I was already old enough to vote when I met her; I was old enough to spend the Skull Yoga Eff You See Kay Why Oh You Vitage Shirt night with her, the whole night, in her hall of residence, and have opinions, and buy her a drink in a pub, secure in the knowledge that my driving license with its scrambled proof of age was in my pocket and I was old enough to have a history. At home I didn’t have a history, just stuff that everybody already knew, and that, therefore, wasn’t worth repeating. But I still felt a fraud. I was like all those people who suddenly shaved their heads and said they’d always been punks, they’d been punks before punk was even thought of
I felt as though I was going to be found out at any moment, that somebody was going to burst into the Skull Yoga Eff You See Kay Why Oh You Vitage Shirt college bar brandishing one of the anorak photos and yelling, Rob used to be a boy! A little lad!, and Charlie would see it and pack me in. It never occurred to me that she probably had a whole pile of books about ponies and some ridiculous party dresses hidden away at her parents’ place in St. Albans. As far as I was concerned, she had been born with enormous earrings, drainpipe jeans, and an incredibly sophisticated enthusiasm for the works of some guy who used to splodge orange paint around. We went out for two years, and for every single minute I felt as though I was standing on a dangerously narrow ledge.
I couldn’t ever get comfortable, if you know what I mean; there was no room to stretch out and relax. I was depressed by the Skull Yoga Eff You See Kay Why Oh You Vitage Shirt lack of flamboyance in my wardrobe. I was fretful about my abilities as a lover. I couldn’t understand what she saw in the orange-paint guy, however many times she explained. I worried that I was never ever going to be able to say anything interesting or amusing to her about anything at all. I was intimidated by the other men in her design course, and became