I’m back at work today, not because I feel better, but because I couldn’t stand another 24 hours of critical self-reflection and daytime TV.
Yesterday afternoon, at around 2 o’clock, I received a call from the 22 year-old Brazilian model I met on the weekend. We’d planned to catch up in the evening so I’d text him to say I was feeling under the weather and probably couldn’t make it. But Brazilians, like most Mormons I’ve met, don’t take no for an answer.
“How are you?”
“Grumpy. I’m on the way to Boots to get some ear drops now.”
God, did I just say that? I didn’t even try to be nice. I feel a little reckless. And slightly dizzy. I hope I haven’t got tetanus. Oh God, the Sun is so bright. I feel awful.
“I’m really sorry to hear that.” Hey, you and me both, buddy
“So, do you think you‘ll still want to meet up later?”
Didn’t you just hear me - I’m ill. S.I.C.K! I possibly have lock jaw! At any moment I might keel over in the main street of Balham and strangers will go through my wallet to find my name, and they’ll say “Andrew? Is your name Andrew?” to which I’ll come round slightly and reply “Actually, most people call me Drew…”
“I’d really like to but I don’t think I’d be very good company.”
And my mouth tastes like rancid milk. Honestly kiddo, I’m doing you a favour here.
“The only thing is, I’m going away to Spain for a shoot for two weeks tomorrow and I was really hoping to get to know you.”
Ah, he really wants to see me. I don’t know if that’s really sweet or really needy. Why does it instantly make him more attractive when he mentions going on a “shoot”? I’m such a modelizer. Oh that reminds me, I shouldn’t be surprised if I find out that he supplements his career with prostitution…
“Well, maybe. I’m sure I’ll feel better after I get some ear drops.”
And my breath will be better after I scrub my throat with bleach. Perhaps I could meet him later; maybe it would be something to look forward to. He is very pretty.
“If you want, I have some medication” Erm…?
“My Mother is a doctor and she has these pills that will clear you up.”
“I’m allergic to penicillin. If it has any penicillin in it I could die.” WTF? Did I just say “I could die”?!
“I don’t think they have penicillin. I’m really sorry if I’m bugging you, I’m not normally like this. I’d really like to see you; I could look after you. I’ll cook us dinner. We wouldn’t have to do… anything.”
Ah, but we would, sexy 22 year-old Brazilian model, we would; death breath or no death breath. But I’m too vulnerable just now. Like a kitten. And, Jesus, how whiny am I? And I can’t make up my mind if you’re just a really sweet guy or a bit of a bunny boiler...
“Well, let me call you in a few hours and see if I feel any better, ok?”
He sounds disappointed. Aw, now I feel bad. Hang on; don’t put the guilt on me! I’m ill dammit! I have enough of my own guilt, without this emotional blackmail, you shitpig!
“OK, bye. I’ll talk to you soon!”
“Bye. Look after yourself.”
And the other highpoint yesterday was when Lizzie called to congratulate me for my inclusion in the literary magazine, moments after I’d spilt a thick drizzle of pasta sauce right down the front of my t-shirt.