Jebediah

It was one of those humid and refreshing evenings in Johannesburg, the type that had just a bit of chill in the air that served only to cool the layer of moist heat that settled over your skin after a summer thunderstorm. I loved those types of evenings.

It was on this evening that I finally met Jebediah.

We had been talking for months and months. The actual meeting part, however, alluded us. He was chronically shy and introverted, or so he claimed. I later came to the conclusion that in actual fact he was a douchebag in disguise. That’s the thing with the quiet, nerdy types- they are possibly more douchey than the rest of them. I am, of course, generalizing but I do have some experience when it comes to dating geeks and nerds, the intelligent, quiet and introverted types. In fact, they are more my type than anything else. I find them interesting and quirky.

But that is what makes it all the more deceptive. Some of these lads will claim quite verbally and more often than not that they are the good guys, that they are the guys who have been hard done by in life, looks, dating and so on. Perhaps it is this cunning and this wit that makes them so adept at playing games, or maybe it is their own self-absorption that blinds them to the harsh reality that other people are bound to get hurt- whatever it is, Jebediah was officially the last self-proclaimed geek that I ever went near.

Anyway, as I was saying before, it took us months to finally meet. When we did, it was to play a round of adventure golf outdoors, followed by some bowling, followed by some dinner, followed by some heated snogging in the parking lot. For this little excursion I was the one who had to drive some 40 minutes in order to meet him in a shopping mall that was close to his abode. I was naïve and much younger than I am now, and quite possibly very horny, so I was wearing my anti-douchebaggery goggles at the time.

During the date, I showed off my shockingly poor ability at any hand-eye coordination sport. It must have amused him greatly. He was nice enough and we clicked rather well. Jebediah was good-looking, a bit chunky. He reminded me a bit of a slobbering Saint Bernard.

He ended the date with a lengthy kissing session which went on and on and on. Good, right?

Well, the next day he was decidedly off. I received a “good morning” text to which I reply in my normal delightful way, to which he replied, “Gud.” He never used poor spelling. A bit put out, I told him I enjoyed meeting him and hoped to do it again.

“K.”

#kbye.

I left him be after that. Message received loud and clear, right? And I moved on to greener pastures. Happily, I might add. I was not pining after him, I was not obsessing or infatuated. The date had been nice but that was it.

However, this was not a simple good bye. Jebediah had this odd way of drawing me back. After weeks of not hearing from him, I would receive a message from him out of the blue. It would be friendly and amiable and coaxing, teasing me that I had lost interest in him. Eventually the weeks shortened to days and the days to hours and soon we were back to our daily communication. It became flirtatious and openly naughty, until one evening he invited me over.

His excuse for not contacting me right after the first date? His grandmother had died and he had to take care of his mom for a time. I suppose that was acceptable. I didn’t dwell on it. He had invited me over, right?

Well he lived in a disgusting little hovel. It was this small apartment on somebody’s property. He claimed he had just moved in and hadn’t had time to unpack or buy any furniture (he moved in a month ago). I sat on the floor and drank a vodka to ease the transition of inhabiting such conditions (I am a fussy and spoilt girl- spoilt by myself). At least he had made some sort of effort to maintain his bedroom, though it was sparse and the linen smelt a bit dank.

In any event, the sex was good. I liked sleeping with Jebediah. It was probably some of the best sex I had ever had. The chunky boy had stamina and moves, yo! And there was no awkwardness that usually exists during the first time. It just sort of flowed.

We cuddled for a bit afterwards and I was about to drift off to sleep when he left the bed. Curious, I sat up, thinking he was about to chuck me out.

“Just need the toilet,” he informed me. “Sleep.”

The toilet was in the other room, separated by at least ten feet of space and two closed doors between us, so I am not sure if Jebediah thought maybe it was possible that I would not hear the chaos that would ensue in the water closet or that I simply fell asleep in the speed of light and would not notice.

I fear he may have consumed a diabolical feast of Chimmichangas or some intense hot periperi nachos, perhaps his colon was undergoing an intensive flushing procedure, for the sounds that I heard that evening were akin to the contents of a big pot of steaming curry being tossed into a sink. Oh Jesus, and the trapped pockets of gas that heralded the onslaught and echoed against the bowl of the toilet…

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Horrified, I covered my head with the smelly linen and tried to ignore the clamor. It went on for 30 minutes or so and when he returned to bed, I fiercely pretended that I was indeed asleep.

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When I left the next day, I vowed I would not be put off by the post-coital events of the night before. After all, they were simply bodily functions that were (fearfully) normal. These were some things that could be changed at a later date when we were more comfortable with each other. For instance, I could send him outside into a bush where he could dig a hole and happily continue his business.

However, after this encounter, Jebediah continued in his strange and aloof way and after another “k”, I figured that we had run our course now. When I didn’t hear from him in almost a month, I figured it was time to move on.

I can’t remember exactly when or how long after our first night together, but some time must have passed. It was winter, that much I am certain of, and I had been dating a guy I had been quite fond of only to find out via Facebook that the heinous creature had another girlfriend. Naturally, I called upon the assistance of my cousin and we went out to drink my sorrows away. In my drunken haze, I was reckless and no longer hurt, so I began messaging Jebediah. I do not remember what my drunk persona said to that boy, but that bitch has my back (sometimes). When we returned to my apartment that evening that was currently occupied by 3 other women, Jebediah came over.

As my room was a right mess, I was hastily trying to prove I didn’t live like a pig when the doorbell rang. One of my most sarcastic friends at the time answered the door and to my mortification she told him, “Another one for Ash? Hang on, I’ll get her. Ash! Another one here for you!”

Jebediah spent the night and most of the next day with me. I saw him again the next night. And gradually we became almost a regular occurrence. It was nice and I enjoyed our nights together. During the day we would mostly message each other, sometimes flirty and sometimes playfully argumentative.

I was feeling bold one night that I was supposed to visit him. We had spoken at some length about turn ons and fantasies so I opted to indulge in one of his.

I had a black coat that covered the tops of my thighs so I wore that and nothing else other than a pair of black heels. In winter.

Freezing, I was driving to his apartment when he called me and asked me to pick up some McFlurries for us. Sure, why the fuck not?

Well I sure as hell could not go into MacDonald’s dressed like that so I went through the drivethru only to receive knowing looks from the ladies serving me as the tops of my very naked thighs were exposed. God.

Perhaps I was misinformed and men don’t actually like girls who show up to their apartment wearing nothing but a black coat and bearing ice cream as gifts, but Jebediah did not invite me over again after that evening. When he turned aloof and cold this time, so did I. I grew tired of the game he played and eventually I lost contact with him altogether until out of the blue, last August, he sent out a tentative message to establish contact with me again. Maybe the smell of freshly jilted and broken engagement oozed in the subconscious of all that knew me once and now, but I did not take kindly to the gesture.

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I learnt a lot from this relationship- douchebags come in many shapes and sizes. Girls, don’t let an articulate geek misinform you of his actual intentions. When it came straight down to it, Jebediah was looking for a serious relationship but not with a girl like me. I was his back up, his hook up for whenever he felt lonely, horny, depressed… I was his emotional security net. It is an easy thing to be and it is even easier to use someone for those exact purposes, but it is cruel.

You’re feeling lonely? Deal with it. Get a plant or a pet rock.

You’re feeling down? Join the club! Seriously, sort that shit out though in a healthy way.

Your self-esteem is dragging on the floor and you need uplifting? Go to gym, brush your teeth and shower, get your mother to tell you what a handsome boy you are.

What you should absolutely NOT do? Use another person for a quick emotional fuckfest fix.

Self awareness, folks. The rule applies to all: don’t be a fucking asshole. #ashrants

Harry #1

I have had a guy ask me to lick his nipple. I have had a guy ask me to stick a finger in his pink (I assure you, I did not indulge this request). I have had a guy ask me to choke him.

Look, to each his own I suppose but I am a pretty normal girl.

There is nothing really that would surprise me anymore and although there was nothing extremely perverted about Harry #1, I have this lingering sense that he was just simply weird. I’ve labelled him Harry #1 because, as you can safely assume, there were two men of the same names that I happened to ‘date’ relatively close to one another.

Anywaaaaay.

Harry #1 and I met on Tinder. I had been in my new country for about 2 months and already I was a dismal dating disaster. I had met only one guy so far and it had veered horribly off course (not that I could blame him though- he was and is very young and deeply complex- more on this surprising development later). I was a bit tentative when it came to this one… he was a weight-lifter who had competed in several professional competitions or some such (SERIOUSLY MY TRACK RECORD RUNS LIKE THE WHO’S WHO OF GYMBAG DOUCHERY!).

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OK, so maybe I have a weak spot for a finely corrugated abdomen and biceps the size small bowling balls. Harry #1 was half American and half Arab, not so tall as he was wide, swarthy skin, thick wavy hair- the boy damn well cleaned up well, I say. There wasn’t a speck of hair on his body, too. I bet if he greased up you could slide right off him like an amusement park ride…

He checked off the boxes relatively quickly- good looking, engineer, educated, English proficient and he was in the market for a serious girlfriend. Yes, folks. Harry #1 looked good on paper.

On paper.

He collected me from my apartment in his very posh and expensive car and whisked me off for dinner and drinks at a nice restaurant about 30 minutes off-island. Jesus, the man could eat. Without preamble, he ordered for himself the biggest cheeseburger on the menu, a starter portion of cheese fries and chicken wings followed by the chocolate brownie dessert and the plate sized double chocolate chip cookie smeared with cream and yet more ice cream. He consumed it all like a hoover.

He was sweet though albeit a bit goofy. I couldn’t quite get used to his sense of humor… it was almost under-developed. Quite childish. I felt like he was on the verge of telling me a knock-knock joke half of the time, and he would giggle (yes, giggle) at slapstick trip ups and farts.

However, it was a first date and so far it wasn’t all bad. He did not let me pay for anything and drove me back home. We proceeded to kiss in his car for a spell and I knew by the way that he moved his lips that he was experienced… the boy knew how to kiss. Warning maybe?

Anyway, I did not take Harry #1 upstairs (Hurrah! Gone was the sluttish, misbegotten ways of my youth! I could refrain for a whole first date without pouncing on him. Such willpower…) and I was mildly surprised when he called and asked to spend some time with me that weekend. At this point in my transition to a new country and a new apartment, I was still living in some unfurnished hovel. My recent pay cheque had a nice little back pay that I quickly spent on some IKEA furniture. Well, Harry #1 had his uses in the end….

[Quick IKEA side rant- What kind of fucking company lets people assembly their own fucking furniture? Jesus Christ. I am already giving you my money, just fucking deliver the shit fully assembled to my door, you twat monkeys! Is this a foreign concept to you, well-off European country?? I could totes understand the need to assemble one’s own furniture if I fucking collected the wood for my fucking bed from the fucking tree in the BARBARIC JUNGLE I was dwelling in!]

So Harry #1 helped me assemble my bookshelf and subsequently a friend’s bench. I learned a particular thing about him during this procedure- he had no idea what to do with a hammer. Or how to follow instructions. Or anything remotely to do with assembling something (engineer?). His fancy car, his high paying job, his lifestyle- these were all entitlements and he unknowing acted like they were too. It became abundantly obvious to me that this was a man who would not be able to cope should he have to one day fend for himself.

It was very off-putting.

So I fucked him.

What made the sex so good was that despite the fact that Harry #1 didn’t quite know how wield a hammer or tie his shoelaces without the assistance of a hefty entitlement or a servant, in the bedroom he was a beast. He took control. He lasted an acceptable amount of time. He balanced the right amount of sexy aggressiveness in his voice when he was aroused, a startling and welcoming contrast to the soft pansy-like quality otherwise. He finished (a bit too loudly).

And then he farted.

And then he giggled.

And I despaired.

Was I inhabiting some other worldly dimension where this was acceptable bedroom behaviour?

And it got weirder.

He gave me a live, naked demonstration of how his mother would whip his ass if he had done something she didn’t like.

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Yeah… hashtag: GET THE FUCK OUT.

I blocked him soon after that, and then one night drunkenly unblocked him. He would message me occasionally and harp on about how broken he was over his ex-girlfriend or some such shit but this was one guy I was happy to not care about at all. So in conclusion, I don’t miss or yearn for Harry #1 in the slightest but his brief sojourn in the chasm of my life was weird and profoundly… well, weird.

I wish I could make this stuff up.

Fuck Tonsil

I realise it has been 3 long years since I last published a post on this blog.

It was unforgivably rude of me and I do humbly apologise.

However, the time that I’ve abstained from my writing certainly the same does not pertain to the sordid and remarkable feats of my dating repertoire. I can and will assure you, the stories have increased tenfold… and I have been left dumbfounded and time and time again broken and alone.

But therein lies the beauty of everything I believe… the unerring ability to pull into oneself and, piece by little piece, put yourself back together until finally, through the cracks, little parts of the person you once were begin to shine through. And this is what it all boils down to, this is why I was pulled, tugged, pushed towards this blog- I am finding little bits of who I was again. I know I am not myself, I have not been for a very long time it seems, and perhaps the change I have undergone over the years since I started this blog is indeed irreparable, but though a person can change perhaps the foundations are not so easy to shake. I am, and probably always will be, a writer, a story teller, and hopefully there is someone who will read these words and be amused, touched, even healed.

Who knows? Enough morbidity. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

A lot has happened in 3 years. Perhaps the best way for me to reflect at this moment is through this particular gif:tumblr_lql77puo2t1qjgyuwo1_500

Let’s narrow it down. Oh, I adore the simplicity of lists… it’s as if you can minimalise the absolute atrocious fuck wittery that is your life into organised pigeonholes with which to tackle each problem individually (ha! ha ha ha!). Nevertheless, in no particular order here it is:

  1. Endured two long-term relationships.
  2. Immigrated (so I have dated in both the Southern and Northern hemispheres).
  3. Been engaged.
  4. Been jilted.
  5. Increased the number of guys I have slept with tenfold. Fuck.
  6. Lost myself.
  7. Found myself (in progress).

Maybe, if I think of more, I’ll add to this list, but right now those appear the most pertinent.

When I first thought about the concept behind this blog, I contrived of some fluffy notion that I could categorise the events of my dating life in the order that they happened. However, sometimes the timelines of each person I was seeing intermingled with another and so on… and now, three years down the line, I would struggle to grasp at the seamless flow of things. Hence, I will begin (again) with the most important.

I can not bring myself to provide my ex-fiance with a suitable alias, so I shall simply refer to him as Fuck Tonsil. Now, I can assure you that even in my lowest hours I can at least empathize with another individual and allot him an ounce of humanity in which I at least grant him a respectable name, but Fuck Tonsil does not deserve that. No, he does not. And I shall not allow him one for it makes me monumentally pleased to dub him that publicly despite the fact that all of this is completely anonymous.

So, it was a year ago to this day that I met Fuck Tonsil.

We met online first, of course. I had been living in my new country for 6 months, resplendently single and dangerously promiscuous (I jest, I err on the side of scrupulous safe practices- I’m the type of girl to always wear a bra during the deed and exclaim ‘ew’ when a guy pulls down his pants). I was on edge due to the trauma of my last relationship and emotionally susceptible to any far-stretching gestures of romance.

Enter Fuck Tonsil.

We had agreed to meet at a bar close to my apartment in the city. I remember driving past and recognizing him from the pictures he had sent me- I could not find fault in his appearance, that was for sure.

He was Arabic, Moroccan to be exact, with swarthy skin and dark hair and eyes. He was also a fitness trainer in the military. His body wasn’t built like most weight lifters but it was toned and well-formed with a taut abdomen I could pound rocks on. On paper, he was almost too good to be true except there was a slight issue with a language barrier. But we maneuvered  around that easy enough. Oh wait, he also had appalling taste in music…

Anyway, Fuck Tonsil was literally my first and last whirlwind romance. I do not think I can ever look at a bunch of red roses without acute suspicion and hate. He wooed me and swept me off my feet and I was helpless to resist. He was so lovely and endearing… surely this was what it was like to be wholly and fully loved without doubt?

Because of his occupation with the military, he spent one week on base and one week off base where he could leave his accommodations and do as he pleased. It became a quick adjustment that he would come to spend those weeks where he wasn’t on base with me in my apartment. Well, let me tell you, I am not a tidy girl. If there is a dish to be cleaned, chances are it won’t feel a drop of water or soap until I get so tired of looking at it that I call in a cleaner to deal with the matter. Fuck Tonsil had no qualms about keeping the place clean. He would also have a meal waiting for me when I got home from work. More often than not he would have acquired flowers, chocolates, gifts of varying sizes and expenses.

Until one day I came home to a ring. Why not? He was already calling me his wife. A ring just made it official. I was taken by him and the thought of dating… I can’t bear it anymore. Fuck Tonsil was more than I had ever hoped for and I remember being so happy that there was very little that could bring me down. The only warning bell I had at the moment was the fact that it was very soon and very sudden.

We had only been seeing each other for 3 months.

However, due to the fact that both our families were overseas and our holiday times could only coincide for a short time during each year, we opted for a lengthy engagement and would be married in August 2017.

We progressed happily in our relationship. Our weekends were spent at parties, brunches, beaches or romantic dinners. It was perfect. I had begun planning for the wedding, going as far as to reserve a wedding venue in South Africa, acquire bridesmaids, photographers, and even a dressmaker… Family and friends abroad were told to reserve a date to be in South Africa for the huge event.

Well, fuck me, right?

About four months into our relationship, Fuck Tonsil’s mother’s cancer appeared to take a turn for the worse and there was an overwhelming amount of medical bills inundating my future husband. I was with him while he transferred his entire salary to his mother and when that wasn’t enough, I could only comfort him in his despair. What little money I could offer, I did. Who wouldn’t? Besides which, the sum total wasn’t extensive or crippling, so I did.

In June 2016 the country entered into the holy month of Ramadan and I began to have the first tentative creepings of panic settle under my skin. Nothing was amiss, nothing had given me indication that something was transpiring under the surface. We had a plan, a purpose. For the month of July and August I would join Fuck Tonsil in Morocco to meet his family and enjoy a lovely holiday in a foreign country. We would return to the city together to commence with the new working year.

Due to his mother’s illness and the fact that his holiday began sooner than mine, he prepared to depart two weeks earlier than I. All was going according to plan. I literally had a PLANE TICKET to Casablanca, so why was I feeling uneasy?

I began to project my edginess, causing little tiffs that spiraled into full-fledged lunacy. During one spat, I threw my ring at him and the delicate sapphire came loose. Fuck Tonsil pocketed the ring, vowing to fix it once he was in Fez.

Because of Ramadan, we hadn’t slept together in two weeks. I felt uncomfortable if we did as he would not share a bed with me, unwilling to break traditions, so I avoided it.

People would always tell me to trust my gut. My gut was practically screaming something at me but whether I was just plain ignorant or unwilling to listen to the fundamental instinct telling me that SOMETHING was wrong, I do not know. I’ll never forget the night it ended, though.

I had said a teary farewell to Fuck Tonsil before he had departed for Morocco and the same evening I attended a farewell dinner for a colleague who was leaving the country. It was an Iftar dinner cruise and afterwards we went for some quiet drinks at a nearby bar, followed by more rowdy indulgence with a close friend at her apartment (the month of Ramadan doesn’t allow for any loud music or drinking of alcohol before sundown and any that is is seriously low key and kept out of public eye). It had been close to 18 hours since I last heard from Fuck Tonsil. I had his flight details and I knew that he was already in Fez but I granted him the benefit of the doubt that he was probably enjoying time with the family that he hadn’t seen in a year.

When I still did not hear from him, I sent a message to his close friends and brother who I had spoken to before and who I knew would be in contact with him…

Not long after this, I did receive a message from him.

“Ash, I not come back.”

I can look back on that moment as if from a distance, as if a bystander grimly curious at the scene of a macabre accident. Even though the message was plainly enough written before me, I couldn’t mentally accept that is indeed what he meant.

It is interesting to behold the moment that is one’s undoing. I can write about it now because those feelings are distant- remembered but not felt- but I know that if I had tried to formulate in words just how damaging the situation had been for me… well, I might had been subjected to a straight-jacket and padded walls.

Anyway, that was the precise moment that changed me. CHANGED ME.

It was established over the next two weeks that he had been fired from his position in the country we were in and he was not going to return from Morocco. This had happened in April. When shit hit the proverbial fucking fan it was June. Ya would fucking think he could have mentioned this to me? I bought the fucking plane ticket in May. Cunt. Boom- bye-bye cancellation fee that cost almost half the actual ticket price. Boom- bye-bye money I had saved to spend on holiday that went towards a ticket back to South Africa where I would return, tail between my legs, to lick my wounds. So long money I had loaned him to help pay for his mother’s hospitals bills. So long. And thanks for all the fish.

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I had a broken heart before but the clean up of those two relationships had been pretty much effortless- a few friends lost to the opposing team here or there. But this… Jesus. Each time I had to tell someone I was no longer getting married was like a painful and vehement disembowelment. Dealing with the repercussions was more than I could bear. I began to hide from the world.

I became a miserable cunt. I don’t like people any more. Honestly, I don’t. There are a select few I allow close now. I projected my hurt onto others and honestly there are a few relationships I may have ruined with people close to me. I am an arrogant and obnoxious drunk, picking fights with those closest. Alcohol is at once consoling and detrimental. It’s role in my life has become minimal at the moment.

I am still healing from that experience and occasionally I still have to endure the odd email from a wedding vendor who is inquiring about the progress of the impending nuptials. Those are setbacks that throw me but for the most part I am OK.

I don’t recognize the person who I was 3 years ago anymore. We look the same, but we are not the same. Change, in some ways, is good, but in others… well, we will see. I kinda miss the girl I used to be but I appreciate the one I’ve become.

So, I guess the whole point of this post is to say that… I’m back. Maybe not whole and maybe not the same, but I am back. I do not know where I am going, I do not know if I can find the humor in any situation (certainly not this one), but I am going to give it my best shot because there is a damn lot to write about that has left me dumbfounded, furious and amused.

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