Why didn’t she want her erogenous zones stimulated? I have no idea. All I know is that you could if you wanted to, find the answers to all sorts of difficult questions buried in that terrible war-torn interregnum between the first Wine Nurse Christmas Sweatshirt hair and the first soiled Durex. And in any case, maybe I didn’t want to put my hand under Penny’s bra as much as I thought. Maybe other people wanted me to touch her more than I did. After a couple of months of fighting on sofas all over town with Penny, I’d had enough: I had admitted, unwisely in retrospect, to a friend that I wasn’t getting anywhere, and my friend had told some other friends, and I was the butt of a number of cruel and unpleasant jokes.
I gave Penny one last try, in my bedroom while my mum and dad were at the Wine Nurse Christmas Sweatshirt hall watching a local dramatic society interpretation of Toad Hall: I used a degree of force that would have outraged and terrified an adult female but got nowhere, and when I walked her home we hardly spoke. I was offhand with her the next time we went out, and when she went to kiss me at the end of the evening, I shrugged her off. What’s the point? I asked her. It never goes anywhere. The time after that she asked whether I still wanted to see her, and I looked the other way.
We had been going out for three months, which was as near to a permanent relationship as you could get in the fourth Wine Nurse Christmas Sweatshirt. Her mum and dad had even met my mum and dad. They liked each other. She cried, then, and I loathed her for making me feel guilty, and for making me finish with her. I went out with a girl called Kim, who I knew for a fact had already been invaded, and who I was correct in assuming wouldn’t object to being invaded again.