“Nine, are you a good kisser?”

It was about a month since I’d split up with #182. #184 and I were at QueerMutiny, drinking at a table near the dancefloor.

“I don’t know. I mean, people have said so before, but I’ve just been kissing the same person for two years, so I don’t know if that’s affected my technique.” #184 lunged forward and kissed me before I knew what was happening.

“You’re all right,” he concluded.

#184 was my partner in crime. He volunteered at my workplace and we wound up hanging out all the time. We got drunk together a lot and he’d make pronouncements about how we had THIS CONNECTION and we REALLY UNDERSTOOD EACH OTHER. After that night, he’d lunge at me and make out with me on numerous occasions. Our song was Pass This On by The Knife. We’d get drunk and dance to it and he’d inevitably pause and demand, “Nine, who is leading?” I guess it was me.

It is good to cultivate friendships with people who are bigger train wrecks than you are. You can then trick everybody into believing that you are the responsible one.

#184 helped me with my Polish; he gave me a list of useful phrases.

On(a) jest gorący/gorąca
He/she is hot

Zpałam z nim/nią
I slept with him/her

Nie mów o tym teraz
Don’t talk about this right now

His stories went like this: “And then: blackout. And then: it was 6am and I was in a youth hostel. I don’t know how I got there.” The pair of us regularly navigated our way through Edinburgh in a drunken haze, making friends with everybody, forgetting what happened two minutes ago, and seeking people to get off with. The difference between us was that I had some kind of homing mechanism whereby I always seemed to make it back to my flat unscathed, even if I didn’t know how (one time, he apparently put me in a rickshaw). #184, on the other hand, would suddenly find himself stumbling around a housing estate far from the city centre, 2pm, still drunk, and without his jacket or wallet. Every time we went out somewhere, one of us would text the other the following day: “What happened?” Together, we were an advertisement for the perils of alcohol. “I’ve got almost everything,” he crowed one morning after, as if this was an achievement, “except my bandana and my hat.” If I expressed an inclination to go home before the very end of the party, he’d look at me like I’d just shot his dog.

Here’s another thing about #184: his attention span.

– Nine, how are you?
– I’m ill.
– What are you doing tonight?
– I’m staying in because I’m ill.
– Oh, well there is a party on Niddrie Street, do you want to come?
– Thanks, but no. I’m ill.
– Oh, you’re ILL?!

After all the late nights and lunacy, something happened. #184 fell in love. He moved down to England in July to live with his boyfriend.

This is the problem with Edinburgh: people come and go. I get used to it.

Still, they’re not a million miles away. They’ve welcomed me into their home. If even one of us could get a proper income, we’d see more of each other. I don’t think our chapter’s closed, it’s just on hold for the time being.


~ by Nine on 10 December 2009.

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