When Paul Met Pommy

by Melodie Simmons
(Gateshead)

Two ex-lovers tell us what went wrong in their relationship...


HIS STORY: Paul Eccles is 31 and lives in Teesside. He is a PA and a struggling musician. He is currently single.

I met Pommy at a concert - a children’s concert for which I was playing at midday, with a fair ground and toddlers as young as three running around in Huggies, not one of them paying the slightest bit of attention to my song I had been forced to sing for them, The Turtle Called Larry.

In my entire thirty-one years of trying to wriggle my way into the music industry, this was the most degrading of all of my conquests. Playing gobbledygook songs about turtles on my grandfather’s treasured guitar to a bunch of babies who only care their cousin doesn’t get to steal any of their candyfloss is not how I saw myself working when I first decided I was going to be a rock star. I had it all planned: I’d be the new Joe Perry and me and my band mates would insouciantly take over the world with our epic tunes, the fame and the fortune would surely roll in, the drugs and the over-eager groupies hauling themselves at me…didn’t look like much chance of that dream coming true on this particular day.


The majority of mothers there were horrendous creatures, wearing the most tragically unbothered attire, lying on picnic blankets and trying to get their offspring to sit still…but then I spotted Pommy in the audience, and she stood out like a diamond in a dust pile with her blonde pigtails and floaty blue dress, curiously alone with only a clipboard and a duffle bag. My whole world just slowed down dramatically, as if my whole life had been building up to this moment.


She wasn’t even watching me, however - the reams of toddlers and their carers seemed to be more the object of her attention. My heart nearly broke right there and then. Only later did I find out she was doing some sort of psychological study on the influence of children’s entertainers and how it affects their behaviour…but as soon as I saw her, I knew I was going to give it all up.

Stardom is so derisory in comparison to finding one’s soul mate. After the show I descended into the audience, pushing my way through the crowds of rowdy pre-schoolers and their nondescript parents…until I found her. And when we looked into each other’s eyes we could both feel it – this was it. This was fate.


We broke up five months later, though. It sort of transpired after a while that she was a bit weird. She liked fresh air so much she needed windows open in the house all the time, 24/7. In the summer and during the honeymoon period I was fine with it because her love really did keep me warm, but as winter loomed it started to get quite cold and I wondered if I should bring it up. Because I loved her so much I delayed confronting her – it took contracting pneumonia and ending up in hospital to provide me with enough of an incentive to risk the tranquillity by broaching the subject.


She flipped. Said she was an air sign and needed to be around air all the time. Called me an obtuse anti-sentimentalist. We fought. Badly.
When in hospital, I’d hoped she’d swallow her pride and visit, see how much I’d suffered for her and forgive me. I wasn’t even being so unreasonable as to ask her to shut the windows. But she seemed to think that I alone was in the wrong and didn’t bother visiting. So we just never spoke again. Oh well. I’m still vouching for the rock star lifestyle. It’ll happen one day…I just know it.


HER STORY Pomegranate Smith is 28 and a Children’s psychoanalyst. She lives in Teesside with her three cats.

The main problem was that we just weren’t destined to be together. I’m an air sign – I need air around me, to breathe. Paul says there is plenty of air to breathe without opening windows. He is earth – he just doesn’t have the capacity to understand. His nature is grounded and immovable like the root of a mature willow. I need fresh air, new born air, to rejuvenate my soul. Paul said it was ludicrous opening windows during December. He can’t understand – it isn’t his fault. When he got ill I felt guilty but I did ask him outright: Which is worse, having the flu or being spiritually malnourished for the sake of convention, denying my soul what it needs and risking my inner spiritual eudemonia? I was hurt that he couldn’t see how important being with air is. He even dared mock me! I stayed in bed and cried for three days. Men are so unfeeling; it truly breaks my heart.


I didn’t visit him in hospital because I couldn’t face it. My soul was already worn by his insensitivity, I couldn’t risk further damaging my aura in such an institutionalised, deceitful environment. He had his family for company. I don’t need anyone, really. All I need is air and my own pure thoughts.


I had to cut him out of my life, just rip him off like a plaster, quickly to avoid prolonging the suffering. Apparently this is not appropriate social etiquette…I had his mother call round, shouting abuse at me for making her son ill, said I was a witch. I’m not one for etiquette, though. Never have been. I’m a free spirit…a bit like nitrogen. You don’t understand what I’m talking about, do you? That’s alright. Nobody does. But that’s okay.


When I eventually wrote up that report on my study conclusion I was forced to not paint children’s entertainers as a whole in a good light. But it was all down to the evidence I gathered. I can feel your judgement of me boring into me as you read this. But I didn’t tamper with the findings. I’m not malicious like that. It was all down to my observations. Really.


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