How do I get Miss Lovely to spit at me?

When I was younger I used to stare at girls I deemed attractive until they either magically decided they liked me too, or until they stormed off, passing me only to remark what a pathetic, weird, desperate loser I was, while simultaneously spitting in my face. Something they wouldn’t have done if they knew that saliva-on-face action constituted kissing, which in turn meant we were locked in a long term, unhealthy, imaginary relationship. Then they’d act all surprised when I’d turn up at family events. Bitches. Of course, the magical ones who decided they liked me too expected the courtship to extend beyond me simply finding them attractive. They’d expect us to talk and share experiences and get to know each other and all the other things that inevitably led to dislike and contempt. We couldn’t just stick to the base animal attraction. Oh no. Still, in retrospect it was a damn sight easier than all this grown up, dealing with your feelings, real world bollocks.

I’m a year out of a seven-year-odd relationship, so called because it was about seven years long and odd. It was one of those partnerships where you both kind of fumbled along without knowing much about each other, until inevitably one of you realises that it’s been painfully dull for at least some years and you’d rather eat broken glass marinated in animal faeces, than spend another few minutes with the broken wretch you’ve co-created. To her credit she got there first, so I had to play the wounded ex, the jilted man and the whining bastard for several months before realising it was all for the best, and though it hadn’t happened before, that she was right on this one. Also we made a nice person out of eggs and sperm and sex, who I wouldn’t try to cram back inside for all the porn on the Internet. Of course this time-share person does necessitate the continued meeting of it’s mother, but that’s usually fine. She’s found herself a new chap to attempt to bond with on a deep, meaningful level and he seems as nice as you can determine someone to be on one very brief meeting.

And that wasn’t even my first relationship. Hell no. I’ve been with other women – and previous to that, girls – and most of them have even let me see them naked, though we never made a person and it obviously wasn’t because of anything wrong with me. Just sayin’. So as a longish list of failures can attest, I can do that boyfriend thing. It isn’t the old ones that are the problem though, it’s the future ones, or to be more precise, the lack thereof. Because during the seven year stretch of my most recently failed coupling, some of the rules seem to have been amended. Staring, for instance, seems completely out now. No one is staring anymore, at least not in my age group. Apparently it is deemed weird and creepy for a now near thirty year old to sit alone in a pub and stare, unblinking, at a young lady thing. The number of magical reciprocations off the back of that has dwindled to none and has been replaced by the odd smack in the face. That’s fine though, because I’m adaptive, I can duck and dive and reassess my options as well as the next man. Except the next man is wearing stupidly tight jeans, a gaudy, ironic T-shirt, frankly impractical footwear and has a ludicrously expensive, ludicrously ludicrous haircut. On top of this he’s openly talking out of his arse and you feminine types, with your breasts and lovely hair, are lapping it up.

So I think to myself: fine. If I must actually approach someone I find to be visually pleasing, instead of willing them toward me from afar, so be it. I shall succeed on the very fact that I am not going to talk pretentious, flowery bum gravy at you, and I shall let you know that. We shall sit and chat and it will be lovely. I will listen, and if interested I shall seek out your company and listen again. At various points I will offer glimpses of my inner workings, so that I can see how disgusted I make you. I will relish the feeling of my heart foolishly trying to evacuate through my throat, I will attempt to make further contact, maybe in a social environment outside of that in which we met. I will allow myself to grow over fond of you. Because I am an idiot. The thing is, it’s still just someone else’s spittle dribbling down my cheek. I’m creating possibilities where there most likely aren’t any, I’m implanting little looks that haven’t been made. I’m pretending that spit is a kiss again. I also have a quite irritating habit of being attracted to the unattainable: those in relationships, those very recently out of relationships, those possibly too young, too clever, too good etc etc. In some cases I manage to tick all the boxes in one foul swoop. Well, it saves time you see.

So at the moment I walk the line between entirely not letting on to a lovely person how I feel, due to it being a bad time to do so, and just bloody well letting them know, because then we can skip right to the rejection and disappointment and I can get on with the short lived awkwardness, self loathing and pity before moving to the next victim. Sadly, due to the fact I am rather ‘picky’ (by which I mean it matters both how a person looks and what they have locked away in their pretty little head), victims are few and far between. Hence the likelihood of my increasing attraction toward the current lovely person, and the certainty of the escalating clumsiness with which I shall attempt to woo. Which can only result in a heightened sense of loss on the inevitable ‘no thanks’ outcome. It’s a wonder I do this to myself really, as I’m so acutely aware of how badly it tends to end.

I write a lot better than I talk, if only I could talk like this, fluidly, without needing large periods of time to mentally arrange sentence structure, or look up a word, or find a different way to say something that’s going to be horribly obvious if somebody’s reading this anyway. If I could talk like that I reckon I could send hearts more a-flutter than a butterfly sanctuary and moisten any ladies lady area to such an extent that readings of my love poetry would be called upon during hosepipe bans. As it is I shall have to hope that being able to raise a giggle combined with the lingering hurt caused by square jawed, athletic ex-lovers are enough to convince young Ms. Whoever that it’s worth a punt on a weedy, bookish type with the complete original run of Flaming Carrot comics.

It’s a long shot, but rather that than go back to not getting spat at.

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