My best friend is a boy. We sit together in pub gardens in the freezing cold, fishing weird white bits out of cold pints of cheap scrumpy. We laugh at each other, and ourselves. We fight over whose round it is because we always think the other is more skint than they’re letting on.
And when people find out that he’s a boy they ask some version of this: ‘so have you fucked?’
If my other half is beside me when I die at the age of ninety, it will come as quite a surprise. Not just surprising that I’ll have lived until ninety, which is unlikely given my lifestyle. It will come as a surprise that we haven’t yet split up.
When we first got together, I was excited about dating you. I remember the outfit I wore on one afternoon of peak excitement, when we had nothing planned but a long day of drinking and then fucking on the carpet in your flat. I wore boots, shorts, and a semi-transparent top. Badly applied make-up and a giant grin. I was excited, in a horny way. And in a general way too: you excited me as if we were on our way to Alton Towers and not just the pub up the road.
I wanted to shout out to him as I heard him come down the stairs. I knew it was him. I could tell from his footsteps, and the way he made slightly more noise than he normally would – treading heavily to give me notice that he was awake. I’d been lying on the sofa for an hour or more, heart thumping and mind running over the things I wanted to say. The one thing I wanted to say: take me. Fuck me. Now, while my body is perfect.
Amidst all this hate it can be tricky to remember that we’re supposed to be approaching the most loving day of the year. Valentine’s Day: when everyone who has someone is urged to go and blow a load of money to prove how deep their love is. Or just to show that they’re able to remember an arbitrary date. Or because there was a 2-for-1 offer on heart-shaped chocolates and they simply couldn’t resist. In my line of work, I’m generally expected to write something Valentines-y, ideally with a selection of unique Valentine’s Day gifts with which to surprise your loved ones.