Additional scribblings

Occasionally I go off-piste and try to stretch my writing legs in a way that’s less structured than the normal blog post. That stuff goes here.

Maybe he’s busy

Maybe he’s busy, you think, and you put your phone somewhere you can’t see it so you won’t know that he’s not thinking of you. Funny how at the beginning you can’t let go of your phone and at the end it’s a weapon, an unexploded bomb you can’t stand to look at. The black blank screen. Maybe he’s busy.

And it comes – your diaphragm is replaced by a cold band of dread, as if his cooling feelings are draining into you. You’ve been here before and know there is one way to get rid of the dread. Your phone lights up – a brief but friendly message, a link to an article you’ll be interested in, he was thinking about you after all. He was just busy. You reply. He doesn’t.

Maybe he’s still busy. The cold dread lingers, your pulse settles into an elevated rhythm. You know there is only one way to get rid of the dread. You wait on anyway.

Another day, another evening, the black blank screen, maybe he’s still busy. The thing is, it’s so noticeable. So unignorable. After weeks of daily conversations, this silence is screaming.

You know there is only one way to get rid of the dread. But you prefer hope. “You’ve been kind of quiet, everything OK?” The reply comes promptly – he does care! – but its content offers neither warmth nor light.

You know what needs to be said. It’s an odd thing, to be terrified of a feeling that’s yet to descend. “I’m going to feel awful, and I’m scared”. You have cried a million times in your life and survived each wave of tears. But what if it’s this wave that breaks you? (It won’t, but you cannot be sure.)

You have a glass of wine, you make the call. He’s not too busy to talk.

It’s done. You cry with your whole body – because you remember, somehow, that the hot, hard crying is a short-lived phase. And maybe it’s better to purge yourself of tears than it is to soak slowly in grey unlifting gloom. The rage of the flood, not the creeping chill of stagnant sadness.

The tears come less frequently. The world is bigger than that man and what he couldn’t give you.

The dread is replaced with an ache.

Woman Admits Seeking Therapy Purely To Have More Time For Men’s Problems

The last few years have seen an incredible reduction in the stigma surrounding mental health issues, with more and more people seeking professional help in addressing problems with their emotional well-being. But for 27-year-old Emma Jones, weekly psychodynamic therapy sessions take place for a very specific reason.

“Honestly? I found a therapist so I’d have more time to devote to helping the men in my life with their problems,” Jones told us during a phone interview from her home in Balham. “After probably fifteen years of listening to male friends, boyfriends, my brother, my dad, my uncle, my third-cousin-twice-removed Jolyon and my upstairs-neighbour Dave all tell me about their issues, I realised I could be much more use to them if I simply offloaded my own shit on to a paid professional.”

She continued, “I think it’s really important to be open about these things – there shouldn’t be any shame in going to therapy. One in four of us will experience a mental health issue in our lifetime, and one in two of us will have to listen to a man we don’t know very well talk at length about his general insecurities, his troubled relationship with his father, and how he’s not sure his career’s going in the direction he’d like it to but maybe it’s too late to do anything about it now.”

“I owe so much to my therapist, and not just in session fees I haven’t paid yet. Steve has really helped me process the death of my mother when I was twelve, my dad leaving a year later, and all the petty little trust and abandonment issues that arose from that… challenging time. Oh yeah, I guess I should have said, I have a male therapist – because let’s face it, the only way a man’s going to sit and listen to someone talk through their problems is if he’s being paid an exorbitant fee to do so.”

‘Cock-blocked by my own uterus’: Brighton woman speaks out

It should have been the perfect Saturday – writer and award-winning procrastinator Rebecca Sullivan had hoped that a few hours spent gallivanting in Soho with fellow creative Alex Horner would end with a night of passion, but due to the vagaries of female biology, unfortunately this was not to be.

By her own admission, Sullivan’s intentions to seduce Horner were “vague at best”, but those plans were abruptly thwarted when her uterus began re-enacting the infamous ‘Red Wedding’ scene from Game of Thrones about an hour before the pair arrived at Horner’s home in Walthamstow.

“It’s a complete betrayal,” the 28-year-old said, visibly twitching with frustration. “I haven’t had sex for nearly three months and when I finally get a decent opportunity, she does this. I mean, I’ve come to terms with the fact that she doesn’t want me to be happy – after fifteen years of monthly agony, I’ve got that message loud and clear – but she couldn’t give me one night? Come on. It’s starting to look like pure spite now.”

Pausing only to don a leather jacket – it is suspected she was planning to visit her nearest branch of Ann Summers as soon as the press conference concluded – the petite brunette continued, “I thought I’d be asking him to tie me up and hurt me – I mean like, a bit, not too much – but instead all I ended up asking for was paracetamol.

“Which, I must say, he had readily available – surely making him the only male in Britain to both have painkillers on hand when they’re needed and to know where in his home they’re kept. This only adds to his attractiveness, making the situation all the more frustrating.” This last statement was punctuated by Sullivan banging her fist on the table, a gesture that neatly served to illustrate that frustration.

Horner himself was not available to give his own account of the evening, but on his LinkedIn profile, he describes himself as both a “strident feminist” and “an expert in female biology”, so it is likely he was largely sympathetic to Sullivan’s plight. It must be noted however that no proof of this expertise could be found online, and our attempts to contact the Royal College of Gynaecologists in order to find out whether Mr. Horner has any officially-recognised qualifications in this field were met with silence.

When approached for comment, Sullivan’s uterus merely shrugged, and hummed a tune that was later identified as the chorus of Taylor Swift’s 2014 hit ‘Bad Blood’.