My first was a lover of balloons – fast up, deflating slowly, achingly. Next, a magician, always kept something up his sleeve to tantalise and tease. Until, one day, the rabbit he pulled out was dead. I indulged other tastes with Clarice, a fire-breather and spinner – simultaneously thrilling, and tiring. She also spun words, then spat burning lies. For months afterwards, I’d smoke in my eyes, a scent of singeing in my hair, bitter charcoal on my tongue. Fourth was a butcher, fifth an engineer specialising in electronics and small explosions, sixth a motorbike mechanic who left me exhausted. Seventh, I gave up on. Eighth couldn’t cope with a wife and three mistresses. Ninth whined like a kennelled dog. Tenth tried to move in on date three. Maybe a few others in between, soon forgotten. Now, it’s just me, loving lover of myself, with jazz in my thoughts and fingers, doughnuts for breakfast, waffles and whisky for tea and a king-sized bed that’s all my own. I curl up like a cobra shedding its old skin.

Pin It on Pinterest