The Sex Diaries by Gurmeet Mattu - HTML preview

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“What an interesting concept, Tommy,” I sniffed, “Don’t forget Harry’s large-print version.”

“It doesn’t matter anyway,” he answered, “Sharon’s a very attractive girl, but I find young girls shallow and I don’t share their values. Give me a beautiful, intelligent woman I can relate to as an adult any time.”

“Well, perhaps Santa will be kind to you,” I said, ushering him out of the door.

I have to do something about the boy, but I’m starting to enjoy it.

Phil/Monday, 8th May

Just back from our session with Fiona and she wants me to shag her! She claims it’s so she can work out what our problems are, but I know blatant female lust when I see it. Then again, how can she resist?

I knocked her back, of course, but I asked Annie in the car if she’d have minded. I was taking the piss and really putting Annie on the spot, but I felt like a bit of vengeance for the grief she’s been putting me through.

Of course she copped out by saying the decision was entirely mine and, anyway, she wasn’t jealous by nature.

She’s a liar. If there’s one thing stops me cheating on Annie it’s blind naked fear. Believe me, Hell hath no fury like our Annie. She’s always been feisty, but I think being a teacher makes it worse. Now they’re no longer allowed to belt the kids they bring all their anger and frustration home and vent it on their spouses. We should get a grant from the government to cover the stress or something, and I may well write to my MP on the matter.

And where corporal punishment's concerned I’ve always believed in it only if it’s entirely unnecessary.

Annie/Tuesday, 9th May

Something happened at our session with Fiona yesterday which has been niggling away at me all day. She offered to sleep with Phil to see if she could put him on the right track. I thought she was joking, or having a go at my bedroom capabilities, but Phil rejected her without any fuss, though he had some fun at my expense on the way home.

Anyway, I couldn’t honestly believe that she slept with her clients. Of course, I’d heard of such things, but they seemed to make her nothing more than a tart. So I phoned Kate in the afternoon and told her my fears.

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Kate said not to worry because she’d slept with Fiona as part of her therapy. To say I was gobsmacked would be an understatement.

“You did what?” I screeched down the line, “She’s about a hundred years old!”

“Doesn’t come into it, darling,” Kate replied, quite calmly, “It wasn’t exactly for love.”

“But she’s a woman,” I complained.

“Yes,” Kate drawled, “My first lesbian experience actually. Quite interesting.”

I was totally confused. I had 3B in two minutes and Kate had just turned my world upside down.

“Still there, darling?” Kate continued, “Listen, don’t fret. It’s all part of the therapy. Fiona will teach you things about your own body that you can only dream about.”

“What do you mean?” I asked frantically.

“Well, she’ll have to do a job on you too. Awaken you sexually, I mean. She’s probably got the hots for a cute little thing like you anyway.”

“Over my dead body!”

“No, I don’t think she’s into necrophilia, though nothing surprises me with that woman. I think first and foremost she’s a lesbian, everything else is just a bonus.”

I was shaking like a leaf by now. “And you expect me to sleep with her?”

“Therapy, darling, therapy. Listen, she’s a lesbian, and she’s willing to sleep with your Phil to sort out his problems, that’s how committed she is. Isn’t it time you and that warped hubby of yours gave a little?”

The bell for the next period was ringing and I had to hang-up quickly. Now I had an ageing lesbian and a schoolboy after me, instead of the one man I wanted.

I hate you Phil Wilson.

Phil/Tuesday, 9th May

Had lunch with Sheena.

She came all the way out to Dumbarton and I always think it’s amazing how far some girls will go for chicken kiev in a pub.

Anyway, we made it leisurely as I was in no hurry to get back to the site, and as she toyed with her defrosted poultry she asked me, “How many times have you fantasised about making love to me since you became sexually mature?”

I gave the matter a great deal of thought, but mainly because I couldn’t get my peas onto my fork, and said,

“One hundred and thirty two times in twenty five years. Sorry about the low number but there have been a lot of good looking women in the world, just begging for my attention.”

“That’s just over five times a year. It’s hardly holding a major crush.”

“Well, most of that number was in the early days. When you were still fresh in my memory, so to speak. Then, of course, I met Annie ...”

Uh uh, we don’t mention Annie, remember.”

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“Oh, sorry.”

She gave me a lost smile. “You really love her, don’t you?”

“I thought we weren’t going to talk about her.”

“Yeah, I know, but I just wondered how many times you’d made love to Annie and thought about me?”

I pushed my plate away. “I don’t think I want to go down that road.”

She continued picking at her food and a smile that could cripple, flitted across her lips.

“Want to know about me? How often I’ve thought about you when I’ve been screwing Arthur?”

“Not particularly.” I waited, wondering what she really wanted, and then said, “Have you been a bit of a slut in your day, Sheena Burns?”

Her outrage was mock. “Me? Heavens no. The best man at the wedding, but only once; Arthur’s brother when Arthur was in hospital and that was a mistake; and a few tradesmen when times have been really hard. It’ll hardly put me in any hall of shame.”

I pushed on. “And who’s the best shag you’ve ever had?”

“Oh god, that’s a question. The truth is Phil, there have been so many men, and so many reasons not to sleep with them.”

“Waiting for Mr Right, huh?”

She finished and dropped her cutlery on the plate. “Oh yeah, and who’s he?”

“I dunno. Decent bloke. Honest, sensitive, caring.”

“Last I heard, he already had a boyfriend.”

I grinned. “Oh miaow, you’ve definitely been scalded. Want a sweet?”

“Yeah, let’s pig-out.”

“Not for me, no.”

“Don’t get too sensible on me, Phil. Sensible I can get at home.”

That was it, that was the crack, but she seemed happy enough and I went back to work with a smile on my face, so who knows anything.

Motto for the day - it doesn’t take a lot to make people happy.

I think I’m turning into a hari krishna.

Annie/Wednesday, 10th May

I woke up this morning with a belly full of fire. I’ve been avoiding reality and expecting miracles to just happen with Phil and I. Somehow I imagined that the therapy would bring about a sea-change all on its own, without any input from me, but that’s obviously wishful thinking. I’m still waiting for the vibrators to arrive, incidentally, so it’s not entirely my fault, but my most major motivating factor is the thought of sex with Fiona.

Not that I have anything against lesbians per se, and I’ve occasionally thought a minor snog with Kate might be quite fun, but I am very predominantly a heterosexual woman and Fiona just isn’t my cup of tea.

So, in an effort to conclude this therapy business as swiftly as possible, and get out of Fiona’s clutches, I

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decided to treat Phil to spontaneous oral sex as recommended somewhere in Fiona’s plethora of erotica. The problem, as it panned out, was that husbands who are unused to spontaneous oral sex from their wives can become quite confused when it is offered.

To set the scene, I had turfed Roddy out to play with his pals and discreetly drew the living room curtains, claiming there was too much glare on the TV screen.

Phil was sprawled out on the sofa, watching Hitler’s Greatest Hits on the History Channel, so I nestled down on the floor beside him.

I let my fingers do the walking up his thigh to his crotch and he looked down at me, in a distracted kind of way, and said, “Whassup, zip burst?”

I gave him my sweetest smile, which has been known to melt the hearts of no lesser a breed than car mechanics, and said, “Baby’s hungry.”

He shook his head sadly and turned the volume up with the remote control.

“Chrissakes woman, you’re just after your dinner. Can you wait till this is done and I’ll go for a pizza?”

I unzipped his fly and he shot up off the sofa, shucked his jeans in two seconds flat and threw them at me.

“Phil, what am I supposed to do with these?” I asked, saddened rather than angered.

“The only time you come near my trousers is when they’re needing washed,” he explained.

I had to agree, which is why I’ve just finished doing a dark wash.

But the thought of Fiona is still terrifying me and tomorrow I will suck that man’s brains out if it kills me.

Before we fell asleep Phil suggested we go out together for a drink soon. What a novel idea!

Phil/Wednesday, 10th May

Having been summoned back from outer Siberia to work in the office I went for a beer with the boys and MacDonald and Webster started their patter again.

“How’s the grail?” Webster asked.

“The grail?”

“The Holy Grail. Annie’s bum. Is it in good nick? Fine working order? No problems to report?”

I wasn’t really sure if I was in the mood, but I played along anyway. “Aye, sure, it’s sparkling.”

“Haven’t seen it for a while,” MacDonald said.

“Aye,” Webster added, “He never brings her out, gives us a chance to have a wee look.”

“Right, Phil, we’re disciples too, we deserve a look at the object of our adoration now and again.”

“It’s hard to worship the damn thing when we never see it.”

“I’m thinking of becoming a Buddhist, at least that Dalai Lama’s on the telly now and again.”

And they were absolutely right, it had been ages since Annie and I had a night out in the pub together. Just getting pleasantly pissed together and having a laugh. I’d need to speak to her about it.

“Sorry, lads, I’d bring her out, but I don’t want you getting over-emotional. You’ve got wives to go home to.”

“Ah, there’s the tragedy,” MacDonald moaned, “My wife’s behind is like unto the Bermuda Triangle to me,

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a mystery.”

“A mystery?” I interrupted, “You’ve been married ten years.”

“Ah, but Glenda has a very suspicious nature, and does not trust me behind her.”

I put my glass down slowly. “What do you mean? Rear entry isn’t exactly a cardinal sin.”

“Out of the question, and never to be mentioned. She’s scared I’d make faces at her behind her back while screwing her.”

I raised an eyebrow and he looked apologetic. “Admittedly she caught me out once in a mirror during our courting days, but I just couldn’t resist it.”

I was appalled. “You made faces at your wife while shagging her from the back?”

“I hate to be pedantic,” MacDonald resisted, “but she was only my girlfriend at the time.”

I shook my head sadly. “What made you do an idiot thing like that?”

“I dunno, I think it was the noises she was making that set me off.”

I bought him a pint by way of compensation. “My Annie would kill me if she caught me doing something like that.”

“Aah, a kind heart, your Annie. My Glenda’s much worse, vicious she is. Murder wasn’t good enough for her, it had to be marriage.”

Annie/Thursday, 11th May

This is the morning and I’ve just listened to a message on the answering machine. I’m waiting for Roddy to finish getting washed so I can drop him at school.

The phone must have rung last night after we’d gone to bed, but I didn’t hear it. We’ve got it set up to answer after one ring at night so it doesn’t disturb us. This was Phil’s idea. I had my doubts as we can’t now be woken in an emergency.

Anyway, the message was nothing but wild, hysterical female cackling. It sounded like Kate, drunk.

I have the afternoon off, so shall track her down. My suspicions have been confirmed - having sex with Fiona indeed! Kate was just winding me up, a pastime she’s very good at and seems to thoroughly enjoy. For instance, the minute I walked into her decrepit office she phoned the picture desk and announced to them that the model had arrived for page 3.

I dragged her off for a coffee and she admitted that it was her on the phone after a bottle of wine and a couple of brandies, when she couldn’t keep up this charade of trysts with Fiona any longer. But something was bugging me and it took a while before I remembered that Fiona had actually offered to sleep with Phil. So did she, or didn’t she offer intercourse as therapy?

Kate looked a bit shame-faced and admitted that, yes, she did. Only big, bold, brassy, Kate had bottled out when the chance of her first lesbian experience had come along.

“What could I do, pet,” this feminist paragon whined, “I’m just not that way inclined. Honest, if the therapist

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had been a man I’d have tripped him up and been under him before he hit the deck.”

“You evil bitch,” I spat at her, “You’ve had me in an utter panic since Tuesday.”

She stroked my hand. “Sorry, sweetie, you know I can’t resist a wind-up.”

“Especially when I’m the victim. You must think I’m really naive.”

“But you are! You’re too ready to believe everybody, you need to get hard, cynical.”

I lifted my chin in a gesture of defiance. “Oh yeah? When Fiona makes a pass at me I may just accept, just to rub your nose in it.”

“Well that’s one thing I admit I didn’t do. But I did watch her getting herself off.”

I pulled my hand away from hers. “You’re winding me up again.”

“Nope, cross my heart. Fiona peeled off her tights and knickers, planted her feet on her desk and demonstrated how to masturbate effectively to me.”

“Aaaah!” I felt my coffee coming back up, and that doughnut had been a definite mistake. “The woman’s sick!

And you recommended her to me as a therapist! Is this another one of your warped jokes?”

“No no, white woman not speak with forked tongue. Fiona is a very good therapist, the best. She’s not pushy, she’ll not make you do anything you don’t want to. But she is ready, willing and able to go to any lengths to make your relationship work. I wasn’t kidding about that the other day.”

I felt weary and drained, and sympathised with Phil for not wanting to get involved in this whole therapy situation. What had been so wrong with our lives? Was it totally Kate’s influence that was driving me? Was I so weak that I had to follow everything she did?

Kate seemed to sense this.

“You won’t regret it, I promise. It’s not easy, and you have to work hard, and Phil has to work hard. You have to throw out a lot of pre-conditioned notions, but you’ll be happier, healthier and have a better relationship at the end of it.”

Later I wondered why Kate didn’t know how to masturbate effectively.

Phil/Thursday, 11th May

The office mail brought me a Polaroid photograph of Sheena with no clothes on.

I thought I’d write that down in a calm, straightforward manner as if I’m used to getting nude photographs of my friends via the Royal Mail. It’s all the rage these days, post your pussy to your pal! Anyway, she certainly has a fabulous body, and must be the only woman in the world with natural pubic hair lighter than the hair on her head. Aye, right!

I’ve done some research into these matters, in magazines available on the top shelves of all good newsagents, and muff hair is always darker. Which means she dyes it. Which means she’s a very enterprising young woman, because it must be dead fiddly and take ages. I wonder if I could get Annie to ...naah, don’t even think about it.

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Anyway, now that I was convinced that Sheena was stark raving bonkers (and somehow very desirable because of it) I was faced with the problem of what to do with the pic. I couldn’t keep it in the office because if the disciples of Annie’s arse found it they’d be very disappointed in their Chief Guru.

I couldn’t keep it in the car because Annie borrowed mine to do big shoppings and I couldn’t keep it in the house because of Roddy. I thought of destroying it, but that seemed a bit ungallant, so I posted it to myself, second-class, and am looking forward to seeing it again on Monday, when I will once again post it to myself.

I think I read about this in a spy book once, and it must cost MI6 a fortune in stamps.

There wasn’t any note with the pic which fitted in nicely with my spying delusions, but I did wonder if Sheena expected a similar photograph in return. I’m not in bad shape for a man of my age, but there are limits. Maybe something discreet, with a hand casually draped over Willie-boy. But then again I didn’t have an instant camera.

And who took Sheena’s pic? Was this something she and Arthur indulged in? And if that was their house, they had horrible curtains. Or maybe she had one of those timer gadgets and indulged in a bit of solo photo-exhibitionism of an afternoon while poor Arthur wrestled with Java script. It is musings like these which keep the British building industry at the forefront of international enterprise.

Annie/Friday, 12th May

Tommy Carter has written me a short play. What a sweet, sad, sick, little man he is. He may have talent as an actor, but as a writer he is a dismal failure. One cannot fault him for ambition, for he writes in a cod Shakespearean style reminiscent of the worst of Hollywood, but sadly his imagination is limited by watching too many television soap operas. Unless I am imagining things I am Fanny in this masterpiece, a beautiful princess held captive by the vile Philip, Prince of Norway. (How does he know Phil’s name?) Philip wants my father’s realm to add to his own and is willing to go to any lengths to get it. He thinks that by marrying me against my will he will somehow achieve this. To my rescue rides Tom, the Carter’s son, a pleasant peasant with many fine qualities, and justice on his side.

I shouldn’t mock but I am lumbered with lines such as -

“Pray, forsooth, ye Prince of Darkness, thy evil intent shall never come to pass, for I am promised to another.”

and Phil replies -

“Say what ye will, madam, but I will have thee, and that right is mine by the strength of my own right arm.”

Fanny swoons toward the casement window.

“Ye shall not, for my love will come to mine aid. He cometh now!

Hark! I hear horses!”

Hear vomit, more like. At this point enter Errol Flynn, sorry Tommy Carter, who says -

“My Fanny, the thought of your heaving breast has kept hope alive in this heart of mine.”

My breasts? Heave? The boy needs glasses. But the play must go on.

“Stand aside, ye varlet, I amPhilip, prince of Norway, and the maiden is mine.”

Tom takes Fanny’s arm and pulls her beside him.

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“Nay, milord, though I am but a son of the soil, and she high-born, the lass loves me. You shall not have her.”

They draw swords and advance towards each other.

And I advanced towards the floor in a howling heap. With his head consumed by passion, young Tommy seems to have forgotten that I am also his English teacher. I have marked him accordingly.

Phil/Friday, 12th May

Telephone conversation with Sheena this afternoon..

-Hi, Phil, did you get my photograph?

- Oh, was that you?

- Pig! what did you think of it?

- Underlit, that’s always a problem with these instant cameras.

- Phil! What did you think of it..me?

- What was I meant to think of it?

- You were meant to think, whoah, I wouldn’t mind having a go at that.

- Okay, that’s precisely what I did think.

- That’s nice.

- Really? You want me drooling over you?

- It’s nice to know you want me.

- I don’t think that’s really an issue. Excluding gay men, but including gay women, I’d reckon half the world’s population wanted you.

- Oh goody. Tell me you want to shag me.

- What?

- Say, ‘I want to shag you, Sheena.’

- Are you taping this?

- No, silly.

- Not that I’m paranoid or anything ...

- Say it!

- I want to shag you, Sheena. You’re a beautiful woman and I desperately want to shag the living daylights out of you.

- Mmmm.

- What do you mean ‘mmm’? What are you doing there?

- Just lying in the bath.

- You’ll get the phone all corroded.

- All naked in the bath.

- Stop that, I’ve got work to do.

- I wish you were here.

- What, do you need some building work done, bathroom re-fitted or something?

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- I wish you were here shagging me.

- You’re just saying that because you’re five miles away. You’re effectively using BT as a chaperone, and it probably isn’t even in their Conditions of Service.

- Tell me what you’d like to do to me.

- Oh dear, somebody’s walked into my office. Can’t talk any more. See you soon. Bye.

What kind of woman says ‘Oh goody’ in this day and age?

Annie/Saturday, 13th May

I was almost starting to dread weekends in case Phil was going on one of his benders. I’m never very sure whether he’s going to behave like a human being or revert to type. Thankfully, this seems like it’s going to be a civilised weekend.

Nothing dramatic has been happening and we have been content with domestic affairs. I took Roddy into town to buy him shoes.

He’s a size eight and he’s already towering over me. I think he’ll end up taller than his dad, which causes Phil no end of anguish, no matter what you tell him about improved nutrition. It just gives him an excuse to rattle on about today’s pampered kids. Phil is the ultimate throwback and would be quite happy dragging me about by the hair.

Phil and I went out for a drink later, having parked Roddy at his pals. Phil insisted on going somewhere other than his local, which is unusual, as he never seems to tire of the company of his lunatic friends, work colleagues or otherwise. This made a pleasant change and we took a taxi out to a hotel down the Ayr road where a Queen tribute band were playing. They only maimed the music and did not totally murder it, which was a relief. Phil was very attentive and I do believe we are in for some bedroom fireworks tonight. I’m only taking my time writing this just now to torment him. Ha Ha.

Phil/Saturday, 13th May

Spent the entire day thinking about Sheena. What is the woman all about?

Does she seriously think it’s a normal thing to send nude pictures of yourself to somebody who is, relatively speaking, a stranger.

And me? Playing up to her. I’m a grown man. A grown, married, man. I should know better.

“Tell me you want to shag me.” What is that all about?

Help me here, Lord, because I’m dead stupid and naive. How are you supposed to respond to that? The smart thing to do is to tell her to bugger off. The longer this goes on the bigger the chance of me falling by the wayside. I should just tell her to pack her bags and move on.

And I know I won’t.

What is this self-destructive urge men have got? Are we all mad? Is it just sex? Even the promise of sex? Is it just an ego-trip? Is it our genes crying out to fill the universe? ‘Cause if it is, it’s a dirty rotten trick. I do not

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know. I am confused. I only came here to get changed because Annie and I are going out for a drink. Suppose I’d better get a move on.

This is Phil Wilson, News at Ten, the upstairs bedroom.

Annie/Sunday, 14th May

I am supernatural and eerie at times. I knew Phil was up for it big style. Wasn’t anything he said, wasn’t anything he did, but it’s nights like that which make life worth living.

Phil had drank just enough to slow him down (not that he’s ever been prone to being premature) but not enough to make him lose interest, and the rest is history.

Like being teenagers again, only with the benefit of a few years’ experience under our belts, which just gives that extra gloss to the performance. If we can keep that up, Phil my boy, I don’t think we’ll be troubling Fiona for too long.

I have been going about all day with a silly grin on my face which Roddy has noticed. He’s been wandering around muttering ‘disgusting’ under his breath.

If the young bugger hadn’t fallen out with his pal and crept home early, Momma could have had a Sunday Morning Special before Big Daddy went off to play golf.

Phil/Sunday, 14th May

Golfing with MacDonald and Webster is one of life’s lesser trials. We have two strict rules - one, is not to mention work, and two, is not to laugh at each other’s golfing ability.

Apart from that there was drizzly rain and we had a thoroughly miserable day of it. At least it took my mind off Sheena.

I have a theory about the invention of golf. I reckon Mrs Golf, the wife of the fella who invented it, actually goaded him into it. She probably said something like, “Never you mind about your conjugal rights, wee laddie, away out in the wind and the rain and hit a wee ball with a stick.”

See, I’m even bringing sex into golf, that’s the effect the woman’s having on me.

As I said, we don’t talk about work but MacDonald was very friendly, as if to say I’m forgiven for the crap they’ve carried for last year’s shambles.

But then again, MacDonald’s from Edinburgh.

CLIENTS NOTES/WILSONS/5

I now believe that the Wilsons have reached CUSP1 in their regime and am therefore reporting today’s meeting verbatim, as transcribed from audio-tape recordings.

[Following formalities and pleasantries]

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FB - Okay, if we can start with you, Annie. Is there anything you’d like to say about last week?

ANNIE - Oh, I think we’re making marvellous progress. There was a slow start to the week, but it picked up at the weekend. We were very vigorous on Saturday night.

FB - Saturday night? The improvement didn’t continue into last night?

ANNIE - Well, Phil had been playing golf. He was tired.

FB - Golf? Was drink involved, Phil?

PHIL - Of course it was, this is Scotland.

FB - And did that affect your lack of interest in Annie last night?

PHIL - Are you hard of hearing, Fiona? I was tired.

FB - Not too tired for golf.

PHIL - No. Between making love to Annie and playing golf I had seven hours sleep, it being the middle of the night. This makes me untired. Between playing golf and going to bed I didn’t have any sleep, which made me tired again. It’s the way the human body operates. I’ll buy you a book sometime, if you want to learn.

FB - Yes, Phil, most amusing. But let’s return to Saturday night. You said you were very vigorous, Annie?

PHIL - I think that’s a bad choice of words from my wife. I’d say we made love in a perfectly normal manner.

FB - But she did use the word ‘vigorous’. Would that imply some measure of physicality?

PHIL - Well we didn’t just talk about it.

FB - I was asking Annie.

ANNIE - No, if you’re talking about violence or coercion, we were just very passionate. Perhaps it was a bad choice of word.

FB - Where do you think that passion came from?

ANNIE - Well, we’d been out and had a few drinks.

PHIL - But I wasn’t drunk!

FB - Of course not, Phil. What made you find Annie so attractive and desirable on Saturday night then?

PHIL - Have you heard of body-clocks and bio-rhythms? I think ours just matched up on Saturday, we were both hornier than rhinos.

FB - What a quaint phrase. Would you agree, Annie?

ANNIE - I don’t know. It was great fun though. (She giggles) FB - And did you make love in your usual predictable fashion, or did you indulge in any advanced postures or refinements?

ANNIE - Oh, just predictable. Very predictable. But lots of it!

FB - And did you use any devices or accessories?

ANNIE - They haven’t arrived yet, I’m afraid. But even if they had, I don’t think we would have used them.

I don’t think there was anywhere for them to fit in.

FB - Now, that’s an attitude we’re trying to change, Annie. Your rejection of experimentation may be one of the underlying causes of your unhappiness. You should open yourself to ...

PHIL - I’m sorry, but we had good sex the other night. Without the aid of any of your counselling or gadgets.

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Does that threaten your role as a therapist?

FB - Not at all. I’m very happy for you. But that is one night of achievement. I want you to have such happy times every night.

PHIL - Fair enough. Get rid of the mental and physical stresses of both our jobs, see the mortgage’s paid and there’s food in the fridge, and me and Annie will hump like rabbits.

FB - Aaah, rhinos and rabbits.

PHIL - And I don’t have an animal fetish.

FB - Do you have a dog?

ANNIE - No, we used to but ....

FB - Don’t you love dogs?

PHIL - Not in the way you’re thinking about.

FB - Yes, perhaps we should change tack here...

PHIL - You can change your hairstyle for all I care.

FB - ...and look at the negative attitude you bring to these meetings, Phil.

PHIL - Oh, you noticed.

FB - Where do you think this aggression comes from?

PHIL - It was my unhappy childhood. I was kidnapped by gypsies, but they rejected me.

ANNIE - Phil!

FB - And this need to be funny all of the time. Is this a need to be noticed, or a need to be loved?

PHIL - It’s actually a defensive measure I’ve developed for coping with building sites. Very useful for disarming hairy-arsed brickies who are threatening you with a kicking.

FB - Hairy-ars....?

PHIL - And I don’t have a thing about brickies either.

FB - Do you have any concerns about the size of your penis?

PHIL - What?

FB - You heard what I said, Phil. Do you worry about how well endowed you are?

PHIL - I thought that was part of the male condition.

FB - Only for men with small penises.

PHIL - What are you implying? I don’t sit at home greeting or anything. Anyway, Annie should be the judge.

It’s her toy.

FB - Annie?

ANNIE - I’m quite happy. What’s big?

PHIL - That thing in that catalogue, that was big!

FB - Did you find that impressive, Annie?

ANNIE - I thought it was frightening. Cold, impersonal, inhuman.

FB - But if it was human, warm, flesh and blood ...?

[Pause]

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PHIL - Annie??

ANNIE - It would be interesting, just to ...see.

FB - Aha.

PHIL - You’re not giving me a complex here, Fiona, so you can just forget it. Annie’s never complained.

FB - She’s had nothing to compare it to.

PHIL - So you reckon she should go out on a wee shopping expedition, check out a willie or two, see what’s available?

FB - I do believe it bears thinking about.

PHIL - Not from where I’m sitting.

ANNIE - I’m really not interested, Fiona. If I thought extra-marital affairs could solve our problems I wouldn’t be here.

PHIL - Yeah, get with the therapy, let’s have some sense here.

FB - Do you ever think about large-breasted women, Phil?

PHIL - Hold on, hold on, how come you’re not asking Annie if she’s got a complex about her tits? How come it’s all pointed at my personal brainworks?

ANNIE - What’s wrong with my tits? You always said you loved ...

PHIL - I do, honey, they’re perfect ...for the size of you. But I want to know why I’m being reduced to victim status here?

FB - Victim? I think you’re overreacting, Phil. I only asked if you ever think about large-breasted women.

This has no bearing on Annie.

PHIL - Okay, I think about large-breasted women frequently, and twice on a Thursday.

ANNIE - You said you didn’t like big tits.

PHIL - Well, not huge ones. You know, enormous droopy things. But you can get largish ones that are well-shaped and don’t sag. And I don’t mean shop-bought ones.

FB - Okay, okay, I think we can close this session here.

PHIL - You haven’t got any photographs of these large-breasted women, have you, Fiona, because I’d really like to test my reaction ...

ANNIE - Phil!

[Farewells]

F.B.

Annie/Monday, 15th May

I really will have to speak to Phil about his behaviour at our sessions with Fiona. He spends the entire time riling her and then, when she reacts, he goes into an almighty tizz. It was quite funny, actually, tonight she turned on him and accused him of having a little willy, and the colour totally drained from his face.

It serves him right. It doesn’t take a genius to realise what she’s up to, but no, Phil’s got to tilt at dragons all

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the same. Funnily enough there was no real input from her tonight. She didn’t suggest positions or recommend fantasies or anything, just sort of left us hanging there. I don’t know if this was deliberate, or if she was just sick of the sight of Phil. I think it’s a bit early to leave us to our own devices, but I suppose she knows what she’s doing.

No chance of sex tonight, Phil’s snoring on the couch already. I’m not complaining, I could do with some reading for pleasure, and if Phil’s not awake, at least I won’t get a slagging.

ps - just re-read that and realised I’ve said ‘left to our own devices’.

Is this a Freudian slip?

Phil/Monday, 15th May

Too tired to write much tonight. Annie’s already tucked up with one of her historical novels.

Hard day at work and then Fiona, does me in every time.

Norrie MacDonald was really pally all day again, bringing me coffee and all sorts. He’s a strange bugger, god love him, but I wish I knew what he was up to.

Sheena never phoned, which meant I got some work done.

Annie/Tuesday, 16th May

Another rehearsal day and poor Tommy is finding it difficult, what with exams coming up and everything. He desperately needs help or he may have to withdraw from the company. What am I to do?

Alas! Alack!

Well, I countered his blackmail with some of my own. I just announced to everybody that Tommy was pulling out and, as we didn’t have time to get anybody else up to speed, the production was now officially cancelled.

Then I went for a coffee.

When I returned Tommy had miraculously re-evaluated his priorities and decided that he could fit in The Devils’ Disciple after all. Tis a wonderful thing, peer pressure.

Unfortunately this piece of underhanded chicanery seems to have made him more admiring of me than ever.

He winked at me and said, “Nice move, Miss.”

He does this all the time, comes over all cocky and then switches to some deep-thinking paragon, as when I handed him his play back with my comments. He scanned them quickly, looked me right in the eye and said,

“It’s not my fault I’m young.”

What is that supposed to mean?

He then proceeded to sail through the blocking as if he’d seen every production ever performed. He knew his lines perfectly, which just confirms that he had no intention of quitting the play, and then he pays for cokes

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and crisps for the entire company, including me!

I think I’ve underestimated him. He’s a complex young man, a situation which is complicated and exaggerated by his hormones. Why won’t the little bugger just get a girlfriend? And now that Sharon has failed, who else can I throw at him? Bridget Mole in 5A’s a snobby, swotty little madam. Would she be suitable? But where can I fit her in? The cast are complete and have understudies, and in the crew the Assistant Stage Managers have assistants. This interest in drama is a relatively new phenomenon and quite frightening. I blame Robert Carlyle, Ewan MacGregor and their ilk; lads that were once playing football in the streets are now forming drama companies, leaping into tights and doing improv workshops. The darkness threatens.

Isn’t this how Rome fell?

Phil/Tuesday, 16th May

Things are becoming a little clearer at work. MacDonald was in Big Phil’s office, getting a bollocking about something, but they kept looking over at me through the window. I tried to kid on I didn’t notice, and glued my face to my spreadsheet.

I chinned MacDonald at lunchtime and he denied they’d been looking in my direction. Said they had to look somewhere, and mine was the prettiest face in the office, Gillian being off sick.

I pressed him on the matter by grabbing his goolies and gently squeezing. This is usually very effective as MacDonald has absolutely no tolerance for pain whatsoever, but he kept insisting that I was imagining it. I was ready to book myself into the funny farm with paranoid delusions when Webster came by and said, “You two made it up then?”

He didn’t stop to explain so I said to MacDonald, “What’s up, Norrie, I didn’t know we’d fallen out?”

This seemed to frighten him even more than me squeezing his balls because he went all red.

“It’s nothing,” he stammered, “Just Charlie having a wee joke. You know what he’s like. The golf! Remember I was cursing you upside down at the golf.”

“You said I was a jammy bastard, but that can’t be construed as ‘falling out’.”

“I never said we fell out. It’s Webster thinks we’ve fallen out.”

“And that’s why Big Phil was giving you a roasting?”

He pulled away from me. “No no, that was something else entirely.”

“Like what?”

“Oh, it was just last year ...” he stopped dead, like he’d just revealed a State Secret to the KGB.

“Last year?”

He took a deep breath and his Adam’s apple bobbed up and down.

“My timekeeping. Bad timekeeping last year.”

“Bullshit. You spend more time at work than you do at home.”

“Well, that’s Glenda for you.”

He’d regained his composure and managed to wriggle off the hook.

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Now he walked off with a little wave.

Last year was when all my work troubles started. Because I made one bad decision. Or rather one good decision, but too early. Sex isn’t the only place where being premature can fuck you up.

Annie/Wednesday, 17th May

Oh my God, my reputation in the neighbourhood, if I ever had any, lies in tatters. Bill, the postie, knows! He delivered a package this morning which had ‘unfortunately’ come apart in the sorting office. The post office, kind folk that they are, had taped it all up again. There didn’t seem to be any damage to the enclosed goods, but there was some kind of compensation scheme if I wanted to complain.

Complain? I wanted to die.

Admittedly, Bill is no Einstein, but even he must have realised what the ‘goods’ were.

Or did he? Maybe I’m panicking for no reason. Bill’s one of those people of undetermined age, always pleasant, polite, but somehow sexless. He probably doesn’t even think of that nice schoolteacher, Mrs Wilson, as being a sexual animal. Does he even know what a sexual animal is, poor soul?

No! Don’t feel sorry for him, he’s not your responsibility. He might be a dirty old man, for all you know. He might be a raving swinger. He might be having it off with half the bored housewives in Dornoch Crescent.

He definitely gave me a ‘look’ when he handed the parcel over. What did that look say? Be analytical. Did it say, “Hullo, I’m jolly old Bill, the postman, and I’m afraid we’ve made a terrible mess of delivering your parcel to you. Please don’t report us and lose us our jobs.” Or did it say, “Here’s your filthy, perverted stuff, you lecherous excuse for a suburban housewife and mother. I know what you get up to, you slut, and the next time there’s postage due, you’re behind the door and getting a quick one, or my name’s not Randy Bill, the postie with the First Class delivery.”

Oh, fuck, I don’t really care. But I’ll need to go down to the cornershop to buy a power-station’s worth of batteries, so I might as well just tell Mr Singh they’re for my new vibrators, and to hell with my precious reputation.

NB - any future packages to be addressed to Phil.

Phil/Wednesday, 17th May

The gorgeous but deadly Sheena strikes again!

I had my day all planned out. I was going to chin MacDonald one more time, and if I didn’t get any joy out of him I was going to have it out with Big Phil. This has got something to do with me going out on my own last year, but that’s supposed to have been forgotten.

“Forgive and forget,” Big Phil said when he re-hired me, even though the bastard has been holding onto my

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bonuses.

Anyway, back to Sheena. She phoned first thing this morning, the minute I walked in the office. She wasn’t in the bath this time, she was calling from a phone-box, wearing a raincoat with nothing on underneath, a scene she described in great detail. She wanted me to look at her picture while she talked so that I could really imagine her, but the post wasn’t in yet. Then she asked me if I wanted another photograph. A more explicit photograph.

I didn’t think it was humanly possible.

To get her off the phone I agreed to have lunch with her again, and I was dreading it the minute I put the phone down. I was going to take her for a curry, but when we met up outside the restaurant she said she wasn’t hungry.

I wasn’t too disappointed because the thought of sitting at a computer screen all afternoon while a belly bloated with do-piazz tried to lull me to sleep wasn’t appealing.

She suggested a walk in town, but I was sure I’d be seen. I’m world famous in Glasgow, either that or paranoid, so we drove up to the Kelvingrove Art Galleries and had a wander about in there. Nobody I know goes to art galleries.

She grabbed my arm the minute we left the car, and clung to me like her life depended on it. Eventually she slipped a hand under my jacket and round my waist. It felt good and she smelled good and despite that I tried to wriggle away from her, but she was like a limpet. I was scared to put my arm round her, because I knew there was nothing under the coat but her. Throughout the hour she chatted away like an old chum, mentioning pals we hadn’t seen for years, wondering what they were doing, hatching elaborate plots to track them all down and have a re-union. The art never got a look in.

But she also never mentioned us, or sex, for which I was hugely grateful, because I felt very vulnerable. If she was a man-eater, I was food. I left her at her bus-stop with a peck on the cheek and her promising she’d phone soon.

Annie/Thursday, 18th May

A strange night last night. With my full quota of sexual paraphernalia I was ready for a night of sexual hi-jinks.

I hadn’t told Phil the stuff had arrived because I wanted to surprise him.

He was pottering about with his kit-car catalogues in the living-room when I sneaked off to the bedroom. This kit-car business has been a dream of his for twenty years. He wants to build a car that’s ‘different’. I assume this means one that doesn’t go when you depress the accelerator. Considering the business he’s in Phil is not one of those chaps who’s ‘good with his hands’. Well, not in that sense anyway. He can’t change a wheel, so why he thinks he can build a car from scratch is beyond me. A man thing, I suppose.

Anyway, in the bedroom I stripped off and selected a purple satin basque with matching pants and suspender

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belt, and black seamed stockings to camouflage my pale Scottish legs. I looked like a ‘10 bob Gallowgate hooker’ as my Dad used to refer to girls in miniskirts. I’d loaded all six vibrators with batteries and fooled around with each and every one, in a spirit of experimentation, of course. I was right, the sensations were very pleasant, and my previous encounters had been ruined by a heavy-handed Phil.

After a while I felt myself not caring whether Phil came upstairs or not, but guilt got the better of me and I shouted down to him through a half-opened bedroom door.

“Read your bloody book!” he shouted back, the mad romantic fool.

“I’ve got a surprise for you!” I responded in what I hoped was a sultry voice.

“What’s up, the roof given in?”

I pushed the door open a little further. “Get up here now, Phil!”

“What’s up, Mum?” It was Roddy.

“Go to sleep, Roddy! And don’t dare come out on the landing!”

Eventually a disgruntled Phil climbed the stairs and trudged into the bedroom. I’d dimmed the lamps and was reclining on top of the covers licking my lips.

Phil grunted, stripped, climbed onto the bed and fucked me.

I know that sounds gross, but that’s what it was, a fucking. And a damn good one at that. Maybe Phil’s right about bio-rhythms. Maybe we don’t need Fiona and her therapies, or gadgets and garments. Maybe we just need to be in the mood.

But there is still work to be done, so we can’t give up yet. Having concluded the fucking, Phil rolled off me and promptly fell asleep.

And I, like a sap, lay there and thought, he may be a pig, but he’s my pig.

Annie/Friday, 19th May

Wild night, last night. Kate took me to a work’s do. I think they were celebrating their millionth typographical error or something. They’re all computerised so I asked Kate why they didn’t run a spellcheck on their copy.

Seems the software they bought was manufactured by a Chinese company in Venezuela, so inevitably some gremlins krept in.

This also, it seems, is the reason I was invited to a staff night, they want me to do some copy-checking for them. I don’t really have the time, but Kate said she was desperate, and it was just temporary, and just the one night a week, and she would pay me handsomely, so I fell for it. If I can make it to the school holidays without collapse things should be okay.

It also ended up as something of a girls’ night, most of the staff being female. The few men were relegated to the bar and ordered to deliver drink to our table on a regular basis. I could live like this.

So, the drink flowed, and Kate had an audience of all her chums, and she was in fine form. First of all she told

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the Managing Editor of the paper that the only time she was interested in a man’s company was when he owned it. She has told me before about this guy, who has no business or journalism training at all, and has brown-nosed his way to the top. Kate does, just about, run the paper herself, and gets no thanks for it.

Tonight he was in her sights and she was obviously out for a little revenge. At first I worried for her job, but Kate is the eternal survivor, and doesn’t need my concern when she’s got lines like, “For you, personal growth is obviously an erection.,” and “Are these your eyeballs, I found them in my cleavage?”

I dare any man to try and get the better of Kate when it comes to repartee. I don’t know where she gets the lines but she must be a great hoarder. I never remember anything, or if I do remember I don’t have the courage to say it. But not our Kate, she ventures where angels fear to tread.

“To be intoxicated is to feel sophisticated but not be able to say it,” she opined, while still, barely, able to say it. And, “If you try to fail, and succeed, what have you done?”

While all the other girls paid court to her, I bathed in the private knowledge that she had taken cold feet when faced with Fiona, and wasn’t the MsSiah.

There was karaoke on and we belted out the old classics like ‘Stand On Your Man’ and I danced with a barman in a very unladylike fashion. We ended the night chanting, “One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor!”

Sorry, Phil.

Annie/Saturday, 20th May

Phil has been working late all week, and coming home absolutely knackered, so there’s not been much sex to talk about. And now he’s working the weekend too. So, I did a shopping, and hoovered and dusted, all with a blinding hangover. I now intend lying down on the couch. I shall rise at an appropriate hour and make the boys’ dinner. Or I may phone the Ashoka.

Annie/Sunday, 21st May

Felt much better today, thank god. Phil was working again so took Roddy to visit my Mum.

She is still on at me to have another kid, specifically a little sister for Roddy, who she thinks we should call Eleanor, as it’s such a beautiful name. It’s also her name.

I told her, yet again, that Phil and I had made a decision to only have one child, and we were sticking by it.

She was not impressed. Roddy is past the constant cuddling stage and she needs something to physically get a hold of. A puppy perhaps. I’ve heard rottweillers are nice.

CLIENTS NOTES/WILSONS/6

Annie attended alone as it seems Phil has been working late for the past few days. I questioned whether this was a wise move, considering that he blames pressure of work for contributing to the decline in his libido, but Annie assured me that the project he was concerned with was vitally important to his career and could not be ignored. She also said that his working late had not been detrimental to their sex lives. In fact it seems he had been very passionate last night, a fact confirmed by the idiotic grin on Annie’s face. Why are we women so

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transparent?

I had been thinking of initiating individual counselling for some time, and this seemed the ideal opportunity, but Annie informed me that they were thinking of cancelling the rest of their course of therapy as their sex life had improved dramatically over the last week or so. I doubted this, as my schedule had not predicted such an early outcome and urged Annie to re-consider and finish the course, but she seemed quite adamant. I ascribed their success to the introduction of erotic clothing and devices, which Annie informed me had now arrived.

But Annie also said that these had been largely ignored in the fire of their new-found passion.

Annie seemed quite nervous throughout the session, and nearly jumped out of her seat when I rested my feet on my desk. I have asked her to delay a decision for another week to see if the improvement continues. I would also like to see Phil on a face-to-face basis with some parting words of advice if they do plan to terminate this procedure.

F.B.

Annie/Monday, 22nd May

Had to go to the counselling session with Fiona alone today as Phil couldn’t make it because he was working late. In fact he’s still not home.

I told Fiona we were thinking of chucking it, which didn’t please her very much. She’s asked us to hang fire till next week so she can see us both.

Earlier, Tommy Carter was making a pest of himself again. He has tried the gifts, he tried the cry for help, and now he is trying macho. This involves him standing very close to me on every possible occasion. He’s in my class, so I can’t avoid him, but to feel him brushing past me every time I turn round, or bend down to pick something up is quite alarming. I feared I’d done the boy some permanent physical damage in a classic, ‘Is that a gun in your pocket?’ kind of way but, thankfully, it was only a pocket calculator. I’ve tried to deal with him in a friendly way, so as not to crush his spirit, but he is now starting to make it very difficult. He tried every trick in the book, including trying to look up my skirt when he was retrieving a dropped pen. What do they expect to see? I’m hardly likely to come to work without any pants on.

I admit that at times I’ve enjoyed the attention of this misguided young man, but I have not invited it and do not feel guilty about leading him on in any way. If he continues he will discover that little boys’ dream women have a habit of turning into their worst nightmares.

I will report him to Veronica and he can spend an entire period getting his thrills by trying to look up her skirt.

From staff-room gossip I understand that this is unexplored territory.

Annie/Tuesday, 23rd May

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Finally got a chance to speak to Phil and got him to agree to see Fiona next week. I’m sure the chance to give her the brush-off is something he doesn’t want to miss.

The poor darling is working very hard. I know he thinks he has to, because of what happened last year, but I’m scared he’s going to give himself a heart attack the way he rushes around. He’s meant to be office-based and visit building sites occasionally, but from the states of his suits and shoes I’d imagine he’s pitching in with the bricklayers. I asked him why he didn’t wear the wellies he keeps in the boot of his car, and he admitted he’d lost them.

How can you lose a pair of wellies? You put them on when you arrive at a site and you take them off when you’re leaving. What could be simpler?

I suggested I buy him a pair but he said the company was supposed to supply them. I wondered why they didn’t supply him with suits as well, or at least pay the dry-cleaning bills, and he went in a huff. However, he apologised for this by making love to me later, which was very nice.

Phil/Tuesday, 23rd May

No time for silly diaries. Big Phil has been busy and brought in a lot of work, new sites opening up all over the place.

Seen Sheena a few times.

Sex with Annie good, but very knackered after work.

Annie/Wednesday, 24th May

Phoned Fiona and confirmed that Phil would be there next week, and confirmed to her that we both felt fairly sure that we didn’t require any more counselling.

Roddy has asked me to cancel his appointment at the Western as he now feels fine. I wonder if I should test him by having a fall-out with Phil when he gets home, if that’s not tempting fate. It may also be because our young Rod seems to have a new little friend, of the female persuasion. Don’t know her name yet, but the signs are all there, the extra grooming, the lack of interest in alien chat rooms. Maybe love is in the air for everybody.

What a sweet and naive thought, even for a romantic like yourself, Mrs Wilson.

Annie/Thursday, 25th May

Tommy Carter is a slut!

I’d decided he’d overstepped the mark when the cheeky monkey said to me, “I’m not sexist, Miss, in fact I’m very politically correct. I don’t think you’re hot, I just think you’re thermally stimulating.”

I decided to have a casual word with his Form Teacher, Dawn Miller, who I regard as a chum.

“Dawn,” I said, “I’m beginning to regret that I hassled Tommy Carter into the drama club.”

She rolled her eyes. “Oh, really?”

She was having a sly cigarette in the staff-room while I gulped down a coffee.

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“What does that mean?” I asked.

“Just that he’s come on to every female teacher he’s ever had.”

“No!”

“Oh yes. He’s actually proposed to me twice. And he’s asked Veronica Hinds to have his love child.”

I gawped. “Veronica?”

Dawn nodded. “She declined, but said she’d bear him in mind if she ever decided on motherhood.”

“But Veronica doesn’t have a sense of humour,” I spluttered.

“Exactly. The consensus was that she meant it.”

I took a moment to re-compose myself. “And why was I kept out of this magic circle that knew about Tommy’s predilections?”

She stubbed out her ciggie with a smug look on her face. “We didn’t think he was into old, happily-married women. We thought you were safe.”

Funnily enough I was quite genuinely affronted. “Oh, I see. And now he’s getting desperate?”

Dawn shrugged.

“Well,” I continued, “Something has to be done about the little pervert.”

“What do you suggest? Today’s children are immune to anything we can physically or mentally chastise them with. Otherwise I’d personally have murdered the arrogant shit for chalking ‘I was up at the crack of dawn’

on the board.”

“Do we know anybody that’s leaving the profession?” I asked desperately, “Someone who could do a little

‘job’ on the side?”

But Dawn was already retreating with a, “He’ll be out of our lives soon enough.”

Yet there was a little part of me that still cried out for a measure of vengeance.

Annie/Friday, 26th May

Phil’s busy period seems to have run its course for the moment and he has the weekend off. I’m hoping we can do something together, but he must be awfully tired and I don’t want to be making huge demands.

If he wants to go to the pub I’ll encourage him, and not be grumpy when he comes back.

Phil/Friday, 26th May

Oh oh, problems.

Fiona phoned me to tell me she’d seen me walking in a park with my arm round the waist of a woman, not my wife. I immediately confessed and told her all about Sheena. Fiona was so pleased that I’d found an old pal, and asked me what Annie thought of it and I, of course, had to tell her that I hadn’t informed Annie yet.

“Why not?” she asked.

“Just haven’t had time,” I explained, truthfully.

“Do you have anything to hide?” she enquired.

“Only the fact that I’m consulting you,” I answered brightly, but she wasn’t biting at the funnies.

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“I am not your moral guardian,” she intoned, as if she was God, “and in certain circumstances extra-marital affairs can be quite healthy and contribute to a relationship. But the basis of these dalliances must be honesty, and you are being dishonest to Annie.”

I listened to her little rant and could feel my blood pressure rising. “Listen, idiot, I do not have anything to hide. I am not having an extra-marital affair, so I have nothing to confess to Annie. I have had lunch a couple of times with an old school pal, that is not a criminal or moral offence.”

She argued right back. “I don’t care about whatever you’re doing, Phil. My loyalty and my responsibility lies with your relationship to Annie, and that requires honesty. And I need to know why you haven’t told her about this woman.”

“Because I don’t tell her about everybody I have lunch with. And she doesn’t tell me either. We’re constantly unfaithful to each other that way. We’re lunching away like mad with other people.”

And the evil bitch said, “Your humour smacks of desperation.”

And all I could limply answer was, “Aye, that’s your opinion.”

She came straight back at me and said, “You won’t mind me telling Annie on Monday then?”

“Tell her what?”

“Tell her what I saw. You and another woman walking together through Kelvingrove Park. You had your arm round her waist and seemed very friendly towards each other. There is not a word of a lie there.”

I took a long time struggling to catch up with what was going on.

“I’d rather tell her myself,” I said.

“You have till Monday.”

“In my own time.” It sounded weak and I knew it.

“I know my business, Phil,” Fiona said, “And every word you’ve uttered convinces me that you have something to hide. I am working towards making your marriage work, you seem intent on destroying it.”

“But I haven’t done anything, “ I pleaded, but she’d put the phone down.

Annie/Saturday, 27th May

Phil didn’t want to go to the pub, said he had a lot of paperwork to catch up on and buried himself in the study.

I couldn’t really complain so I went into town to do some shopping with my sister. I have to be very careful around Nancy as she believes it is her duty to broadcast everybody’s business to an unsuspecting world.

She suspects something, vis a vis Phil and I, because Mum mentioned it to me the last time I saw her, but she doesn’t know precisely what it is. This annoys her, and she manoeuvres every conversation round to marital problems at some point. She somehow managed to relate Roddy’s ever-growing feet to men’s general infantile demands, and the only saving grace was that it happened in a shoe shop. Nancy is my younger sister, but is on her third husband, the first two having had neither the strength of character nor the willpower to fight her to a standstill. And the third chap, a fireman, is showing signs of weakening.

The received wisdom in the family is that I got the brains and Nancy got the looks, and I must say she’s used

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them to her advantage. She’s blonde and pretty and has expressive eyes that drive men potty. That and legs much longer than mine.

Men fall at her feet too easily, she says, and claims to be so jealous of my ‘happy’ relationship, but I know she’s only waiting to gloat if we stumble.

If she discovered we were going to sex therapy she’d wet herself.

Phil had an early dinner and then went off to visit a site he had to check on urgently. Roddy and I stayed in and watched TV. Ho hum.

Phil/Saturday, 27th May

Throughout my career I have dealt with problems in a calm and considered fashion, a facility which has gained me the admiration of many of my colleagues. Now, with Fiona’s threat, I panicked. I phoned her and begged her not to say anything to Annie, that I would tell her myself once I’d got this strange relationship with Sheena straight in my head.

But I was getting no sympathy from the gorgon, who kept implying I was some kind of monster for not telling my wife every thought that flitted through my head.

If I did that, Annie would be a Master of the Universe, same as myself. I asked Fiona for time, another week even, but she was having none of it. I think because I didn’t show up last week, and Annie told her we were thinking of chucking it, she was out to do me in.

I considered telling Annie. Even locked myself away and made a pros and cons list, but there were never any pros and a huge column of cons, chief of which was my imminent death at the hands of the beloved spouse.

I then tried to evaluate what my fear was. Would Annie really not understand? She was an intelligent and balanced woman, she would understand that men and women could be friends without there being anything sexual in it. She would understand that I was pleased to see somebody I went to primary school with. That I was naturally interested in how they’d got on in life. She would expect fidelity from me and would be pleased that nothing of an untoward nature had ever happened, or was likely to happen, between said old school pal and husband of many years.

And every time I got that far I’d be crippled with guilt. The photograph of Sheena, still floating about in sorting offices, would appear in my mind. And the feel of my arm round her, and the scent of her, and her laugh, and how I did want to do unseemly things to her. It would have been unnatural not to, and in the end run I was only human. But I’d fought against my urges, and surely deserved some kind of medal for that?

I had to go to the core of the problem and speak to Sheena. I wouldn’t tell her Fiona was our therapist, just that she was a friend who’d seen us together and was threatening to tell Annie. I’d explain that this was the reason we couldn’t see each other again, because I couldn’t have my marriage threatened. Sheena wouldn’t be happy, but would accept this. After all, what friend would want to see their pal’s marriage fall apart? Either

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that or she’d ask me to leave Annie and run away with her. That prospect frightened me.

I tracked down her address on the web and drove over after dinner.

Saw her from my car, leaving her house to go out with a guy I assume was Arthur. The thought of having to explain the whole thing to Arthur filled me with no pleasure at all, so I came home.

New species, Wilsonus Wimpus.

Annie/Sunday, 28th May

Phil was in a quiet mood all day, moping about the house and pretending to read the Sunday papers, though it was obvious he wasn’t really interested.

I suggested he take Roddy fishing, something he hadn’t done in ages, and he jumped at the idea.

They came home quite late, having obviously done a fair bit of father/son male bonding, which was nice to see.

I spent the day catching up on some homework marking and plotting the demise of Tommy Carter. I have three plans in mind, each more excruciatingly painful than the next. Unfortunately two of them will involve me going to jail if I’m caught, so I’ve shelved them. Number three’s a corker though!

Phil/Sunday, 28th May

Took the wee man fishing. A perfect way to take my mind of my problem. Annie had told me that she thought the kiddo had a new girl friend, so I ribbed him mercilessly while he totally ignored me and caught fish.

Thought about trying a trip over to Sheena’s again in the evening, but I think I’d established that I didn’t have the bottle to go up and knock on her door in case Arthur answered.

Not that he was a big guy or anything. In fact he looked like a guy that ‘worked with computers’, but if he didn’t like the sound of my story I could be putting Sheena’s marriage in trouble too. I have a feeling this wouldn’t bother Sheena overmuch, as her main aim in life seems to be seeking out excitement, but the last thing I want to be known for is homewrecking.

So, options -

1. I tell Annie tonight and steal Fiona’s thunder. Consequence - Annie will kill me.

2. I say nothing and Fiona tells Annie tomorrow. Consequence - Annie will kill me tomorrow.

3. I say nothing and Fiona has a change of heart and gives me time to tell Annie. Consequence - Annie will eventually kill me.

What is a man to do?

CLIENTS NOTES/WILSONS/7

Events have occurred which make it plain that it would be foolish to proceed in anything remotely like the fashion I had planned. This was not a planned CUSP situation, but I record it verbatim in case it may be of use to a future generation of therapists.

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[Following formalities and pleasantries]

FB - Well, Phil, have you told Annie?

PHIL - There’s nothing to tell, Fiona.

ANNIE - What’s this about?

FB - One moment, Annie. Phil, I’m giving you one final chance to mexplain yourself.

PHIL - No, you’re implying that I’ve done something wrong, which is untrue.

ANNIE - What is going on?

FB - Very well. Annie, I must tell you now that on Wednesday afternoon, while strolling in Kelvingrove Park, I saw Phil with another woman. They were walking together like close friends and Phil had his arm around her waist

ANNIE - A woman? Phil?

PHIL - I was going to tell you.

FB - Yes, going to, when it suited you.

PHIL - You’re a bit of a witch, aren’t you, Fiona?

ANNIE - Tell me what??

PHIL - Listen, Annie, stay calm. I met this woman ...

ANNIE - Oh God, no ....

PHIL - No, not like that! I knew her. I went to school with her. Primary school. We were pals, and we bumped into each other ...

FB - Remember, Annie, this is totally uncorroborated.

PHIL - Oh shut up, Fiona!

FB - I am protecting my client’s interests.

PHIL - You’re not Perry fucking Mason!

ANNIE - Who is this woman?

PHIL - Sheena ...Sheena Burns. She’s married and everything. We’ve just gone out for lunch a couple of times and gabbed about old times.

ANNIE - You never take me for lunch. You always say you’re too busy.

FB - Too busy with this Sheena woman obviously.

PHIL - Shut it, Fiona! I swear, I’ll swing for you!

FB - Ah, male violence, now we get to the crux ...

PHIL - You’ll get a kick in the crux in a minute ....

ANNIE - Would the pair of you calm down. Now, you’ve taken this woman for lunch. How many times?

PHIL - Four times.

FB - Ask him why he had his arm around her waist.

ANNIE - Yes, Phil, why did you have your arm round this woman?