“This is my boyfriend.”
“No. My boyfriend.”
“Oh. Hope you’re happy together!”
When you find someone sexually attractive, it’s only right that you imagine having sex with them. You mentally undress them, you look at their trousers and imagine an eighteen thousand inch penis with a ghostly beckoning finger at the tip. You’ll most likely imagine a gymnastic flexibility, allowing them to do a simultaneous handstand and splits. This position offers you a tidily swollen set of balls, plus a dampish place to bury your face.
These thoughts happen, in a series of stills separated by the flash of a 1950s camera bulb, during the “Heh” of “Hello”. By the time you’ve got the reply – probably the jarringly confident “Hi”, above – you’ll already have traced the blossoming relationship into a much later stage. You’ll have assumed from his confidence that he’s a public speaker – a teacher, perhaps – and you’ll have developed the crackling-log-fired scene where you’re helping him with his marking, and laughing at the stupid kid’s answers.
“Joe just can’t get the hang of vulgar fractions,” he’d laugh. And I’d look over his shoulder at the workbook, and say “he’s certainly got the hang of vulgar handwriting, though!” Both of our mouths would crinkle like old Kit-Kat wrappers into a lazy smile. But inside, we’re both remembering a time when laughter came more easily. We both know the relationship died months ago.
|Interview With A Geography Teacher
Q : How did you get into Geography?
A : I fuckin’ love it, man. You can’t explain that shit. I just
fuckin’ love it.
Q : Do you have a favourite kind of geography?
A : Hills – I can’t get me enough hills. If you put a hill on top of another hill, I’d be like “MORE FUCKING HILLS, BITCH”.
Q : If you had to characterise the Earth as a human, what would it be?
A : It’d be a fuckin’ whore, playin’ with my balls. Like Bowie in
Labyrinth. Juggling my balls like a fuckin’ pro. That’s Planet Earth.
By the next time we meet, I’ve had a thousand imagined futures with him, all leading to a thousand imagined failures. I’ve worked faster than the computer in War Games to find the way this nuclear war could have a winner. So when he introduces me to his boyfriend, it doesn’t quite sink in. How could anyone go out with him? He’s a nightmare! He leaves hair in the sink, which is cute to begin with, but that soon wears off. And he leaves Marmite-covered knives in the Utterly Butterly!
But, the nightclub is quite noisy, so you may have misheard.
“This is your… ex-boyfriend?”
That would make sense. He must have a million exes, littering the countryside. But no, he replies – it’s his current boyfriend. Living the one path you haven’t yet found. The one path that, at the end of the Lawnmower Man, let the retard out to ring the telephones.
|The Lawnmower Man’s Song
Hello Madam, how do you do?
I’m the Lawnmower Man,
and so are you.
Makes you think, huh?
So, what can I say now? I’ve just inserted the harsh, choking sound of “ECKS” into the middle of an otherwise bouncy and likeable sentence. It must be obvious to them both that that ECKS contained my most earnest hopes, and nothing would make me happier than to have one of them say “you know, this isn’t working. Perhaps Log’s right – we should be exes, and take it in turns to have sex with him.” I decide it’s worth waiting a moment to see if one of them says this; they don’t.
Thinking about it, let’s look a little closer at those bouncy, likeable words, “This is my boyfriend”…
So I get it. This is your boyfriend. Why don’t you just get his dick out and see if I measure up? See if my piss eats through steel like I’m so fucking sure his does?
Anyway, what this boils down to, the sticky residue left in my saucepan, is my response; a eyes-raised that’s-interesting “oh!”, that stops people dead on the dancefloor with its awkward and hopelessly unjustifiable disappointment.
And then, two seconds of silence – one second for each nut that I want to rip off and jam into my eye-holes. “No,” I wanted to say. “That wasn’t a disappointed oh! It was nonchalant!” But the conversation is now hopelessly clogged. My immediate instinct is to apologise, but even with the slim chance they hadn’t noticed that I’ve just died twenty times, an apology would confirm everything. They’d say “Sorry for what?”, just to make me say it out loud. God, they’re even touching each other! Go on, kiss his fucking neck! You know I want to watch!
Looking around for inspiration, I see people dancing, and an escape route presents itself – I could dance. “Ah! This is one of my favourite songs!” I say, and walk backwards onto into the dancefloor. But I want to leave everything on a positive note, and to let them know that I harbour no resentment. So I say, immediately before widening my eyes in absolute horror at how crass my brain is making me – “hope you’re happy together!”
The song ends three seconds later, exposing my exit as a fake, so I spend the next ten minutes in the toilets, trying to scratch the words off my tongue. In the end, I decide that it’s safer and less insane to wash the words off with beer, so I set about getting pissed instead.