not Mr Casaubon

In the last several days I’ve been enjoying long distance emailing and messaging with Ewan.    There is some banter and good-humoured ripostes.  Twice he has paid me fine compliments on my language and vocabulary, which on both occasions put me in good cheer for a period of time.

Yet …  at the same time, I’m still on the dating app chatting to a few others and made dates to see a couple of them.

One of the new men I met was an academic who had never been married and took the train into London to meet me.  On our first date he said that there was a dearth of suitable women in his own geographical vicinity and he had lied on the dating app because there was a larger number of potential dates in the big smoke.  You might think me naive but I believed him – he didn’t look like a two timing, smooth talking philanderer who might have been dissimulating a wife or girl friend at home.  He looked slightly unkempt and dishevelled – his long sleeved cotton shirt was creased and his shoes well worn and lived in.  He had dark, wavy hair which curled a few inches below his ears, framing a pale face whose strongest features were a combination of deep, dark eyes over cheek bones that marched out sharply. He was tall with a lithe lean body and later he told me that he sometimes missed meals in the middle of the day because what he had been reading was so absorbing that he’d lost all track of time.

He was interesting enough for me to suggest a second date and we spent another three hours in fairly amiable company.  But the chemistry just wasn’t there.  Although he is five years my junior, I was inclined to associate him, possibly unfairly, with a certain elderly cleric from Middlemarch.  And he was possibly intimidated by my non-monogamous lifestyle.

The hot weather saw me cancelling dates I’d provisionally made to meet up with Lars.  I have not seen him since last year as we have both been busy being in other places.  He had newly returned for a short period and would soon be off again, and I had not felt like taking up where we previously left off.

Max and I have resumed e-mailing and he continues to update me on his dating progress.  Goran has gone quiet since he is away with the family but before leaving the country had implied that he was likely to continue wooing his new and young Brazilian friend.  I don’t blame him for preferring this well-endowed liberal woman.  Jan occasionally sends me a message enquiring after my well-being but I rather suspect he has lost interest in me altogether.

I should be unsettled by all this … but if I am honest with myself I rather suspect that I have wanted to be left alone and that is why I have not made more of an effort to nurture these relationships.

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a quiet evening in

Friday night, like most of my other Friday nights of late, is spent at home keeping a troubled teen company.  Occasionally I find myself whatsapping Goran, like tonight – it’s become a friendly routine with none of the emotional turmoil of last year.   As he’s currently trying to forget his recent disastrous love affair, he has arranged to have afternoon tea with another potential love interest tomorrow.  I surprised myself when I wished him luck how sincerely I meant it and bade him goodnight.  I can still remember a moment the last time he stayed the night when I’d felt a slight tinge of irritation with him.  I don’t think I showed it and was deliberately kinder and more hospitable towards him.  He had asked for some water post-coital when I just wanted to fall asleep.  All the same I got him some and we fell asleep together – later in the night, I crept myself out of his arms and curled up away from him.  We had our usual three romps and breakfasted at our usual place.  It was still fun being in his company but since he is reluctant to make any arrangements with me when his wife is coming over for the summer I don’t expect I shall see much of him in the next few weeks.

Ewan continues to send me text messages on an almost daily basis now that he has managed to get hold of a replacement phone, with snippets of holiday news – culture, ice creams, diving, the unfavourable exchange rate.  I hear from him in the mornings before he sets off for his day.  It’s very nice all this attention and I can’t help occasionally wondering whether he sends anyone else messages also.  As a relationship anarchist this shouldn’t bother me … and it doesn’t, but I would just like to know – am I sort of the only one?  Or if I wasn’t, then was I the one he’s a little more serious about?  I remember that he had kept asking me to visit him in the highlands just after I’d got back from Oz until I’d actually gone up.  We had talked, amongst other things, about his diving sprees.  I’m still quite keen to learn to dive and hope that I might enrol on a course some time in the not too distant future; all this independent of whether or not Ewan and I continue to see each other.

Hello, hello, hello

After a short hiatus Liam comes out to play on my invitation.  We agree on a movie and dinner date – Love & Friendship and Hare & Tortoise at Brunswick Square.  It was a lovely evening and I invite myself back to his on the pretext of using his bathroom.  We have a little intimate session and he walks me to catch the tube.  I hint at another shared break abroad but he seemed spooked by the idea.  I told him not to be alarmed and dash down the elevator to catch the last train home.

On a moody Sunday afternoon Max and I arranged to meet up at the Pergola Gardens.  We talked and exchanged our news – he has been adventurous, attending a few orgasmic meditation sessions and one other sex positive activity event involving erotic playfighting.  I enjoy our new platonic relationship and note that he seemed a little nervous around me.  We have a chaste kiss on the cheeks goodbye and I went home to play with the photos I’d taken with my new toy.

Goran is back in the picture, that is to say occasionally in my bed.  Since his return from the visit to his missus, he has resumed his poly status and also contact with the pugilistic Amazon.  Their dance of back and forth has been halted temporarily and who knows what may be in the distant future.  Meanwhile I discover that I am no longer subject to that attraction I had felt for him before my trip abroad.  He is still delicious in bed but I find I can enjoy him without the attendant romance.  I like this new equanimity and consider that I might call myself a relationship anarchist – I don’t have a primary relationship and regard Jan, Goran, Ewan, Max and Liam as equals in their parts.

Ewan sent me an email and text from abroad, which is really sweet of him to do so.  He gave me news of his holiday with his family and I waited slightly more than a day to send my reply – obviously I’m not wholly enamoured of him.  At the back of my mind I remember that he had mentioned that he would like to watch me with another man and woman.  Whilst the idea is a turn on uttered when we’re in bed together, I wonder if I would actually feel the same were it to happen.  Still, I won’t turn him down if he manages to find another willing couple.

In a relationship with …

Hey congratulations.

Thanks.

Er … what for?

It turns out that he wasn’t expecting Facebook to make his relationship status so public. Which explains the stepped up frequency of emails from his stalker woman. He being Michael, the ex. The stalker woman, despite living on another continent manages to wreak minor havoc, contacting most of his friends and attempting to besmirch his good name. I take the high road in this and bin her hysterical emails.

Back in calmer waters my own paramours have all taken a back seat. Ewan is now busy spending summer holidays with his children and ex. I don’t want to be a part of that and apart from the occasional whatsapp messaging, commiserating over the Brexit fallout, we maintain our distance – he in the windswept and often dreich north and I in the capital down south enjoying brighter days. Jan too, having hinted his very English proposal has gone quiet. And neither does Liam have any time for me, not even bothering to reply to my latest text message. I don’t sit patiently by … although I’m less antsy this year compared to last, … instead, I find myself being tempted back by Goran. It is an evening purely for physical gratification and after a night of raw passion I am happy to throw my lot in with the sex positive campaign.

Reflections

The mirror I hold up today is you.

The first time we met,
was in the heart of winter.
We said our first goodbye
at the edge of spring.
A whole season slipped by
when I went away.
And when I came back
the sun had warmed the northern soil

Together we roamed this ancient land
the rock I touch, Lewisian gneiss
thousands of millions of years old.
The moss, heather and bracken
unusually dry, sit in between and on
these giants – Foinaven, Stack and Arkle
which change places as we drive through
the highland terrain of grey and green, and gorse yellow
at Kylesku, Glencoul and Eriboll
Ceannabeinne and Oldshoremore
where clear blue waters lap
gently one day, then wildly dark and white another
when skies turn black and thunderous, but by late evening
a rainbow amidst pale grey clouds promise
a morning of blue and golden sunshine.

The mirror I hold up is you –
in it I see someone bright,
kindly and hospitable.
So it’s easy to take on my role
when you beckon me into the big bed.
Too short again our time together as we kiss
and hold each other tight one last time.