Bluebird Café, King’s Road, Chelsea. Feb. ’99.
♥Dear Diary, I’m obsessing! I’m sure Adam’s having an affair. He’s lying, messing with my head. Or am I just being paranoid? I don’t know… what’s fantasy, and what’s reality?? I’ve got to find out the truth…
I feel a kiss on my cheek. It’s BiBi. “Honey, sorry I’m late. It’s a bitch to park on the King’s Road, you know!” She says.
“You don’t drive.” I’m huffy.
BiBi takes off her long sheepskin coat and throws it over the barstool. She sits beside me. She looks gorgeous. She knocks back half my whisky, motions to the barman to bring two more, lights a Marlborough and asks, “So what’s up bebe?”
I take a deep drag on my ciggie and frown. “It’s Adam. He came in late last night. High. Ravenous for sex. But he didn’t feel the same. Didn’t smell the same. I’m sure he was with another woman. Oh maybe I’m just imagining it. I don’t know.”
BiBi laughs. A deep belly laugh. “What are you writing at the moment?” She asks.
I know she’s taking the piss.
“A book about True Love.” I say.
I mock myself. The irony’s not lost on me. I’ve a job as a TV reporter but I want out before the wrinkles start to show too much. I’m getting tired of plastering over the cracks. So my great plan is to move into writing. I don’t know what to write about. So I’m writing about love. True Love. The truth I’m obsessed with love because I’ve got a sneaking feeling I’ve never been able to find it.
It’s not that I don’t love Adam. I think I do love him. But I know our relationship’s not working. And I don’t know what’s wrong. Is it him? Is it me?
I’m bored with him in bed. He doesn’t excite me anymore. But I keep on trying. “Why?” I don’t know.
So here I am, this self-styled sex and relationship guru. And I have to imagine being with someone else just to get an orgasm. My relationship’s messed up and I don’t even know if my own man‘s sleeping around behind my back.
And then there’s the name thing. The only couple who trounce Adam and Eve are Willy and Fanny. Yes I know it’s all hilarious. But I’m scared. It’s a great big mess. I feel fake. Like my breasts. And it troubles me.
I exhale my smoke and pout. Not sexy like Greta Garbo. (I have this image of myself floating around in a negligee smoking sexily. I know I am far from there. I’m full of doubt and fear.)
BiBi leans over and strokes my hair. Her touch is gentle. “Come on honey, I’ll take you for lunch.” She says.
We move from the bar downstairs to the restaurant on the first floor.
“Darling, it’s the 1990s. It’s no big deal.” BiBi says. “It’s just the best time for women right now.”
I think, “She’s right.” I look around the restaurant. It’s all beech and steel and there’s a glass cabinet by the kitchen full of seafood I don’t even recognise, it’s so exotic. All arranged beautifully. Piled up high. Most of the customers are women. They all look good, dressed in designer clothes that look like they’ve come straight off Sloane Street. So I take it they’re earning good money. And they seem relaxed. Uninhibited. Chatting, drinking expensive wine and smoking.
I’m tall. 5’8”. I’m slim. And I know how to carry myself. Today I’m wearing a tweed skirt that barely covers my crotch, a skimpy cardy and the sexiest kitten heel boots. Well I think they are sexy anyway! I’m having a love affair with my boots! Sometimes I prance around in them at home when I’m doing the ironing. My mother’s generation wouldn’t have been allowed to behave like this. She’d have been castigated for wearing a mini skirt and heels past the age of 25. For her it was a long cardigan and a calf length skirt. And sensible shoes!
“Anyway,” BiBi says, “A woman doesn’t reach her peak until she’s 34, you’re not even at your prime yet.”
“Yeah, great.” I say. “Six months to find my ideal bedding partner and I don’t even know how to chat a guy up. I feel like I’ve been with Adam forever.”
“Leave him.” She says.
“Yeah but I’m scared. I haven’t cheated BiBi. Look, I’ve been with him for 9 years and I haven’t kissed another man. I can’t imagine what another man’s body would feel like. And what if I take my clothes off and he doesn’t like me? I mean I’m not in my twenties. There are some saggy bits under here!” I pull at my cardy. “I’ve got these wonderful silicon boobs from Janet Reger. Wonderful because they do the job. They take me up a cup size. But they’re weird. They’re all jelly like. When I hold them in my hand they seem to ripple. It’s like they’ve got a life of their own! With their own fake nipples. What happens if I go on a date and the guy touches my bra and one of them falls out! I’d be mortified. You know that joke guys tell about the wonderbra? ‘Why is it called a wonderbra? Because you take it off and you wonder where her tits have gone!’ Men can be cruel. It’s ok with Adam because he knows me. He understands.”
BiBi smiles and says, “You’ll be just fine.”
“So how are you?” I make a conscious effort to ask about her. I feel consumed by thoughts about me. And my relationship.
“How are you and Charles?” I ask.
“Great.” She says.
“Do you Love him?”
BiBi snorts. “Honey he’s got big bank account and a small willy. What do you think?”
She goes into her Prada bag and pulls out a makeup pouch. She opens it. Inside is a toothbrush, a condom, a clean pair of knickers and some contact lens fluid.
“Shit. Do you really mean it?”
“Like I said, this is the nineties. Really its no big deal.”
“But you never told me.”
“That’s the first rule of having a successful affair. Never tell anyone. Not even your best friend. Rule number two, by the way, is choose someone with as much (or more) to lose as you.”
“Come on.” She says. No more moping around after this loser boy. You’re gonna kick ass girl!”
The next forage into her Prada bag brings out her wallet. And the credit card funded by Charles. “I say we get you some sexy underwear, some new shoes, some lipstick and a new handbag!” She tweaks the card with her long red fingernails.
I love her. She’s such a great friend. I lift my glass and toast her plan. My sorrows disappear. Along with the rest of my malt whisky. Before I know it we’re off down the King’s Road.
We end up in a club dancing together to Sister Sledge “We Are Family” and this cute blonde guy sidles up in-between us. BiBi pinches his bum on my side and he turns and looks at me with a big expectant smile. BiBi laughs. I’m having fun and few whiskies later I’ve convinced myself Adam probably was just out on the town with Bill, this guy he met from L.A…