Until then, I climb the walls, I gnaw my nails, I count the days. I’m kept in a constant state of readiness . He could text me in a moment to announce he’s back. He’s here. Come on, saucy, get your coat! Or he could fall mute for months: cold and unobtainable in the frozen north. There’s no way of knowing when he’ll pounce. No way of knowing why I endure this and why I adore him.
I always do get over it, of course. We all do, even though we may be changed and a bit exhausted. So I know the moping stage will pass and someone else will come along but, at the time, I just cannot imagine it.
I’ve thought of writing a letter to myself, to be opened six months in the future, saying ‘Look moron, I told you this would pass. What were you crying over him for?’ I could then tuck it away in a drawer, knowing that when the time came to open it, I’d be miles removed from the grizzled, miserable sop I am now.
This was the frosty text Shug sent after our big fight. There’d been tension between us since the baby talk and it was inevitable it would spark up into a tremendous row.
I’d embarrassed him by saying there was no chance of a baby by his 50th, but what else could I have done? I couldn’t have misled him about something so important; I had to tell him straight, and he’d been cold with me ever since.
Women are supposed to relish talking, especially about relationships and all that palaver. Not me. I’d rather just get it clear once and for all: you seeing anyone else? We like each other an’ all that? Cool. Mine’s a gin and cranberry.
(Of course, the above didn’t apply with The Clown, over whom I agonised and analysed and cried out my eyes.)
When I was with Terry Boy I was forever badgering him to paint me. He was an artist but preferred drawing crashing aeroplanes or stunted alien babies.
How romantic, I thought, if he were to paint me as I reclined on the sofa, with a flower in my hair, or if he could capture me watching the sunset from the balcony of our Maryhill high-rise…