It is spring and the hormones are flowing among those in my surroundings who are single. Those of us who are not may be affected too, and do foolish things like leave school yesterday to go home only to find ourself snogging under a tree in the Berkshire wilderness with a basket of white bread, cuts, and cheese… No wine, however, since we were driving.
Ben, being a fastidious and a fierce protector of his new-found domicile, which is the first place he’s had that was truly his own, and which he won’t have to worry about having his parents in, has temporarily left our troika for extended periods of time.
We have arranged meetings with him, only to find that at the appointed time he was nowhere to be seen. So, today, with a flushed embarrassed face he introduced a girl to us, and told us that they’d been seeing each other for a week or so. And the contrast is so large that it’s almost funny.
Ben is a big boy. By that I don’t mean that he’s fat, but he’s just has the body-type of an elongated young Brian Blessed. The barrel body, if you will. He plays Rugby, and his arms are as thick as my thighs. This girl was maybe five feet and thin, and quite shy. She didn’t speak much for the first half-hour, and pretty much hid from us dangerous homosexuals behind her large companion.
I didn’t tell you that to make fun of Ben because I am incredibly happy that he’s found someone. Unlike Stephen who changes girlfriends often, and who never seem to be able to settle for anyone, Ben has a certain shyness and a certain separation. We’re not invited, as much, into that side of his life. He keeps his secrets. His parents have trained him well in that, inadvertently so.
Abbie too has someone now, but he has taken the time to spend more time with us, and to have me – who is much more depraved and carefree – go into Boots to buy him condoms and lube. I’m not sure that my loud protests to the clerk that I’m only buying for a friend is believed by anyone, which would be funny because I actually am.
And Stephen, dear Stephen, is once more moaning about the lack of girls in his life. Only two days ago, his stricken shape spread itself all over our sofa, and he loudly complained about the lack of love and prospects.
So, yes, the hormones are on everyone’s mind. It is spring, and the weather is quite good, and we snogged under a tree in Berkshire yesterday. It seems so far from this dusty library here where the librarian is giving me looks because I laugh at stupid things on the internet.