Nightmare (male privilege)

Three Ages of Man and Three Graces, by Hans Baldung

Three Ages of Man and Three Graces, by Hans Baldung

Master of Ceremonies:

Welcome to the all you can eat buffet of male privilege!  It’s all you can eat bodies here, no souls attached!  Need someone to fuck around with while you’re getting over your ex-wife, and before you’ve met the next adolescent to lure into co dependence, we have it!  Need some emotional and physical intimacy while your ex-girlfriend  is still living in your flat and only having sex with you occasionally, we’ve got it!    Need someone to fuck while your partner is away in India! We can help you!

There are way too many bodies on the table here, and it’s easy for the customers to over indulge, which they often do, wreaking havoc on their frail digestive systems.

I have already been consumed.  J.W., N, and the Red Headed Cupid have used a mixture of my blood and fascia to hold together the awkward, unmentionable parts of their lives, never thinking that I needed to have my own story.  After all the M.C. said that there were no souls involved.  Everyone listens to the M.C.. The Red Headed Cupid is still picking the flesh of my heel from his teeth as he greets his partner at Heathrow.

I am gathering my bones together where they’ve been discarded, underneath the table.  I am trying to reincorporate, forming my own story, although I know it borders on the grotesque.  Dry bones held together by alien saliva, and a head, I crawl out from under the table and stagger upwards.

N looks at my face and says: What’s eating you? Why do you look so down?  Look at how the blue the sky is!  There are so many people you could meet!    Put a smile on your face!

I wonder if N notices that I am only a skeleton and barely standing up.  I momentarily fantasize about somehow reasserting my boundaries to protect myself from the ‘wrong people,’  but then it’s still in recent memory that it’s only these ‘wrong’ people who  approached me, and I don’t even have skin to hide the immodesty of my bones any more.  All the sweetness of the flesh:  generosity, empathy, and idealism, has been completely consumed.

I look at N and realize he is wearing strange, circular, opaque glasses. They turn prismatic in the sunlight.  I wonder if he is actually blind, or his vision is distorted.  I try to take off his glasses.

“Don’t Touch Me!” he snaps angrily.  I look slightly wounded. “Maybe you should try dating someone  uglier and less intelligent,” he says.  “People like me only partner with people who look like Jennifer Aniston and own flats near Bakerloo.”

In an awkward pause I  look at his sunken chest and flabby stomach and try to unravel what the MC said to make him equate personal fulfillment with commodity fetishes.

Then I totter back to the feast for women…I have some faint memory of being here before I was lured to that demented table by a chicken pie.  The feast is a bit like the one in Peter Pan and also like the one in Beetle Juice.  The food is very good, pies and cakes, turkey legs and quiche, but you have to work very hard to imagine it.  Then when you put out your hand to grasp the imaginary food, an invisible hand swats at you.

You want emotional intimacy with your sex?  Shut the fuck up you stupid ho!

You want to express your thoughts and feelings? Disgusting, no one wants to hear your imbecility!

You want to be in a relationship? You clingy bitch!  How transactional!

You want to get married and have kidsGrotesque, That’s not for people like you!

I sleepily wonder what kind of people it is for, and where their table is, but I let it go pretty quickly.  I have zero transformational powers in my skeleton, and no energy as my body is feeding on nothing right now.   I couldn’t begin to look like them.  Though I am absolutely starving at this point I don’t have enough energy to imagine any more food….and if I take any more hits from invisible hands I might collapse into a pile of bones. I am longing to….I am a few seconds away from….lying down on the grassy hillside and waiting for the lights to go dim.

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Date #17, The Greenwich Punk

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The Pre Date Vlog

The Unconventional Woman ventures forth to meet a date with a close to nondescript hipster profile, She wants to see what will happen  after she sinks her teeth into the details.

The Post First Impressions Vlog

Details indeed, The Unconventional Woman is pleased to note that she has been surprised by a 33 year old master of self-reinvention.

The Post Date Denouement

Sometimes you meet someone really interesting, but you’re just not finding them attractive. It also sounded like he would have some problems with the blog.

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Date #16, So out of sync today

  Things were reading well….

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The Pre Date Vlog

Things are off to a rough start as a road block on The Unconventional Woman’s bus route appears to be causing some delays. The Unconventional Woman has high hopes from the photos and elaborate messages, but has she already ruined things?

The Post First Impressions Vlog

The Unconventional Woman is very pleased that her date seem so much in the know about ideas she has been working on, and she goes straight into explaining some of her current projects (not the blog!). Meanwhile he shares knowledge with her about other places in England she hasn’t explored yet.

The Post Date Denouement

If you read a transcript of  the date, you’d say they were getting along swimmingly,  but in other ways they were totally out of sync.   The Unconventional Woman reflects on whether this is is a coincidence or a lack of preparation and timing.

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Date #15, The Phd Student from Central St. Martins

Still from Wangechi Mutu's Film showing at Victoria Miro Gallery

Still from Wangechi Mutu’s film showing at Victoria Miro Gallery, part of “Sirens and Serpents.”

The Predate Vlog

In recovery mode again, the Unconventional Woman quickly schedules a gallery crawl with someone in an antimessaging state of mind.

The Post First Impressions Vlog

The Unconventional woman is butting heads with her date in the pub over questions of art and politics. How romantic!

The Post Date Denouement

A second date is mentioned in passing, but The Unconventional Woman suspects  there is too much intellectual incompatibility to move on from this point.  At the same time she is impressed by his low key vibe.

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Date #14, Second date with a Growth Capitalist (Not a VC)

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The Predate Vlog

I’m still uncomfortable with some of the language that’s being tossed around but after communicating my inhibitions I am ready to go on a second date. Part of me is just breathing a sigh of relief that I don’t have to go on another first date.

Post Second Impressions Vlog

I’m really enjoying every minute of this evening.

So I pop out of  the loo at the Curzon, and I’m the very last one.   “Did I take too long? I was last in the queue!”

He says, “Where do you want to go now? There’s this bar near Canary Wharf with good cocktails.. There’s also Beaujolais..”  We’ve already talked about going to Beaujolais, a French wine bar near the theater, and I’m kind of creeped out by the bar in Canary Wharf coming from now where….he not so subtley sent me his address in South Quay when we talked about which cinema to go to…..as if trying to make it relevant information.  He shows off his French with the barmaids and orders pate, but we don’t talk about France.  I tell him the first time I had pate was in Vietnam.

We talk about going to India……he dated an Indian woman before, someone from Mumbai, and visited her family there. I try to get information about his past relationships….how many long, how long, with who?    I want to see the patterns or atleast a learning process. He refuses.

He impresses me by giving me his angle on Indian politics, and sort of horrifies me by having a different opinion on Arundhati Roy, but then I’m just impressed that he’s constructed an opinion.

I ask about his mom, who he claimed had ‘a political past.’  He describes his family moving away from Brixton to the suburbs after the first two years of his life and his mom becoming disconnected and depressed.  I wonder if that means he would never isolate a woman. His parents called it quits when he was 16 after he decided to go to school in Wales.  Then I realize that he’s lived most of his life as an only child, and something clicks for me.  His personality is very,very, much like an only child..and so is mine.  I once dated a middle child who I thought was very attentive and a good listener, until he told me how self absorbed and obnoxious I was.  I fantasize that the GC and I could be tremendously entertaining as a partnership of obnoxious only children, colorful internal monologues crashing against another as we wrestle for center stage:  like a reunion with an unknown sibling or a phantom limb.  I see us together, not ‘only’ anymore.

I’m already worrying about telling him of the blog.  There’s something excitable and self important about his personality that I feel might not take it well, and I think that little high voice shouting at me would be quite upsetting.  I ask him, “So what would make you angry?”   He says “That would be telling wouldn’t it?”

It’s 11 pm and Beaujolais is closing.  I feel high in the moment and I don’t want things to end just there.. .I’ve just started to feel hope that this is going somewhere.  We could stay out another hour and I could still get home on public transport.  He mentions the bar in Canary Wharf again and I let myself trust him this time.

Getting Carried Away Vlog

The worst thing that happened:  he was on top of me trying to do something I did not want him to do.  I told him to stop and that it hurt.  He talked to me like I was a seven year old getting her stitches out, telling me that I was a good girl and I was doing very well.   He did not stop until I resorted to biting him and pinching him as hard I could.

When he was lying in bed I told him that he was very pretty and looked like Adonis.  He said that I had to stop saying that and tell him that he was handsome.  I understand why he kept asking if he ‘dominated me’.

I told him I liked him three different times, looking into his eyes.  On the third time, He said  “I know, and I said I like you too, but If you say that again, you’re going to scare me.”

I liked seeing him in his boxer briefs making breakfast for me in the kitchen, strutting like a redheaded cupid.   It made me want to distract him endlessly with my lips and finger tips. It also made me want to cook him breakfast, a lot of breakfasts.  There were boxes of dosa and uttapam mix on the side of the hob.  He spread his father’s fruit confit on my toast.

We had a long, complex, kiss good bye.  I told him he looked snappy as he went to his interview.  He said he would miss me.

I waited 3 days before I sent him a message about a Truffaut film playing in Brixton which would be introduced by Richard Ayoade.  We had both agreed at Beaujolais we would be interested in seeing this. He did not respond.  I spent the rest of the day and part of the next two crying.

In my research, I have only discovered two types of men in London:  those who don’t want to be around me, and those who pretend that they like me long enough to sleep with me, and then notice, quite casually, that they don’t want to be around me.

You can follow the Unconventional Woman on Twitter @LeUnconventional