Academic journal article Hecate

The Company of the Loveless

Academic journal article Hecate

The Company of the Loveless

Article excerpt

Did you fuck him?

This was the question before my handbag hit the table. I smiled my greeting and dug my hand in the pocket of my jacket for the price of a drink.

Certainly did.

Frowning at my friend in mock-distaste I proceeded to the bar.

I came back with my beer, settled in my chair and produced cigarettes and matches.

How was it?

OK.

I struck a match. It crisped and blackened. I looked steadily at him. I said:

I'm a bit worried. I stopped taking the pill because I was nonchalant about my chances of meeting anyone and remember you said not taking the pill is a good reason for having to use a condom and you always go on about using condoms and they're bloody awful things really. Anyway, the condom sort of fell off. I mean, I think it's alright. I think it fell off afterwards but for a while I couldn't find it and then, there it was, on my leg.

Put it this way - it was a bit exciting, it was a bit ordinary, it was reasonably awkward, but he won't be the one bringing me a cup of tea in bed in five years' time, or one years' time, or two months' time for that matter. I will feel silly and enlivened for a few days. I will walk faster, my lips will feel plumper, my hair will swing around my shoulders and I will jump every time the phone rings. Then, after a while, I may get a little drunk with friends and they will go home to their lovers and I'll be alone and I'll call him and he will be hesitantly friendly but noncommital and we won't talk about anything much then I'll make an excuse and get off the phone (Oh sorry, my ego is boiling over) and then I'll feel like crying but I won't because I'm wonderful and who cares about bastards who are invariably a lot more stupid than I am and I am very clever and very nice so everyone says and I start to look in the mirror from a lot of different angles.

Time passes again in its gilt frame and I'll be out somewhere and he'll be there and he may or may not come home with me and it's probably better if he doesn't because he'll stay all weekend and alienate my friends and eat all my food and I'll tell him the story of my life and then he'll disappear again and I'll feel doubly humiliated because he knows me a little now. …

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