Daniel’s left leg bounced up and down as his gaze shifted from the floor, to the host of the event. All attendees sitting, trying to find a solution, as well as making it through the session without embarrassment. He really, really, did not wish to be here but it was time. That time. The moment within a very second where you released that you needed to understand or, simply, be understood.
Craig, the host of this session, smiled a comforting smile, nodding once, which was the signal for Daniel to finally be brave. He’d talked about his situation with a couple of people, the circumstances being dismissed as simply being ‘a male thing to do’. That, for him, wasn’t enough and wasn’t an answer that made sense. He cleared his throat, coughing once, as he steadied his leg by resting his arm against it.
“Hi, my name’s Daniel and I’m,” he paused for a second, glancing across to see what expressions the others had, before continuing, “a sex addict. Sort of. Maybe. I don’t know. That’s why I’m here.” He looked up again, at their faces, to see no change of emotion. He had their attention, he knew that much as sex sold any conversation and he had, at last, started his story. He didn’t want to tell them everything, to the smallest detail, but maybe he should. For now, as far as he’d been told, he was to simply, gently, express his issue as best he could.
He could feel his heart that was previously racing, start to calm itself. The hurdle jumped, the button pressed, his inner issues soon to become something else. Although he would rather be somewhere else, he caught hold of the positive emotion within, keeping it within his thoughts, allowing the saving grace to finally move him forward.
“It’s not about sex, really. It’s about being close. Holding someone. You know. Feeling them under you, wanting you.”
He did feel embarrassed, with the other attendee’s previously spoken stories being far more serious than his, but as Craig had said, ‘Our issues are our issues. No more and no less as important as the next person’. He’d appreciated the meaning which, in turn, enabled him to finally reach out and say the things he should have said many, many years previous.
“You’ll laugh. All started years back as a kid. I’d sneaked into the Teacher’s staff room. Looking for bloody biscuits. Was always one for a dare. The door opened and I hid. Two female Teachers started talking and one was going on about how the sex was. Intense. Close. You know. Will spare the detail for today. It stuck with me. Really got in there. My head. Now I’m here!”
Craig, leaning forward ever so slightly to engage, looked serious as each word from Daniel appeared, “How do you meet women, Daniel?” he asked.
“My job. I’m on markets and a good handy man. Hah. Good with my hands, see. Bit of a cheeky chap. Always gettin’ into trouble. There isn’t a story I’ve not heard, or told, with many more in here.” Daniel tapped the side of his head, with a finger, as he finished speaking.
Craig lent back onto his chair, nodding, “Why do you think that you’re an addict?”
“Easy. I can’t stop hearing her words in my skull. What the Teacher said. It’s like a drug,“ answered Daniel, as his leg started to bounce up and down again, “Some people drink, smoke, take drugs. I’ve gotta’ just hold someone. Feel them around me. Don’t really care who.”
Daniel glanced at the others, their eyes finally softening to his situation, their realisation and consideration appearing. No matter the addiction, no matter the substance, they’d all lost control of something within. They understood. They realised.
“You see, I’d like one woman. One. Just one. But the need is constant. I’ve lost count. I tell ya’. Madness! That’s it.”
Craig smiled at Daniel, as he stood, reaching out with his hand. Daniel stood, shaking Craig’s hand, as the others in the group clapped as Craig spoke, “Well done Daniel, well done. Next week we can go into detail. If you like?” Daniel nodded once, returning to his seat.
Daniel felt a great big weight start to fall from his shoulders, realising that not everyone would laugh, or joke, about such matters. He was, apparently, supposed to be the way he was. He was male and that was what men did. He knew it wasn’t right, to constantly be hounded by such events. Those moments. A young mind, impressionable, learning, didn’t quite understand some of the world’s situations and he, more than most, understood what this meant.
The minutes flew, the clock hands moving, as the final person sat within the hall, finished their diatribe on life. It was refreshing, cold, shocking and also enthralling, listening to others that had experience of being within the grip of near madness. It enlivened him, held him close, whilst providing a platform of possible safety and calm.
He stood from his chair, walking over to the table that held the various sandwiches, pastries and drinks. Looking at the selection, he licked his lips ever so slightly, his stomach agreeing with whatever selection. As he continued to ogle the food, one of the attendees appeared beside him. He’d noticed her the moment he’d walked into the room. That was what he did. This is what he knew all about. The hunt, the game, the viable options and avenues to get what he wanted. At first, he’d noticed her eyes, those piercing eyes that looked like they could see into his living soul, whilst threatening to remove it from his very chest.
He heard the Teacher’s taunting voice within his head, from all those years previous, over-riding any futile attempt he might make to excuse himself from the situation and, instead, he simply smiled.
“I listened to your story,“ she said, her lips virtually begging for his attention, “it moved me!”
“Thank you.” He replied, as he forced his mind to behave.
“You’re a handy man?”
“Yeah. Good one as well!”
“I have a leaky tap at home?”
He turned slightly, his body facing hers, waiting for all and any signs of interest. This, to him, was as easy as breathing. His smile knew exactly what would happen over the coming hours, as his mind gave in to his inner demon, “Could fix that for you?”
She smiled, her head leaning to the side ever so slightly, mirroring him as she replied, “Okay. Fancy going now?”
Daniel nodded as she gave him that smile of intent. Women seemed to find him, always, wherever, whenever, and it seemed to follow the same script. He didn’t truly understand why, but he knew what he wanted and seemed to simply fall into its embrace. He was here to cure himself, to remove the very moments that had haunted his waking life for far too long. However, he knew all too well, that until he was cured, we would still be an addict.