Optimistic Regrets

Life was a bit better these days. The cramping pains in his stomach had subsided, his job seemed more interesting. He mused at the appointment he had with the gorgeous female GP only 2 months ago, when he had nearly broken down as he described his anxiety and depression. He had seen 5 doctors since then for various ailments but this no longer disturbed him. There was something almost comforting, as if he was being 'approved' for his physical state... It was funny that antipodeans seemed to provide much of his pleasure these days, either in the form of supply doctors at anonymous corporations' medical practices or in the form of bartenders in south-west London drinking holes. Both poured out reassurance and pleasure and neither was really interested in his welfare.

Northanger Abbey Road
Split Lit

But that didn't matter. He had met an old friend from his university for new year's eve and together they reflected on the past 365 days. Invariably the conversation turned to women. He realised that he'd only had 3 encounters that year. 3 encounters! What a miserable record, a record paltrified by his utter self-obsession for the last 12 months. One was a drunken mess at the previous new year (hold on.. it should be 2 encounters as the first was at 10 to midnight. He dismissed the technical aberration), the second had potential but he was ignored by the girl afterwards and the last was a drunken fumble too with a colleague. But there was a theme here, albeit a desperate one. The first girl had said 'I can't believe we're doing this', the second had said 'I can't believe you've got my clothes off' and the third said 'We shouldn't be doing this'. Had they actually wanted to be with him at all?

J Howard