Well it was far too long to hide before I met you

Popscene flyer

May 5th 1996

After spending most (well some) of the day revising we couldn’t resist another visit to Clwb Ifor Bach last night. Popscene was so good last time, like a perfect indie music bubble, that we needed another fix. Lovely men, minor Welsh celebs, excellent tunes and dirty dancefloors. What else does a single girl need in life?

I am getting more than used to the single girl label these days and as long as I can push all thoughts of Him from my consciousness I am ok. This is easily done with the use of alcohol, friends, music and, yes I will admit it, a bit of male attention.

Young, free and single and loving it (most of the time/as long as I don’t dwell on the past too much).

So, back to Popscene with a vengeance. Tanked up on vodka we cabbed it into town, the queue was starting to snake along the cobbled streets which annoyed us. This club was ours!After shivering in the queue for what seemed like hours we got inside and it was BUZZING!  Wall to wall with beautiful people (we had drunk a lot of vodka!), stunning music, and an amazing atmosphere. Everyone wanted to hear this music and the dancefloor was jumping. So many good tunes it felt wrong to sit down. Dance, dance and more dance.

I could have stayed in that happy zone forever. I’m sure in about twenty years time, when my life has changed beyond recognition, the smell of Marlboro Lights, dry ice and Jean Paul Gaultier perfume will send me straight back to Popscene in Clwb.

Then, as if the evening couldn’t get any better, I spotted Liam. Sat on the stage at the front of the Popscene room looking cool as. I had a very secret crush on this boy ever since the start of Uni. He had been a distraction in many a  tedious lecture, someone to admire as we waited for a tutorial. Not conventionally stunning like Tom the Disappointment more just super cool. He was the ultimate indie boy. Trendy clothes, precision cut hair, beautiful smile and, to complete the image, he was called Liam. Full of vodka fuelled confidence I strode over to introduce myself with the carefully thought out line of,

“You do my course you do!”

Luckily, he didn’t seem to be offended by my cringe worthy approach and seemed more than happy to be blatantly chatted up by a half cut Welsh girl.

“You’re so cool, you’re so cool, you’re so cool.”

marion

He must have thought I was ok too as he offered me a drink. As we talked, in-depth, the club emptied around us, friends went home, the birds started singing and he was holding my hand! He offered me a smoke at his, how could I refuse? Ignoring the fact that this was becoming a dirty habit I leapt at the chance.

As I have been starved of any positive male vibes for the last few years I wil not deny myself any pleasures for a while. I am sure these confidence boosts are good for me.

So we went back to Liam’s, a palace of a house by student standards. His room was enormous and decked out with trippy lights, lava lamps and excellent art. I felt like I was in a Doors documentary from the 60s. He was so bloody cool. We smoked, he played his guitar, he told me about his world travels, we listened to Marion, we cooked sausages at 4 in the morning. It was immense. This guy was out of this world and out of my league. But it didn’t stop us.

Can you fall a little bit in love? Is it too soon after Him? Am I still drunk? All so hugely exciting!

Also, I have invited him to come and see SFA with me next week at the Terminal. So the fun is ongoing.

Oh yeah

Ash1977cover

Chapter 11

May 2nd 1996

I have had an amazing couple of days. 48 hours of good, happy happenings. It all started yesterday when I went on a mega shop in town. Had the best fun with Harry and threw caution to the wind and spent an awful lot of what I haven’t got. But what the hell. It’s my birthday in 5 days and I need a new me.

Therefore it is a big ‘Hello’ the best platform sandals you have ever seen. EVER. Even Harry agreed with me and our taste in clothes can be poles apart. THE MOST FABULOUS SHOES EVER!!!! And they are mine.

Then I managed to persuade Harry to go out for a few drinks in the Union. There was a new indie club night in the Terminal called BIG. We gave it a whirl but it was shit to be completely honest. Empty and atmospheric. Even the cool tunes couldn’t make it happen. So, we gave up and popped next door to the faithful Taf instead. We had such a laugh and got on so well. Again, I am reminded of how valuable my friendships are. It is so brilliant to be able to have the time to spend with these lovely people.

We had a few drinks, we giggled and we gossiped and then we spotted Dead Man from the other night. He was certainly alive tonight. On fire in fact. We couldn’t take our eyes off him. Our gawping must have been less than subtle as his mate came over and insisted on introducing us to him. He was genuinely grateful for our help and insisted gallantly to buy us a few drinks. An offer we were more than happy to accept.

Bloody hell, he was nice. As we got chatting there was definitely something between us and our body language was letting us both know the score. We detached ourselves from the rest of the group and spent the rest of the evening flirting outrageously with each other. This man was ridiculously stunning, well out of my league but I was enjoying every second of his attention. When Harry finally waved and over dramatically winked her non-subtle farewell, it became inevitable where myself and Tom were heading.

I have just got back from his now. We had fun, he was so beautiful to look at and I am thrilled that he was interested in me.  But, if I am completely honest the packaging was slightly misleading. I expected Brad, he was more like Garth. Maybe when you look like that you expect it to be all about you. Ten out of ten for presentation, 2 out of ten for effort.

He also had a poster of Pamela Anderson on his wall in her Baywatch costume. Again, disappointing.

Harry succinctly put her opinion to me as I sheepishly returned. “Top pull.” I enjoyed telling her the truth.

Still – a great couple of days of healing my soul.

Pamela Anderson

I’m holding on for tomorrow

Blur_fortomorrow

April 21st 1996

I have successfully made it through the muddle of the last few days. To summarise these are the main issues I have had to address:

  • Him – He has moved out, gone home for recovery, postponed His exams. No more contact allowed.What a pleasant way to end a 3 year relationship.
  • Uni – A meeting with my course leader about my ’emotional well being’.
  • The B.I.P – we had to do our presentation. Ben with his broken leg, myself a broken person, Sophie the glue trying to hold it all together.
  • 4 other final course work deadlines.
  • Some serious revision catch up.

All this has been achieved on a diet of Marlboro Lights, Pro-plus and an old Blur album that I rediscovered in an attempt to escape to the rose-tinted past.

Not ignoring the power of friendship. Maisie and Rhys have listened to my endless, depressing, soul-searching over hours of cheap wine and cheesy nachos. Harry has given up her bedroom floor so that I can sleep away from the house that I shared with Him. Ben has ensured that my studies have stayed on track, forcing me to meet with tutors and disclose the emotional mess my life has become.

Onwards and upwards.

Tonight is my first venture out socially since The Idiot Episode. Harry is coaxing me back out to civilization. A few beers in the Taf and then who knows? I’m not overly keen but need to just get on with life and stop wallowing in His misery. It’s a right struggle.

———————————————————————————————————-

I did it. Went out, saw some familiar faces, had a few beers, managed a smile or two. It was an uneventful low-key evening until the journey home. Harry had her Dad’s old car so, because we could, we decided we just had to have a curry in Canton. The novelty of having transport created the curry craving and there was no way we could even entertain the idea of sleeping until we had filled our boots.

It was late when we left the curry house. The journey back across town was a flurry of traffic lights, Oasis anthems  and spicy fumes. Then suddenly, as we drove up City Road, Harry slammed her brakes.

We could not believe our eyes.

There was a body in the road.

Ruth was the bravest. She was the first one out of the car whilst myself and Harry sat paralysed with dread. Always good in emergencies Ruth pushed her way through a group of gawpers and peered over the corpse. Still sat in the dark car, unable to move, we watched as she busied about motioning orders to incredulous bystanders.

After what seemed like hours we tentatively stumbled out of the car not sure of what we were getting ourselves into. Ruth had to explain to us that the body wasn’t dead, the poor guy had too many lager tops after finishing his coursework and had collapsed in the middle of the road. Most of the Cardiff night traffic had swerved away from the ambiguous obstruction. We, like fools, had stopped and we were now being sucked into this unfortunate little drama.

Dead Man’s mates were begging us to drive him home. They had been trying to move him for hours(apparently), they were nice, trustworthy guys (by all accounts) and they would buy us a drink next time they saw us (yeah right!!!). We were kindly souls deep down and they won us over. Looking at their predicament from their perspective it did all look a bit dire. We resorted to squeezing in Dead Man and one spokesman in the back. A comfortable journey it was not.

Whether it was the moonlight, the banter or the booze the three of us girls independently came to the same conclusion on that journey through Cathays.

Dead Man was lush!

Even with his head lolling about semi consciously there was a definite air of a long-haired Brad Pitt about him.

Brad Pitt

Really? Or had we imagined it?

The three of us couldn’t be mistaken surely? I suppose we will never know.

A great distraction though.

It’s a mess alright

Trainspotting Poster

Chapter 9

16th April 1996

What a complete waste of time. What a complete waste of space.

After managing to ignore His many messages on the answer phone successfully my housemate handed me the phone this morning and it was Him. He was being all cool and ‘nice’ and very un Him like. He wanted to meet up to sort out practicalities. My immediate reaction was to tell Him to f**k off, which I did. But then, when He phoned again, I had thought about it and realised a meeting would probably benefit me too. Time to say goodbye. Admit to the end of an era and go our separate ways, cliché, cliché, cliché. I hadn’t prepared for this as, to be honest, I hadn’t really expected to see Him again after confessing my recent Ben ‘sins’ to Him. I hadn’t really wanted to see Him after his final violent tantrum. It was with huge trepidation that I met Him at the Woody this afternoon.

It started in a civil manner, all small talk and pleasantries, and on reflection that is how it should have been left. Instead we had pint number two. An ill-judged second pint. There I was thinking it was going so well, thinking how dignified He was being, hoping that we may even stay friends. The sun and the Stella had obviously clouded my judgement because before we’d finished that second drink the melodrama had commenced.

Tears started rolling down his cheeks. A non-stop, silent river of tears. This was unlike any crying I had ever seen before. What the hell was wrong with Him? I mean fair enough feel sad but good God there is a limit. I didn’t feel sympathy for him, just shock at the state He was in. He wasn’t His usual angry default setting it was just these bloody tears. And they kept on coming. I was embarrassed, uncomfortable and wanted to escape. But as I tried to mumble an excuse and make a sharp exit He dropped an almighty,

“I really need to tell you something.” His tone was sinister and I could sense His desperation.

What now?

“I’ve started using heroin.” Big dramatic eyes, pregnant pause. a ‘take that one on the nose’ air about Him.

Bloody hell, I knew for a fact this was nonsense; a ridiculous, desperate attempt to shock me into sympathy. I couldn’t even try to play His stupid game. Did He really think that some bag o’ shite lie would make everything ok and make me crawl back to Him. He was on something but it was definitely not heroin.

I guessed He had been to see Trainspotting since walking out. The film had inspired this pathetic story. I yelled at Him very loudly in front of an audience of sunny, spring afternoon drinkers. He cried some more. I think they enjoyed the sideshow. I turned on my heel and was gone.

And this time I really, really was gone – leaving a shaking, bawling, manipulative Ex behind. And it felt bloody brilliant.

———————————————————————————————-

It’s 5 in the morning.

He tried to kill himself tonight.

Housemate James found him in the bath, slit wrists, overdose etc.

photoStupid idiot.

Harry had her Dad’s car so we drove him to casualty. I can’t believe it and cannot begin to describe how I feel.

Stupid idiot.

We left him there about an hour ago, he was recovering but weak and pathetic, just a shadow.

F**king stupid idiot.