Felt good to write that... thank you.
Sex-on-Legs. That was his nickname for me. I was just 18 then and he was 20. I remember the first time I ever met him in the Student Union bar, sprawled on the floor by the juke box. He wrote to me a few years later asking me if I remembered that first meeting... '......Siobhan Jane, my hat and your hair'. Yes, I remembered. He had a trilby hat pushed down over his face which I couldn't decide was utterly pretentious or the height of cool. Siobhan Jane was my first friend at University. An intense, kooky goth who lived in the room next to me. She invited me in my first night to read my tarot cards. It was thanks to her that I met Conor.
Conor and I started to hang out. I had a boyfriend from home so it all started out innocently enough. Oh, but how I adored him. He was a poet, a philosopher, a Northern Lad with a soul the size of England. It was love and I hadn't got a clue. He used to come over to my all-female hall of residence (he loved that... especially when the fire alarm went off one night at 3am and all these sheepish guys came out with their girlfriends) and we'd lie on my bed watching weird late night TV on my little black and white (Donahue for some reason was our favourite) or French films or we'd listen to Bowie until the wee hours drinking cups of tea. We'd often lie in each others arms and talk and talk and talk and he made me laugh and cry and mostly just think about things. Life. There was a brilliance about him. a spark, a passion that I will never forget. He'd had a breakdown the previous year and dropped out of the university where he'd been. He was a sensitive soul and a Catholic. He worshipped God and the Good Book.
I broke it off with my boyfriend from home finally. This was into my second term. Conor and I were spending all our time together. He was very left wing, an activist, a singer-songwriter a la Bob Dylan and I used to go busking with him around Liverpool. He'd have his guitar and mouth organ and I'd swing my legs off the nearby railing, watching in awe and pride. We marched together against the poll tax and student loans in 1989. We wrote a song about Thatcher on the bus to London for the march and sang it walking around London. Good times.
Nothing had happened sexually between us while I had my boyfriend but when I broke it off with him, Conor made a move. We were lying on my tiny, single bed the way we always did when he asked me if he could see my thighs. I laughed and said 'if you really want to' and took my jeans off. I was a little shy and wearing boxer shorts for some reason. I used to like wearing my boyfriend's underwear and I kept a few pairs. We lay there and he was smiling at me so excitedly. 'Can I look at them up close?' he asked. 'Yeah... okay'. He got on his knees and sat up next to me, looking at my legs, my thighs and I bent them up and opened them slightly. He brushed his hand along my leg, caressing my skin with his fingers. It sent shivers. He slowly stroked my outer thighs and ran the backs of his hands down the fronts. He could see he was turning me on and emboldened by this he ran his hands along my inner thighs stroking the flesh near the 'gateway'. I sighed and opened my legs further. 'Can I ... touch you?'. I nodded and he put his hand gently on my sex, caressing me between my legs. I was wet and so horny from his touch. He lay down next to me and kissed me all the while continuing to stroke my vulva and slipping a finger inside me gently. I instinctively reached down and started to grope for his penis through his trousers. He was erect and moaned when I pressed my hand against him. 'Take your trousers off' I whispered and as he did, I slipped my underwear off and pulled my t-shirt over my head. We lay back down naked next to each other and I stroked him with my hand until he climaxed and he made me come but in a way that we won't speak of here!
The next morning we were lying on my bed drinking coffee when my Joy Division poster fell of the wall. Just like that. It was a black and white poster for the single 'LOVE WILL TEAR US APART'. He looked at me and said jokingly 'I don't think that is a very good omen'. We laughed. It turned out it wasn't.
I didn't see him for few days and in that time my feet went stone cold. I avoided his phone calls until he finally got me and we arranged to meet for coffee in town. I felt sick and claustrophobic and like I wanted to run a million miles. I made up my mind to nip it in the bud fast. All I could think of was I didn't want to lose him, I didn't want to lose him and if we carried on having a 'relationship' then I would.
He was waiting for me in our café and I sat down at the table and he reached over and took my hand. The light and love that came pouring out of his eyes literally turned my stomach. He asked me what was wrong and I blurted out I couldn't have a relationship with him. That it was too soon after my last boyfriend (!! Lies !!) and I wasn't over him and could we just be friends?
I knew that had taken the wind out of his sails and that that was the last thing he was expecting to hear. He nodded, shocked and silent.
He got over it and we remained friends for the four years we were at university. It was a total farce when I look back and I think he was waiting for me to wake up. I had other boyfriends and he had other girlfriends but whenever the two of us were in the same room together everyone else just melted away. He made me light up and I know I did the same for him. He played a few concerts in the Union building and I sat there among the hundreds of people watching him perform, singing songs that were, when I look back, about me. I had no idea at the time. Certainly not consicously. He gave me a tape of his music and I was playing it one day at home after I left university and my sister walked in and said... 'Is this song about you?'. I looked at her. I'd heard this song a hundred times and it had never occurred to me.
So Conor, if you're out there and you're reading this, I hope you don't mind. I want you to know that I'm sorry. I was an idiot. I was sleep walking my way through life back then. Thank you for the love you gave me. I carry a little piece of you always inside my heart and I hope you're still writing songs and loving God and most of all, I hope you're blissfully happy and in love. Somewhere. Wherever. With someone special.
Thank you for writing 'Fucking Friend'. I'll take the lyrics with me and the fiery spirit you wrote them in, to the grave.
Lift me out of this box my fucking friend
Let's get outside
And be outside
And see where we might end
Cause I'm tired and I'm weary
And I'm just about to fall
And I'm nothing like you think I am at all
Well outside your box
You look so lonely
Good and Free
And you're unusual and different
And you make no sense to me
But because of your four walls
It all means I can never tell
And the secrets burn me in
This living hell
Free me from my box
My fucking friend
Cause I'm nothing on my own
And in your head I'm just pretend
And until you start to witness me
Then, nothing I'll remain
And I'll always be
The fucking friend
The fucking same