Angus knew someone at his school who he thought would be perfect for me. Hadn’t we heard this somewhere before? However, even though Angus was my best friend and therefore knew me way better than the previous match-maker, his idea of compatibility left a lot to be desired. When I met #8, he reminded me of Macaulay Culkin. Not Macaulay Culkin in latter years (remember, this is before latter years, before Party Monster and Sonic Youth videos); we’re talking, of course, of the Home Alone era. #8 was smart, irritating, and hyperactive. My most abiding memory of the first night we met is of him drinking water out of a dirty ashtray. I looked at Angus. This is who you thought would be a good match for me? What does that say about me?
The following night, we were drinking at the Point, at the far end of Ballyholme Beach. It was May or June. The weather was improving. #7 was going to dump Anita tonight. We knew and she didn’t. #7 was also going through a phase of being a Satanist, or maybe it wasn’t a phase, maybe he never stopped. But he’d started hanging out with this kid Brian who was a Satanist too, except within two weeks Brian had changed tack completely and was telling me inspirational stories about Jesus. It really was the most impressive stealth evangelism I’d ever witnessed.
#7 had a ghetto blaster with him and Pictures of a Bleeding Boy was playing, by The God Machine, and he was going on about how the lyrics were so satanic. I was pouring Ribena into my plastic litre bottle of cider, which not only made it more palatable for me but meant nobody else was likely to scrounge some, enabling me to get maximum drunk.
It happened. Anita shouted at #7, cried, and stumbled away. I wanted to help, but I didn’t know her too well at the time and I guess someone else was at hand. She maybe poured his cider over his head, but I’m not sure. Meanwhile, though, I had problems of my own. People were grabbing me and #8 and shoving us towards each other. I think it was his fifteenth birthday and they wanted us to kiss. I resisted, and they wouldn’t take no for an answer, and finally he pretty much saved the day by stepping forward, taking me by the shoulders and kissing me. Satisfied, everyone else ran away and now here we were alone together.
I found myself on the ground with his hand up my jumper and his other hand down my trousers. Then we were lying side by side on the rocks and he put his cock in my hand. I was wasted. I had my eyes closed and I kind of stroked it dutifully for a while, but half-hearted would be an understatement. I didn’t really know what I was supposed to do with it and besides it had been completely presumptuous of him, so I just stopped once I was well and truly bored. Making out with him was okay but this extra stuff was uncalled for. He asked me for a blow job and I laughed at him and he said didn’t think so. Finally we got up, and I immediately fell flat on my face on the rocks. “Hey, wait for me,” I said, “I can’t get up.” #8 was fast disappearing into the distance through the grey half-light, the little shit.
I had a huge black bruise on my upper lip for the next week or two. My mother was deeply concerned, she kept asking who’d hit me. “Nobody, I fell flat on my face,” I said brightly, laughing at my own clumsiness and hoping she’d join in. She frowned. “Nobody just falls over like that.” I did.