Devastated. That's the only word for it. My name all over the papers. Devastated. My life stretches before me like a black, empty void filled with tears, fear and nothingness.
I can't believe they gave my name. I mean, they didn't actually say I was the Oxford sex blogger, they left it unexplained. But obviously I was going to take the credit, which meant people knowing that I blogged about sex. I pre-emptively sent emails to my mother, a close circle of my friends, the Welsh-Mexican, and News International. I suppose you could say that by announcing my name, The Guardian really wrecked my anonymity.
It was my mother I was most worried about. She's a Catholic, but as it turns out, she's not one of those Catholics who believes in God or bans sex before marriage, and she will occasionally eat an KFC Zinger burger in a church on a Friday.
“When you were having sex with all those men, were you wearing your rosary beads?”
“Of course I was, mother, I never take them off”. Though I occasionally use them for bondage.
“Oh, thank Christ. Will you be going on the One Show?”
“I don't know, they haven't called yet.”
She admitted to being a little disappointed.
My biggest fear was of all my exes reading my blog. Take it as read that certain names, locations and dates have been scrambled or fictionalised to protect the innocent. Equally, though, many names and events have been left exactly the same for the same reason. Sometimes the best place to hide is in plain sight – it's a form of “double-bluff”, you might say.
Sven was one. But again, he seemed supportive.
“You know, when we were discussing Robin Williams films as I came, it wasn't Good Morning Vietnam I said. It was A.I.: Artificial Intelligence.”
“Sven, like I said, I changed things, alright? To make them less embarrassing?”
“Saying Good Morning Vietnam is still pretty embarrassing.”
“But A.I. was a colossal wank of a film.”
“I suppose you always were right about these things”, he sighed down the phone. We agreed to meet up later and watch a film like the old days, though recently the 3D glasses have really blocked the back-row fellatio. And I'd paid an extra two quid to see Toy Story in 3D, so I was keeping them on.
“Are you going to be on the One Show?”, he asked.
“I don't know”, I said. “I'll ask my agent.”
I had an agent by this point. This all started when the journalists started crowding around my house. The first time took me by surprise. A pizza delivery boy came to the door. “Pizza for you”, he said, then took my picture. Also, the pizza was cold, and tasted stale. Also, I hadn't ordered a pizza. I'm lactose intolerant, so that's the sort of thing I'd remember.
The next day, they were swarming. At least ten of them were stood on the pavement, and their abandoned cars littered the street. Some of them had crashed a bus into a tree in their hurry to get there. Some people had even slept there overnight, marking out their territory with a chalk outline. Also a lot of things were on fire, but that's the tabloids, eh? Frankly, it confused me. I shut the door.
Halfway through the X Factor there was a knock. “We need to talk.”
“Wow. How many of you are there?”
“Oh, it's just me. It doesn't say industry experience. I'm twenty-one though, so it's technically correct. I've definitely been experiencing stuff, so that's watertight.” He slicked his hair back. “My credentials are unparalleled. Not Quite Incest, they've just released their Number One single -”
“A number one single!”
“As in, their single number one. First. That's watertight, you can't say I didn't say that. Battle of the Bands runner-up, though. And the psychic octopus -”
“The psychic octopus!”
“... a psychic octopus. Not that one. 65% success rate – still unexplainable! Makes a shitload from lookalike PAs though. Touch the octopus for a fiver! Kids love it.”
“Can you get me on the One Show?”
“My fee is eighty percent. Because I like you. It's double for octopi.” He grinned. "But you're no octopus."
We shook hands. “If only there was some way I could repay you. Other than in all the money I'm giving you, I mean.”
“Oh, I'm sure we could think of something.”
“Do you mean sex?”
“Yeah.” So we did.