The first Rebecca I knew was skinny and had long blonde hair. I loved her, but I was only eight. One day I put a drawing pin on her chair for her to sit on. I think I thought this was a show of love. It didn’t work out. She cried and told on me. I ended up being sent to the headmistress.
The next one I knew was when I was at secondary school. She was a friend of a friend, and I danced the last dance with her at a disco. When I pressed against her, I got a hard on – I couldn’t help it – and scared her off. I tried to get a letter through my friend to her – she was beautiful. Nothing came back.
After that, there was one I met while working in a hotel. She was a waitress and I was a pot-washer. She wouldn’t look at me. Apparently, I wasn’t worth it. At the end of the night when they all went for a drink, she made a point of inviting everyone else in front of me.
Next, there was one in this factory I worked at one summer. She wore the same clothes every day, clothes she didn’t wash. She stood next to me and stank. I moved, but she followed. She thought we were friends because I said hello to her. That, for her, was enough. I farted in front of her. She took it as a sign of intimacy.
Then there was Rebecca Little. She was in the room next to me at university, and would come home at 4am three, four times a week and play Duran Duran at full blast. I went out one day leaving Metal Machine Music on full volume. She didn’t see the funny side. We argued. I got the blame. I hadn’t just disturbed her. I’d disturbed the whole floor.
The fourth or fifth or sixth one – I’ve lost count – was this one at work, Rebecca Williams. She was older than me, but I got promoted quicker. She questioned everything I did, double-checked, found I was right, but then questioned me again about something else I was right about. In the end, I started sending her emails detailing everything I was going to explain at a meeting and why it was right as a sort of preemptive strike. I was told I was a bully.
So, no, we’re not calling our daughter that.