Like the Music Men boyfriends (No. 25-29) I have amalgamated in a similar way. In 2008 I wrote, performed, hosted and produced a show at Edinburgh Fringe in the only swimming pool venue. It was called Liz Bentley-on-Sea and Edinburgh-on-Sea. The Scotsman (and in this case I’m not talking about Fraser) called the show ‘half baked’, it was indeed raw. The paper likened me to Tracey Emin and I assumed they were referring to her tent of 1995, either that or they couldn’t think of anything else to say and Tracy had an exhibition in Edinburgh that year so was in the fore front of minds.
I began writing my list of boyfriends well before the 1994 film ‘4 weddings and a funeral’ where Andie MacDowell’s character reveals she’s had sex with 33 guys. Shocked by the shock I got out my list which by then was already twice this amount and some. Unlike in the film, Pelekas promiscuity was accepted to the tenth degree.
There is a saying ‘what goes on in Pelekas stays in Pelekas’. Fraser used to say “A’body knows a’thing about a’body and what they dinnae ken they make up”. Pelekas stories were full of truth and versions of the truth. Love came fast and strong – in one Pelekas day I could have three boyfriends – one I was saying goodbye to, one I was greeting from the bus and one with an unspoken agreement that if either of us didn’t score (that meant having sex with someone, as opposed to scoring drugs) we’d find each other in the Cocoa club just before 4am and hook up for the night.
From Rut Hut Rob, to Psychic Sven, Nordic Ned (I cured regular his migraines with sex) – tents, bamboo beach huts and taverna toilets all became my caves of love. If there was a family olive tree of Pelekas lovers we would all join up somehow somewhere, from all over the world, like the 7 degrees of separation but probably more like 5. The boys who called themselves the ‘fishermen’ or the ‘fishermen are coming’ (when they were) made it even easier for the swapping about – just like in Love Island (without texts) but rawer and darker as many of us shared inside disturbances covered up with alcohol that never came out apart from during the screams of sex, infected mosquito bites, and in some cases, premature death from A.I.D.S or drug misadventures.
“I’m moving into Lang’s” Marni said one day.
She’d found love with Lang
Moved into his hut,
And I felt shut
My love nests
Incomparable to her
And Lang’s sun sets
Lang’s hut was superior than any I’d slept in, two sides bamboo, two sides white sheets and he wore another round his waist, how did he get them so fucking white? Marni’s pink floral sheet covered the interior beach mats and there were candles and holders and shit like that. There’d been a lull in my boyfriend proceedings after I’d made a dramatic scene of oral sex in front of the taverna in broad daylight with an unknown German (not illustrated on the olive tree).
For the first time in Pelekas I felt ashamed of myself – and alone.