Am I being inappropriate? I guess some folks will say this is not the sort of thing I should be doing by letter — let alone a letter in so public a space as this. But I hope you’ll understand. This is not just about the two of us. Though there never were just the two of us. In fact, at last count, I seemed to be sharing you with something like 60,999 other people.
Or was that just the way it seemed? Before everything turned so sour in those last passionate moments we had together, shortly before last Christmas?
I have been faithful for so long: through good times and bad. I put up with Jeremy and his dog-shooting ways because I thought you were worth it. Alas, poor Rinka! Though I must confess, the strange affair of the two David’s had me worried. But then Paddy. And Charlie. Alison? Phillipa? Sue? Deborah, Annabel, too? I forget their names.
I may just be channelling random lyrics now.
I even forgave Nick. Because how was he to know that HIS David would turn out to be such a duplicitous bastard? At least I forgave, until he got together with Mark “the Zuck” Zuckerberg. But that is water under the bridge. Vince disappointed. Electile dysfunction, wasn’t it? At least, when it came to voter share, he just didn’t seem able to keep it up.
And Jo! Oh, I had such high hopes of her. If only she had not listened to the young flatterers that nightly came and whispered tawdry dreams of power and domination into her ear. But she came and she went and in her wake we drift.
Now I am asked to choose between two new suitors: Ed and Layla. And to be honest, I fancy neither. Though I am grateful for the letters they have been sending me. Increasingly intimate, expressing confidence that soon my affections will be theirs. Such presumption!
Though I will own that their letters have proven…useful. They have helped me find light in the depths of darkest night when I have been desperate, and had nowhere else to turn. That is: they have helped me to light up when all other combustible material has turned to ash and their lavender-scented thoughts have proven… eminently roachable!
Did I forget anyone? Oh yes, Tim. Dear Tim. I understand how embarrassing it would have been for him to admit that secretly he wished that I and other queer folk just fuck off and die. And in the end it was Tim who fucked off, and Tim’s career that died. But now I hear he is taking money from a wealthy “friend” who would happily see me “converted”. As sugar daddies go, more strychnine than saccharine. Nor, I think, the sort of therapy I would choose for myself.
And while I always knew Tim to be a cad and a bounder, it comes to something when the front runner for my hand cannot bring himself to condemn such cockwomblery!
Oh, Amy: how I long for those long ago days when Jo — the first of that name to capture my heart — set my blood racing with talk of how we would march together towards the sound of gunfire. Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive. By day we plotted the radical Liberal revolution! By night, we acted out our fantasies of democracy, liberty and equality before the law.
Yes, Jo yes! Talk dirty to me: tell me about free movement of peoples, , the redistribution of wealth through the proper taxation of land values. Workers Co-operatives. What cared we for the narrow-minded, the puritan, who accused us of living in syndicalism? Because then it meant something. We were first to stand up for the rights of LGBT people. First to bring in laws that gave women the right to choose.
There was a time when we had something good and fine and beautiful and what became of it? OK: I smoked it all! And now, the old passions, if they are persist anywhere, are buried beneath a veneer of comfortable middle class banality: an obsession with Europe and #Brexit and proportional representation.
Has it truly come to this? That we must sit on the edge of politics, holding hands and grumbling at the impudence of impostors like Boris and Dominic. And Dominic. And Julie and Jennifer and …
I’m back to song lyrics again, aren’t I?
So. This is it. I have no plans to spend time with Keir. And whatever you heard about me and Caroline, it’s not true! I like green: but it really doesn’t suit my complexion.
I hope this is au revoir and not adieu — nor even a Dieusa! If ever you want help sticking it to Ollie “another fine mess” Heald, just ask. But for now, I am getting little out of our time together and your friends: they just don’t stuff letterboxes quite the way they used to!
I shall not be renewing my membership.
31 July 2020