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  • Over the next few weeks, I will tell you about how a madness sitting somewhere between love and lust gripped me, and how finding just the wrong person took me to the limits of acceptable behaviour.
    It's about what happens when a guy on the rebound from a glamorous, wealthy relationship in NYC, now living in squalor, meets a very young, chronic liar who seems to have all the answers. And about how they nearly tore each other apart over four years.
    Two years after 9/11, which I witnessed, I was still sitting on the sofa with my parents in Dorset. The images, which I had avoided, were newly-shocking: the plane, entering like grit into a ripe pear, the people falling, the rotten tree trunk collapse. But I was more shocked at myself. After six months waiting for my cashed-in pension payout (401k) from my NYC PR job, I was only getting up for Bargain Hunt (12.15pm), I was drinking and I was (worse) putting on weight.
    When the money came in I paid off some debts and moved to a room above a gay dive in Greenwich where the empty fruit trucks from New Covent Garden Market clattered down the hill at all hours. On Sunday, (underwear night) the dry ice from the pub drifted up into my room. The owner, "the Duchess," would sit on her chair in her own pants all the day long, smoking, and buttonhole you for tea as you left - which you had to do to get out.
    At length, I got a job. I was working for the environment agency, collating and logging all manner of glossy bumf for Lord Haskins Review of Rural Services in Nobel House on the wonderful St John, Smith Square, Westminster (pictured.) Think pamphlets about woodlands for the Countryside Agency, serious booklets about Mad Cow Disease, wall charts about streams... In fact, I didn't seem to be doing an awful lot. But no one seemed to much notice: the life of a temp civil servant ...
    Luckily for me, I still had access to Gaydar, the "dating site," where I would find men to sleep with. God knows I had no friends in London, really, after five years in America. I had left to be with my ex because I had really failed to form a life here despite three years of university.
    I met Chanson_Boheme among all the others. He was impossibly young and beautiful (to my eyes). I of course, was a worthless aging (27 year old) hopeless person. To my surprise and terror he responded to me one day. He lived, he said, in Chelsea. He was "going through some music," that day, and would I like to come later.
    I said I would...

    pic from Flickr, under Creative Commons, stevecadman
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