1. I was a bit nervous about this week, to be honest. But – as with so many things which we anticipate with a little dread, it turns out that I need not have worried. Its fine.
As you know, I have had an Unrequited Crush for some time. You may not know, however, that he is currently visiting Sydney and staying in my flat. A mutual friend is getting married next weekend so Viking Sousaphonist (as he will henceforward be known) has extended his usual ‘end of the winter escape from cold wet miserable Blighty’ holiday to include a couple of weeks here for the nuptials and to catch up with friends – among whom I am pleased to count myself.
Now, my concern, of course, was that it might be uncomfortable – for him, not for me. I’m fine with it. After many years and several hopeless attachments I’m so used to my passions being unreciprocated that I think I’d only only be uncomfortable if ever one was actually returned…
My concern fizzed and jiggled around a central problem: On the one hand, he knows all about my unrequited crush because I – inadvertently at first – told him about it. We have discussed it both on the phone and via email. “This is bad”, I thought, because it could make both of us self-conscious and awkward… and then I remembered that we’re both self-conscious and awkward most of the time anyway, so it wouldn’t matter much. Then, “This is good”, I decided, because it should always be at least mildly flattering to have someone tell you they like you, especially since we both tend to assume that people don’t *really* like us.
On the other hand, i.e. if he didn’t know about it, it would be much worse, you see, because then he wouldn’t have been able to make it unmistakably – but kindly – clear that there is no chance of anything other than friendship between us. Which would have had me tied in gordian knots, had he been single, trying to work out how on earth one is supposed to seduce someone…
Which brings me to the best part of all: he is emphatically Not Single. He has a girlfriend with whom he has just spent 3 weeks holidaying in Asia. I’ve seen photos of her and frankly, if I were him, I’d prefer her, too. She has a fantastic figure and clearly a shit-load more determination in order to maintain it than I’ll ever have (pass the M&Ms). I hope she loves him as much as he clearly loves her and that they do agree to have children because he’ll be a cracking Dad.
So: this absent but still present girlfriend (he’s clearly missing her now that she has had to return to the UK to work – and I sympathise; when you are only truly comfortable with the one person you love best in the world and then have to be apart from them, it can be cripplingly painful) has almost totally dissolved any lingering crushiness.
Don’t mistake me, he’s still wildly handsome as well as interesting, generous, funny, honest, considerate, patient, perceptive, challenging, kind and… okay, you get it… the point is, so is my brother. And that’s kind of how I feel now; having him staying with me is like having a brother to stay – just one who perhaps lived with the other parent when you were growing up so you don’t quite know each other inside out.
We went to the local outdoor pool on Saturday and I wasn’t self-conscious (well, no more than usual) about being seen in a bikini by him. Nor am I bothered about being seen when I first wake up and stumble through the living room past the guest sofabed to the bathroom. Probably even more importantly, I’m not discombobulated at all by seeing him in just his shorts.
Its been a while since I’ve shared space with a male, but its okay. He’s making it very easy for me.
2. My other guest this week was also male, but considerably younger and cuter than Viking Sousaphonist. This guest’s name is Sylvester and he is the 5 month old kitten belonging to my ex-housemate. We kitten-sat for 3 nights over the weekend while she was away. Adorable? Yes, during the day he was delightfully entertaining (although a little worryingly clingy and demanding of attention – something I hope he’ll grow out of as he adjusts to his new life with her and she to him) but at night he was a FIEND incarnate. Nice to have him, but even nicer to give him back 🙂