Second chapter for book 3 in my vintage diary series.
Saturday 19 February, 1997
If things had not gone sour so quickly, it would have been the perfect Valentines date.
Although perhaps the Guns N Roses tape playing already gave away our Valentines Day was far from the usual sappy commercial bullshit, and that it would end messier.
Like the band breaking up last year had kind of been foretold by their in my opinion awful album “The Spaghetti Incident”.
After having stellar songwriting albums Use Your Illusion I and II, releasing an album of covers, including punk covers no less (the Illusion albums are heavy on symphonic rock), was a failure in my opinion. At least musically.
And the title “The Spaghetti Incident”, could be seen as an indication the band would end in a banal way that did not do justice to how good they were.
That the world biggest rock n roll band would die a silent death covered in tomato sauce, exactly like the bland cover photo.
That the band, in theory, still exists without Slash who they replaced with a guitarist who used to tour with Nine Inch Nails.
If I had not been writing with Californian (but living in England) bootleg trader Nikki, I would not even have known that.
Maybe in hindsight, Bear and me could have known that by playing the Guns N Roses in Tokyo tape, our Valentines date was actually more a Spaghetti Incident waiting to happen, than it was romance.
But we didn’t know that then. And for all we knew Valentines was the best time we had in months.
I didn’t feel violated, and I m sure Bear was relieved he no longer had to sexually tiptoe around me.
It felt healthy and unbothered, compared to our December date. Playing the Guns N Roses tape sealed the deal; We were back in 1992, when we went to see them in Rotterdam.
To us playing Guns N Roses on Valentines day, was the best we could do to try to get back to who we were, as a couple, if we were even allowed to call ourselves that, now that he was living with girlfriend.
To this day, I have no idea if all the years we had together even fucking count for any fucking thing, given the fact that when push came to shove he started a real relationship, and has been building a life without me.
In December I had felt I was auditioning for my own role as mistress, and that if I was good enough, he would switch to me.
Or I would get a higher status in his life, I m not exactly sure what I had felt but it was something!
It’s difficult to put a name on what happened, but I know that it made me feeling violated worse, although that had not been the only reason for sure. I had had nightmares of abuse before our date, it was more than just him acting out of sync.
But it certainly didn’t help I felt I was put on the spot and had to perform.
So when last Valentines Day we had our lovely low-key, highly saturated in Guns N Roses date, with uncomplicated sex in front of the tv playing the concert, we must both have felt a sigh of relief.
We were still there.
We were not broken as a “couple”, or whatever the fuck you call it when you ve been seeing each other for seven years.
I even thought Valentines Day was going to be my, I don’t know, springboard to a new life or something!
I was finally going to get my act together, lose weight, get back to my yoga mat, put an end to the freelance working which is still causing me to work nights because I can’t seem to plan my work hours;
And instead I was going to go all in on publishing and promoting my books.
Only to have it all being taken away in the same week.
I know it all sounds very me-me-me, and I suspect that’s what Bear picked up on in the next days.
That he felt that although we had a great Valentines, and things emotionally and sexually seemed to have stabilized (although they were of course nowhere near the amazing sex we had last year!!!!! but still. Stable was good. Stable is a start.) that I was no longer hanging around for more.
Whatever it had been, there had been room for in his life in December, it was no longer relevant to me.
And when he wanted to come again later this week, I said No, because I really wanted to use the momentum I had felt on our date.
I wanted to build the life that I had resisted; A life as an independent woman who does not have a man.
A mistress even, doomed forever to be the second choice. The one who does not matter.
I had come to terms with getting so very little of him, by understanding there was a career and a Life so much bigger than that, waiting to be built by me.
If I was not meant for him, than I was going to run with the conclusion that, apparently, I was meant for bigger things.
So I said he could not come on Wednesday, because I had a ton of work to do.
And he did not accept that.
I could feel by the silence on the line, the irritation, that he thought I should have been thrilled he wanted to come by again within 48 hours.
When all I thought was:
You made your choice.
And it wasn’t me.
Although my choice to not let him come visit me, was a work related one, it was one I made without guilt because I was just responding to the situation he had created.
We have known each other for seven years, but he has chosen to keep me on the side. All I do is put boundaries on what that means. Such as not being available when we’ve already spent one workday, and finally feel inspired to work on my own life.
And the Us that had felt amazing Monday, fell to pieces that same week.
And I can’t shake the feeling he was right not choosing me, because apparently I cannot even keep Us afloat for one single week, before it gets crushed under me finally choosing for myself.
He was right choosing for her and not me, I no longer question that.
Just as I was right to say I didn’t have time on Wednesday, I do not question that either.
I remember sitting on top him admiring his beautiful body, which always draws feelings out of me somewhere between cuddling my cats and safety. It’s the only time I really feel safe. He’s so peaceful, not so much his personality but his body. I always get all the time to touch him, caress him, admire him, love him.
And I remember trying to find words to express how happy I was he was there with me. In particular after all we had been through on our second date in December, with me dragging sexual confusion and nightmares into what we had.
“You’re so easy to love.” And then I paused, realizing that for someone who causes so much pain and tests the patience of the people who love him, probably on a daily basis, this was too simplistic.
So I rephrased:
“Don’t get me wrong, you’re difficult to deal with,” I laughed.
“But you’re easy to love.”
Looking back I m not sure what this whole week was about. If we’re deeper in the mess that started in December, if we’re in a different phase, or if we’re on a road to…. to something, I guess.
And not the end. I don’t feel that is what this is about, although 1997 has gotten a rocky start when usually January and February are our strongest months.
I played the Tokyo 1992 concert from Guns N Roses in the background, as I am typing this.
The first act as a whole, is not my favorite although it obviously has some great songs.
But a good hour in, the concert shifts into a whole new gear, and the rest is simply, absolutely, and without fail brilliant.
The song that marks this shift, is “You Could Be Mine”.
An unexamined life is not worth living
You Could Be Mine | 1997 diary
is the second chapter to book 3, diary 1997
Book 1, A Letter From A Stranger and book 2 Dear Nikki, in this series will be published in 2022, in one bind (one title)