Morning all! Things are ever so slightly bright and breezy this morning; a lovely drag queen gave me a cupcake outside Priscilla last night and this morning I had a good chuckle when I bumped into Jamie Theakston looking (shall we say) a little worse for wear. I’m partying tonight so that will be me tomorrow morning! Enjoying the fresh feeling while I can.
The other night I went to see a play called Sweet Nothings at the Young Vic and it’s taken up until now for me to work out why it left me with an uneasy feeling. I’d been enjoying it to begin with – particularly the exploits of Mizi, who seemed to be embodying the free-love mentality that I’m such a fan of at the moment – but the second half was a bit more intense and I’ve realised I found myself relating to a totally different character.
I find it hard to believe even myself that I once acted like a bit of a dreary ingenue, but it’s true. The reason I felt so uneasy upon leaving the theatre was because the leading male character bore a striking resemblence, both in attitude and manor of speaking, to a complete twat of a man I once fell head over heels in love with. Foolish young me.
I met The First many years ago, through both work and a mutual theatrical friend. Before him my love life had been pretty non-eventful. Rebelious rocker boyfriend in college who I’d dumped when the course ended. Guy in Essex who bugged me for a date so much that I gave in and shagged him in the end, letting him help out in the move to London and then never calling him again. We won’t mention the school years… never mention the school years. We quickly struck up a friendship as we knew a lot of the same people, and after countless industry based conversations and a lot of time working together, I was content with the fact that I’d found a lovely, typically flamboyant, musical theatre man to spend my time with, and despite the fact that I found him pretty darn attractive, I was safe in the knowledge that he batted for the other team.
I was so sure of this that I never actually bothered to check, but one fatefull night when we were half way up the country recording a demo for a new musical – we were staying with friends of mine in the middle of nowhere – I knocked on the door of his room to bid him goodnight and found him listening to his ipod. When I quizzed him on what he was listening to he said it was Wicked (I think that’s what it was… I may have to rack my brains further on that one) and I laughed and said; ‘You’re so gay it hurts sometimes’ and said goodnight.
A couple of weeks later, back in London and the normality of the in-between job, I received a text from The First about something mundane. I was scraping my way through life on less than £200 a week tearing tickets in a theatre at that point, so would often spend the majority of my shift hidden away in a corner of the building texting my friends who were between real jobs as well about how dull life was. Then, all of a sudden he asked me why I’d said ‘you’re so gay it hurts sometimes’ when we were staying in the middle of nowhere.
Um… what? (was my reaction)
At first, I tried my best to skirt around the issue without having to say; ‘Well, because you’re blatantly gay. Obviously.’
He went on to insist that, in actual fact, he did not prefer penis to pussy, and kept banging on about it so much that in the end I felt like I’d really quite offended him with my assumption. The texting ended rather abruptly that evening but was promptly struck up again the next night, with no mention of ‘that’ conversation. After that night his texts became a heck of a lot more suggestive. Whether he suddenly changed tact or had always been like that and it’d gone over my innocent little head I still don’t really know to this day.
At the time, my best friends were Minnie Mouse and Polkadots, who – devoid of too much excitement in their own lovelives – became very excited about the flirtatious texts I showed them every day, and through all of this excitement I somehow managed to become completely obsessed with The First.
He was – and still is – very, very bad for me. Our late night msn conversations always followed the same pattern – he would lament about a lost part or how he wasn’t appreciated in the industry and how he was riddled with self-doubt, and the more infatuated I became the more I pandered to his every whim, telling him how talented he was (when he knew that all along really) and massaging his ego on a daily basis. The texts would follow the same kind of rule, until one weekend he touched on the ‘sexuality’ conversation again.
He was a bit drunk, he said, and we were trying to work out when would be convenient for both of us for me to drop off a CD that I’d picked up for him. Like an idiot, I said ‘why don’t I just bring it round now?’ and off I toddled to his place.
Once there, we listened to that damned CD, and – you guessed it – got onto the dreaded subject again. Fuelled by alcohol on his part and embarassing desperation on mine, he chose an interesting way of showing me he definitely wasn’t into guys.
We didn’t have sex – not that night. I went home in a cab, all happy and blissfully ignorant, excitely texting my girlfriends about how I thought my ‘gay’ bestfriend might actually be about to become my boyfriend.
How wrong I was. The following months (this went on for almost a year) were an emotional rollercoaster. After that night he didn’t mention the fact that we’d very nearly bumped uglies, and his texts/msn messages ranged from the industry moans and nothing more, to the overly suggestive and completely misleading.
I couldn’t think about anyone else, I had no time for dating or anything casual – although I got plenty of offers in that time – I was completely obsessed with him, and now that I look back I know that he knew it. He had me wrapped around his little finger and there was nothing I could do about it. For someone like him, riddled with self doubt and constantly second guessing himself, I was just something for him to use when he needed his ego stroked. My friends figured this out well before I did, but there was nothing they could say that would deter me.
The final straw came when I – like an idiot – travelled half way across the country to see him in the world’s crappiest pantomime. I went, I watched, I stayed with him.
At the time, there had been nothing sexual about his texts for weeks and I was resigned to what would probably be a purely platonic night’s sleep. In the double bed in his digs.
Imagine my surprise then, when he decided it might be a nice idea to stick his hand down my knickers. At this point I was quite the emotional wreck, and on the verge of mental breakdown from his mixed signals. That evening, he seemed to get his signals straight for the first time in months, and I dared to believe he might have finally made up his mind.
In short, we had sex, and I didn’t even care that he had a small, and quite ineffective cock. Wow, love really is blind.
Next day, I go home, see him again a few weeks later and it’s like nothing happened. It drove me absolutely to the point of insanity, Minnie and Polkadots begged me to confront him, to tell him to leave me alone, but I wouldn’t listen. Finally, when he was at my theatre to watch his friend in the show, I managed to wangle an invite back to his with his friends, and we went, slightly tipsy and equipped with Krispy Kreme donuts.
Hours later, the moment I’d been waiting for happened, and by chance we were both in the kitchen, alone. Emboldened by vodka, I brought up the subject of the night I’d been to see his panto, and asked him exactly what it meant. Before he could answer though, his flatmate came in an the moment disappeared.
The next day, I was determined. Online, away from the hazards of actually saying words, I was braver. I asked him why he seemed to ignore the fact that we’d had sex. His response made me feel as though he’d reached through the internet cable and torn my heart out, snapping ribs in the process. I actually remember feeling as though someone had dropped something heavy on my chest.
‘I don’t know what you mean’ was the first, which morphed into; ‘I was pretty drunk that night, I don’t really remember much’. From what I recall, he’d felt a bit under the weather so had indulged in a glass of port in the theatre bar that night. I’d had a diet coke.
I snapped then, all my pent up frustration leaking out into the instant messenger window. I accused him of using me, of not knowing what he wanted, of making my life hell and would he just acknowledge the fact that we’d slept together, and then he put the final nail in the coffin.
‘Are you sure you’re not just making it up?’
There it was, that was the chest crushing moment. I signed off immediately. That was the beginning of a very dark period, where I rediscovered adolescent binge drinking and uncontrollable late night sob-fests, but for some incomprehensible reason I was still completely in love with him.
It was another year before my best-gay-mate (I checked, he definitely is) convinced me that the only way I’d ever be able to be a normal person again was to completely delete The First from my life. That night, after much drinking and dancing, I went home and signed onto msn for the first time in a year. He was online; I deleted him.
I deleted his phone number, I deleted him on facebook. I stuck a picture of David Tennants face over his in the sentimental cast photo on my fridge (I knew there was a reason I kept the Doctor Who stickers from my breakfast cereal packet) and I vowed to myself that I would never contact him again.
And so, that is the story of The First man who ever got the better of me. He wouldn’t be the last to shit all over my heart, but I certainly never let anyone treat me quite that badly ever again. He still has this invisible hold over me, even now. Every three months or so I’ll get a message on facebook from him asking what he did wrong, and could we be friends again. I replied at first, all strong, saying I didn’t think we could, but now I don’t even respond.
I could block him. I probably should.
Watching that play, I was so angry at Christine for letting Fritz use her while he was really thinking about someone else with no intention of returning the love he encouraged her to pledge to him. I was so angry because I saw in that waif-like, snivelling ingenue, an echo of myself, and it made me feel sick.
Never ever shall I be that girl again.