I can’t help myself (contains coarse language)

I’m going to write a preface, and I’m going to be pragmatic about it.

Being single, mentally ill and creative means dealing with sexual frustration and emotional isolation will always be an exercise in the stupid. You were expecting a more sophisticated word with more syllables but I’m happy with stupid. It fits well.

These exercises have a few basic objectives;

1. Self gratification.
2. Self indulgence.
3. To seduce unsuspecting persons.
4. To inspire the following situation;
— Jesus you’re pathetic.
– Yep.
— But I want you to fuck me like a rabbit anyway.
– Can do.

I’ve never really been a can do kind of guy, Hollowmen probably sums up that kind of terminology well, but for sexytimes, certain allowances can be made.

If you’re on a diet, you better skip this one, because it’s sweet.
And that there? That was just some added cheese.
(This is the bit where I try and convince you that I’d be a good embarrassing 45 year-old and indulge in horrible puns around the dinner-table when there are young ones about).

Note: I just realised that the minimalist tendencies that make me disregard detail and leave it in the hands of the reader may generate some confusion as to where this is taking place. Certainly it’s not in an office. The coffee bit hopefully indicates that it’s at someone’s home. Think home-office or work on the side etc. You get the idea. That’s as much definition as I’m willing to give.

Without farther ado…


– And make sure you tell her that the first disc is for the… oh shit… um,
— Yeah I got it, will you let me sit down already?
– No you haven’t goddamnit, I’ll make you a coffee in a sec but I have to say this or it’ll fly out of my brain.
— Jesus fucking christ…
– Shut-up! The first disc – here, what did I write on it?
– Yeah OK so the first disc is for current project and the second one is for the collection.
— You said that before.
– Shut-up. Now repeat it back to me.
— No I’m shutting-up.
– Not for you, for me. So I know I said the right thing…
— But hang-on, if you don’t know…
– No don’t say anything else please just repeat it back please just…
– Repeat it.
– Please.
— You’re going to cry.
– I’m going to cry. I’m going out of my brain. This project is killing me.
— You know she’ll be happy with it, she’s virtually seen the whole thing anyway.
– Repeat what I said for christ’s sake please just repeat it.
— Only if you do something for me.
– I promise I’ll make you a coffee please just repeat it.
— No something else.
– Whatever! Yes! I’ll do it! Repeat!
— OK you said yes, you can’t unsay it now.
– For the love of god and everything that is pure and holy repeat back what I just said.
— Alright. Jesus. It was… um.
– I am going to die.
— OK you’re taking this too far.
– I actually am going to die.
— Why didn’t you just write on the discs anyway?
– Because I… because… I mean you just got here when… and I just took the first one out before running the…
– It’s because you’re incapable isn’t it? Or it’s because you want to laugh at my failures, documenting them in minutiae…
— So about this thing you’re going to do for me…
– I said yes I said yes already!
– I said yes!
– Repeat!
— First one’s current, second one’s project.
– Thank you.
– What?
— Can you get me a marker so I can write it on the discs?
– Yes. Goddamnit. Is that what you wanted?
— Um no, what I wanted was…

(Use your imagination)

Eyes wide
Faces close
The warmth of the breath
The taste of saliva
– You just kissed me.
— Ah… yes.
– But… but you just kissed me.
— I did, yes.
– Holy shit you just kissed me.
— … OK. Yeah, yes. I remember.
– But… no but, you can’t do that.
— Why not?
– Because um… fuck.
— … really?
– What?
– What the fuck kind of head-bending are you trying on just now?
— Nevermind. I can’t help myself. (See? I even worked the titled in there – double entendre!)
– Where was I?
— What… what do you mean, where was I?
– Just now… what was I saying?
— My god you look terrified.
– What do you mean?
— I mean honestly – you look mortified. I think you actually may have a problem with your memory.
– I’m going to cry.
— OK OK sorry,
– It’s really important just please, tell me what I was saying.
— You were going to tell me why we couldn’t kiss.
– No, why you can’t kiss me.
— Semantics.
– What? But you just…
— You said I could.
– That’s just stupid. That’s infantile and stupid and just plain… stupid.
— Are you going to tell me why we can’t kiss.
– Why you can’t kiss me! Why you can’t kiss me goddamnit!
— Why I can’t kiss you. Yes. Please.
— Tell me.
— What?
Open mouth
— Seriously, what.
– Um…
— OK wow. Sorry, I was just…
– No no no no no no,
— You know, I mean I didn’t mean to…
– No! No no no…
— No no no what?
– Um,
– Well, see…
— This is getting embarrassing. For me.
– Oh god no, no – not at all. It’s, um,
— What?
And half whispered?
— What? Tell me.
– Well, see…
– I wasn’t ready.
— Sorry what?
– I wasn’t ready. You can’t just do that, I mean, it was probably really crap.
— Hey? What are you on about?
– Try again. Trust me. Just do it.
— What do you mean,
– Kiss me. Now. Do it – hurry up just do it.

(As before)

Exhale against the skin
– See that was much better.
— No I think that was as good as the first one.
– What? You can’t be serious. I did the thing with the hands on your back and in your hair and stuff.
– I mean that was good.
– Real good.
– What?
— I liked the first one better.
– What? Why?
— Because you were more surprised.
Eyes narrow
– You are so…
— Yeah whatever.

(Ad nauseum – you get the idea)


See I love these little encounters. They’re so contrived, so unreal, such utter delicious bullshit. I don’t imagine these kinds of scenarios for the real-life; they have no place. Real life is much more awkward, much more tactile (naturally) and much, much more turbulent. Much more rewarding too. But this is what romantic fiction is – it’s a tiny celebration of that enthusiasm, that euphoria in both the hope and the sating of lust, the energising power of uncertainty and doubt. It’s delicious and terribly indulgent; a lot like masturbation. But as masturbation can teach you a little about yourself while on your own, writing romantic fiction allows one to examine emotions off the page while contriving what goes on it. You would be foolish to believe that this stuff is all I ever write. The other side of the coin is completely different, and after a few pages of that, I’m willing to bet money that most of you would rather this.

Nevertheless; it’s interesting to watch myself flail about trying to justify it to you, or perhaps I’m trying to explain it to you so that you set your scepticism and ultra-cool post-modernism aside to just share with me this indulgence. We all know it’s not real; we don’t have to talk about that. Real things are what I keep greedily to myself. Real things are many orders of magnitude more frightening, horrifying and blissfully rewarding, but to get access to it you’ll have to invest a bit more time and energy experiencing it than reading a few eye-roll inducing romantic contrivances.

(Remembers prior writings…)
Seeds. It’s all about sowing seeds…

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