Bristol July 13th

Feeling woozy this morning. Everything feels up in the air but not altogether in a bad way. Every day I have to check the date. I keep forgetting. I’ve spent one day in school in the last 3 and a half months. And the Summer term ends this Thursday. Who would have thought it? I’m trying to find that feeling of excitement – the tingles I’ve always had but I suppose I’ve been immersed in a long Summer holiday already.

I became fixated with someone but I can’t see it working. As always it’s complicated. Through the medium of phone messaging I can trace our dialogue all the way back to March. All the time some hope on my part but reticence from her.

We got drunk and chatted for 5 hours at her house.

We went swimming together in the River Avon and chatted all day. When I dropped her off an elderly neighbour asked if I was ‘the replacement’ to her husband.

A pause and then with great reluctance ‘No, I’m just a friend.’ And I think that’s what she thought until I came clean about my feelings a week later. The last time we were going to meet she changed her mind and went to see her family. And she’s been dating 2 other men. I think she’s confused. She says she wants to meet and play tennis but – forgive me – the ball is firmly in her court. I must wait on the baseline as calmly as a Borg or Federer.

In fact as a way of negating the feelings, of protecting myself from the inevitable rejection I’m throwing myself into dating other women, desperate for distraction.

I’m also throwing myself into writing. I want to be continually throwing out thoughts and feelings and descriptions of people and places and fantastic stories that are carrying on as I write this under my nose. To do this could be one of the best achievements of my life. I’ll be 46 in 2 weeks time. I want to be like an athlete, all the time getting fitter, tighter, improving what I do. Practice. Practice. By the time I’m 50 I want to be able to look back on a portfolio. Bit by bit. Word by word. Paragraph after paragraph.

This is MORE important than anything.

Don’t let those intense feelings that I wake up with and return to countless times a day take over. It is like a match. Investing my energy into me not her. Change the balance.

Now I write this, I’m starting to think having a relationship now is not what I need. I must focus. We will be friends not lovers. So difficult to love me but I’m finding it. Now I must allow myself and practise at praising myself. Be proud. This is something I’ve never had. ‘Revel in your time’. This time could be incredible.

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