I’m gonna level with you guys, uni posts are a different beast and for every instance of me being spectacularly dim about the opposite sex there are pages and pages of quizlets (of which we may see more in the future) and “I might go to the pub tonight, but also I might not” and ramblings about lectures.
I’m still working out the best way to treat some of it, so for now, I had a rummage in the Cupboard of Purgatory in my living room. Think Monica’s cupboard of crap in Friends and that’s about right.
After a lot of rummaging and only a small avalanche of tat, I found the box where I keep my diaries. Let’s “enjoy” some of my nonsense from a time when it was almost acceptable to be this naïve.
30th March 1999
The Return of Mathew (with guest star David Duchovny)
Yep, that’s right, we’re going right back to the height of the Mr O’Brian obsession, because I just had to document the process of catching feelings for this poor fucker.
They could be brothers – ooh good, twice the gorgeousness – except David is Mulder from X-Files and Mathew is a history teacher.
Such searing insight, there. However do you come up with these things, younger self?
I then did FLAMES again with my actual slave name (which is unusual, since I hate it) and David Duchovny and got Affair, so you know, it could be worse. If FLAMES was actually indicative of any kind of relationship viability and not just horoscopes with extra maths.
Well… I do know from experience (Alan Davies, eugh!) [later addition: “What? He stinks!”] that celebs don’t work as well as ordinary people. So if it doesn’t work out with David then Mathew is still sexy in shorts and still gives me good marks, but I’m rambling.
I ♥ David Duchovny
I ♥ Mathew O’Brian
They are both so gorgeous and I wish I could marry them both!!!
Again with the believing FLAMES is some sort of magic spell to see the future and not nonsense made up to distract teenagers. I mean, it’s the space year 2020 and social distancing aside, David Duchovny is yet to rock up at my door in his pants like “so, Autumn, you still DTF?”.
I was fond of going back and annotating these entries every few years when I thought I was “more mature” than I had been when I originally wrote them, which I guess isn’t too different from what I’m doing now, so I’m not going to rag on my younger self for that too much.
I’m thinking where I absolutely could not talk to any of my “friends” about my thing for Mr O’Brian, since I was terrified of him finding out about it (even though he blatantly already knew by now), I had nowhere else to disgorge these thoughts. Like I said in the original post where I caught the feelings for him, this was the full-tilt Teenage Sexual Awakening and there was a hell of a lot to unpack.
Let’s press on.
5th April 1999
Mathew & David
Oh shit!! Now a few teachers know and if it gets back to Mathew I will be decapitated!! Oh bollocks!
I genuinely didn’t think my teachers talked to one another or were friends or compared notes about students or anything. It’s baffling to think I thought they just kept to themselves. Of course, with the benefit of age and knowing a few teachers, I know a lot of the time they’re about as immature as the kids they’re teaching and, crucially, love to gossip.
Also, I will excuse my teenage self her obsession with that word because it now reminds me of this video of a desert rain frog dubbed over with Brian Blessed shouting “BOLLOCKS” repeatedly that’s just about the funniest shit I’ve ever seen.
Oh yeah, I had this weird dream about Ben the other night.
Oh god. I forgot this was also while I still wanted Ben to notice me. In light of the above thirsting, I’m sure this won’t be excruciating or anything.
He was in some kind of uniform.
School uniform, possibly? You know, what he’s wearing 99.9% of the time when you see his ratty face?
In any case, I don’t think I like where this is going.
I was there telling him “I love a man in uniform” and all over him and stuff.
Oh god, she went there. Did we have a Sexy Dream, younger self? At least it was about someone you (grudgingly) actually liked.
When I was 21, I woke up clinging to the side of my new boyfriend Voldecunt’s horrible single bed like a terrified weasel because my shitty unconscious brain had decided what I really wanted while sharing a bed with a partner was a Sexy Dream about… Jeremy Clarkson.
Needless to say, it was the worst Sexy Dream… in the world.
But I hate Ben!! And there was no sign of Jonny!
Are you sure about that, younger self? Like really, really sure you hate Ben? I mean, you should, he’s an absolute weapons-grade cunt, but you’re going to need to come to that conclusion by yourself.
This next one is a bit of a change of pace, thankfully. Or not.
8th April 1999
They say the end of the world will come in July, when the King of Terror arrives.
You know what’s really fun when you’re already anxious? People predicting the end times. I have a real hate-on for apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction (especially in these plague-ravaged times) because it gives me anxiety.
I can’t stand people who jack off over the idea of a “zombie apocalypse” or who bang on about “the end of the world” and I’m eternally grateful I’m not old enough to remember the Cold War. I absolutely hate the “Protect and Survive” broadcasts about nuclear war from the 60s in case the Soviets dropped the bomb and would have not been able to tolerate them on TV at the time (although saying that, I’m already fed up of all the coronavirus ones and just mute them like “yeah, yeah, we know”). Don’t even talk to me about Threads. Nope. I’m more likely to sit through the complete Saw series than I am to watch that.
I digress. This was about one of Nostradamus’ predictions which was doing the rounds at the time and was presumably being talked about in school (and probably in the Daily Heil as well). Some dude known as the King of Terror was meant to come down from the sky, raise an ancient king, and they’d fuck everyone’s shit up. At the time, we all assumed this was something to do with the Gulf and Saddam Hussein, since that was the most recent conflict we could remember and he was still knocking about in Iraq at the time. (There was also shit going down in Chechnya and Kosovo, but that was kind of among themselves and Saddam, we knew, had nukes and no chill whatsoever).
I don’t know what to believe about it. I think it must be crap because he made like 1000 predictions and so what chance does this have of coming true?
I can’t remember whether we had the internet by now, but I’m eternally grateful I didn’t scare myself witless by looking up conspiracy theories or future predictions to make things even worse. I know there were a few doing the rounds after September 11th which definitely didn’t help my end-of-the-world anxiety.
Why yes, the current state of the world is absolutely horrifying in every way and I hate it, thanks for asking. Let’s wrap this up with more thirsting so I don’t have to think about it any more.
18th May 1999
The world didn’t end yet, so we return you to your regularly scheduled perving.
Mathew is avoiding me, I can tell.
I was in the history room today with him alone (!!!!) and my mind was crying out “You know you want him! So have him now!”
Mr O’Brian absolutely, definitely, 100% knew about it by six weeks or so after the feelings hit. In many respects I’m amazed he didn’t take one look at me and Zoidberg it out of there till someone else turned up. There was no chance in hell I was going to just launch myself at him, but if only to cover his own back.
What I also haven’t mentioned but have remembered from reading back over this is that I used to absolutely book it from whatever class I had before to get to history before anyone else. I think in my weird teenage brain I thought if I was super enthusiastic about the subject it would increase my chances of senpai noticing me. Unsurprisingly, all it did was make it 500 times more obvious.. especially because I’d brush my hair and put lipsalve on while I was waiting outside the classroom.
He said nothing to me – obviously shy or embarrassed or AVOIDING ME!!
We won’t get into how someone can’t be avoiding you if they’re in the same room as you, but he definitely wanted me to piss off.
Mrs Rogers gave me the evil eye in dinner today as well.
No she didn’t. Mrs Rogers had a very intense glare she’d do jokingly (as I found out the following year when she taught me English lit) and a) we weren’t meant to know she and Mr O’Brian were banging and b) it wasn’t as if he was going to bin her off for me in a million years anyway.
There then follows some truly atrocious teenage song lyrics. Looking at it, it’s (unsurprisingly) about mooning over Mr O’Brian on lunchbreak duty when he’d sensibly decided he wasn’t going to teach us history in Year 9 and I was DEVASTATED I wasn’t going to be able to perv on him as much.
It doesn’t scan, it has no metre, it’s just … there. Unlike a lot of teenagers I didn’t go in for lyrics much, but there are a couple of examples. Here it is.
a song for Mathew
You don’t see me
the way I see you.
You look at me, you smile,
but they all do that.
I’m just sitting here on the yard
feeling utterly hopeless.
You don’t notice me
the way I notice you.
I look at you, striding around so tall
and I feel smaller than ever.
You only see a girl, a girl
in love with you,
but I see you as a person
to be revered.
the same as every damn week.
Girls sees, girl sits, girl stares,
Man walks, man sits, man talks.
Why don’t you talk?
I can’t string three words together
when I’m with you.
Well, I don’t know quite
what I’m going through.
This ain’t right, I’m just
sitting here watching a stranger
who once taught me, years ago.
But I still sit, and think about
what used to be.
Because I know my chances are hopeless
of ever getting to have you again.
It’s just hopeless, hopeless.
Hold on, here you come.
You’re actually coming to see me.
You see me the way I see you.
As a person who exists.
Up until now you didn’t
know I existed, not since
September, when the leaves
were bronze and the weather icy.
It doesn’t look so hopeless now.
Because here you come.
Jesus fuck that was monstrously bad. Especially when you consider that as a teenager Françoise Hardy was writing songs about being alone and unloved that were actually good.