The transit van man

It wasn’t one of my proudest moments (but then how many proud moments do normal people actually have in their lives?), but I cannot pretend it didn’t happen.

Here I was, standing in the back of a transit van, knickers and fishnet tights around one ankle and removed altogether from the other leg, wearing a Morticia Adams dress and wig.

I hadn’t even fancied him – he had had a sort of hard-faced look and the clothes and hair of a roadie to a rock band like Iron Maiden or Metallica – probably a dreamboat for some girls, but certainly not a boat I wanted to sail in. I was, though, a little lost in my life, out of uni, out of work and out of self-esteem. I seemed to be going through an odd phase with men where I didn’t necessarily fancy people, but was just curious about how they would perform.

Lu had invited me to her fancy dress party and it was a good excuse to escape the monotony of living back with my parents. My dole money covered my train fare to her city with a little extra for drinks, so that was it.

Lu shared a house with two guys, one, a slightly geeky, quiet type and the other, a van driver with long, dark blonde hair, wiry build and the face of someone who had been in a few fights. He was pleasant enough, but spoke his mind and always eyed me suspiciously, like he thought I was going to take off in the night with their TV and stereo system. But I was Lu’s friend so he had no choice other than to accept me and tolerate my company.

So, the fancy dress party – the reason for it escapes me, so I cannot say whether it was Halloween or a birthday. There was the usual crate-full of beer, cider and spirits. (I don’t remember any of my peers drinking wine in the mid-1990s.)

The van driver and the geek seemed to do most of the work, tidying, cleaning and acquiring the booze supplies while Lu just concentrated on getting her hair done and hiring a costume – a 17th century style dress complete with large hooped skirt and petticoats. I had just grabbed my Morticia costume at the last minute from a cheap hire shop.

So, party time arrived. I coped with not knowing anyone, other than the three hosts, in my usual way: copious amounts of cider.  And, as Lu spent most of her time either mingling or snogging her new boyfriend, I was forced to hang out with the geek and the van driver – neither to which I would gravitate in a normal situation.

Conversation with the van driver, after all the cider seemed to switch from dull small talk and his ramblings about music to a more flirtatious direction. His eyes seemed to wander to my cleavage and his hands had sneakily moved from his sides to my hips. I was so fuzzy-headed at this point that I had not noticed their advancement. The metre between us seemed to have shrunk to a few inches.

Then he whispered in my ear: “Do you want to come outside?” Still confused, I nodded, not quite sure what was happening. Maybe we were going to buy some more booze.

I followed him meekly, not even thinking much was going to happen, when he pulled out his keys and opened the back of his blue van. He ushered me inside to the dark space, only dimly lit by a nearby street lamp. It smelt of engine oil and there was a tool box and a dirty-looking blanket on the floor. We had to stand in a half-squatting position to avoid hitting our heads on the roof.

He grabbed my waist and kissed me very quickly, only staying on my lips for a few seconds, swiftly moving down to my neck, shoulders, breast, like a stopwatch had been set and if he didn’t beat it, something would explode. He hurriedly clawed at my dress, pushing it up, yanking my tights and knickers down. I could feel his impatience burning into me as I drunkenly fiddled with my lace-up boots to get one off so I could free a leg from its hosiery/knicker restraints.

The wall of the van banged and clanked as he shoved me against it, inserting a finger inside me and I made a grab for his member. Bang, clank, clink – the van, must have been visibly rocking at this point. He entered me and thrust a few times. I was too drunk to know whether it was a good or bad effort and he quickly zipped up and reluctantly waited while I adjusted myself and fumbled around with my boots.

We tried to go back into the house discreetly, but with my wig slightly wonky and my dark lipstick smeared completely off, it was obvious that I had either been riding a bucking bronco or bonking a man in a van.

The van driver resumed his aloof manner and barely spoke to me for the rest of my stay. He made it blatantly obvious that this hadn’t been one of his proudest moments, either.

Things that make you go ‘Ew!’

Things that make one shudder with horror and wretch in disgust should probably be the subject of a Halloween post, but hey-ho – I’ve never been one for meticulous organisation and timing.

I am a reasonably tolerant person and try to see past little imperfections in my ‘gentlemen callers’. After all, I am not perfect, either, and have many flaws – most of which I have listed here on various occasions. If you love or lust someone, you love/lust the whole package, knobbly knees, odd ears, lazy eye and all.

But there have been occasions when my strong stomach and forgiving eye have been tested to the extreme. Here are my top ten ‘bleurgh’ moments (not in any order of merit/yuckiness):

1. Pickled eggs and flatulence – My cherry-taker had a penchant, after a few beers, for pickled eggs. While most guys, even in the 90s, went for the pitta-wrapped slices of grey meat cylinder, squirted with chilli sauce (calling itself a kebab), he opted for a bag of chips and pickled egg. I remember the jar on the chippy counter, looking like a selection of over-sized eyeballs, then the eye-watering round of bottom-guffs the next morning. It was enough to make me jump out of bed as quickly as possible.

2. Nipple squeeze man – The guy who cried out for his nipples to be squeezed as he approached orgasm. This was a strange development, as I was seeing this guy for a while, but decided that I was never going to fall in love with him and ended it. But we ended up in bed together a couple of times after the break-up, when suddenly the sex got more fun. The nipple squeeze thing became a slightly irritating, rather than repulsive demand, every single time.

3. Moobs – I am by no means a slender willow and would not expect anyone with a male model/athlete’s physique to even look at me (although it did happen once). Round tummies are acceptable to an extent, but not when accompanied by 40DD puppies. They wobble, flap and are emasculating. If I wanted to bed someone with tits, I would try to pick up a woman. I went to bed with one man with moobs. He stumbled all over my flat and knocked furniture over. Maybe he was top-heavy.

4. Fag/coffee breath – I have smoked in the past, so cannot complain about this without a degree of hypocrisy. But guys, chew some minty gum or swill your mouth out with whisky. I used to always carry mints when I fell prey to the demon tobacco. I had a brief intermingling with a guy I used to work with who was a non-smoker, but absolutely stunk of stale coffee. It was only his cute boyish face that sealed the deal. But there was no chance of a long-term relationship with that stench every time he opened his mouth. I kept kissing to a minimum too.

5. Hairy backs – I have been with two or three guys with a little back hair, never a full fur coat. But even a few hairs are a no-no. I usually cope by never facing their backs in bed. I know this is unduly harsh, seeing as no one chooses to have back hair, but it just sets my teeth on edge. I’m easy with chest hair – smooth or fluffy, I don’t care. Just wax your backs, chaps.

6. Broken veins – A couple of my charges have been bordering on alcoholic, but the worst one, a clever, witty, talented guy I went out with at university suffered shakes in the morning and had patches of broken veins at the tops of his arms which are a symptom of heavy drinking. These were rather disturbing on a 20-year-old man.

7. Snotty nose/bogies – My ex-husband on our first date, for most of the date, had a pale green ball of snot up one nostril. Because I didn’t know him very well at the time I didn’t feel I could point it out. I kept hoping he would check his reflection in the gents’ but it only went after a couple of hours (probably when he sneezed).

8. Slobbery kissing – If I am thirsty I will get a drink. I don’t need someone else’s saliva being propelled into my mouth. My first proper boyfriend (discounting the total git who tried to take advantage of me when I was 15) was the first reasonable-looking guy to take an interest in me. He had jet black curly hair and light blue eyes. But he also had yellow teeth and a slobbery kiss. Every time we locked lips, I could feel his spit dribbling towards my chin. Luckily by then I had good wretch-control skills.

9. Long finger nails – Why, oh why does a man need long finger nails, unless he is appearing in a vampire movie? Do you think any sane woman wants a clawed finger going anywhere near her lady-bits? It makes me tense up in my pants even thinking about it. A relatively recent chap had dreadful, dirty and long nails, just through being overly laid back about personal grooming. I told him I would be shutting shop if he didn’t give them the chop.

10. Body odour – It may be an old chestnut, but it is still one of the biggest turn-offs. Teenage boys may douse themselves in deodorant and cheap aftershave, but they are as overly conscious of stinking as they are of breaking out in zits. As the male species gets older, he sometimes ‘forgets’ about this and gets a bit lax in his personal hygiene habits. I lived with someone for two years who fell into this category. I somehow ended up regularly hand washing his shirts (I was so stupidly smitten) and no matter how hard I scrubbed the armpits the smell of BO would never go. With hindsight I should have burnt his stupid shirts and moved out much sooner than I eventually did.

These are all fairly obvious quease-inducing irritants, but any other suggestions are welcome. Perhaps I can be more positive in a future post and consider the fragrant, beautiful, heart-fluttery, desirable things the men folk have to offer.

Dear Dad…

When I have a problem, dilemma or something I need to talk through I still think about calling you to ask what you think. For a few seconds I forget you are gone. It sounds insane when you were taken from me, and all those who loved you, 13 years and four months ago.

You will creep into my thoughts, as you have just now, when I am alone and the room is quiet. I still miss you, but sometimes think it was a good thing you were saved from the disappointment I would have brought you. The glittering career you wished for me, the long happy marriage and fulfilling life have not really happened. I know you made sacrifices, worked long hours and tried to put me on the right track. But I had to make some choices on my own and they weren’t always the right ones. Even when you were here I didn’t always listen to you, so I can’t even blame your passing for this – it’s mostly my fault.

But, Dad, I’ve done ok. I have two gorgeous children – you would have really loved them and probably spoilt them with sweets and treats. I remember when I was seven or eight and you used to take me with you to the off-licence for some wine and buy me chocolate but say not to tell mum. Most of their friends have granddads, but they only have a granddad-shaped hole in their lives.

I still write, but not the angst-ridden poems I used to share with you when I was a teenager. I know these made you laugh when they were meant to be an out-pouring of emotion. I am not sure you would approve of what I write now. I would have probably kept it a secret, like the tattoo I got at 22 – did you ever wonder why I never had short sleeves when I visited?

There are lots of things I never apologised about – probably because I am stubborn, like you, and find it hard to admit I am wrong. Sorry I threw stones at your car when I was three. Sorry I got into trouble at school for scribbling all over my reading book. Sorry I stayed out late with my boyfriend and dressed ‘inappropriately’ when I was 16. Sorry we had endless rows and didn’t speak to each other for days. Sorry I called you a ‘stupid old man.’ Sorry I didn’t get to the hospital in time to say goodbye properly. Sorry I stopped saying ‘I love you’.

But whatever I did, however hard I made things, you were always there – ready to cuddle me when I cried, ready to listen to whatever trivial and garbled problems I had, driving me here and there.

I smile when I think of you dancing around the kitchen with me and singing silly songs and you dashing to the garden to rescue me when I got stuck up trees. You were always there for me and never complained.

Yet I was a difficult daughter and not the best behaved. It’s best you don’t know about some of the naughty things I have got up to over the years – I am not sure you could endure the shock.

But you are always with me, wherever I am. I see you in my children’s eyes, my son’s smile.

I hope my memories never fade.

Love you, Dad. x

Chilli is a drag

As I stirred the chilli con carne for tonight’s tea, watching the wooden spoon slide through the brown gloop, my thoughts turned again to Perforated Pete. This was the cause of our end. Chilli con carne. Well, at least a contributory factor.

After our sneaky graduation night intermingling, I was keen to have at least one more encounter with Perforated Pete, maybe more, even though my departure from uni put over 150 miles between us.

Living back at home with my parents meant some careful, discreet planning. But my friend Lu lived nearer to him, so I planned to stay with her for a ‘week’ – in fact four nights with her and two or three with PP. I was fizzing with excitement at the prospect of his cheeky smile, pretty hazel eyes, smooth toned body and long light brown hair.

So, I got my four days with Lu over with (well, it wasn’t such a trial, really) and boarded the train for ‘Gloomsville’, my university town, hoping the gloom would quickly dissipate with a warm bed and hot man…

As I walked through the ticket barriers at the station there he stood, sexy smile, leather jacket, ready to grab me for a kiss and naughty bottom pat.

It emerged that he was having a house party that evening and wanted me to help him ‘get ready’. Thinking this meant tidying up a bit, putting crisps in bowls and pouring out drinks, I nodded.

We had a quick cup of tea, took my bag upstairs and dived into his bed to get reacquainted. I was relieved he had remained just as delicious and gorgeous as before and would have been happy for us to hide in his room for the next two days, only popping out to use the toilet and get drinks. But no, there was work to do.

I pulled out something that said 90s Grunge/Alternative – probably a black dress and stripy tights accessorised with 50 jingly bangles, pale make up and lots of black eyeliner.

Then it was PP’s turn. He had sat in bed, stretched out, his head propped up with pillows watching me get changed and apply my makeup. Most men at this point would have gone downstairs and switched on the telly, so it was a little unnerving for one to take any interest.

“Can you help me with my makeup?” He asked, as if this was an ordinary question like asking me to  pass the salt. “Erm…ok,” I replied, a little confused. I’d had a bit of warning with my last lipstick-wearing boyfriend – he had dressed like Robert Smith from The Cure from day one. But PP was all black tee-shirts, leathers and army boots.

So, after getting us a couple of bottles of lager from the fridge, PP took over the ‘getting ready’ sideshow and I did my best ‘not-at-all-shocked-or-surprised’ performance. First a black leather lace-up basque came out (“so, we’re going more fetish, than Dick Emery-style drag,” I thought, slightly relieved). A pair of fishnet stockings and matching thong were next. He finished with Doc Martin boots, almost saying “I may be a man chick, but I am still a Grunge bitch at heart.”

To my surprise, I found this all quite arousing, particularly the bulge in his thong and his pert, smooth buttocks now being framed and highlighted by fishnet and leather.

So, make up time. He sat on the bed patiently while I decided what to use on his already beautiful face. As I started to apply eyeshadow – I told him his skin was too good to cover with foundation – I knelt down. But this was rather uncomfortable so I convinced him that the only way to do it was to sit on his lap, my legs straddling his. I could feel his firm cock rubbing against me through his leather thong as I brushed dark purple and grey powder on his eyelids. I couldn’t resist gyrating against him and kissing him softly as he seemed so submissive, just sitting there with his eyes closed while I painted him. We had to stop for the lipstick, though, but I lingered enough to enjoy pressing against leather and thong a little longer.

When I’d done, he looked stunning and I realised I was with a man who was prettier than me.

As the party guests arrived, PP was repeatedly complimented on his look, with the odd joke from the men. But he always had a witty response or was happy to laugh at himself. I didn’t get much time with him, just the odd kiss and squeeze, but his main priority was mingling and being admired by everyone. It was becoming clear that this was largely a party for himself to show off his ‘Grunge slut’ persona. Everyone else was in their regular clothes, so it wasn’t as though this was a theme night.

Luckily there were other people I knew so I wasn’t left in the corner and I had the smugness of knowing that, for the moment he was flirting with every man and woman in the room, but it was me who would be sharing his bed and enjoying his body later.

The morning after couldn’t have been less glamorous. Fag butts, beer cans, cups and glasses containing dregs of liquid. I mucked in with him and his housemates in the clean-up. It was the least I could do.

Then PP enthusiastically announced he was cooking us tea. I asked what he planned. “Chilli con carne!” He proudly announced. “But what are you making it with I asked?” He seemed confused by the question and wrong-footed by my not simply accepting this great thing he was doing for me.

“You know, just chilli,” he replied, bewildered that I seemed to have never encountered the dish before. “Yes, but with meat?” I asked. It dawned on me that we had never been in a proper eating situation together before – our first night had been crisps and party type food and before that we had just been at a pub or club.

Oh dear – he had no clue that I was a vegetarian. Should I tell him or put my principles to one side and keep my mouth shut (only opening it to shovel in spicy ground beef)?

“Oh, I’m vegetarian,” I replied, my inner voice winning its fight to be heard. There was silence and his face dropped. He had clearly thought that his chilli was a winner with the girls but now he was being robbed of his moment of glory. I felt terrible and detected the wind changing and ‘you’re not welcome’ vibes radiating from him.

His housemate – let’s call him Max – stepped in and concocted something with green peppers, onions and cashew nuts. Funny, really, because he had been hanging around me like an excited puppy whenever PP and I weren’t holed up in the bedroom. The food had been Max’s chance to impress me, but while it was edible it didn’t really taste of anything.

After that incident, PP seemed to cool towards me and would be glad to see me go the next morning. We kissed, cuddled and bonked a few more times, but it felt like he was just fulfilling a contract.

Back home, PP and I just had one phone chat, then nothing. I wasn’t broken-hearted, as there was no future in it – he was actually a bit vain and arrogant, even though he was very fanciable. I have seen pictures of him on a social network site and he still looks stunning, although the hair is shorter and he is now married with kids. Max rang me at least half a dozen times, wanting to take me out, but eventually gave up.

I was only a vegetarian for about five years and will now happily eat chilli con carne.