As always, when a ‘working week’ comes to an end, I find myself with a million things to consider and think through. Mostly prompted by R, whom I have come to adore. This morning I felt pretty rubbish, having clearly caught what I thought was a fake stomach bug that Monkey invented because he wanted more Xbox time. Not so, and yesterday evening I found myself with my head in the toilet, or on the big phone to God, as an old flatmate used to put it. Perhaps it was withdrawal symptoms as B was in Ireland overnight.
It’s funny how you can become so addicted to another person. Just like I physically miss Monkey when he’s at his dad’s – and I mean really, desperately craving those cuddles and recalling everything from the scent of his hair to the exact shape of the birth mark on his neck, really aching when he’s not around. Same with B. When he’s away, I find myself waking myself up having reached over to touch him in my sleep but waking up because my arm has hit the empty space next to me. When he’s not there, I wake myself up that way at least three times during the night. It’s like muscle memory. My body seeking his, and it seems we’re always touching (if not, literally sleeping on top of each other in a great, big tangle of limbs, there is always one point of physical contact, if only my hand against his thigh, think it’s turned into a comfort thing and when B’s not there I wake up like a baby without her dummy).
This morning, I woke up on B’s side of the bed. Felt a bit lost, like I usually do when he’s not around. Missed my best friend. So by the time I got on to Skype to have my session with R, I felt flat for several reasons – stonking headache from spending yesterday throwing up, B away and Monkey off to stay with his dad for a week. That’s a pretty shit Friday if you ask me.
It got better though. B had taken his youngest son to university (his baby is off on his first year and B was all choked up when he called after leaving there) to get him set up and organised, and got back just before 8pm. Spent ten minutes kissing him with the front door still open, there just wasn’t time to let him put his bags down as withdrawal had just about killed me by then and I needed those kisses urgently to feel right again. Then a couple of drinks at our local, and then back home to pack for Stockholm.
I’ve never been a big fan of Stockholm, as it happens. My native country’s capital and I can’t deny it’s an incredibly beautiful city, but I’ve just never quite got it. Stockholm to me is quite pretentious, too trendy and with a bit of an inferiority complex. I mean, she just doesn’t get to play in the same league as the big girls – New York, Sydney, Tokyo, London, Paris and so on. Stockholm is like a super model. Gorgeous, stylish, a bit unattainable and hopelessly aloof.
Part of the reason why I didn’t quite get her, was that I was probably shown her frostier side initially. My best friend from childhood, now a committed Stockholmer, used to be a model and has since worked in the fashion and beauty industry. So her clique of friends are of course mostly also in those circles. That meant that my first glimpses of Stockholm consisted of trendy bars where it was about what you wore and who you knew, and nothing to do with who you actually were. I can’t stand that shit, it’s just not me. So I was massively put off, much preferring my warts-and-all London, where I can head to the corner shop in my PJs or blend in anywhere even if I’m having a Bad Everything Day. London’s relaxed, I can chill out with her and have a laugh. But I suppose it’s easy for London to be easy-going, because unlike Stockholm, she’s firmly in the cool girl gang and doesn’t have to change or try hard to impress anyone. London doesn’t give a shit, and I like that.
But then I discovered, that it’s who you’re with that matters. Went to Stockholm with B for a long weekend a year ago when he was headed there for work anyway, and willing to give that beautiful city a chance still – it IS the capital, after all – I discovered that once you get past Stockholm’s need for approval, she’s actually pretty damn cool. Yes, everyone looks the same – frighteningly good looking – and it IS quite pretentious, but there’s so much more to it than that and we had a brilliant time. I’m sure this time will be the same.
We were placed on the waiting list for a restaurant that sounds really amazing, and today I got a text saying we’re in, and I can’t wait. Not looking forward to the flight, mostly because I hate flying with passion (it makes no sense for something so huge to stay in the air, come on), but hey.