, cigarettes and vomitus! We continued to kiss, make love and giggle at the stench for many hours, but we didn’t laugh quite so much when we woke, the odor was completely overpowering and we abandoned my room for Alex’s deciding it was a better idea to get showered and dressed in a clean bathroom. Meeting up with the rest of the team in the foyer we assumed our previous stance as work mates. Jed had slept in his car, Dillon was back at work and the stragglers from down south were left nursing hangovers. It was time for us all to part company, spend our Friday recovering and get sober for work on Monday. I’d already motioned that we go back to my father’s house, just Alex and I that is so we headed off.
One would imagine that being alone, sober and at my paternal home may create tension or at least make us feel uncomfortable but quite the contrary, we made love in every room as though we had been doing it for years. The final venue for our passion was my father’s bedroom, rebellion evident even here. As I sat astride Alex our breathing still frenetic and at the brink of hyperventilation he popped a question that would make me think twice. Not the question but my answer would change my life. Now I have finally recognized my pregnant pause could have been on it’s way to being a wise one, I shall pay close attention next time this kind of thing happens. He asks me to spend the weekend in Hastings, I am shocked, and think, then I say no. He convinces me after a while and I leave a note telling my father I’ll be home on Sunday.
(written in 2001)