Mmm. Yeah. Am not sure…
P didn’t react to my mistakenly sending him a text meant for Nic, saying, ‘Oh well, at least I got three columns out of him.’ Perhaps because he knows he is column fodder. But he has become rather more frisky, viz:
‘I neeeeeed to see you! I need you in my life and in my bed!’
And: ‘I hope when we have dinner in London I can stay with you.’ (I’d told him I have to be in a hotel in town for work and said we could meet up.)
And, in response to my saying that we need to meet up before the statute of limitations on my extreme Hollywood bikini wax runs out, he replied, ‘You’d be shocked if you knew how indifferent I usually am with women, but with you I feel like I’m grieving that I can’t see you, but there’s no solution…’
Crikey! He’s worse than David! We have had precisely two meals together. I only had one course each time. I didn’t even have any bread! And then he got more needy, mainly as I was ignoring him because Benji, my rescue pony, went down with colic, which meant he was on a round-the-clock watch. ‘I am trying to find my feet, learning, and trying to understand you. I am quietly optimistic this might actually be doable! But in a rare moment of insecurity, I do worry if I am enough…’
I replied, ‘What brought this on? I hope you haven’t been reading my column, listening to the podcast, googling me, reading my tweets.’ (My tweets are, admittedly, very full-on. I am currently trying to get the Navy and Army to help me rescue a walrus forced to do sit-ups in a circus.)
He went on and on about my birthday present. Just send something! A dog bed! A candle!* And then he said, apropos of nothing, ‘I don’t feel anywhere near my age at all. So I’m not dreading getting to yours.’
Excuse me! a) I have been rebuilt. b) According to Companies House, he is three years older than me! And c) Just don’t bring it up! What is this obsession with age? There are other qualities aside from youth! During dinner, he had felt my upper arm, presumably to check my BMI, and asked me my dress size, to which I replied, ‘It depends on the designer. Jil Sander comes up huge, Victoria Beckham comes up kidney-constricting small…’
At this point, I took a break, and sent what I’d written to Nic via Messenger for her feedback. No response.
So, I call her. She hasn’t got it. Oh dear. Oh no. Not again. I’ve sent it to P instead. I quickly text to tell him that I have sent it to him so he can OK it before it’s published. You have to think fast in this job. ‘Happy?’ I ask. I wait. And I wait. I’m sweating.
And do you know what? He is remarkably sanguine. ‘Don’t send the column to me every week; I have no right to influence your writing. I was winding you up about the age thing. I accept I am column fodder, but I do hope you like me a little as well.’
Well, that is nice. Apart from the winding me up part. I don’t need winding up. I am already a coiled spring!
Oh God, I am looking at his texts. There are three dot, dot, dots, shimmering. What is he going to say now?
*Got to be Diptyque though.