The night I kissed #169 was the night of the student LGBT society’s Freshers’ Week pub crawl. I’d graduated five years previously, but it didn’t stop Leonard and myself from showing up anyway, partly because we had friends there and partly because we were evil predators and wanted to see who was new in town. I met some interesting people and some annoying people, and everyone did that head-twisty thing while they tried to read my upside-down tattoo. #170 was a fresher who was possibly from London, and she seemed to be flirting with me so I kissed her when we parted ways on the walk home.
A couple of weeks later I was at my friend Gregor’s club night. I was having misgivings, not about my friends or the club night but just about stuff in general. I’d met up with my friend Laura earlier that day to test out one of the LGBT history walks, and we’d spent a few hours together and my mind had kept going blank and I didn’t know what to say, like there were all these things I wanted to talk about but I didn’t know how to say them. #116 showed up briefly that night to flyer for her friend’s club night, and we deftly avoided each other, which kind of made sense because I’d been very frosty with her when she’d tried to speak to me at Pride. If we ever speak to each other again, I decided, maybe I’ll suggest she calls me in a year or two.
I saw #170 at Gregor’s club, only I thought she was someone else. I chatted to her for ten minutes under that impression, reminiscing about things she didn’t remember, before suggesting we swap numbers and calling her by the wrong name, which was when I discovered my mistake. I felt completely anti-suave. She took my number and left.
I walked halfway home with #166. She’d gotten involved with #81 by now, and I figured that was good, and my head felt too messy to process any further. Crossing the car park by myself, where the AI building is now, I ran into #111, so I talked to him about squirrels for a bit, because I’d figured out that was a handy conversation topic when faced with inconsequential people I got off with years ago. He was on his way home from a rich people party or something. He said I should call in and say hi sometime. I said, sure. I thought, yeah right.
That night I dreamed I was in my parents’ house. It felt so empty now without my mum, and I was finding things she had left behind. I woke up crying again.
I went out again a few nights later, to Planet Out and then Disko Bloodbath. My pseudonymous review of Frenchie’s had just been published and Leonard was discovering that a good way to get cute boys’ phone numbers was to promise to take them there. I got drunk with #113. I was on antibiotics but apparently these ones were compatible with alcohol, which was a huge relief. I spoke to a 17-year-old who identified as gothsexual and I realised he’d been four years old when I started drinking. The highlight of our conversation was when I made a reference to Back To The Future and he said “What’s Back To The Future?”, which pretty much traumatised me. I talked to a 20-year-old gay boy who was on my to-do list and kept showering me with praise and adoration and talking about how passive he was. I did not say out loud: honey, let me get you on your own and then I’ll give you passive. #116 and I ignored each other again.
#170 materialised and reiterated that she was not the person I had mistaken her for. “I don’t know this other person, but obviously you’d rather be getting off with her than me.”
“No, no, on the contrary.”
There was a brief pause and then I kissed her, but it wasn’t long before she disappeared off with her people, and we didn’t hook up again. I wasn’t actually holding out for anything, and I never really knew anything else about her except that she possibly had a long-distance and/or non-monogamous girlfriend, and a friend of mine slept with her a year later. The end.