My so-called love life continues to limp along like one of those unfortunate mutilated pigeons that hobble around Trafalgar Square looking for old fag butts to nibble.
A confession: The Beau is back on my radar if not yet in my bed. I still haven't actually seen him face-to-face since January but he resurfaced a couple of months ago, with a barrage of late night drunken "are you out??" texts, and a more audacious Sunday lunchtime booty call where he professed to be passing by my house.
I was actually one street away, with post-swim flat hair and no makeup, and really couldn't face him. I ended up taking a massive detour through the back streets (and someone's actual garden) just in case he was loitering. My head is ruling that I shouldn't go anywhere near the lying, married, double-exclamation-mark-loving ratbag but my ego is shamelessly loving that he still cares enough to pursue me after several weeks of me blanking him at every turn.
The Stuntman is edging out in front at the moment, despite behaving like an A1 cad during our weekend away. I didn't actually expect to hear from him again after he virtually pushed me out of his ridiculous supercar onto a verge in White City, then promptly cyber-dumping me on Facebook. But a week later I got a frosty text saying that the last thing he said to me was to let me know I had gotten home okay, and that he presumed I had. I obviously hadn't heard in my haste to get the hell out of there.
I relayed the tale of me getting stung by a bee in a Tube carriage straight afterwards to lighten the mood and before I knew it we were back on bantering terms and trading the usual insults.
I've actually seen him a couple of times since and it's been a lot of fun, despite him going AWOL for weeks at a time. I've kind of got used to that now, it is obviously how he rolls. And god knows, there isn't anyone else around to buy me endless Old Fashioneds.
I went for a drink recently with a platonic male friend who ended the night by pushing me up against a bus stop and trying to kiss me whilst simultaneously shoving an unwelcome hand up my top. All this in front of a queue of five bemused people waiting for the 67. We haven't spoken since. At least the Stuntman is honest about his intentions. I'm going to fly in the face of accepted 'woman wisdom' here and state that going on a ridiculous and slightly demeaning date is better than no date at all.
Anyway, I last saw the Stuntman a few days ago, when I invited him to crash a summer party on the roof of a swanky West End restaurant, where I knew for sure the booze would be flowing and a fun time would be had. He was his usual self, enthusing wildly and even sending an abnormally sincere text saying how much he had missed me and was looking forward to seeing me again. He'd been in France making a documentary for weeks and weeks but as usual the first I knew of it was a call to say he was back in town.
So I pitched up to the do with my friend Kay and we were delighted to realise we'd struck party gold. All the elements were there: decent champagne on tap, delicious little things on sticks, z list reality stars who were eager to chat, and a marvellously lax door policy.
Kay had never met him before and was on feisty form.
"I'm going to tell him EXACTLY what I think of him" she fumed. "He treats you so badly, he's going to get an earful of Kay-truths."
"I bet you won't", I thought to myself. "He'll win you over in mere minutes, like he does with everyone he meets."
And true to form he swept in, hours late, just as I was having my picture taken with a lithe young chap wearing nothing but litres of body paint and a pair of high leg tanga briefs (all in the name of brand promotion, I doubt it was his usual party attire).
I ran towards him, merry on Veuve Cliquot and genuinely rather delighted to see him. Kay followed on with suspicion in her eyes. We settled down at a table on the roof in the sunshine and he immediately offered to fetch us drinks which is pretty much all it takes to get Kay on side anyway. The rest of the party was a blur of having silly photos taken in the photobooth, drinking more and generally having a blast.
The party thinned out and we were in no mood to stop, and I noticed the Stuntman poking away at his iPhone with such vim I feared the screen would crack.
"How do you fancy staying at a hotel tonight?" he asked me, beaming with delight. I replied I would like it very much and he set about trying to haggle down the price of a room at a very smart boutique hotel round the corner. I had been there before to several events and oddly enough, Kay and I had once taken a wrong turn on the way to the loo there and ended up in the penthouse suite swigging cocktails in the (empty) bath, jumping on the enormous bed and generally pretending that we lived there for a couple of hours.
I think it was the hot tub on the roof that really sold it for him, and even when it became apparent that there were only (ridiculously expensive) suites for hire, he caved in and said we'd be round in 10.
So the three of us bowled round there, giddy as you like. By now Kay was draped all over him and proclaiming "I LOVE THIS MAN", having thankfully abandoned her plan to verbally abuse him solidly all evening.
We checked in and inspected the room. It was the ultimate rock star pad that trod the fine line between chic and tack. Every surface was mirrored, giving the impression of existing within a giant disco ball. There was a freestanding bath in the middle of the floor adrift in a sea of glass pebbles and encircled by one of those rope lights so beloved of suburban mobile discos. The padded grey headboard behind the bed took up most of the wall, and there were bottles and bottles of champagne and wine calling our name from the sideboard.
We decided to go up onto the roof and survey the scene. Dominating the decking was a large and very drunk corporate party group who were having a very merry time (I know, I caught sight of their impressive bar bill) and a few random, rather glam young ladies in expensive Missoni bikinis climbing into the hot tub which was steaming seductively at the top of some steps. We had a steadying vodka then decided to get into our robes and join in the action.
The Stuntman graciously asked the barman to find a robe for Kay while we went down to the room to fetch ours. As I stepped out of my dress, the carefully-chosen underwear that I was going to have to potentially ruin by wearing into the tub, had the predictable effect on him and we were rather later returning upstairs than previously agreed.
Kay didn't seem to mind; when we got back up there she was sat in the tub holding court with the bikini girls and trading shrill banter with the corporate party blokes some 10 metres away. The Stuntman has a policy of going permanently commando, and therefore waded into the tub wearing nothing but a towel round his waist, which he whipped away at the last minute. You have to admire his balls, in this case, literally.
So there we sat, chatting away like it was the most normal thing in the world, at 2am on a Tuesday. I ruminated that a night out with the Stuntman is ALWAYS unexpected and more often than not, completely outrageous. It's why I have never erased his number despite him being the biggest flake on earth and standing me up many, many times. I admit it, I'm addicted to the thrill. When it all falls into place he is the funniest, most generous company on earth.
We finally called it a night around 3am and Kay squelched off to get the night bus in her wet knickers, still grinning from ear to ear. It was indeed heavenly to only have to descend two flights of stairs to get to bed.
The next morning he was up and out by 9am, muttering about some train he had to be on. I didn't even bother asking for details and gloomily resigned myself to not hearing from him for another three weeks or whatever. But he surprised me - there were texts that day asking if I'd got up okay, even a picture of him on the train as unasked for proof that he was doing what he said he was doing.
The weekend passed and lo, another text, first thing on Monday morning, declaring he was back home again. This was unprecedented! Have I finally crept just a few millimetres under his fiercely independent skin? I seized the moment and invited him to a party in a few days time. He reverted to his non committal default of saying "maybe, should be around." and so now I shall sit and wait and see if he actually turns up. A little test if you will.
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