Musings and Writing of GG Alexander

Heavy Platonic

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Came into my head after the meeting tonight. I read out the start of something I’ll posting on here in the coming weeks.

I’m half-cut at the minute. This is probably a load of shit, fresh off the press, but I’m posting it anyway. I promise I’ll stop writing whiny first-person twenty-something-girl-problem stuff eventually.


Know that thing where you fall in love? It’s always one person. One heart, one soul. Well I went and fell in love with a couple. And no, not a couple of guys like some teen-drama love triangle shit. Like an actual couple, man and woman who live together in a house and have a dog and refer to the stuff in their house as “our something”. Though maybe that gives the wrong impression. It’s not romantic love, but it’s like some heavy platonic love where I really like them and care about them and I want to be around them all the time. I had it once before with one of the girls I teach singing to. She was this girl of about nine or ten who clearly thought I was the best thing in the universe, which is a really nice feeling if you ever get it. I got her sweeties even though she said she wasn’t allowed, and I liked her so much as a friend and tutee that it felt kind of inappropriate. She won a competition then stopped coming to me for lessons, and I really really missed her for a while. I got over it, of course. You get over everything eventually.

It’s a weird feeling to be like that again, and with two people no less They’re friends of my mum’s ex-boyfriend. We were having a Christmas house party and I got talking to them and they offered me wine and listened to me talk about uni and my boyfriend and said my psychology experiment sounded really interesting and then Linda mentioned how one of her friend’s daughters teaches singing and I hated her immediately without even seeing her, the bitch. And Steve was the only middle-aged man I’ve met who, when I said I teach singing on the side of studying, didn’t say “Those who can’t do, teach,” and then smile and expect me to find it funny.

I went to visit them a bit after the party with mum and Mark – they didn’t think I’d say yes to coming along but I really enjoyed talking to them because they were interested in what I said and treated me like an adult and not some tumour on the couch or ghost upstairs. Their house is really small but nicely decorated, and they have a corgi that seems to be in every place at once even though it’s impossible because he only has those tiny legs. Named Jebediah, or Jeb. They talked to us all about work and the TV shows and films they’ve watched, and a little bit about politics, and when Mark tried to go on a rant about immigration Linda went on an contrastingly left-wing counter-offense and I could tell the prick got really irritated so mum started talking about TV again and I was so happy someone could say what I was thinking for once.

Mark bitched about that all the way home in the car. Mum listened. She dumped him by text then changed her number because she was worried he might take it badly, and I’m glad she did because when he got angry he made you think he was a murder-suicide waiting to happen, but I was also upset because it meant I probably wouldn’t be able to meet Steve and Linda again. But then mum said she liked them and invited them round and I talked about books with Linda all night and I could tell I was falling again, getting that heavy platonic thing going, and then Steve kept joking and all I could think when I looked at them both was how much I wished for them to be happy, how I hoped that their jobs worked out well and their families stopped pestering them for kids and cute little Jeb never got old or ill or died ever.

Mum said they seemed a bit sniffy for her liking. Talking down to her, she said. Said some nasty things about Mark too. ‘But mum,’ I said, ‘you’ve said worse about him, and why do you care if you’ve broken up?’

‘It’s the principle,’ she said. ‘They shouldn’t talk that way about one of their friends.’

I didn’t give a damn. They felt more like my friends than hers now. But who ever heard of a student being friends with a couple in their forties? It isn’t right, people’d say. So that was that. Mum didn’t take me round there any more, and I left when uni began again.


Tuesday past, Ryan broke up with me. Said we never did anything anymore, said I was boring and sat around reading and playing piano and video games all day.

‘It’s an electric piano, not a real one,’ I said.

Said that kind of nitpicky thing is why I’m a pain, and we can’t go on. Two years, I said, and it never bothered you before, none of it. It did but I didn’t say, he said. I got the feeling our roles were meant to be reversed somehow, like I was the man and he was the woman. I went for a walk to sort it all out in my head, and then I got obsessed with not stepping on the cracks in the pavement and the street was luckily one of the few streets where each pave was a step apart, unlike most pavements where the slabs are always a step and a half and you can never walk normally and avoid all the cracks. And then a guy passed me, and he had his hoodie up like all the guys on our street always do, and I always worry they’re criminals and going to attack me but they never do and I keep walking outside late at night anyway. My head was this huge huge mess, thinking that I was boring and weird and all this avoiding the cracks thing just showed how messed up I was. When we started going out, he used to say it was “quirky.” That’s just what they call weird when it’s sexy. I just wanted to go home and play the piano and sing, but it was late at night and the neighbours would complain and I couldn’t sing about how awful I felt right in front of Ryan, could I?

I went back and slept on the couch and the next day we had to talk about how to split up our things and who would keep the flat and I wanted to postpone it, I wanted to talk about other things but he kept saying we had to, bringing me back to it, and while he was telling me all that I was going to keep and get and how I had to find a new place, I wondered how my mum could have gone through this four or five times, and how she could keep going back to new people again and again if this was how it ended: not my choice, not a bang or betrayal, but some awful whimper that somehow still criticised everything you did and liked and stood for, still tore everything you were to shreds. And he had the nerve to be calm about it, and say he had been thinking about it for a while, and said he hadn’t told me because I’d be like this.

It was February 14th. Valentine’s Day, but more importantly, my birthday, because I was a week late and wanted to start messing up things right from the beginning. I knew if I stayed another night in front of Ryan without singing along to something then I’d start crying and never stop. I had a lesson to take but I cancelled it. Personal matters, I said. The mother sounded worried, like I’d said I might have cancer. No, I said, it’s my birthday and something’s come up. She sounded happier then, like it must be a surprise party.

Mum called me just after I hung up. Said happy birthday. Started wittering on about TV and I told her I couldn’t deal and she got all huffy and I said about Ryan, then had to hang up on her before she started over-sympathising.

I went to the shop and decided I’d buy myself the biggest fuck-off box of chocolates they had, because I’d never been given a box of chocolates in my life. And a bottle of cava. Then I looked at it and realised I couldn’t have them at home and couldn’t have it outside – couldn’t drink cava in the park like it was cheap lager! And I felt so fucked-up in myself that I said, fuck it, I don’t care, there’s only one place I’d like to be tonight.


They were in. Linda answered the door and looked really surprised.

‘It’s my birthday,’ I blurted out, ‘and I’ve no-one to spend it with. Can I just come in and sit with you two, for five minutes? You can have some booze, if you like.’

She opened the door wider. After the surprise, she didn’t have that wild look of desperation I expected, not like the look you give when a homeless person confronts you in the street and asks for money when damn it, that money’s for you but you can’t say because then you’re a bad person. Nothing like that feigned politeness.

‘No worries, pet,’ she said. ‘We’re having a quiet one anyway. Come on in, you can watch Doctor Who with us.’

I hate Doctor Who. That’s not why I was nearly crying as I stepped in.

‘Thank you,’ I said.


Written by G.J.

10/01/2013 at 12:37 am

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