I go back to my cabin and get out my drawing things. It’s getting dark now but the lighting in here is really good – like one of those daylight bulbs you can get. I lean back and look at what I’ve been doing lately. The fact is they’re mostly of Lucy, but not from life obviously – from my imagination.
Back home, when I was about thirteen I suppose, I started making my own pornography. I just started one day when I didn’t know what to do next and I was doodling and the lines of a woman’s body just emerged from the pen like magic. I suppose I’d spent so much time looking at the magazines they’d just got printed on my brain. So, I never could get hold of enough real porn, and most of it was pretty dreary to be honest, so I started making my own.
I didn’t have a type – I drew redheads with freckles and olive skinned women with black hair, slender women and voluptuous women, mature women and teenage girls, shaved women and hairy women, women undressing, women masturbating, women together. After a while I didn’t draw anything much else, and I think I got quite good at it, considering I’d never actually seen a real live naked woman in my life (and certainly not an actual vagina) and still haven’t to be honest.
God knows what would have happened if mum had found any of it.
I’ve been thinking about what Joe said, about being gay. It’s funny but I never really thought about it before. Freud said that everyone naturally has homosexual tendencies (and other tendencies too). I never really wanted to put men in my drawings at all. I’m not really sure why. I tried once or twice but it felt sort of, I don’t know, sort of ugly. If I think of men having sex it just seems sort of clumsy and a bit disgusting to be honest. I don’t know where that idea comes from. I try to think of Joe like that, sexually I mean. He’s a nice enough looking bloke I suppose. If I was going to handle someone else’s penis I suppose his’d be as good as anyone’s. I just don’t really fancy it. I suppose I should be a bit more broad-minded, in a ‘don’t knock it until you’ve tried it’ sort of way but I think I’d have some sort of sense even without trying it, that I’d like it, but I don’t. Margaret Mead said that extreme heterosexuality is actually a sort of perversion. Anyway, I just like looking at women. I think they’re absolutely fantastic, and if that makes me a pervert, well, so be it.
Sometimes I spent almost all night in the Wendy house, looking at porn, thinking about women. It was really dark and a bit dingey in there, damp and dusty, with the ivy coming in and the spiders and such like, but it did feel very peaceful, especially if the rain was really battering down outside and the trees were whipping about on the railway embankment or the fog-horn down at the harbour was going. I usually went down there in just my dressing gown and wellies so I could cover up immediately if anyone came, and I kept the drawings and photos in a sketchpad so I could close that up quickly too. Nobody ever did. My mum used to wonder why I was exhausted in the morning. Sometimes I couldn’t get up in the morning at all.
I used to think about women I knew – the one who ran the pet shop for example – she was a little weird looking (quite a long nose and big googly eyes) but you could tell she would be a good shape under her clothes, and then there was Amelia’s friend Katrina. She was fucking amazing. Really tight jeans – you could see the outline of her vagina when she sat down. And then there were some of the girls at school – Camille especially, and then later on there was Gill of course. She was the best. I used to imagine coming across her while I was out walking on the Downs in the wind and rain – her in just a plastic mac and boots after she’d been out riding. I imagined seeing her sit down on the wet grass, open her coat, letting the rain wash over her pale breasts and belly (not caring if anyone was looking), watching her slip her knickers down over her boots and throw them aside and then begin to touch herself. Or else I imagined her walking up the hill ahead of me – seeing her bare arse under her coat and watching those two fleshy folds between her legs squeeze and slip together as she walked. I don’t know why but it was always cold and drizzling, or else snowing in these fantasies. I always liked the feel of the cold air on my skin and the wet grass. I don’t know why.
Of course the actual girls at school thought I was a joke. I don’t think I ever actually made an appearance in my own fantasies – that would have been just too ridiculous. I was just forced to watch them, but that was ok.
Actually though, don’t laugh, but I don’t think it was just about sex. I really wanted more than that. I suppose I’m a bit of a romantic too. Honestly, I really wanted to sit on a balcony by the sea with a girl and watch the sun go down and sip champagne or something, and pick flowers for her, and make her sloppy compilation tapes with people like Dusty Springfield and The Walker Brothers. I wanted to slow dance with her to Body Talk. I know, I know. It’s a ridiculous record. I can’t even remember who recorded it now, but every time I hear it I despair. I just wanted that, to do that – to hold onto her (whoever she was), moving together, lost in each other, oblivious, going round and round on the dance floor, breathing into her hair, my hands on her hips at the end of the evening, and her not embarrassed and wanting to get away but there with me, as relieved and amazed as I’d be. And when they turn the music off and the lights go on, to look shyly into each other’s eyes and hope that this was not all.
Jesus Christ I wanted that. I never asked any of them to dance, I admit. If they weren’t going to say yes in private they certainly weren’t going to say it in public.
Well anyway... I don’t know if any of the other blokes felt the same way – we never talked about it, but that was what I wanted – I wanted to be in love. I still do, more than anything in the world. I want a girl who will come to parties, and come for walks in the country, and most of all I want her to share my bed. I want someone to sleep with, and that’s not a euphemism. Ok, I admit I want her to be sitting there on the balcony watching the sunset with no knickers on, but I also want to bring her croissants and orange juice in the morning.
That’s what all this is really about. All that stuff Joe talks about – about careers and so on. I can’t tell him all this. Of course I’d love to earn a living doing something I like, and rent a nice room in Brighton or out in the country, go to university, maybe travel a bit. I’d love to do those things, for myself. But really, the main thing is, when I do those things, maybe I’ll meet her, and what’s more, maybe she’ll want to get to know me and I’ll have a proper relationship. I don’t feel very manly for admitting it, but that’s what I want.
And then we have the reality, as mum would have said.
I don’t know where all this comes from, this hope. Mostly my life has been fairly useless, but somewhere, part of me has always had this idea that, if only I could meet a girl and she got to know me properly, without all this shit about money and living with my parents in the way, that it would be alright, and I’d stand a chance.
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A life backwards
It's in the nature of blogs of course that you come across the latest postings first (or you find yourself in the middle.) Normally it doesn't matter but if you want to read my novel in order, the first installment is as you'd expect, the oldest posting.
Thanks for your patience.
Thanks for your patience.