We punish the men in our future for the mistakes of the men from our past. And this is why I got dressed in the dark and drove home from his house at 3am.
I had been laying awake for hours. It occurred to me that every night I had stayed there we had downed many G&Ts. Not so today. A far more subdued one for both of us, with him nursing a hangover. So, there was no drink to lull me to sleep tonight. He fell asleep effortlessly, within seconds of trying to cajole me into having sex with him. Maybe just a gobby, he asked. Who the fuck over the age of 20 calls it a gobby.
I realised I was more upset with him than I realised when, hours later, I was still awake. Not because of the gobby comment, although I guess that fed into it. It had happened much earlier in the day when we were prepping vegetables to go with the roast.
His sister had called, his favourite and older sister, whom he openly admires and adores. She’s a crazy overachiever. Nothing is too much for her despite being a doctor and mother of four. She’s super woman, according to him. I quietly wonder if she’s one of these women who secretly cries in the shower.
Anyway, she called and while I only heard his side of the conversation, it went something like this:
“Hey, what’s happening?
“Not much. Just chilling, watching TV at home.
“You’d have heaps of leftovers but no, I’m cooking.
“Just a roast. Yeah, I like to cook on Sundays.
“Yeah, I’ll have heaps of leftovers too.”
Some pleasantries and they hung up.
It’s nothing isn’t it? But I found this utterly unremarkable conversation so triggering.
I was a secret.
My boss had called me four times the morning before while I was at his house and I had not hesitated when she asked if she was interrupting.
“No no, it’s all good. I’m just at [his name]’s house. We’re making breakfast.”
OK, yep, a total overreaction I thought, and I swallowed it down. He doesn’t want to tell his sister that I was there. That’s fine, I get it. But wait, didn’t he tell you the other day he’d told his sister about you? Hmm.
Then this from him:
“… when I was telling [his best mate] about you last night?”
“What did you tell him?”
“That you’re a journalist.”
“I haven’t been a journo for 10 years.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“Do you actually know what I do?”
“Yeah. Yeah, I do. Kinda. It’s like PR.”
“It’s not but OK. So, what else?”
“What else what?”
“What else did you say about me?”
“That was it. We had a lot to catch up on. We hadn’t seen each other since Christmas.”
These are all stupid little comments that I know I’m reading too much into, but the kicker came when we were going to bed. It was our third night together in the past four days and I mentioned the phone call with his sister.
“Well, what was I supposed to say? I have a Tinder chick here.”
“Want to have sex? Just a gobby?”
A Tinder chick.
He finally, finally read my mood and said, “you don’t want to at all do you?”
I said, “I don’t think anyone likes being thought of as just sex.”
“Is that what you think? That you’re just sex?”
I didn’t answer but it would have been pointless anyway. He was asleep within three breaths.
It was like all the men of my past had morphed into this emotional gun pointed at my head.
A secret like with Married.
Deliberately left out in a phone call in front of me like A had done.
Little interest in who I am or what I do, like dozens of them.
A Tinder chick.
I was a fool.