ryan

keg

The worst of the worst.

The crème de la crème.

The beginning.

//

It started with Ryan. He was my first.

It’s one of those seriously pathetic loosing virginity stories. Those really, really sad ones that you should tell your daughters to stop them from sleeping around. I was in ‘the’ group at my school. I went to an all girls private catholic school. We never saw boys except on the way to and from school and we were obsessed with them. They were just so different, they smelled different and they swore and they called each other names, like c**t and faggot and shit head.

The girls I was friends with were really beautiful, like stunning. They were tall and blonde and rich. I was short and brunette and not so rich. We all lived near the beach in big houses, we all dressed the same and used to steal bottles of our parents top shelf liquor or twenty year old wine, we didn’t care it all tasted the same to us. We normally partied when some girls family went to Europe or if the boys were hanging at the beach we’d meet them there and get shit faced staying at some girls house who’s parents didn’t care what time we got home.

We were all sixteen and Anna’s parents were in Zurich so everyone was at her place on a Saturday night. I met Ryan sitting outside on the patio with his mates smoking a joint. I instantly thought he was the coolest thing in the world and hung off his every word. We made out like it was going out of fashion.

When you’re sixteen and part of that group at your school, with the best looking girls who get invited to all the parties and have the most money and the best clothes, it can be a surprise when a boy likes you. We all had the same weird insecurities that boys would like one of the girls we were friends more than ourselves with because they were thinner/prettier/bigger boobs, but Ryan liked me, and that night it was a victory in itself. As I grew up I leaned that even the ‘prettiest’ girl thought someone was prettier than her and being a teenage girl is just fucking hard. You don’t like yourself, like ever.

The next weekend, some guy from one of the boys private schools was having a party, Ryan was a year older but he was there and I was over the moon. He took me around the party and introduced me to all his school friends as his girlfriend. When you’re a girl and you’re young and someone wants to be your boyfriend, it is the utmost best feeling in the world.

He took me up to one of the many bedrooms at the party and we were making out, he went for the button on my jeans a few times and I kept stopping him until he got frustrated saying ‘I thought you wanted to be my girlfriend?’ I was so worried he wouldn’t like me any more that after twenty minutes of him persuading me telling me that’s what girlfriends did for their boyfriends and assuring me how good it would feel I let him.

All I remember is a lot of stinging pain, not unbearable but a bit cringe worthy. I remember him watching my face really intently and I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to close my eyes or keep looking into his as he grunted on top of me. I remember wondering if I had my legs open wide enough, if I looked like I was enjoying it enough, If I would bleed on this random guys guest bedroom sheets. He didn’t really kiss me a lot during, unlike all the films I had watched he didn’t kiss me and tell me how much I meant to him, he just kept grunting and pushing and then he got faster and then it was over.

He stood up pretty much instantly, pulling his jeans on and shoving his underwear in his back pocket. I wasn’t really sure what to say after it. I couldn’t think of anything romantic of witty so I was waiting for him to speak. He walked out of the room while simultaneously putting his shirt on and tucking his underwear in his back pocked.

I sat in the bed for a little while waiting for him to come back. I saw a movie once where the guy brought the girl a drink of water afterwards so I was sure, so sure that he was getting me a drink.

Obviously he was really considerate & trying to re-hydrate me.

After what seemed like lifetime I got dressed. I came out of the room and saw him smoking out on the balcony with his friends. I walked out to him and looked at him and said ‘Ryan?’ It wasn’t really a question but he looked at me confused and raised an eyebrow. ‘Do I know you?’ He said and all of his friends laughed. All the boys he had introduced me to as his girlfriend.

it was part of his game, apparently he did it at every party. He hadn’t really been introducing me as his girlfriend, but the girl he was going to screw. And the boys knew it.

I stood there kind of in shock I guess, not moving or saying anything. He made a sort of flicking gesture with his hands ‘Run along’ He laughed. They all laughed and so I ran along.

I remember calling my dad begging him to pick me up sitting in a gutter, sore and sobbing. I cried the whole way home, he kept asking me what was wrong but I didn’t know what to say. “Oh dad it was horrible, I fucked some guy in a bedroom and now he’s pretending he doesn’t know me” was not ideal.

By Monday morning at school I was a hero, Ryan had told everyone at the party and the girls were in awe and envious. I was the first in our group and that’s how I (unconventionally) became a legend.

pete

purple-grapes-553463_960_720

Pete was really tall. He was wearing a long grey coat & a scarf & had perfectly combed dark hair without a strand out of place. He was wearing a silk scarf and all I could think of was ‘chuckbasschuckbasschuckbass’. Because who hasn’t wanted a little dabble in the secret lives of Manhattan’s elite? Amiright.

He was so elegant that I felt kind of scruffy. But happy in my scruffiness as Pete found me charming.

This guy had the best job. In. The. World.

Sommelier. What a job. “A sommelier or wine steward, is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional, normally working in fine restaurants, who specialises in all aspects of wine.” according to the dictionary.

Pete was literally paid to drink wine. I went to this bar with my friend Jo, who being the best wing woman on the planet left shortly after and I stuck it out with this tall elegant professional wine drinker. Jo’s been married for a thousand years. She was the first of a domino effect. But because of her longevity at this happiness thing, she is determined to see me the same. Her wing-woman skills are unparalleled.

Pete was at the bar to write up a review on their wine selection and help this with their sourcing etc etc. This really just meant that for the next four hours we sat at the bar tasting delicious wine from all over the world. Swilling it, sipping it, sniffing it. Whatever he did, I just kind of emulated, but after a dozen ‘tastes’ deep, I was really going for it. I was a pro and had immediately decided to change career paths. I was the best sommelier ever.

Pete was going to a winery the next day in the Yarra Valley and would love it if I would join him. And I’m super classy at this stage saying things like “I would love to join you” And thinking in the back of my mind how proud my mother would be of my manners.

But twenty minute later in his bed I have no manners and neither does he. In fact all his class has gone out the window and he’s saying thing like “you little slut, take it, take it” and I’m kind of confused because he was such a gentleman in the cab and he’s a wine steward for fucks sake, I feel like he could get kicked out of all the best wine clubs if they knew he used language like that. So he keeps going with the dirty talk “fuck me harder dirty bitch, scream for me you fucking c**t” (that one was a weeny bit too rude to write) And even though I’m appalled that this crazy classy guy has turned out to be filth I’m not actually hating it.

I know some people may find that super degrading and uncomfortable but it wasn’t really that awful. In fact I kind of didn’t hate it at all. I made a mental note to ask him not to drop the c-bomb again though, words only have power if you give it to them, I just didn’t like that one so much.

It turned into one of those all night stretches and in-between rounds while we are laying on our backs with our legs wrapped up together I kept thinking, he’d going to be way too tired to drive to the Yarra Valley, maybe we can get a bus? Or a cab? I wonder how much a cab costs to the Yarra Valley? Maybe we could stay the night down there & do this wine-tasting-all-night-screwing-thing all over again?

By 7 am we’re both drifting in and out of consciousness and panting from sweaty exhaustion. There’s a knock at the door and he jumps up wraps a towel around his waist and answers the door. He’s got the front bedroom and his windows look out onto the porch of the terrace, right next to the door. And I can hear everything.

“You fucking smell like sex Pete! What the fuck is wrong with you?” This is muffled from the door and I hear his slam it behind him, ultimately locking himself out of the house.

“How could you do this to us? Why are you doing this” So I peek out the curtains to see what’s happening and I see her. She’s crying hard, like the horrible hiccuping cry you do when you can’t breath properly and your whole world is turning to shit.

And he’s hugging her and telling her she’s wrong and that he hasn’t done anything and that she’s being crazy.

“I know there’s someone in your room! I know it! Pete don’t lie to me.” more heavy crying. “Let me in! Show me! Prove it!” And I freeze. Oh my godfather. I need a plan. I cannot turn on the light because she will see the light turn on, I am stark naked and the room is dark and I cant see my clothes. I fish around a bit and find my dress. Bra and knickers be dammed. After a lot of fumbling and stumbling I have the dress and the shoes and the bag and high tail it down the hall to the bathroom completely naked. I lock myself in and call Jo.

So as I get dressed Jo, the saint that she is, gets out of bed at 7 am on a Sunday morning and drives to the dropped pin I’ve send her.

And I can hear them still fighting out the front, she’s just weeping now and he’s saying things like ‘I wouldn’t do that to you” and she cried back “I thought you loved me. This is when I realise there is NO back door. There is no gate to a lane way, there is no easily climbed over fence. There is just a block of flats connected at the back wall of the courtyard all of their windows looking down onto my shame. Zero escape, zero plan b. Fuck fuck fuck.

So that’s when I call Jo and she’s like you can do it, and so I do it. I walk down the hallway to the front door and I can hear the girl crying behind it and him lying and I open it and I walk past them both. And she’s staring at me, looking like I’ve just punched her in the stomach and she’s crying and yelling and hitting him.

I’m almost at the car and I think I’m in the clear and Jo is reaching over and flinging the passenger door open for me and then the girl screams out “Did he fuck you?” its a half accusation and half a plea. And I don’t know what to say and she looks to angry and so so sad. So I yell back “Yes.” and I jump in the car and we drive the maniacs down the streets of Collingwood, Jo ducking and weaving just in case we’re being followed.

My only joy that came out of that night, other than finding my new dream profession and drinking some very very good wine, was the fact that I closed the door behind me, and locked Pete out of his house completely naked expect for a towel.

Winner?

sam

film

The dream guy. Literally so so handsome I could vomit.

Being around this guy made me feel cooler. That’s actually the biggest red flag ever. He made me feel so cool that I thought maybe without him I wouldn’t be cool at all.

And seriously, fuck that, because I am cool.

Sam and I went on a bunch of dates, always to the best places that I had never heard of. I actually met him in the weirdest way, he worked with film, loading it on steel reels and then projecting it. I met him at a little film festival in a park for a friends short film, it was sponsored by TAC, so it was actually the saddest film festival in the world. As every single film was about preventing drink driving, so pretty much all the clips had teenagers dying in senseless tragedy.

He made his own films too, but he worked in all different kinds of ‘photographic and moving image media’ as he would say in the coolest huskiest loveliest way.

Our first date was at a cinema he worked at, it was a huge commercial cinema complex and way playing all the best kind of rom-coms that I’m secretly in love with. He took me up a lift  and then windy old stairways to the projection rooms in the roof of the complex. We watched one of his films projected onto a white wall, while sitting on old red velvet cinema chairs that had been stored in the attic awaiting repair.

He had cheese & wine & we made out in-between me gushing with compliments about his amazing work, and in-between him loading reels for all of the paying customers in the cinemas below.

It was honestly such a secret adventurous date, hiding up there looking down on all of the patrons in the dark through the tiny projection windows, that I was very, very turned on.

We had sex on top of the broken old chairs, very magically as we were half blocking the projection on the wall, so we were naked and kind of bathed in the weird lights of his film.

I honestly thought it was the coolest & edgiest I had ever been.I mean seriously, screwing in a projection room, with a film maker that wears his hair in a bun & smells like smoke & cologne? Come on, I was winning at this creative freedom thing.

About two weeks later, and like 12 avant-garde films, nothing like my secret favourite rom-coms and often difficult to decipher,  we were sitting at a bar overlooking the busy city streets. And we was wearing fingerless gloves and holding my hand and telling me how beautiful I was. I was like shit, this is it, this is where he tells me he really likes me and I’m going to be the cool girl officially dating the cool guy.

Fuck off. I know, I know. How ridiculous. I was just seriously dazzled by the bent paperbacks in his jeans pockets, and the head phones constantly around his neck playing pod casts and bands I’d never heard of, and the scuffed trainers, and the stubbly face, and the way he told me I was beautiful, and when he looked at me like I was something he wanted to capture on film.

So this is where he says, legit word for word.

“You’re so fucking beautiful Ivy, like everything about you makes me want to screw you all day and all night & never eat or sleep or work” I’m dying. Breath gone.

“I can’t wait for Katherine to get back, you’re actually going to love her.. And fuck, she will love you” And so now I’m like oh hang on, my helium is slightly deflating, I’m drifting back down into my bar stool, who the fuck is Katherine.

So I said, very bloody originally “Who’s Katherine?” and he says;

“Katherine, I’m sure I told you about Katherine? Katherine’s in Nepal right now, we’re together in a deeply spiritual way, our openness is something that really suits our lifestyle. It led me to you” He’s kissing my wrists and I’m trying not to get distracted. I’m still really quiet. So cool guy Sam keeps going, punching the helium right outta me.

“She mainly experiments with other women and I love her for her bisexuality, I think it adds to the strength of our bond. Sometimes we share and sometimes we keep people and deep connections for ourselves” and he’s winking at me. No joke. He winked. “I’d like you to be just mine, and I know Katherine will be so accepting, because she’ll see our chemistry.”

So I’m getting off the stool and I’m putting my coat on and he’s getting up because he think’s we’re leaving together and then we’re kissing and his hands are up my shirt and I’m thinking about how before we went for dinner we had sex on my couch and how much I want to have sex on my couch with this cool guy again. This fucking awesome cool film guy.

And then somehow. I’m in an uber. I’m in an uber alone.

Because I can’t fit Katherine into my life. And Sam thinks I’m obviously not emotionally mature enough to understand an adult relationship like his. And he’s very disappointed that I wasn’t willing to expand my horizons because “we could’ve been great”.

So I’m devastated and the uber driver is offering me mints and bottled water and I’m so pissy that I say no, when I actually want water and now I’m going to get a bad rating because I’m being a child. So I fucking tell me uber driver the whole damn story. We’re parked out the font of my apartment and I’m telling him about cool guy Sam and the Katherine, and my emotional immaturity, and how I should probably give up my ideals of a conventional relationship because it doesn’t exist, and how I need to conform or get left behind, and how I’m going to die alone because I didn’t have a threesome with cool guy Sam and his Katherine.

Obvs. I’m a weeny bit drunk & sad because my uber driver is like. “He is a bad man, you’re a good girl. Ask God & he will help to guide you away from men like that.” I realise I have seriously been projecting onto the wrong audience as he mentions something about my sins and how I will be forgiven as I get out.

Three days later I got in another uber & this driver told me that I got a very rare 5 star rating from my last driver, so he came to get me because he knew I would be a good passenger.

You win some, you loose some.

jordan

taxi

So I’m walking home and it’s cold, like freezing cold. It’s midnight on a Wednesday night and Melbourne city is nothing like New York city, it’s asleep. Like fast asleep, like it was tucked up hours ago with a hot cup of tea and a good book.

I’m walking up Bourke street toward Parliament house hoping to find a cab, I’ve missed my last tram home and I feel like my hands have turned to blocks of ice. I’m having an internal monologue a whingeing to myself. Why didn’t I drive, there are parks everywhere, because I wanted to have a glass of wine, because he was going to pay for my glass of wine. But he didn’t pay for my glass of wine, so I paid and now I have to pay for a cab, I should have driven, but if I had and I hadn’t had a glass of wine it would’ve been even worse. Way, way worse.

I am walking away from the date from hell. Actually, more like the most boring date, not even from hell, just from the planet of mediocrity and impossible expectations.

I’m trying to think of where I went wrong, I’m in a cab finally on my way home, my taxi is an asshat. He starts talking about how lucky I am that he’s put the heater on and not charged me extra. I’ve decided to tune out, I didn’t know you could charge extra for heating, I’ll have to ask around.  I start going through the date in excruciating detail in my mind. Excruciating because it was messed up from the beginning.

His name was Jordan, his got some Mauritius in him I think he said, so his tan was much better than mine but I can hardly hold that against him. He picked the place and time, I loved how organised he was, I had met him out on the weekend at a bar, he bought me a drink and I paid him back by giving him my number. He asked for it though, just to be clear, I don’t hand out my details jerk who buys me a g&t.

By the time tonight rolled around I was a bit fuzzy on what he looked like, girls at work asked and of course I said he was amazingly good-looking and how excited I was to see him again. But if I’m honest I couldn’t remember his face at all. I was actually very nervous about recognising him. I rushed home from work, reread the message just to clarify he hadn’t mentioned dinner, scoffed down leftover stir-fry, (avoiding the chicken because I’m terrible with cling wrap and terrified of salmonella) and legged it to the tram stop.

I missed my tram. I sat at the stop for fifteen minutes debating whether or not to tell him I would be late, I could walk in ultra cool and not even mention it, like waiting for me was just part of the package. But I get these sickening anxious stomach pains when I’m late, stressed about what to say, how they’ll take it, whether they’ll hate me, how I’d feel if someone made me wait 25 minutes.  I finally decided to text him from the tram apologising profusely for my lateness and lying saying I’d be there in five minutes where is was more like fifteen.

The bar, Tuscan Bar on Bourke street is a tiny doorway, hardly recognisable from the street, this instantly gave him some credit for picking a hidey hole of a place. The stairs opened into a mahogany room with an enormous glossy bar and red velvet curtains lining the walls. It was a romantic place, very romantic. The only other people in there were the vest wearing Italian guys behind the bar and couples at every rickety table and hidden booth. But sitting directly in front of me were three guys, at three tables in three equally well tailored suits. I was stumped. I had no idea which one he was. In the dim lighting they all looked tan, they all had their phones out on the table and they were all looking at me as I walked in. I attempted to smile in their general direction and all three smiled back, none of them giving me any form of recognition. Eventually after what felt like five minutes but was actually really thirty seconds, one of them waved.

He wasn’t unattractive, but he wasn’t that handsome either. He stood up as I walked over so that was a tick, but after an awkward hug and sort of fumbled kiss on the cheek moment, we went on a downhill slide at alarming rates.

He worked in finance for the government, something about lending money to the banks and multi billion dollar companies who were in trouble. I was dying to ask him to put everything into layman’s terms for someone like myself who isn’t fiscally minded at all. How could a multi billion dollar company have no money? They had billions of dollars? Right? I sipped a delicious white wine and smiled and ooooed and aaaahed in the right places, but I swear to god for the first 25 minutes he didn’t ask me a single question. After the first hour I felt like I could be a financial adviser, and a pretty good one at that. After two hours of stunted conversation, a lot of awkward pauses and four pints of peroni (some kind of expensive ass hole beer) on his behalf and one wine of mine I was ready to call it a night. But every stupid excuse I threw at him he had a better retort. I’ve got work tomorrow, so did he. I’ll miss the last tram, public transport was dangerous at night and I should get a cab anyway. I need eight hours of sleep, he could function on four and he worked for the government, emphasis on government, belittling my job and making his sound pompous and superior. After another two hours three more beers in giant awkward glasses and a coffee for me I was at the end of my tether. I was over him and his weird shoulder shaking giggle at his own jokes. I stood up told him I really had to go and started walking out. He was severely tipsy, red faced and still giggling like a little boy as he chased after me.

So far I knew that he made more money than me, how much his suit cost, how much his apartment was worth, why I was sweet for caring about my job even though it wasn’t a career, that I should drink more expensive wine, that studying literature was a dead art and the written word was dead, how nice I smelt and how lucky we both were he decided to pick me that nigh at the bar.

Look reading this back I really am seeing the whole “why the fuck didn’t you leave earlier you fucking nut case, he’s mental & you stayed so you’re also mental”. In the moment I swear it’s harder to recognise when someone is such a moron.

Out the front of the bar I attempted to have a no contact goodbye, these kinds of goodbyes are near impossible in the stupid cheek kissing culture we now have. Just walking away is actually, no joke,  really hard to do.

At first I managed to get a few steps in the opposite direction with a little discreet wave and a friendly, I never want to see your effing face again, goodnight going on. He soon closed the gap and hugged me. Okay a hug I could deal with, I gave him what I thought would be a quick hug goodnight, but in the break away with his arms still around me he pulled in for a kiss. I literally lent back, I pulled back to the left, to no avail, he came at me again, I pulled to the right and his face just kept coming. Eventually I relented.

He got me.

And now I’m sitting in the cab with a cramp in my neck, cold and pissed off and wondering where I went wrong.

Okay, Okay, I know when I went wrong.

I am fully aware this Jordan guy is an awkward prick that I will not see again. He’s just sent me one of those weird, “it was so great to meet you”, text messages. I can actually taste peroni in my mouth and the memory grosses me out. My cabbie is still making racist slurs but I’m not really listening, trying to interrupt him for directions seems pointless so I’m letting him take the long way around.

No more Peroni. No more racist cab drivers. No more Jordan.

I’m calling my chiropractor first thing.

john

photo

We had a meet cute, John & I. We were at the train station, both trying to swipe our tickets and we couldn’t get through the barrier. “This one obviously doesn’t like us very much.” He had smiled at me after we had both tried and embarrassingly been rebuffed. I was going home early form work that day because I had a splitting headache so it was the middle of the day and station was deserted. 

“Excuse me, we’re both having trouble coming through” He called out to a station guy? Guard? Patroller of the station? Train Officer? Who knows what that career path is called.

This genius’s solution was that there must be an error & we should just jump the rail. I was in heels, I had an overflowing handbag with work I was taking home & a laptop satchel, ugliest damn bag ever created. John just jumped, with ease. He was just a little bit taller than me, with dark scruffy short cut hair and lovely eyebrows, that on any other person would look obscene, but for some reason on him the bushiness just worked. He had lovely tan skin & as he humiliatingly helped me over the guard rail, I decided he had very kind eyes & I really, really wanted to see him again. In fact, I wanted to have lots of sex and babies with him & those eyes.

I am obvs a crazy person.

He helped me over & carried my bag & kindly didn’t look while I tried to, failing, not to show the whole station my knickers. We both walked to the same platform & then sat on the same bench waiting for the same train on the same line. As I said, I am crazy & decided it was all fate & he was my dream guy and it was all meant to be. Thank fuck for my headache.

He chatted just as much as I did, and was super animated, what station do you get off at, where are you from, what do you do, can I get your number? Fuck yes. So that’s where we started, he took me out for dinner a few nights later & then a few days after that we went for drinks & had great sex at my apartment, yes two dates deep, who cares, I count the meeting as a first. So really, you judgy assholes, its three.

Then we went on a few more dinners and movies always followed by great sex, over the next few weeks. I was charmed. Seriously charmed AF. I thought this guy was the bees knees, the cats pyjamas, all that jazz. His eyebrows just got even more and more attractive.

John was thirty two, perfect age. Owned a very trendy cafe in my local area, and liked to swim in the ocean every morning at like 5am before work. There’s something really sexy about that whole ice swimming, my body is a temple, licking salt off him before he showers thing.

So it’s been over a month, and I still haven’t been to his cafe, he leaves that morning after some very lovely slow sex. That super nice Sunday morning light and airy before coffee sex. And he was sweet and kissing my neck and making me laugh and whispering. So my friend and I are meeting for a Sunday morning ‘gym day’? Lies, such fucking lies. We just went in the gym and sat chatting on the bikes while kind of pedalling & then totally changing our mind & going for brunch instead. Best. Plan. Even.

So in our active wear, with zero sweat she’s all like “Let’s go to John’s cafe!” And in my tiny endorphin rush after pedalling like nowhere, I say “Yes!”. Because A) I’ve never been there & B) I’m super proud I’m not dating an asshole & I want to show him off.

So we go, and we get a seat out the front, and it’s just the best cafe, cute baristas, everyone has some kind of fancy poached egg. Its has exposed brick walls & miss-matched chairs & people on their mac books with huge coffees & chilled out music. And the two of us are sitting there looking at the menu and I’m thinking, I love this guy, look at his life & all our sex and the neck kissing, I totally love him. I wanted to be a part of it, I adored that I was dating the guy who owned the cafe & I was about to order some kind of wanky avocado with pomegranate thing form his menu!

And then, this heavily pregnant woman walks in.

And she’s curvy & struggling with the pregnant-ness. She holding her lower back & waddling & she’s red in the face but smiling. And then one Barista calls out the back & my John comes jogging to the front of the cafe, he’s wearing what he put on that morning in my apartment & he’s kissing her with his hand on her belly. “Hey baby, and baby”. And I’m invisible, and my friend is watching the scene, looking at him and her and the ring on her finger and then back to my face and then them again.

And I get up and walk out and he doesn’t even see me.

It’s not until after this happens and your friend is chasing you down the street in silence, holding you bag & looking worried, that a lot of things start to fall in to place. Like the fact he always stayed at my house, that he always had to leave incredibly early for his morning ocean swims, the he was rushed off his feet at work & couldn’t meet me, that he always showered at my house. That he couldn’t always stay because of his early mornings at the cafe, that I couldn’t come to the cafe because I’d be bored because he’d be working.

And I walked around with all this bravado, like “I don’t even care” and “He’s an asshole.” But I swear I cried, boy did I cry and I couldn’t close my eyes for ages without seeing her happy, pregnant, red face.

What a glorious dick stain.