This weekend away was so needed. Unbelievably, welcomely, fabulously, wonderfully needed.
I got up early and got the train over to Glasgow. HarryPotter met me at Queen’s Street and we got a coffee and a muffin from the old café by the office. So much of my internship was spent at that café with HarryPotter. Would all the old memories come back, including the bad ones? Would it all feel just too weird; and I’d wish I hadn’t come to Glasgow?
No, not necessarily. It felt right walking through that door, ordering a late and a blueberry muffin, and HarryPotter making funny voices trying to imitate the people walking past the window. It was like I had never left Glasgow.
HarryPotter suggested that with the amazing weather we should spend the day outside. All I’d brought was a change of clothes in my backpack, so there was no need to drop my stuff off at his flat. Instead we stopped at an offy and got a big bottle of cheep cider, then we went over to M&S for picnic stuff for later. Then I realised that my pasty skin would not deal with the sun well at all – not even Glasgow sun – so we stopped off at Boots for sunscreen and ended up buying some other picnic accoutrement: couple of beach towels to sit on, and a bottle of water. Our day was set.
We chose the park with the Botanic Gardens (I can’t remember the name), spread out our towels, lied back and enjoyed the day. I’d like to say there was more to it than that, but that’s all we did. All day. Lie in the sun. Eat nibbles. Drink cider. Talk about stupid shit. Use funny voices. Say nothing and lie there and read (me on the Kindle, him on his phone). And laugh. Oh, and slather suncream on me every fifteen minutes (stupid, stupid HarryPotter — who shed his shirt like every other bloke in the park — is now this lovely golden brown).
We did get up from our towels a few times, and walked through the glass gardens part, got an ice-cream, and even played a bit of Frisbee with some kids. But mostly we lied there. All day. And it was magnificent.
At one point HarryPotter broached the topic of Fife. ‘Why’d your boyfriend cancel your plans for the weekend?’ (I had told HP that I could come to Glasgow because Fife cancelled the weekend plans.)
I attempted to answer in a fairly vague manner, but then I realised that as I’ve just gotten HarryPotter back as a friend, I really shouldn’t lie anymore than I already had. I told him everything. Well, mostly everything. I told him that Fife’s married but in the process of getting a divorce, and he’s living with me temporarily. Then I said that Fife hadn’t cancelled the weekend plans, I just needed to get a way for a bit. HarryPotter was quiet, so I threw in, ‘And I need to see Loraine’s client do this reading. Well sort of. I should introduce myself…since I’m in town and all.’
I waited for the judgement. I waited for HarryPotter to give me hell for dating a ‘married’ man. I waited for him to tell me I was being stupid for getting in the middle of a married man’s family drama. But he didn’t say anything like that. He just asked, ‘How long do you think he’ll be living with you?’
I said, ‘Shouldn’t be too long.’
HarryPotter said, ‘Good luck then,’ and he asked me to open the crisps.
After the park, we popped into Loraine’s client’s reading. Because I was pretty slimy and grimy after a day in the sun, I was hoping to slip in to the back of the room, and introduce myself afterwards. But we got there a little too early, and someone started chatting at us about the author’s book, and I opened my big mouth and said, ‘Oh yes, I know. I’m with the Agency.’
The woman we were speaking with got too excited, brought the author over, and someone else suggested that I do the introduction. Shit. I was not prepared for this. I hardly knew anything about this author (other than this was his fifth book and he’d won an award for his first book, I wasn’t even sure I knew the plot of his most recent novel). Plus, as I’d mentioned, I was covered in suncream and Glasgow park dirt. Not a pretty sight, or smell.
I froze for a second, hemmed and hawed, then HarryPotter spoke up and said ‘I don’t know if we have time. We’ve got to head home and get to the fundraiser by 7:30.’
Fundraiser? Oh, fundraiser. ‘Yes, we’ve got to get going. But I just wanted to come by and introduce myself. Good luck with the reading,’ and we scooted out of there.
‘Holy shit, you lie well,’ I told HarryPotter as we got out onto the street and out of earshot.
HarryPotter bowed and said, ‘Here to serve.’
HarryPotter texted Roger earlier in the day, so we planned to meet him out at the pub. HP and I arrived just as a table outside came free, so we snagged it straight away. I might have pushed someone over to get the table, but it’s every man for himself when there’s blue skies in Britain.
Roger and his girlfriend arrived shortly thereafter, and I could already tell it was destined to be one of those rare and magical summer evenings in which we would pass an evening without a roof over our heads.
Round were had, and chat was made. Roger’s gone back to Uni to get his Master’s so that he can teach people to teach English as a second language, he’s been with his girlfriend nearly a year and they’re living together (it’s the same girl that introduced HarryPotter to the stalker). I can’t believe Roger is monogamous, let alone a live-in boyfriend. I was starting to think he was a new man, until… Until, he turned up with a round of shots and started talking about needing jager-bombs so that he’d be in the right frame of mind in to pull the hairs off his girlfriend’s nipples. Yeah, Roger hasn’t changed and his girlfriend was not amused.
As we drank, I began to think about how well HarryPotter lied at the author reading, then I started to think that even though he was going through a lot with his Dad being ill last February, maybe he’d lied to me about the stalker, and that girl who was after him last February was not a sex-pest but actually his girlfriend.
The more I drank the more I obsessed, and I had to find out if HarryPotter had lied about that girl. What if he really did come to Dundee to sleep with me, even though he had a girlfriend in Glasgow? I had to find out if HarryPotter lied to me? (And before you pull the hypocrisy card on me, yes, I know I have no room to talk, as I was with Pete and sleeping with Goatee, but last night I was drinking quite a bit, and I had amnesia about the whole Pete/Fife debacle.)
I didn’t think Roger would tell me the truth (he’d automatically back HarryPotter), but his girlfriend would tell me the truth. Girl to girl. Amiga y amiga. (That’s Spanish, isn’t it?)
Roger’s girlfriend went to the loo, and I decided that I needed the toilet as well. In front of the toilet paper clogged sink I asked Roger’s girlfriend, ‘So. [Name of stalker girl]. What was the deal with her and HarryPotter?’
Then this seemingly lovely nice woman turned, got up in my face and said, ‘I like [HarryPotter]. He’s a good guy. You fucked him over bad. He was broken when you left, and he’s only just now getting over you. So don’t do anything to fuck him up again. If you do, you’ll have to answer to me.’ Then she stormed out.
Not quite the answer I was looking for, but interesting all the same.
Back at the table, HarryPotter said that when Roger’s girlfriend came back from the bathroom, she claimed to have a sudden headache so they left. HarryPotter and I gave our patio table to a group who looked like they would enjoy it, and went back to his flat.
I was a bit tipsy, so deciding to watch a film was probably not the best idea, as I was asleep on the sofa before the title even came up.
I woke up in the morning. I was in my old room. It was filled with computer parts, half a bicycle and a ton of boy clothes, but it was my old room all the same, and as the light streamed in I wondered if the last year actually happened. Maybe it wasn’t 26 May 2012, perhaps it was 9 March 2011, and I decided to not go travelling. Perhaps I decided to stay in Glasgow with HarryPotter. Perhaps Fife, BigOne, LittleOne, PoshPhD, CoolTrous, and Pete were all a dream. Perhaps I was where I was supposed to be, in HarryPotter’s flat.
Then I saw my knapsack and sandals on the floor. It hadn’t been a dream. The last year had indeed happened, and last night I feel on the sofa, but must have moved into the bedroom later in the evening.
I went into the kitchen and HarryPotter was in his holey bathrobe, missing a sock and eating cereal. He shook the box at me as I walked into the room, which I knew meant, ‘Want some? Help yourself.’
After breakfast, I showered, changed and packed myself into the backpack. It was time to leave. HarryPotter suggested that we spend another day at the park, and I put up a brave attempt at claiming that I needed to get back to Dundee, but really I preferred to spend the day in the park. So, that’s what we did. Another day lying about in the park on a blanket, reading and making silly voices.
Around 3 o’clockFife texted to know when I’d be home, and the guilt started. I couldn’t lie about all day. I needed to head back to Dundee and face the boyfriend.
As I came into the train station in Dundee, with the beautiful sun shining down on the Tay, I decided to take the long way home, but instead of finding myself in the flat, I found myself sitting in the garden of the office with the laptop on the garden table typing away on this here blog. I’m just not ready to go home. What if the kids are there?
Now here’s where I get a little philosophical. Was it a great weekend because I really needed the rest? Or was it a great day because I’m hanging out with HarryPotter again? I’m trying to not dwell on this too much, but it is weighing on my mind. I didn’t receive any texts from Fife all day, so he’s obviously still mad at me. And I’m still mad at him. I hardly thought about him all day, except for those brief moments when HarryPotter asked me about him. And for a split second, I thought ‘What if he’s so mad he moves out?’ And I for that split second I didn’t care if he moved out. Then I actually pictured my flat without him, and I was quite sad. I don’t really want to move out. But I also didn’t want to leave that lovely sunny idyllic place called Glasgow.
Wait. I’ve think I’ve just answered my question.Glasgow is usually neither sunny nor idyllic. This weekend was an anomaly, whose brilliance was exaggerated by the horrible week I had prior. Maybe I do really love hanging out with HarryPotter. But also, I really needed a break. And I don’t want Fife and I to split up. I could stand to not have his kids living in my house, but I don’t want to finish with him. I think it’s time for me to put away the laptop and go home.