…and Another Lost Weekend.

This last weekend passed by in something of a drunken blur.

Adam and Sam came over on Saturday and we all got stupidly drunk. I kept flirting with Sam as I always do; Adam kept flirting with Tanya as he always does. I remember laughing a lot, but I can’t recall why. I DO remember my laughter feeling somewhat hollow. I’ve often fantasized about getting Sam into bed, but I like Adam too much to destroy his family for him. I already stole one girlfriend off him, years ago.

Sunday it was my mother’s birthday, and to celebrate she took us all out to the pub for a meal. I dealt with the hangover from the previous night by drinking as much cider as I could in the couple of hours we were in there. I wasn’t embarrassing or brash or anything; im seasoned enough now to be able to get completely wasted while appearing stone cold sober. I’m very good at it these days. I don’t even need to make an effort. Some of the other customers in the pub were giving me strange looks but I don’t know why. Fuck them anyway.

Then when we got home after the pub I slept it off for a little while, but then Tanya woke me up to remind me that she was supposed to be going out for a meal with some workmates. They went for an Indian at a new place that just opened on the main road in town. We looked in there once but it was dead so we didn’t go in. Never a good sign. We finished a bottle of wine left over from Saturday night before she went out, and I got another to have to myself.

I put the girls to bed, read Ellen a story , and made her cry by talking about how one day she would find someone who loves her and she would marry and move away. I asked her to promise she would never forget about me. She said she wouldn’t. We cuddled for a long time, both of us crying softly.

When Tanya came hoe drunk at one AM, I was in bed, drunk, and angry about something which I can’t recall. We had a short, intense, but then ended up fucking like drunken animals until four in the morning.

I went to work the next day feeling…like everything was dead. My eyes are getting worse, and I’ve started to hear voices in my head. I think it’s a combination of the booze and lack of sleep. I’ll see how I feel as the week goes on.

Nothing more from Astrid. Nothing from Ulrika. I feel very lonely.

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Lost in the Supermarket

so fucking tense and angry. Tanya asking me what’s up every five minutes,the kids bickering constantly I wish they would all just shut up and fuck off. 

in the supermarket women’s underwear.

I’m tense, partially at least, because i can’t stop thinking about Ulrika. She’s the first woman I had an affair with, and so I guess she will always be precious to me. I almost left Tanya and the girls for her, though Tanya didn’t know the real reason I was leaving. I had one foot out of the door…but couldn’t do it. It’s the girls. They are the only reason I’m still here. I’m sure that, in time, things will come to their natural conclusion here. But in the meantime I have to stay here and be a father to my kids, even if I can’t stand the sight of my wife.

We’re in the supermarket, shopping for dinner but I keep finding my eyes drawn to the women’s underwear section. Some of the panties and bras the mannequins are wearing make me ache so bad. I want to see a woman, a pretty young woman in her underwear right now. It’s all I can think of. I want Astrid in her underwear…the thought of it drives me crazy. 

We have Adam and his wife, Sam coming over tonight. It should be fun…

Astrid

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Let me tell you about Astrid…

I have a photo of her that she gave to me. Her boyfriend took it in her bedroom in Argentina. I can’t remember the name of the town she’s from. She’s holding back the curtain with her left hand and smiling at the camera as it peers past her and out onto the street. She is, I think, stunningly beautiful.

The first thing I notice when I look at her picture is her face; her eyes are strangely contradictory in that they are so dark but so bright at the same time. They’re like smooth, obsidian pebbles which have caught a spark of sunlight.

Then, her mouth: she has full, sensual  lips which, in the picture, are spread across her face in a wide grin which shows off her perfectly straight, and impossibly white teeth. She’s not laughing, but there is definitely laughter in her face. She is young, vibrant, excited and exciting. Only the most flint-hearted of people could fail to fall in love with a face like hers. It is framed by a tumble of, I guess, typically dark Latin curls which roll down over her shoulders and reach almost all the way to the small of her back.

She’s about 5′ 9″ in height, and with an average build. She’s not ‘skinny’ but she is certainly less bulky than Tanya, and has young, fresh, perky breasts that cause the hunger to stir somewhere deep inside me.

In the photo she’s wearing a dark blue blouse which is speckled with tiny white and yellow flowers, but when I look at the picture I remember her as I met her the first time: loose white ‘hippy’ tunic top, a pair of pale blue jeans which fit perfectly around the the curve of her bum, a pair of brown, suede boots, her hair tied back in a long pony tail, and two large hooped rings in her ears.

She came to the bar which I was propping up, and ordered drinks for herself and her friend. They were laughing together; Astrid’s voice, like her eyes, was something of a contradiction. There was only me and a couple of other losers in the pub when she came in; me at the bar, the other two talking furtively over their pints in a corner. I had the immediately pegged as  druggies. I knew the haunted expressions on their faces only too well. But this isn’t about them. The point is the pub was quiet enough for me to clearly hear Astrid’s voice when she ordered the drinks. Her accent made me melt on the spot: Spanish, sexy, soft…it made me think of mountains and oranges. She spoke excellent English, and her words flowed like a deep,but fast-moving stream. But when she laughed, she rang like a bell. Her friend had whispered something to her – I couldn’t catch what it was. They both looked in my direction and looked quickly away, they Astrid let out a belt of laughter that was so bright I felt like I had to shield my eyes. It was infectious. I couldn’t help but grin. She looked at me again, tossed a brief, warm smile in my direction, then went to a table with her friend. I was hooked.

“Do me a favour, Dave,” I whispered to David behind the bar. He’s a young, skinny, stubbly lad who owns the pub and knows me pretty well. “I’ve got to go, but will you get those two another couple of drinks for me? Tell the one with dark hair I’ll be in here at the weekend, and give her this.” I scribbled my mobile number down on a scrap of paper and slid it across the bar to him, along with a ten pound note for the drinks. “Get one for yourself too.” I slipped my pen and the small notebook I take everywhere with me, back into my jacket pocket.

“Yeah whatever,” sighed David, rolling his eyes. He took the money and the paper and put them behind the bar.

“Cheers mate,” I said. I drained my glass. Jack Daniel’s and Diet Coke tonight. “Catch you later, Dave.”

I left the pub, and gave Astrid a smile on my way out of the door. She smiled back. I pretty much skipped the eleven minutes home.

Eleven Minutes

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I keep getting blurred vision, little bouts of it. Its not my eyes though, I’m pretty sure of that, I’ve been to get them tested and apparently my vision is spot on. I can only put it down to exhaustion from all the late nights, or to the fact that on almost every day now I’m either working alcohol out of my system, or putting it in again. Another alternative is that I’m so disinterested in life that I go around in a permanent world of my own, my eyes constantly glazed like they are when Tanya starts going on about what happened at work or what jobs need to be done around the house, or the state of her mother’s fucking knee.

I’m thinking about blurred vision and Tanya going on about stuff as I walk to pick up the car from the store again after I finish work.

If you remember, I mentioned that I rarely have any time, or the necessary peace and quiet to actually THINK about anything, and the other day I was inspired to time my reflective moments, and I discovered that they are broken down into segments of exactly eleven minutes, give or take a few seconds. I groaned aloud when I learned this. It’s just another headfuck I could do without. I made notes…

Home – Work (08:30 – walking) = eleven minutes.

Work – Home (12:30 – walking) = eleven minutes.

Home – Work (13:15 – walking) = eleven minutes.

Work – Store: collecting car from Tanya (17:00 – walking) = eleven minutes.

Store – Tanya’s parent’s to get the kids (17:03 – driving) = eleven minutes.

Tanya’s parent’s – home (17:20 – driving (with kids)) = eleven minutes. It should be noted that this does not count as thinking time; the girls bickering and bombarding me with loud chunks of information like they were hurling grenades at me from the back seat distracts me so much that I can barely concentrate on what’s happening on the road in front of me, let alone what’s going on inside my head.

These are just some examples and I’m sure there are more. It’s fascinating and a little scary. I’m going to do some more work on it, to try and make sense of it all. What’s the significance?? Now I think about it, I’ve not seen a seagull for days.

Writing this in the eleven minutes it takes me to walk to Charlie’s to pick up Lizzie. She’s full of attitude at the moment and almost every word she says is uttered with such venom towards me and Tanya it makes me want to give her a clip round the ear, or to put her over my knee and give her a good hiding like I’d have been on the receiving end of if I spoke to my parents the way she speaks to me. It makes me want to fucking scream sometimes.

I’m pissed off with myself for looking at photos of Ulrika. It does hurt, but I know that it’s for the best that we’re not in touch. Good news though: I heard from Astrid today!

Checkmate

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Back at work. It’s Tuesday, bright, cold, and with some unusual pink cloud formations rolling across the sky to the south.

Passing people on the street on my way to the office, the same people I see every day, all lost in our own little worlds. I’m thinking about Ulrika and how, sadly, it feels like it’s really over. We’ve not communicated since my snotty email to her on Saturday. It’s the longest we’ve not spoken without having officially ‘ended it’, which we have done dozens of times but always found the pain too much and have been back in touch within a week. This time it doesn’t hurt, and I mean really, physically hurt like it’s done before, this time I just feel…regret, I guess. No news from Astrid either, but I’m not too worried about her; she said from the beginning that she wouldn’t be in touch every day because of her workload. I wonder if she’s waiting for me to surprise her one night like I said I would. Maybe that’s it! Her not contacting me could all be part of the game. I’ll have to think about that.

I know what I SHOULD do: I should try to fix my marriage; pay attention to the relationship I’m supposed to be committed to instead of lamenting the ones that I shouldn’t even have been involved in anyway. But I’m not that kind of guy. I know exactly what will happen. I will continue to have quick, sordid little sexual episodes with girls I don’t even know, one or two of them might develop into something more. I’ll get hurt, or I’ll be the one to do the hurting, it will all fail again like it did with Ulrika, and I’ll be right back here, the whole thing will start again and I’ll go round and round until the inevitable day when Tanya finds out about what her husband is really like. Then the family will explode, and I will have the excuse I need to finally destroy myself.

Spent about three hours helping Ellen with her homework when I came back from work. She’s learning about UK landmarks. She was copying and pasting loads of facts from the internet but not paying attention to what they were. I helped by testing her on a couple of facts for each landmark. It was fun, until Mari needed help with her maths too. Juggling them both, while getting progressively drunk, took a lot of skill, patience, and coordination, and produced in the the same adrenaline levels as those experienced by a Base Jumper. I’m Superdad, me.

Later James came over for a couple of joints and a game of chess. By this time Tanya had come back from work with a bottle of wine. When James showed up I’d had three litres of cheap cider and two large glasses of red. I had to try to act sober all night. After Tanya and the kids had gone to bed James and I rolled a couple of joints and smoked them on the bench under the lean to in the back garden. Needless to say he completely kicked my ass at chess. All the pieces seemed to be moving on their own.
Nothing from Ulrika. Nothing from Astrid. I’m giving up I think.

Bat out of Hell

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I walk home from the pub. Everyone is in bed. I finish the bottle of wine and watch Rambo on TV. I sat in the pub for an hour and drank as much as I could, but Astrid never showed up. I check my emails and texts every few minutes just in case, but nothing…

All in all it’s been a pretty shitty day, with the only high point being that up until just now I’d completely forgotten that I’m not in work tomorrow. I gave myself a quiet little high five for that one. Don’t know what I’ll do with the day though. I have to bleed the radiators, look at the dishwasher which has started playing up again, and other mundane jobs the likes of which make me wish I had never been born. I might get drunk to make the day more interesting. I wish I had some weed around, though I know exactly what would happen if I did; I’d end up watching porn videos or live, webcam sex shows on my phone and lie on the bed wanking myself silly all day. I need some contact, some real human contact. I need love, I think.

At home, watching the film, I reflect on what I can remember of the day’s events. After lunch I drove to pick Tanya up from work. Outside her store there was the drunk guy I sometimes see when I’m wandering around. He has roughly chopped silver hair and a bulbous red nose. He’s so far gone he’s way past saving. He stinks of piss, and is wearing the same, stained green coat and baggy jeans I always see him in. He had an upturned cap on the floor in front of him and was drunkenly groaning out a pitiful version of Bat out of Hell; I could just about make out the words but the tune was shot to fuck. If I’d had any spare cash I’d have bought him a burger. I wouldn’t give him the money; that would do him no good. I couldn’t help but look at him and think about how all it would take is a nudge for me to find myself on the same road as him. Maybe I already am.

I’ve heard nothing from Ulrika all day. I think she must be pissed at me after the message I sent her yesterday. I feel bad about it. Maybe she didn’t mean to hurt me. I know when she’s drinking she gets a bit…blasé about stuff. Don’t we all? I think I’m just feeling hurt because I know that I don’t mean as much to her as I used to. She’s back home in Finland now; she left her boyfriend and is living in her own place. She says she doesn’t want anyone, that she still wants me, but there is no doubt in my mind that things between us have changed. It’s like they are broken now; irreparably damaged. The only thing I could do is leave here and go to find her. I keep thinking of doing that. It might be my only shot at being truly happy.

Nick

Any time something remotely sentimental comes on the TV, I burst into tears.

I had to leave the house when we were watching Modern Family. There is always a moment at the end of each episode when one of the characters reflects on something meaningful. Its not that, but its the accompanying music that always gets to me. I send myself a text.
“Oh,” I say, “Nick’s just asked if I fancy a quick pint. That okay with you?”
Tanya shrugs.
“Yeah I suppose so.”
I can tell she’s not impressed, but I don’t really care. She and the kids are watching Sunday night TV, something about which I don’t give a shit, so I grab my coat and head out of the door.
“I won’t be long,” I call over my shoulder.

Nick is a guy I know from work. He’s very similar to me; we like the same music, watch the same movies, both like cider and whisky, and aren’t averse to the occasional exotic substance now and then. Like me, Nick has had problems with alcohol and drugs in the past. He’s had relationship issues. He’s not married but lived with a girl whose daughter from a previous relationship is still close to him. He treats her like she’s his own. He’s a nice guy but, like me, can go a bit crazy sometimes, especially when he’s had a few. Whenever I go out for an evening, I usually end up crashing at Nick’s place. He’s always cool with it, and Tanya, even though she’s never met him, can sleep easy knowing that I’m with him. She knows him well enough through all the tales I tell of what he gets up to in the office and when we’re out on the town. Nick’s a great guy. He’s also a total fabrication. I’m going to meet him in the pub tonight. Maybe Astrid will be out too. I’m a little worried. I’ve not heard from her in a week.