72. Blockages

I wonder what went through my head on that Santa Ponsa doorstep. The recollections of others are that I was rather proud the next day. “Gleeful” in fact.

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More than anything the bloke above didn’t want to upset or disrespect the Irish girl. But sitting alone, drinking away my gloom and wandering off was hardly an answer. Perhaps the depths of my bowels were handing out a gigantic ‘fuck you’ to the third-rate protocol loosely guiding our mores and behaviour.

The whole boy-girl business was difficult. With no help from peer narratives which were rubbish descriptions of critical rites of passage. “What did you get off her?” “She fucking loved it.” “Goes like a train.” “Frigid cow.”

For me, these hollow gems were about as helpful as Sun headlines – Gotcha! Nailed her! – in describing what had always felt like complex experiences. A crucible where falling angels might bump into rising apes. Not a game of skittles.

Adrift, I would have seriously benefitted from a wiser, older mentor in trying to set my emotional compass to true north. But even my little brain could figure out that you stayed stuck in the southern lowlands if emotion and depth of feeling were absent. The Blog 52 line captures it: “I wanted a good-hearted, loving, attractive woman to open up like a flower for me, on a permanent basis.”

Yet, in my burgeoning roster of jokes, I was captive to the peer narratives. They were the pivots on which the foreplay and punchlines swung.

Having rolled these themes around today, I keep returning to my inability to negotiate. Couldn’t lay down, and then shift my boundaries without tugs of hesitance, fear and shame. And so couldn’t sit with the Irish girl and talk plainly. Never allowed by Eric to debate any house rules in the formative years, and punished physically for transgression. Maybe ripples of huge held-in sorrow and frustration from that handicap undulated down the years to Majorca. Where a piece of the pipe was perhaps unblocked. Bill apparently remarked that “even a St Bernard wouldn’t do one that big”.

The bloke below has moved along. He is still learning to be honest, and take the trauma that can come with exposing shames. But it has gradually become clear that he is his own best storyteller and sole rule-maker.

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