… take back your singing in the rain.

 As I scrubbed the city off my face, and body in a warm shower, the memories from the afternoon flashed back, and I felt hot with shame. There comes a time in one’s life where you have to admit that sometimes you have no self-control. I had made a promise as I drove past the place on my way to lectures that morning that I would rather spend the admittance fee on coffee and a magazine, instead of trawling darkened rooms where dirty deeds cum dirt cheep. Unfortunately, the need for sex was greater than my need for coffee and I found myself handing over a crisp R200 note to the cashier, and heading into the dark. (Pun intended!)

 

I had come to regret the decision taken a few weeks back when, in a moment of sanctimony, I decided to focus on work rather than me. Instead with my libido racing, and opportunities abounding everywhere, I spluttered and stalled like a driver trying to pull-off in third gear. I think that with the last few weeks where my goals have become clearer to me – the one thing I had not thought about – was a relationship. A real relationship and not one where I set myself up to fail before I even cross the finish line. In choosing emotionally, or physically, unavailable men the reality is that I would be entertained for a few weeks but eventually it would end.

 

Later that night as I curled up with a good book and the smell of freshly laundered linen I got to thinking about men and relationships. Or more to the point how some gay men feel that other gay men disappoint them in relationships. Then a radical, almost earth shattering thought popped into my head, what if everything isn’t their fault? At a certain age and after a certain number of relationships, if it still isn’t working and the exes seem to be moving on and we don’t, perhaps the problem isn’t the last boyfriend, or the one before him or even the one before him. Could it be that the problem isn’t them and that horror of horror’s, is it us?

 

As I had been away for most of the day, I booted up my computer and trying to forget I found myself scrolling through my unread emails. Immediately one stood out from the hundred-or-so that were there. For a second my heart beat a little faster than it should have. I didn’t mean for it to, but it did, and in double clicking to open the email, I hoped the window on a second chance had opened too. There they were – the first words since his last few that afternoon in the kitchen when everything fell apart. While never haunted by him, in ways that others have, there have been consuming dreams that seemed real and reminded me of him.

 

Being big enough to admit your mistakes is one thing, doing something about it another thing altogether. I had faced my big mistake head-on and it worked out better than expected. But trapped in a cycle of change but getting nowhere, I decided to take time out and distract myself a little and mix things up. Believing in a reword system I relished the rolling blackouts and took the opportunity to illuminate my study, my bedroom and bath with a hundred candles. There is nothing like listening to poetry on your iPod, a glass of excellent red wine, and a slab of Sprüngli to get you to bed. All in candlelight.

 

But as I drifted off to sleep I remembered that often, after a break-up, I like to kid myself into believing that they, or I, have done the other a favour. In ‘releasing’ ourselves from the relationship we have given each other the opportunity to find who we’re really meant to be with. But lately I’ve come to think that perhaps it’s true. We all make mistakes as we go along but hopefully learn from them too. Knowing the next time will be better. After all someone like you is looking for someone like me to spend nights of passionate lovemaking, sprinkled with a little poetry, lots of chocolate and a few bottles of wine to smooth things out a little.

 

We my not have forever, but we certainly would have one hellava time getting there.

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