Before the advent of Tindr and Snapchat
In a time when Facebook was not even an embryo
In Mark Zuckerberg’s pre-billionaire mind
And Instagram not even a glimmer of a concept
(I shudder at that thought!)
There were the internet chatrooms.
Thieves of regulated sleep and purveyors
Of illustrious one-night jaunts
And illegitimate kids a plenty
Illicit affairs of the QWERTY variety
Where one miniscule postcode typo
Could leave you meeting your lover
In Leeds and not the Loch Ness.
The dirty perverts would be loitering
seemingly innocent sounding names
like Annabelle and Lolita
and there were no Androids or iPhones
for selfies of the kind where
you didn’t need lipgloss, mascara
or a Botox pout
but a genital Brazilian was
a fashion statement
and genitalia were a figment of
the digital imagination
And I would bide my time
Until the anonymous men would flock
Like mosquitoes around a virgin’s blood
Me with my labels
I would hit on the cocky desperadoes
And other such delectables
Assessing whether the Price was Right
Win a dreamboat luxury yacht
Or a pint of lager and a packet of crisps
Down at the old Bull and Bush.
If you were lucky,
The Generation Game,
A millionaire with a pacemaker
A paper bag and bang
You were rolling in the cash
And having a tit and bum job.
(to raise your odds with the living squad. )
There were always the knobheads
Full of cocky bollocks
“If I said you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me”
ME: “in a body bag”.
“I’m not a photographer but I can picture me and you together”
ME: “in a suicide pact”
“Are you a magician, because whenever I look at you, everyone disappears”
ME: “cos they were wise and got the fuck out”
“Are you religious?
Because I swear you’re the answer to all my prayers”
ME: “In the church of Satan”.
For hours I would listen to
Disintegrating men sobbing over their love-bite ridden
Before the advent of the fashion
Of the desparation
Of the proles
To splash their banal drama
Over primetime t.v.
The real weirdos would ask me for
My lacy knickers!
Not even laundered
But infused with the juice of
A quick rub with an old bit of cheese
And a smitchen of W40
Could have earned me a tidy twenty quid.
The pinnacle of my chatroom nights
Living my best days while
The drunks collapsed, inebriated
Slavering over their keyboards
With their goodnight message
I met them all
As they cried into their microwave meals for one
Tears defrosting the frozen chips
As they looked for mummy to clean their nappy,
As they wanted to know what ‘I am wearing’
And I’d tell them they were crotchless
And not the granny variety
As they fantasised over my schoolday showers
And imagined a garden of a virgin flower
I saw it all
And nothing was a shock
For my sex education
Was born in a chatroom
In a hot seedy bedroom
Somewhere in the suburbs
With the dial-up tone
For hot, steamy action
Back in the 90’s
Living my best life.
© Sarah Drury poetry