I think I called your bluff. Your bluff that said you’d have me back in an instant, in your bed, if only I were there, if only I said yes. Despite your girlfriend.

I think I called your bluff. The promise you’d hinted at for years, that wasn’t ever acted upon because you knew I had principles that meant I’d never put you – or her – in that position. The promise that wasn’t real because you’d never have to choose between right and wrong, because you knew I’d do it for you, so you didn’t have to.

I think I called your bluff. My principles don’t extend to being responsible for your behaviour – anymore. I’m responsible for mine and you need to own yours.

I wonder now, if that was what you found attractive in me in the first place. If that was why we’ve said I miss you and I love you and I want you regularly over the past years. Because fantasies don’t ask you to take responsibility.


Seen like that.

One night you held me so tightly that I noticed how much I shook in your arms. I wondered how many times before then I’d spoken my truth in your bed and shook without those arms wrapped around me. I wondered what compelled the strength you had to hold me close this time when you hadn’t before. All the other times there was a vast, cold gulf of air between us and I was mistaken about my composure and confidence because I hadn’t noticed my body’s reaction.

What I wouldn’t give to be held like that, right now. Seen like that. What I wouldn’t give to feel like everything was going to be ok, because someone could see how I struggle even when I don’t.

Dating twice.

I had a chat with a friend who is dating her partner for the second time round. I wanted to know why people choose to date someone more than once. What makes it different the second time and how do you make it work when it hasn’t before? Turns out they’re doing something right: they’ve recently gotten engaged ❤



References discussed:



He had his card out on the bench, ready to pay for our drinks and sushi dinner. I swooped in and put my phone onto the machine before he could. It was a really lovely date and I hoped he wanted to see me again, too.

I don’t like the presumption that he has to buy me dinner for a number of reasons. Mostly I feel there’s an unspoken agreement that I owe him if he does. No-one would say that out loud, but I feel it and maybe he does too. He is not entitled to anything and I want to remove any chance this could be misconstrued.

We went home to my place and we laughed about stupid shit and ended up naked, as you do, kissing and touching. I have no problem getting intimate with someone I have only just met. If two people are down to get down, I don’t see the point in those rules about waiting for the third date. That seems like a game I have no interest in playing.

We texted, for a few days and it was fun and it was easy and he told me I was beautiful. He told me I was intriguing and I’d had an affect on him. I am usually dubious of expressions such as these, especially soon after meeting. It was nice though. To be talked to in that way and to be told that I was lovely and wanted. I felt attractive. I believed him.

I didn’t hear from him for a few days and that was confusing. I resisted the urge to text him and ask if he’d died and needed me to avenge his death. I told myself that he was probably busy and that was fine.

After three days, like Jesus, he rose again. His tone via text was clinical and distant and I was confused. I thought maybe I was reading into it too much. He came around and did some handy jobs around the house like he said he would. We hugged and he said it was good to see me. He kept me at a distance. He left and there was no kiss.

I felt anger more than confusion at his withdrawal. I felt we’d crossed a distance and become close and I deserved more than I was getting.

I wondered whether my falling into bed with him on the first night was my paying for dinner.

Two weeks

Two weeks and you were like a new lover

with curves and a taste I had yet to discover

Maybe distance makes the heart grow fonder

Or maybe it just makes it wonder

How it might feel, if I was alone

How it might feel, without a home

I wasn’t sure what we were meant to do

I didn’t want a new lover; I just wanted you

24 Hours.

We kissed for the first time at a floating bar at midnight in a busy city neither of us lived in. She put her hand on the top part of my thigh, where my leg met my hip as I leaned in to press my lips against hers. I remember exactly what that hand felt like on my hip and how sweet and soft her mouth was. That gentle pressure; a confident possessive touch; that warm, enveloping kiss. I loved it.

There were 100s of people around but in that moment, I honestly understood what people meant when they said the object of their affection was the only person in the room. These people around us were furniture to me. She was radiant against the flickering lights on the water behind her. I drank in how she looked at that moment, tried to commit it to memory, attempted not to rush things even though I wanted to fall into her immediately, as completely as I could.

I wanted to stay there for hours even though it was freezing and I clearly had not dressed for the weather. I had hoped that she would be content spending the entire night with that hand on my hip and her face close to mine like I had dreamt about for months.

Instead we walked through the city, keeping warm with her arm around my shoulders and my hot breath on her neck. We kissed in the line at the cinema and I caressed her knee as she jumped during the scary part of the movie. We sat on the curb outside a bar after we decided it wasn’t worth the cover charge. I followed behind her, hand in hand through the casino trying to find somewhere to eat so late at night. Catching the early morning train home, we dozed on each other’s laps and held each other so fiercely you’d think it was the last chance we’d have to be together.

It turned out it was the last chance we’d have to be together.

In the morning, I attempted to show her just what she meant to me. I wanted my touch to show her just how beautiful I found her, inside and out. I hoped that my kisses would let her see how important she’d become to me. Maybe I succeeded in making her see how I felt about her — I’ll never know. I guess it doesn’t matter.

When I asked “are you ok?” she said no. Of course at that moment, I stopped what I was doing. When I asked “what’s going on?” she said I wasn’t her ex. Of course, in that moment, that broke my heart.

She left after kissing me hard on the cheek. No hand on hip, no warm, soft mouth on mine. I spent the next two days in that bed before flying home, crying the entire way.

I remember the rain came down hard on the windscreen on the drive from the airport to my house. I remember thinking of course. Of course she could not love me. Of course I was foolish to think she could. Of course the rain welcomes me now. 

It may have been just 24 hours that we spent together but it was the loveliest 24 hours. It may have been the most heartbreak I’ve ever felt, but it was the most joy I’ve felt before a fall.

I am still grateful.


I took a picture of the floor of his room when I woke up. He didn’t hear, of course, health issues and all. The click was heard by me alone. My smile hidden from his sleepy eyes.

It was perfectly set there on the ground underneath his ironing board, upon which the towel I used to cover myself while I scurried like a mouse to the bathroom late at night.

The image: of workboots; covered in plaster and paint and the ugg boots; cosy and warm. Two sides of him that I’ve seen and have come to love on their own and as a package. Sitting side by side, I found them comforting and illuminating, like an early morning epiphany.

He worked hard and he was soft. I found this in the way he touched my body and kissed my lips. I found this in the way he listened to me speak about how I felt and what I thought and what I longed for. I found this in the way he turned towards the discomfort of talking of his feelings. I found this in his actions and I found this in his words.

I found this in myself. I’d always hoped to find it in someone else.


This month things were different –

there was blood and pain

on a scale I’d never felt

So I saw the doctor as you should

and he prodded with words

and with fingers

And later on the phone

I relayed the possible diagnoses

She sobbed in response to one word:

I hadn’t realised the gravity of what I’d lost

Until my Mother had

Two lovers.


If, for example, you had two lovers;

one who needed, always, to be needed,

searching, palms up, requesting reassurance,

begging for intimacy and affection,

and another:

one who walked, straight and tall, alone,

good — no, great — at boundaries.

Self sufficient, safe on their own.

Time alone: rejuvenating.

Would you think, these two lovers were

the most tragic of couples?

The first always empty,

never satisfied, ever insecure.

No fault of the other.

Always offering in order to receive.

The other heavy and burdened

with demands upon them,

always reacting, never satisfying,

desperately wanting space

and understanding.

No fault of the other.

Both cannot provide what the other requires.

How did they get here?

Did they arrive, because one saw

the relationship as transactional?

Is there another destination available to them?

Please. Tell me there is.



I lightly scratched my nails down her back. She winced and asked me to stop. I’ve never had that reaction to my touch before.

I asked her why. She said she didn’t like it. Obviously. My physical response to her words was dramatic. My heart fell into my stomach, my skin prickled, a gasp caught in my throat. I tried to hide my surprise; disappointment; hurt.

I said I didn’t know how to touch her. I told her that scared me. I made it her problem when it was mine. I know that now, but I did not see it then. I was everything I’d always tried to avoid; a selfish lover.

I’m good at responding to feedback. I’m good adjusting my behaviour in response to moans, groans and indifference. I am not good at responding to direct shut down. I’ve never encountered it before.

Have I been blissfully unaware of my sexual inadequacies with previous partners who were too shy to tell me what I did that they didn’t like? Maybe I’m really no good at listening.