I don’t know at what point I was supposed to realise I’d gone too far, was it when I shouted my pin number at him across the bar, was it when I undid his shirt in front of his mates or was it when I put my hands down his trousers on the dance floor. Trick question it was when I stuck my tongue out at myself in the mirror of the public toilets and winked. It was at that point I should’ve scheduled myself a taxi and a kebab, but I soldiered on into regrettable territory.
I don’t know what it is about being intoxicated that transforms me into a three-time divorcee searching for my last love to take care of me in my palliative years but never the less that’s what happens to me. One minute a functioning member of society the next a person waiting outside the toilets while their potential beau does a party shit. There’s something about a club that turns sex into a finite resource. I’m no longer a human that constitutes a sink shower as getting ready, I am the elegant humpback whale travelling thousands of miles in hope of finding a desirable (suitable) mate. But that’s not really who I am, I’ve never been the humpback whale, I’m the one that has to google animals that migrate. I’m messy and rough around the edges. And yet the moment I step into a venue where the music is bad and the floor is basically velcro I become a proud, put-together whore. Back with a vengeance.
In hindsight there are very few disadvantages to going home on your own after a night out. You get to return to a double bed to yourself, you don’t have to pretend to know how to host and you can finally pass the wind you’ve been polite enough to hold in all night. It’s a dream. However it somehow never feels that way. Coming home after a night out on your own usually just seems sad. You’re a stumbling 6’2 heap of evidence that you couldn’t pull in a room of people as wankered as you. I can only speak for myself but this feels especially true in a gay club. In a space that was built so queer folks could safely explore their sexuality not being able to find a single soul to exploit this privilege feels like a crushing defeat. And beyond the superficial embarrassment felt there is the much more insidious loneliness that lies underneath. To stand in a room filled with your kin and to have none of them make eye contact feels like a fierce and deliberate rejection. However in reality it’s just people who aren’t your friends enjoying their night as they should. You’re insecurity is not their concern.
I can speak of these emotions so clearly because they are based on real events that happened very recently. I was on a night out with a man that I was gunning after. He had all the personality traits I looked for in a potential partner. He regularly cancelled plans with me and discussed other fuckboys he was seeing in my company. Perfection. As I referred to in the first paragraph things had gotten a little hot and heavy in the club but as the night wore on it was getting increasingly obvious we weren’t going to sleep together. I was surprisingly able to read between the lines when he said ‘I can’t wait to go to sleep alone tonight’ and ‘I’m not one to share a bed’, but then again my Mum’s a clairvoyant so it makes sense. However despite knowing beyond all reasonable doubt that he wasn’t going to shag me I was not deterred from leaning over while getting into my uber and softly slurring ‘Do fancy coming back with me?’ into his ear. His response was a solid and well argued no. It was Atticus Finch who once said that courage is knowing you’re going to get licked before you begin and seeing it through to the end anyway, which is kinda what I did. However I pursued my desires knowing I wasn’t going to get licked at all. Just to be clear I did just take a quote from the great literary works of Harper Lee and applied it to a metaphor about me getting blown.
It wasn’t courage at all that made me ask the question though, it was fear. Fear that if I went out with a man to a place with other men and couldn’t get any of them to want me then I was a failure. The odds were stacked in my favour, all of the cards were on the table, how could I lose with the winning hand? But I did. I went home that night feeling hustled. Drunk, lonely and mortified I lay watching the room spin thinking about all of the mistakes I made. I was too forward, too timid, too clingy and too detached all at once. Then again it may have not been my at all actions it may have just been me. Perhaps if I was cuter or funnier there would’ve been a different outcome. I knew I wasn’t going to find the answer I sought in the state that I was in so I just lip synced Annie Lennox songs in bed until I could finally sleep.
When I woke in the morning I felt better. It was possible that I had made every single one of those mistakes I’d imagined but it was just as likely that I’d made none of them. I wasn’t upset that I hadn’t had sex. I was upset that not having sex had made me feel as shit as it did. I had let not being able to pull manifest into an extravagant poorly attended pity party. I’d like to pretend that it was the alcohol that created the monster but truthfully I know it only unleashed it. I can only hope that the next time I commit myself to a binge I can let the night bestow onto me what it pleases. Knowing that I can wake up happy, in company or otherwise.