* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.

All I need

11 October 2001
Jamie's gone all sentimental - hey, he's had a drink...

It's not so much the time we spend together, as the time we don't. It's been a month or two since the last time we saw each other, and each day that goes by I miss you more and more; even when everyone tells me you're a bad bet, that it'll all end in tears, you know and I know that I can't help myself, that I'll always want you, that when I'm not with you there's a part of me that might as well be dead.

Remember the first time I spoke to you? I'd seen you around, in a couple of bars, I'd started seeing which clubs you went to and who your friends were. I made sure that everywhere you went out, I was there too; that when you saw me, I'd be surrounded by people that looked like they loved me; that you always thought, what has he got, and how can I get it?

It took a while to make contact. I'd be standing there, trying to look interested in the people that were interested in me, being desirable by not wanting you as badly as I did, drinking the right drinks and smoking cigarettes that made me feel like shit the next day. I flirted with your friends; I showed I didn't give a damn while inside I was spinning like Kylie. It must have been tens of nights out before I finally spoke to you; from the first time I thought about you last thing at night to the time we first exchanged a look over the flame of my borrowed lighter.

You had a boyfriend, of course; it couldn't have been that easy. Of course I'd heard the stories: the money he'd borrowed, the girls he'd been with, the times he'd made you cry so hard your eyes looked like they were bleeding next day in lectures. The way you always went back to him regardless; this strong woman who I envied for her beauty, her confidence, her independence, her don't-give-a-fuck attitude, reduced to a kid by some dickhead who didn't value what he had.

But obviously he pushed you too far. I never found out what it was, even in those nights when we held each other close and told each other everything; those times when you just went quiet and pulled me tighter towards you until I wanted to open up my soul and let you in so you wouldn't have to face the world alone any more. All I knew was that I hated him more when he'd lost you than when he had you and hurt you and you forgave him everything. Something told me that I could never affect you quite that deeply; that no matter how well I treated you, and how much you loved me, he would always be that distance between us that stopped you giving yourself to me alone. I wanted his power over you, his power to give you pleasure, his power to cause you pain.

We had a relationship, I'm not denying that. I'd be surprised if most people got that much passion in their lifetimes, if many couples could say they'd given that much of themselves to the other person. But even in the half-light of an early-morning fuck, when all I could see of you was eyes and breast and hair, when sight took a back seat to all the other senses, there was a dark shadow in the bed with us that wouldn't disappear when the birds started singing and the dawn sunlight came through my cheap curtains as we lay there afterward, gently touching each other's skin.

It's my fault, of course. I never challenged it, never questioned you. You never mentioned him, never really acted as though he was ever a part of your life. You never suggested you wanted any more or any different to what you had with me, in those few months when people that didn't know us would stare at us on the bus, on the tram, looking at us like you look at celebrity couples who just look so perfect and suited and in love.

But I was haunted. Vanity's a terrible thing, especially when it fights against itself. I was there, a beautiful woman on my arm, jealous looks all around; but I was always questioning, analysing, thinking but not asking the one person who could give me the real answer. And there's only one way that can end.

So it did end. I'm not sure I ever gave you a reason you believed; my friends know some of the story and tell me it could never have worked, but they're the same people that were telling me how great you were six weeks ago. It's loyalty, I know, but I don't need it. I don't want them shattering the image I had of you then.

Now, when I see you out, I make sure to keep my distance. You may have noticed I'm spending less time in the clubs, the bars you used to see me. Through no fault of yours, you've managed to make me feel hurt like I've never felt before, to make me feel happier not being with the person I love. This must be how suicide feels.


This is the fucking archive

Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
13 October 2003. Jamie writes: The Persistence of Memory
22 September 2003. Jamie writes: The Email Eunuch
1 September 2003. Jamie writes: Credo
11 August 2003. Jamie writes: Brad and Jennifer and Me
21 July 2003. Jamie writes: Interruption
30 June 2003. Jamie writes: Do you remember the first time?
12 June 2003. Jamie writes: Forthcoming Attractions
19 May 2003. Jamie writes: Stupid Mistake
28 April 2003. Jamie writes: Hoping and Praying
7 April 2003. Jamie writes: Strangers on a Plane
17 March 2003. Jamie writes: Q&A
24 February 2003. Jamie writes: Altered States
3 February 2003. Jamie writes: How to say goodbye
13 January 2003. Jamie writes: In A League Of Their Own
23 December 2002. Jamie writes: What's in a name?
2 December 2002. Jamie writes: Lies, Damned Lies and Spastics
11 November 2002. Jamie writes: Memoirs of a Gaysian: A Preface
21 October 2002. Jamie writes: Love is blindness
30 September 2002. Jamie writes: Time for bed
9 September 2002. Jamie writes: Angry Exchanges Can Be Puzzling [10]
19 August 2002. Jamie writes: High Speed
29 July 2002. Jamie writes: Firkin Hell
8 July 2002. Jamie writes: Do you, er... haiku?
13 June 2002. Jamie writes: Unnatural Porn Thrillers
20 May 2002. Jamie writes: The Triumphant Return of the Septic Fiveskins
25 April 2002. Jamie writes: Meeting People is Easy
4 April 2002. Jamie writes: I Want I Want I Want
7 March 2002. Jamie writes: The Player of Games
11 February 2002. Jamie writes: Fat Man Walking
17 January 2002. Jamie writes: Passive/Aggressive
3 January 2002. Jamie writes: Love (classified)
29 November 2001. Jamie writes: A Lil' Nite Muzak
5 November 2001. Jamie writes: Natural born liar
11 October 2001. Jamie writes: All I need
17 September 2001. Jamie writes: Postcards From The Edge (of the pool)
23 August 2001. Jamie writes: Class act
30 July 2001. Jamie writes: Ritchie Neville is dead
5 July 2001. Jamie writes: A Letter from God
11 June 2001. Jamie writes: "If it's in French, it must be deep"
17 May 2001. Jamie writes: Reportage
23 April 2001. Jamie writes: Show me the Logos
29 March 2001. Jamie writes: Sobering Thoughts
8 March 2001. Jamie writes: Stupid, Stupid, Stupid
8 February 2001. Jamie writes: Spent
15 January 2001. Jamie writes: Full to the brim
21 December 2000. Jamie writes: fuck xmas
27 November 2000. Jamie writes: Eye Candy
2 November 2000. Jamie writes: World-wide-web?
9 October 2000. Jamie writes: Kids' stuff
14 September 2000. Jamie writes: Scatological Warfare
21 August 2000. Jamie writes: I can't stand up (for falling clowns)
10 July 2000. Jamie writes: The Etymology of Greatness

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