Friday, December 28, 2007

"Festive Fun"

They say you never forget your first love, but I haven't yet had the chance to. After a semi uneventful train ride home, a lot of texting took place to ensure my night out in Newcastle was sorted. And it was. Another birthday of another acquaintance and I'd secured a "night outon the town" as the locals say. Although I knew Jaime would be there, what I didn't count on was all of my old feelings flooding back for her. It made me feel like how I did two years ago, a year ago... three months ago. Now.

“You look like Lauren Conrad, you know that?”

“Who is she?” Jaime responded.

“Only one of the hottest girls in the world,” I thought to myself. After taxiing together into the city, with half catch up half flirting going on, we decided to head to Players, the sports bar. "In Players we kinda kept our distance. Her on the dancefloor, me stood at the bar. But I kept like glancing at her..." I told Aspen. "Ah, to make sure no other guys try their luck?" "Exactly Aspen, exactly." But it was after Players, in the club Mood, that we finally connected. After a trip to the bar half an hour previously I found my glass empty. "Bar run! Anyone coming?" I shouted at my party of people over "Gimme More". "I will," Jaime piped up. Being slightly more than half drunk I didn't think anything of it. Walking back to the party of people on the dance floor, she said something, and then quickly stopped.

“What?” I asked.

“Ah, nothing, nothing.” She replied.

“No, say it.” I guess I sort of new what she was about to say.


“Yes Jaime, just say it.”

“Well, I didn’t think I felt this way anymore but as soon as I saw you tonight it was just Wow!” She confessed.

“I know! That’s how I felt! I’m not even kidding.”

“Let’s go talk in that booth over there.” She instructed.

Several days later I took Skye to the Stateside Diner I’d discovered with Madeline. “Now, I’ve always been the type of person to be against PDA’s, but, this is Jaime. Jaime Jaime. It was like necessary, you know?” I told her, tucking into my pancakes with Maple syrup, and slurping up some of that good ol’ Cola. “I’ve also never been dry wanked in a bar before. So that was different.” I saw a woman glance over at the mention of “wank” before quickly glancing back. “Foreplay in the club followed by nothing on the dance floor.”

“What?” Skye said, looking puzzled.

“Well, like, after my ‘happiness’ subsided, we went back to the dancefloor and decided that we should keep it a secret and just tell everyone we’d been talking.”

“Did they buy it?”

“If they did, it was an awfully long chat we had, and with everyone knowing our history, it’s not exactly believable.” I sipped more of my Cola.

That night Jaime and I both attended a meal at Est Est Est on the quayside in Newcastle to reunite friends who had supposedly lost touch. What followed was a night of lustful glances, longingful glazes, and several strong cocktails containing flavours of vodka I never even knew existed. (Orange, Vanilla and Spice Vodka anyone?)

“So whats the deal with you and Jaime?” Aspen asked me at the end of the table, where the guys were sat.

“What do you mean?” He looked like he already knew.

“Come on Noah, this is our group of spreads fast.”

“Well, what do you want me to say? It was only a bit of ‘festive fun’. Nothing serious.” I was saying, exactly what I thought Jaime wanted to hear.

“Are you sure you see it like that?”

He had a point. I pondered for a second. “Yes...” To be honest, I was unsure. And I knew I looked it. There it was, the frown that gave it all away. Aspen raised an eyebrow. "Well? What are you getting for desert?"

Sunday, December 23, 2007

"Slumber Party"

After my brush with depression, alcohol induced of course, and before my visit home for the Holidays, I decided it was time to get in touch with Faye. I had sent her some not so favourable text messages during my stint in Rehab (the club, not the clinic.)

“They were something along the lines of ‘I hate myself. Why am I a cunt?’ It was such a bad idea.” I told A.

She responded with: “Well, yeah, they do sort of make you out to be a manic depressive.”

“Not too attractive then, eh?”

That night, along with A, Alyson and others, including Faye, we decided on another late in Oceana.

“I’m surprised we’re not all sick of Oceana yet.” Faye told the group, charmingly, in her Northern Irish accent.

“Yeah, we should really all branch out after Christmas.” I replied, downing the rest of my pre-night-out home made cocktail I liked to call a ‘Leedtini’. “There’s got to be smoky, little, jazz clubs somewhere and I’d love to go to a comedy club too!”

“I’d be up for that,” Christian chipped in, buttoning his shirt on what would be his first night out in almost a month.

“Well then, it’s a plan. No backing out now, you’ve made a commitment...” I poured slightly more vodka into my plastic Halloween cocktail glass, “...a verbal contract of sorts.” I liked to think I knew what I was talking about.

After going straight from the taxi to skipping the line and straight into the club, all of us were feeling the effects of those ‘Leedtini’s. Later, I asked myself: had it been those very cocktails that had later come back to haunt me? As usual we headed straight to the bar, where Faye managed to charm an older guy into using his wristband offering free drinks all night. Score. Grinding, dancing, and many-a-kisses followed until too many free drinks later, we stumbled back to our flats, luckily, both adjacent of each other.

“Before I even knew what was going on,” I explained to Aspen over the phone the next day, “she was half-undressed, falling asleep under my covers. And as I lay next to her, I couldn’t help but feel the urge to throw up. I mean, it wasn’t her, obviously, or she wouldn’t be in my bed, but I’m still blaming those shitty homemade cocktails. I had a bucket next to my bed all night, just in case.”

“So you didn’t do the deed?” Aspen asked.

“No, because that would have been unethical Aspen.”

We woke up the next morning, spooning, and not in the least bit feeling slightly awkward.

“I need to go.” And with that she was gone. I turned over and went back to sleep. Waking up later that afternoon, I looked around and saw her possessions. I guess I had my own ‘walk of shame’ to do. I gathered her stuff, including clothes and shoes, and took them to her flat. Knocking on the door, her flatmate answered.

“Hey, I just have some of Fiona’s stuff.” I said, most probably blushing.

“Faye!!” She shouted. “Haha, what exactly did you come home in this morning Faye?”

I hung around for a while, making small talk, mostly about how long we’d both slept after she left. Normality: I liked it.

Later that night I got to thinking: could you ever really sleep with someone without actually ‘sleeping’ with them? Was it an act that brought people closer together, because, after all, it is one of the most vulnerable states you can be in around someone?

Several days later and I was homeward bound on the train for my family’s annual Christmas and New Year celebrations. I got a text from her telling me she’d had the best night’s sleep in a long time when she’d slept with me, without actually ‘sleeping’ with me. I still had it.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

"Three Times A Fool"

It’s been said that Rehab is a humbling place...I just found it depressing. Rehab, a club in Leeds, holds an 80’s night every Monday. 80p entrance fee, 80p Vodka and Coke’s, and 80’s music: who could theoretically ask for anything more?

One Monday night, I’d made plans with Elsey and a fellow Noah to check out Rehab, Noah2 knew people who worked the doors there, and of course, we jumped the line. Inside I noticed the over-obvious flirting between Elsey and Noah2. “Oh great, third wheeling tonight, again!” I thought to myself.

Over at the bar, where I had downed two, albeit small, Vodka and Cokes I looked over and Noah2 and Elsey were looking particularly close. I motioned them over and we hit the dance floor, where they flirted more and I bumped into some friends. I made small talk, and Noah2 and Elsey headed to a sofa. I followed with my drink, and turned to see them in a lip-lock. “Oh jeez.”

“Guys, I’m not feeling too good. I’m going to head home.”

“Are you sure? We’ll come.” Elsey offered.

“No, no! You stay, have a good time! Enjoy the madness of it all. I’ll see you later.” And with that I took off, out of the club, and towards the train station. Once I got to the train station, I debated a taxi. “No, I’ll walk.” It would clear my head I thought. But as I walked along Wellington Street, I couldn’t help but feel something was wrong with me.

“All of my life I’ve never been successful in relationships. I’ve always been the wingman...the third wheel. Why? What the fuck is wrong with me?” I thought to myself. “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” The swearing wasn’t doing anything, but I felt it was needed.

“I must be ugly. Unattractive. Not just looks, but as a person too. That must be why no one likes me. I have a slight double chin. My face isn’t totally symmetrical. My eyes are more blue grey than piercing blue.” Maybe I’d hit depression. Or maybe it was the Vodka, as is usually the case. Or could it be that my ‘friends’ had taken advantage of my good willed nature and my proneness to partying (it was probably my only vice) one too many times?

So, about a month back, I introduced my flatmate A to Ben. They hit it off and I saw they had chemistry. I was pleased I had been successful in my unintentional match making. On several more nights out, A had invited me, knowing Ben would be there (they’d been texting). And of course I’d go, it’s good to get out and socialise. It would result in more of their flirting and I’d be by myself, looking on, or looking out for potential dates. Result? Not so much.

“I think I like Ben, does he like me?” A confided and asked, after their third ‘date’ to which I had again played wingman to both.

“Um, I think he might do. Should I enquire?” See, I could be a good friend.

Several nights later I was cooking with Alison and we began discussing the whole A and Ben situation. “I just feel like they’re using me to make it seem like we’re all still friends while they discover more about each other. Like I’m the excuse they keep meeting. Why don’t they just go on a date? Isn’t that what normal people do?” I told Alison, whilst preparing chicken breasts.

“I get it Noah. They want to make it seem like they don’t like each other and therefore want to be with you so it seems all friendly and shit.”

“Fucking exactly.” I paused. “My language is terrible!”

The final straw came when I had managed to persuade Alison to join A, Ben and I on what would be their fourth ‘date’. “OK, but only if you buy me a drink.”

“Deal! I think tonight is the night they actually kiss, and maybe more.”

And boy I wasn’t wrong. As Alison and I made a bar run, she received a text from A: “We’re going back to Ben’s.” Alison and I rolled our eyes at each other.

“Even we knew their intentions for tonight so why even bother making us come to this God forsaken place just to ditch us and leave us here?” I told her in the taxi on the way home.

“Well, that is true. But I kind of liked it there.”

“Oh, you would!” I said, laughing.

A couple of days later, after A and Ben had slept together, I told A that I was no longer responsible for chaperoning their dates. She told me she wasn’t even sure she liked him, and she that she was confused. “Ok. Well. I’m shitty with advice.” I didn’t want to get any more involved, Ben was already convinced I was trying to sabotage their non-relationship.

After all of this, I couldn’t help but ask: had I become vulnerable to being considered the foolish wingman? Why had I been relied on so heavily in these two situations? At the end of the day, it wasn’t going to be me who would be getting laid was it?

I could answer one of my questions though: Noah1 is nobody’s fool, and won’t be treated as such. Find a new chaperone guys and girls, Noah Austin is out.