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In yet another instance of Dex Definitely Lives in the Matrix – or maybe my life is a film, I dunno, I’m really starting to wonder – I’m on the plane home from Lisbon just now and had the most eye-rollingly Dex encounter you can imagine while I was there.
I was in town for the Eurovision Song Contest, arriving with Photographer and Gael on Tuesday morning, spending most of that afternoon drinking, then dancing to the first semi-final on Praça do Comércio. A couple of days pass in the sweltering heat, and Photographer tells us a friend of hers (who, confusingly, has the same name but aren’t anonymised blogs great?), Pink, who she met on Tumblr about a decade ago, was in town with her flatmate. So we went for a drink.
From the minute Pink walked into the bar I couldn’t take my eyes off her, in that oh-so-very-not-subtle way I always seem to get away with somehow (probably something to do with being a white man in western Europe); we have a few drinks, we say goodnight, we go our separate ways. Walking back to our apartment, Photographer side-eyes me and catches me grinning.
“What?,” I say.
“It’s not like you to be coy,” she replies.
Jump forward to Saturday, the day of the final, the day of my 28th birthday (yes, I’m genuinely amazed to have made it this far too), I meet Pink and her flatmate because we want to go watch Ruslana on the Praça before the Grand Final, but the queues are insurmountable and so we end up in a tiny back-alley gay bar that’s broadcasting the show. Photographer turns up, along with Gael who doesn’t stick around long because she has a horrific hangover. I keep glancing at Pink. She’s glancing back. We’re standing really close.
“Do you want to kiss?”
We kiss. A lot. Her hands are so soft. We don’t go home together, we text a bit over the next couple of days.
So far, so normal. Nothing cinematic about that, Dex, calm down, you cry. Hear me out.
She adds me on Facebook, and we have a friend in common. A boy I met on Tinder in December who lives in the Big Smoke and who I went to visit only a few weeks ago. Of course, of course there had to be someone in common, I think. They met at a queer dance party, apparently.
The last night of the holiday comes and goes and we don’t manage to see one another again, keep missing each other. Shame. “I’m not averse to a trip down there” – “I’ve never been to your city, I’d like to go”. Maybe something.
08:08 am. Lisbon airport, passport gate. As I’m putting my passport in the reader to go through the gate, Photographer and Gael already having gone through, a hand softly stratches my back. I turn round. Pink hair, pink lipstick. Pink. We kiss. “Have a safe flight” – “You too. Come visit”. We kiss again. I go through the gate.
I used to mishear the first lines as “Daisy Duke, shouldn’t do the things you do”. To the point that I genuinely thought those were the lyrics.
It lasted so long that eventually, to you I was Dexy Duke and to me, you were Creagrador. You had a playlist called Taking Dexy Duke On A Dexy Drive and we played it driving around the hills near your parents’ house.
We haven’t spoken in months. Tonight she played this song (the only song she played without telling the audience which song it was beforehand). I was standing on the far left of the stage, you on the far right. We ignored one another. I cried and I cried. I miss you, Creagrador.
At least she didn’t follow it up with Invisible Ink.
do i want to start writing again? do you want me to start writing again? answers in a comment or to firstname.lastname@example.org
It’ll come as no shock – given that I haven’t written since April – that I’ve decided not to write on here any more. When I started back at the beginning of the year I did fully intend to go on writing as I had before, but my enthusiasm waned quickly and I never quite regained the spark or drive that pushed me to write as I had before.
It would have felt weirdly incomplete though to leave the blog just hanging there with an ellipses at the end and nothing to sort of tie up the loose ends; I don’t think I’ve got much to say really, but here we go anyway.
I’ve barely been having sex at all the last few months – my confidence isn’t what it once was, I’m not as happy when I look in the mirror any more and I just can’t be bothered with it, really. Dating, too, has kind of petered out. OKCupid is gone, Plenty of Fish is gone, Tinder is gone, and today I even deleted my Grindr account. I met a guy a couple of months ago though; of fucking course he lives in a different country (and I’m about to move – again – to a new city in a new country, as I got the job I’ve wanted since I was 14) but we talk every day and Skype every night and I like him a lot and he seems to like me too, and I think we both want the same thing which is both a nice change and probably quite healthy. So we’ll see.
So yeah, I guess that’s it then. I’m leaving the blog up at least until the URL comes up for renewal this December, it might disappear after that. Heartfelt thanks go to everyone who has read, commented, emailed, tweeted or encouraged me to go about writing this.
The nights are getting shorter and the days are getting hotter, which is great for having a social life but less great for getting things done that you’re supposed to do to be able to pay bills (I really hate writing invoices). The change in season seems to have brought along with it a change of habit, and at the minute I’m quite enjoying dating as opposed to hookups. It’s like the same thing (though the sex isn’t always guaranteed) but with more interaction and you get to drink as well, what’s not to enjoy? I’ve been missing out.
The last couple of months have been more or less devoid of out-and-out hookups – from memory, three – but there have been a lot of drink dates and/or coffee dates, which are interesting and enjoyable in their own way though can be hard to write about without revealing too much of the other person’s personal information. Other than some first dates which have never come to anything more than a night together afterwards (and one not even that), I had a two-week thing with a guy who lives at the other end of the city, seeing each other every other day. That came to a pretty quick end once his surprisingly well-hidden mephedrone problem came to light, though. Then again, there should probably have been a pretty loud warning sound going off in my head when he asked me to move in with him five days after we met (I said no, which you’d think would be self-explanatory but at least two friends seriously asked me whether I was going to do it when I told them).
Other than that, it’s all pretty quiet here at the minute. Friends are panic-studying for their exams – most of my friends are graduating this year – which means I can infiltrate their study environments to work instead, and I’m moving into a new flat slightly further northeast of where I’m currently living in the next few weeks. I’ll only have one flatmate, who I don’t know at all, so I’ll have to try and behave at least at first!
The day before Valentine’s Day I woke up very hung over. Where I’d been or what I’d done the night before I don’t remember, but I must’ve had a good reason for getting trashed. Anyway, as is my habit I ended up on everyone’s favourite bright orange app, grindr, and got talking to a cute-looking Australian guy who works as a steward for a huge Middle Eastern airline and lives in the UAE. He seemed nice enough, and asked me over to his hotel; however, astute readers will remember this was during gonorrhoeagate and I was unable to have sex, which I intimated to him. “Can you still cuddle?” Well that was adorable and endearing, so off I went. I’d only intended to stay an hour or so, truth be told, but we got on so well and he was so cute – in deed as well as in word – that I ended up staying, kissing and cuddling (and, yes, some hand action…) until he had to get ready to go to the airport.
Before he left he said that he wasn’t in my city very often but that he would let me know if and when he came back, and that he would try to come back soon. Yeah right, I thought, not really believing him. But when his shifts came through at the start of March, sure enough his request for a swap to a flight here had been taken up by someone who decided Milan sounded like more fun – and really, who can blame them? – and so last week, he came back.
I was really excited to see him again, and met him at his hotel on Saturday night more or less as soon as he arrived. We went out for dinner to a Russian restaurant in the city centre – I’d never been and was pleasantly surprised at how good it was, and how vegan-friendly – and then I took him to a bar in town I frequently frequent, before we headed back to his hotel. That night was hands and faces in some new underwear I’d bought for the occasion – I’m getting quite into knee-high socks at the minute – and the next day was spent almost entirely in bed, napping, fucking, tickling, kissing, rinse and repeat, until he had to get ready to go to the airport again.
He says he’ll come back again, and while there’s now some precedent to believe him, I’m not sure I do. Either way it doesn’t matter really – if he doesn’t we’ve had our fun and it’s a nice memory, if he does then great. There’s absolutely no scope for anything substantial, with him living eight hours’ flight away, but being together when we’re together is nice enough while it lasts, if it does. Once again, time will tell.
I thought I was getting off to a strong start on the blogging front this year with four posts in January and then I dropped the ball massively, whoops.
This is partly due to being busy – freelancing takes up a lot of time (most of which, I’ll admit, is spent on twitter but that’s not the point) and partly due to other factors. After my initial smugness at the same day test results coming back negative, the more accurate week-long results told me that I did, in fact, have gonorrhoea (of the throat) so I’ve been laying low for a bit on the sexual front. And another thing that made me pause and take stock of my life again is that after a long illness, my very close friend Magenta (who long-term readers of this blog will have read about and from here and here, among other places) passed away a month ago today, which has been really difficult. I never expected to be having to deal with friends succumbing to terminal illnesses at the age of 23, but then I suppose no-one ever does. Initially it made me think wow, life can just disappear, maybe start behaving… but of course, it was in no small part Magenta herself who gave me a lot of my self-confidence and along with KittyMama taught me to be sex-positive, and it would be a disservice to myself and disrespectful to her to ignore that.
Having only got the all-clear on the STI front on Wednesday, it’s been a while since I’ve had any sex; there was one non-sexual date last month – more about that next week, all things being equal – but other than that there’s not been an awful lot to report. Now that I’m back in the game I’m hoping it’ll not take long before I can start writing more regularly again!