Here's the strange thing. I had an evening to myself and the children were asleep, I had access to my full wardrobe and I didn't dress. I couldn't really get into it, if you see what I mean, I couldn't embrace that feeling that I had in September 2013 or those evenings when I took what I still consider the best photographs of me ever taken. I had no work stress (looming worry perhaps) and no major issues, apart from the sexless marriage that perpetuates, but I just couldn't dress fully.
Don't get me wrong, I found it welcome to wear the platform heels and full briefs, it was still comfortable, but I just couldn't muster the enthusiasm to go further. The most ridiculous part of this is that, if I had mustered the enthusiasm, it would have been even more comfortable, I know this. I would have enjoyed the experience. It was just that I couldn't actually be bothered. And I got to thinking about going out to see Inside Out and how it was a film where the threat was, essentially, depression. That is, the inability to feel emotions.
On my drive to work this morning I dwelt on this. Why? I can feel the detaching of emotion again. I've been through it enough times now to notice when that grey shadow begins to fall on my emotions and I spotted it coming. Would dwelling on it speed it up? Was I secretly pushing for another bout of it? Could I evade it? Should I just give in? The usual morning mantra, now that I'm preparing for the new term in earnest, has reasserted itself. Let me explain: in a morning I tend to get irritable and crabby, but with myself. Don't get up with my alarm? I'm just a lazy fuckwit. Daydream when drying the pots? Stupid cunt. Don't get out of the bath? Lazy piece of shit. You get the idea. This keeps going as I leave the house, drive the car, plan the day, turn a corner, stop the car, get into my room, check e-mails, print the stuff I need to print, compose the exam report and so on and so on. These internal insults, sometimes spoken, have morphed and become harsher over time, of course they have, and they make up a big part of my internal monologue for most of the day. I think I am now used to it, I don't even try and stop it or challenge it any more. It just is.
And, last night and this morning, I was ruminating on the situation. Specifically, the sexlessness situation. Oh, I know, I moan about it a lot. And, I know, we've been managing once a month since February. Well, okay, March. And we didn't in August at all. But, see, this is still better than this time last year. Yes, I may have had to throw away about 15 condoms (from a pack of 20) because they're out of date now (we bought them in 2013), but we are actually having a sex life. Is it therefore wrong of me to feel bad about the lack of frequency? Tilly is ill again, the pain in her side that started when she was hospitalised last year is back to the levels of needing hot water bottles to comfort it, she can barely walk or carry anything. She is stressing about her book deal, which is perfectly reasonable, and she's been in constant pain since Christmas, it's just worse now. She doesn't talk about it, you see, because she knows that I don't want to hear about it all the time. And all of that is what it is. In the middle of this I'm upset because we don't have sex more than once a month? How selfish am I?
Except that it is coloured by the fact that there was such a period of drought beforehand. I'm stuck with the very real possibility that I've had pretty much all the sex I'm ever going to have and I'm left with unsatisfying 10 times a year missionary and then sleep. Maybe the occasional hand-job. I find asking difficult too. In the past Tilly has made it clear that me even bringing sex up is pressure for her (she hates being pressured) and that pressure is likely to make her say no, even if she later regrets that, and she won't then ask me for fear of offence. Also she's told me that if I don't push and force the issue then she is likely to ignore it and forget about it with her hectic life. And that dropping hints in a romantic fashion is a bit 'rapey' if I expect sex after nice acts on my part. All of this seems injust to me, but, at the same time, I'm being very patriarchal and it's not Tilly's fault that I decided not to try sex with other people before meeting her. Or that we had a child before we were married and so soon into our relationship.
Yet, in all of this, tonight we were joking around and...
Tilly: "Oh fuck you!" - this is how we joke, we're an odd couple.
Me; "Chance'd be a fine thing."
Tilly: "You could just ask."
Me: "Well, okay, I am. I am asking. But I know that you have pain and that you blew off the last time."
Tilly: *hurt face* "I didn't mean never again, ever! Just... well, bleh."
I was off shopping, so we cut it short.
On my return, "So, I am asking. For sex. What say you?"
Tilly: "I've got a lot of work to do, I'm not saying no, just... well..."
We then had a conversation about her book and other tribulations of the day.
As we put the children to bed.
Me: "Well, what about tonight?"
Tilly: "Maybe if I'm not too stressed. Or tired. And I'm going to have wine. But maybe."
Me: "This is probably why I don't ask."
Tilly: *hurt face* "Well, give me a hug."
And so the evening has gone. Tilly has worked on her book, she has got stressed, and she has drunk wine quickly enough to get a bit tipsy. She's going to bed, I asked again, she prevaricated. It's still not a 'yes'. I don't want to be That Guy, you know?
Huh, no images.