Once upon a tiime in the Seventies
December 21, 2012
I am an incredibly dozy individual at times. Unobservant. Wrapped up in the moment. Focussing on having a good time rather than looking around me. Just so you get the context.
I was a young medical student in the free and easy Seventies. I lived in a flat off Russell Square and paid £5 a week for it. It was a split level ground floor and basement flat and had two double bedrooms, one single and what would have been a huge sitting room but we used for two people to share as a bedroom. And we took turns throughout the year to have to share.
Anyway at the time of this story I had one of the downstairs double bedrooms. It could have been a fabulous flat but was damp and mouldy and smelt. But that never really bothered me as it was such a great location. A friend had set me up on a kind of blind date with a friend of a friend of hers from home. A nice guy apparently and hey, what’s not worth trying when you are young free and single?
So we met in the pub as arranged. I remember he had a tweeedy kind of jacket on which was a bit unusual, but I rolled with it. He had a beard and I’d never been a huge fan of full on facial hair, but he had a nice face underneath and it wasn’t a Brian Blessed job. But more to the point we chatted and laughed and drank and had a good time. We stayed in the pub sitting across the small table from one another. I then moved to sit on the padded bench seating next to nim and he put his right arm around me. Things were going swimmingly.
And then, as was the custom in those days, the barman shouted last orders at about 1045pm so I suggested we walked back to my place which was only up the road. Which we duly did. I made us coffee and we took it downstairs to my bedroom.
Without going in to gory detail, (my family may be reading this!) there was nowhere apart from the bed that two of us could sit down on, so before you know it things got close. And all seemed to be going well. Until he took his jacket off. I can’t remember if any of my flatmates were in, but if they had been they would have heard my audible gasp. And he was crestfallen and lovely and I felt terrible . He had no left arm. “You hadn’t realised had you? ” he said, seeing the look of complete shock on my face. He was right, but I couldn’t admit it. “I’ll go,” he volunteered, ” I thought you knew.” “No, no, don’t go,” I burbled, “I did know, but I’d forgotten. I just didn’t notice it . Honestly, it’s not a problem. How did it happen?”
My friend had not forewarned me, although he assumed she would have. His left arm had been severed in a motorbike accident in which he’d been riding pillion. The lad who had been driving had been killed. My date had woken in the morning to see his hand going black and they realised his whole arm would need to be amputated. He now wore a metal frame with a model hand set in a relaxed pose. I hadn’t noticed that it hadn’t moved all evening. He had it resting on the table as he leant across and I just didn’t notice. How could I have not seen a plastic hand?? When I looked at it now it was obviously fake. The fingers were all moulded together not even separate.
So now we have the situation where we are half undressed and wondering whether to continue. Awkward. And he is being gallant and saying he quite understands if I want him to go. Awkward awkward. I feel terrible that I have been so crass and unfeeling and unobservant. Cringe. And I am conflicted between having wanted to sleep with him when I didn’t know about his arm, to now being put off by his disability and hating myself for it. Double cringe.
Would it be rude not to? Would it be a pity fuck if I continued? Would it matter?
I’ll let you decide what happened.
I couldn’t possibly comment.