Sunday 12th July

I didn’t go to the meeting on Friday. Instead I had sex. It had been planned hastily the day before on Grindr. People rarely want to chat to me on Grindr, so when this guy who lived nearby started trying to tempt me over, I was hooked in the way that P gets hooked, which annoys me so much. He sent me some pictures and I was surprised to find he was attractive. About fifteen years my senior, if I were still adhering to strict rules in my sex life I wouldn’t have gone near him, but these days I know I just have to take opportunities where I can find them. I was desperate to be touched, to be wanted again, and although I was going for another daddy figure, he seemed nice enough.

I got to his place around 6pm on Friday, knowing there was no chance I’d be able to go to the meeting that night as originally planned. I didn’t care as much as I should have. When he started to kiss me there was an initial moment of unhelpful thinking: “He’s not as sexy in real life as he was in his photos; he’s being too forward, he’s not talking enough.” It nearly put me off, but then I remembered I can’t be giving into my thoughts in these matters. Thoughts will get me nowhere. I decided to go with it, to try and enjoy myself even though an abject terror of being abused was threatening to take over.

We jumped into bed and were both naked pretty quickly. I used to hate it when guys pulled my clothes off at the beginning of the event. I used to think it was unromantic; in films and TV programmes couples never get fully naked straight away when they’re having sex. Couples always take their time on TV; you get lingering, fully clothed kisses on TV and in films that seem so meaningful because it’s all about the kiss. In life I’ve found that guys care about kissing but they care more about bodies and genitalia. The picture that’s portrayed of sex in mainstream entertainment is just a fantasy. It doesn’t really exist.

I tried not to yearn for those unrealistic fantasies on Friday once we were in bed and fully in the swing of things. I was a little out of practise after nearly a year of celibacy, and I was flaccid after about ten minutes. I fell to one side, laughed and apologised for it going to sleep on him. He laughed and said it happens to all of us. Amazingly, instead of kicking me out of bed he started to chat to me. We talked about our families and our careers for half an hour. It was quite pleasant. After half an hour he had to get on with some stuff, and I was relieved that I wasn’t expected to try again. We got dressed and he said that we should do it again some time. Even though neither of us had achieved the ultimate goal of sex, he had enjoyed it. I left, not really knowing if I would see him again, but glad my first encounter in nearly a year hadn’t been a total disaster.

*****

Yesterday, my friend from the Eastern European office, J, arrived here. I’d been looking forward to his arrival for weeks. He has been promoted at work and is over here training for a fortnight. I’m going to have to return to Eastern Europe in a couple of weeks to help train his replacements. There just wasn’t enough time for him to do the whole handover.

Yesterday morning I had his guided tour of the city all planned out in my head. I knew exactly where we would go, what he needed to see to get the full experience. In the morning the first sign that things weren’t to go to plan came, when J messaged me to say there were some problems at his hotel, and he didn’t know when he’d be free. Apparently, the hotel didn’t want to let him keep his room because he wasn’t the card holder that paid for it. His boss had paid for it with a company credit card, so his boss needed to go there to authorise the transaction. He was waiting at the hotel for his boss to show up.

It sounded like a stressful situation for someone who’s never been to Western Europe before and who doesn’t have anywhere else to stay. I felt bad for him. I agreed to wait around for him to get everything sorted. We hoped it wasn’t going to take too long.

After an hour there was no news so I went to get the train into town, hoping I’d hear from him by the time I got there. When I got there, nothing. I went to sit in café near to where he was staying, sure that I wouldn’t have to wait very long. I waited for three hours. Finally at 4 o’clock J came to join me, still with no news of his boss. He’d called his boss several times to find out where he was and had got no answer. By that point I thought surely it wasn’t worth waiting around any more. J, normally so laid back and happy go lucky, was in a state of panic and clearly needed his mind taken off the situation. I encouraged him to leave the café with me and start on his guided tour. His boss would show up and sort things out eventually – there was no point in sitting around worrying all day. Plus I was desperate to show him some of the city while there was still warmth and daylight.

We walked around for a couple of hours taking in some local sights. J wasn’t saying much. Normally he’s one of the chattiest people I know. Yesterday he was understandably upset at the possibility of having nowhere to stay, and it was hard to get him enthused about our overcrowded, noisy streets. When we got to a big famous landmark I was sure such a famous sight would excite him, but his reaction was pretty much “meh”. I wanted to carry on and show him more that was sure to cheer him up – but he wanted to get back to the hotel. I would have been just the same in his position. I would need to be at the hotel as much as possible, just to find out as soon as my boss had sorted things out. I wouldn’t be interested in walking around a strange city all evening.

He didn’t want to get on public transport so we had to walk all the way back to the hotel. It was a very quiet walk. When we got there, thankfully his boss had been and gone and everything was sorted. Had J been in possession of a phone with a local data plan he could have just kept in touch with his boss by phone all day, and not be tied to the hotel, but he didn’t have data so he could only check on progress at the hotel, sadly.

I was really disappointed having to say goodbye to him. I felt like my plans had been ruined. Yeah, it’s his trip not mine, but in my head the day should have been so wonderful. He’d missed so much of the city and he didn’t seem particularly interested in seeing any more of it last night. Sure he was dog tired by the time I left him and he’s here for two weeks, so he might want to finish his tour off next weekend. But I hate having nice plans ruined, especially by circumstances that are out of my control.

I was really looking forward to J coming here because secretly I’ve been a bit in love with him since I met him. He’s 22 years old and he’s straight, but he’s also my closest friend in the other office, we talk every day online and we have so much in common. I got carried away by the idea that yesterday was going to be our special day together. I never have him to myself over there. Here he doesn’t know anyone; whilst with me he was completely dependent on me. In my wildest fantasies I’d have got him back to the hotel and he’d have been so thankful for my company he’d have thrown his arms around me and kissed me. None of that would have ever happened, which is why as a fantasy it’s so appealing. I always go for the most unobtainable fantasies. In fact, all the real loves of my life have been unobtainable. I’m 32 years old, but in my head I’m still 16.

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