Love Labels & Kentucky Fried Chicken

Sunday, 17 May 2015

The actor has been back in town and what a treat.
Spangled nights of outgrown hair and KFC family meal deals in the back of four AM Ubers, climbing statues in rowdy east London bars and thrown on Hunter boots for riverside retreats had returned for the last six weeks and the sudden nonchalance of not caring for labels has left me giddy with adolescence.
We are a strange breed, so desperate always to fulfil a charm with a name and often that is what strips it of its potential poetic nature of being young and dumb.

"You just do what you want, don't you?" He smiles half dazed, coyly on the arm of my sofa.
I twiddle my hair around fore and index finger and knock back my head giggling as though a super8 camera has been propped in the corner and this moment will one day be footage in a self indulgent montage of me feeling sexy.
I stop for a moment, clicking off the aesthetic pull of the character I am playing and relish in the idea that I am sat with greasy fingers and an awkward spot in the middle of my left eyebrow and feeling a sort of 'fuck-off' sexy I always assumed was only attainable for the Agent Provocateur wearing tanned late 20-somethings.
Here I am, with dry knees from acrylic Falke friction and a bitter fur of red wine on my front teeth, absolutely owning how I feel with no need nor want for the validation of a commitment.
Contented without conscience.
He uncurls his sleeping socks from under the sofa and wobbles around half-drunk in an attempt to put them back on (thank god, feet are gross) and I think back to how my six month ago self would've been so perturbed by this situation.
Is he in love with me? Is this a mistake? Am I going to get hurt? What the hell am I doing not coating this eyeball sized spot in my eyebrow with concealer?
These usual grievances squashed underfoot as he slams his down on the floor as he loses balance.

I see a friend for dinner the next week and listen to him gush about how in love he is, recalling sweet moments that he is so used to being met with my eyes souring into tiny creases and uncomfortable "That's nice, I'm really happy for you."'s (which is universal code for "Why can't I have that? You're so grown up and in love and I'm jealous and hate you.").
He asks about my current situation and as I swill the handle of my fork around as though I'm about to whack a hammer in court and say something vaguely poignant, I hear the echo of the actor in the forefront of my brain and grin -
"I'm just doing what I want and I didn't know I wanted it."
Whilst a part of my anal life scheduling wants to tally it down to another boy that didn't want to fall in love with me, I take solace in striking it forward as a new boy who made me love myself, and that, is a label I didn't know I could write.


  1. This is beautiful. Really beautiful. Painfully. I have moments of clarity where I don't mind the boys and friends who touch and run. But they never last. One day, right?

    1. Thank you so much Vita. It's those brief moments of clarity that allow us to push forward without beating ourselves up emotionally. Keep fighting the good fight! X

  2. Whats the point? A guy you know was drunk at your place then you had dinner with another guy. I dont get it. Why should your readers care about this story??

    1. I'm really sorry to hear you didn't enjoy it! As well as a small personal social commentary, between the lines of the literal narrative, it's an account of a time where I realised that A) it's possible to feel and own your 'sexiness' even when it's not visually presence, B) the importance of not feeling dejected when somebody doesn't share strong feelings for you but using it as an opportunity to let it awake feelings for yourself that we don't often grant ourselves the confidence to do, C) you don't always have to put a label on a sexual/emotional encounter to enjoy it for what it is and D) the magic and growth of no longer feeling anxiety over a situation that would usually spin you into being blindsided. X

    2. what sexual encounter though? you said he was sitting on the arm of your couch, you were twirling your hair. did he wink at you, smile seductively, hint he wanted to kiss you? what about what you wrote is sexual in nature?

    3. It is implicated within the construct of the post, the opening paragraph referencing back to a previous post that had been written about him. I felt zero want nor need to write graphically about the rest of the relationship as it was irrelevant to the point I was making. Thanks!

    4. Well leaving out the graphic details is so PC. Not all your viewers hail from the jacksgap fan club. I'm almost 57 years young!

  3. As per usual, I'm in awe of your verbal sophistication. I think you just perfectly put into words how important it is to let go sometimes and try new things. You always find such beautiful ways of describing these experiences (almost) everybody has but are often afraid or ashamed to talk about.
    It's both open-minded and eye-opening at the same time. Basic struggles with elaborate explanations, sometimes we all just need to hear someone else say it, before we truly understand it. Just like we need to do things in order to know whether we want it.
    Keep doing what you do, Charly, and stay you. X

  4. wow that is all I have to say. This is absolutely beautiful. You have a gift for writing Charly! <3

  5. i really needed this Charly thank you! Could you address loneliness in some of your future posts one day?

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  7. Beautiful words forming a beautiful story. Your writing is courageous, as is your soul. Good effing job Charly <3

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