Something brought me low and I shared it straightaway with Julius. But he had a busy evening planned with another lover and all he could do was send me some comforting messages. I wasn’t expecting him to come rushing to me, that would have been absurd but I was disappointed that non-monogamous love has its shortcomings. I shall be careful next time I think I love someone in case their expectation of my love exceeds my capacity to give.
This path has shown me over and over again that I have to shoulder burdens on my own. Reluctant to engage with anyone else, I find solace in my own company and the selection from Mount Unread.
The following day the familiar constants of my life keep me preoccupied – there’s a different kind of nurturing that non-monogamy provides. Jan was genuinely comforting and Max was unaware but his email last night was a timely salve. This afternoon Julius asked after me and we exchanged emails briefly. He has another date with a new woman, a transexual, but he was a little apprehensive that he might’ve upset her by not messaging her in the last 24 hours.
Ewan sends me updates of his day and we look forward to meeting up in the middle of the week. I won’t have much time for Julius after our date on Monday. He had given me a leaflet to look at to address some personal issues and we may or may not try them out. It seems to assume that there may be some pre-consummatory nerves on our part but we have already established an easy intimacy with each other and with complete honesty in our dealings on this front, the exercises seem unnecessarily prescriptive.
Tomas sent me a little hello and we flirt a little – he will be away for a week and I teased him that he would soon forget me. He replied in a fitting manner of course and I have now got used to this leisurely courtship. It suited me that he was not keen to rush things.
I felt a little embarrassed at my own blip last night and ungracious feelings towards Julius but I am also just a little relieved that I may have lost a little of that giddiness that accompanies being in love and regained a small measure of equilibrium.
Yesterday afternoon we met for a picnic on Primrose Hill before going to a one woman comedy gig – Spectacles with Sue Perkins. Julius had seen her on QI, I’d heard her on Radio 4 and seen her on TV presenting some show or other in the past and lately she has become the darling of a younger audience due to the Great British Bake Off. It was fun, light with glimpses of a happy past/childhood and Sue could be side-splitting. There were free drinks and crisps and nuts and I had some red wine which emboldened me to heckle her from the front row!
Later that evening we came back to mine and between a gentle embrace and intimate, soft kisses, he told me he loved me. I cannot quite believe that I have become the sort of woman who can excite such a well of feeling and deep tenderness from a man. He said that what he feels is not mere lust – we’d both experienced that at the beginning and now, with the increased frequency of our dates – one every other day, our mutual attraction has developed into something of greater substance than pure sexual titillation.
Earlier that afternoon, we had talked with simple honesty about our past and current lovers. He wanted to know if I felt jealous that he might meet anyone new and I took the opportunity to assure him that I didn’t and that I too was in a dalliance with Tomas for example and would probably resume sleeping with Goran again in the future when his marital storm abated. We both agreed that neither of us subscribed to the notion of ownership of each other. Although Julius might’ve referred to me as “his girlfriend” to some of his friends, he had merely done so as not to have to go into any great detail the concept of ethical non-monogamy to people whom he knew were more comfortable in orthodox relationships.
This morning my lover continued to marvel at how I had turned his daily routine on its head – with morning intercourse – both social and sexual – before coffee – quite unheard of in all his many years, followed by walks with dog and his getting home before midday. Having kissed our goodbyes I went to work glowing with warm remembrance of my lover’s considered declaration. He loves me!
There was the invitation to view his favourite exhibit at the Hunterian Museum. It was another scorching afternoon and I had walked around the chilling displays in formaldehyde and peered at the instruments employed in the myriad surgical procedures which gave us among other things, this Royal College of Surgeons.
The text message from Tomas alerted me to his presence before a Stubbs. It was the one that had got away. Many years ago he had requested for it to be a part of an exhibition he was putting together at the Institute of Contemporary Art. But the then curator was no fan of modern day art and was suspicious of Tomas’ motive and turned his request down. It had been awhile since he last viewed it and it had magnified in his head. It was a magnificent creature I agreed with him – with greater complexity than its African counterpart. We wandered about for a bit and eventually went down to the cafe in the square opposite.
We sat at a sunny table across from each other with two glasses of chilled Vioignier. I liked the gradual pace of our flirtation, exchanging views on art and film, and debauchery. He told me how he was currently seeing a woman who wanted him to whip her soundly with a paddle and riding crop. In return she sat for him for the before and after pictures. He claimed not to find her rotundity sexually appealing and I myself am determined that he would not see me in my flawed nudity until I was sure of a positive response. The second date was not the time for this intimacy.
Eventually the sky got darker and we promised to meet again, when he might take me to his studio. We said our goodbyes outside Lincoln’s Inn Fields and I went home just before the rush hour. Later in the evening he told me that he had been quite aroused during our tete a tete, but the wine had gone to my head and I couldn’t remember everything that we might have talked about. He was planning a trip abroad at the end of the month which would last two months and so I’m not sure if we would ever get round to consummating this dalliance before the end of the year. All the sameI am enjoying being chatted up and it gives me more time to improve my physique!
Yesterday afternoon I took Julius to see the Kjartansson exhibition at the Barbican. He too found it magical in its full immersive experience. We went into the room with the 9 video harmonising installation where the feminine is celebrated in music – the idea of individuality and celebration of togetherness makes the theme of divorce even more poignant. There were other displays but we chose to watch this twice, in all its 64 minutes. On both occasions it felt right to embrace occasionally. Although I first saw this with Tomas last week and we enjoyed our first kiss here, I felt a profound sense of closeness experiencing this artwork with Julius. I was glad that he found it all as enchanting as I did.
There wasn’t a plan for him to stay the night with me but after the exhibition ended at 6pm he showed me where he worked nearby and we spent a contemplative moment in Cardinal Hume’s garden of peace before going around Bunhill Cemetery to pay a visit to William Blake’s memorial. A quick pint each of Seafarer’s at the pub opposite and I remembered that the cupboard at home was nearly bare, so we nipped into a small supermarket for some supplies. By the time we got back and I’d made dinner and then we had our cuddle, we were both too exhausted to move and in the end he spent the night. It was lovely to wake up together, although being the more morning person I was restless at the crack of dawn and had to take the dog out for a walk on my own. Climbing back into bed later, we had another close and intimate embrace before breakfast.
Julius tells me that he feels very tender towards me – I asked him if this had anything to do with the fact that he is so much taller or older than me but he denied it saying it was more to do with how I am. I suspect he is from an era where men behaved in a chivalrous manner towards women and I feel very fortunate that we have grown so fond of each other so quickly. Doubts about how long this is likely to last no longer trouble me. I told him that Ewan was coming down from Scotland in a few weeks to visit me. He asked if I’d like to take some time out from him to entertain Ewan but I reassured him that I was only meeting up with Ewan for a day and night.
When we said our goodbyes on the tube platform later we knew that it wasn’t long before our next date. Somehow we have managed to increase the frequency by one date every couple of days!
A rather frisky evening spent in text chats with two of my current beaus, Ewan and Julius, as well as a potential lover – the art historian, Tomas, who told me last night that he was in a playful mood having just finished working on an academic nude that evening. I invited him to play with me, letting him know that I was reclining on my bed sans culotte, as it were. He found it a welcome bit of information and offered to stroke my inner thigh. I found the exchange incredibly tantalising, as it escalated, with both of us employing bolder and more salacious language. It culminated with an arrangement to consummate our flirtation some time next week.
Ewan meanwhile, reiterated his desire to indulge in an orgy with me, detailing the extent of his proclivities with increasing fervour. When he sent me a graphic image of his own state of arousal, asking for one from me in return, I declined, pleading the inferiority of my phone camera and the poor lighting at that late hour as my excuse. The following morning, quite coincidentally Douglas made contact on his way abroad via the airport and I sounded him out on his keenness to join Ewan and me at some stage in the near future, whether with or without his current lover Carrie. He was delighted and offered to arrange something with us on his return.
It comes as no surprise now that Julius and I are engaged in text chats or emails on a daily basis. That evening we filled our diaries with future dates; we might meet as often as twice over an 8 or 9 day period, leading up to our holiday together at the end of next month. Our exchanges were more decorous – we regard each other with greater warmth and affection and a large degree of respect. There was nothing prurient and the terms we used rang with sincerity.
We still have yet to find a name for me to address him by as his real name happens to be identical to the one used by someone who had been very close to me from my past. I had asked him to think up something he might be comfortable for me to use with him but we were nowhere near figuring this out.
He has dates with some of his current lovers but I don’t ask him for details, feeling more or less confident now that he still regards me as his favourite, just as he is mine.
The above image taken from http://littlepennydreadful.tumblr.com/post/102159517051/rivesveronique-margaret-watkins-academic-nude