A few years back, I received an email from a bloke I hadn’t thought about in while. One I was supposed to meet ten years ago but didn’t. “Remember me?” ran the subject title. It took me a second. A nanosecond.
I had been a fugitive from heartbreak for a few years and getting tired of being on the run. I’d got lucky and fell in with a lively crowd attached to the job I took up. Jenny sat cross-legged at the neighbouring desk. A good sign. It was inevitable we would soon meet on Saturday afternoons for hangover parties to slump over coffee, despair at the state of our singlehood, and expertly decode one another’s star sign from the paper.
Then, one day, the dreaded inevitable happened. She broke with self-pity convention to suggest we do something about this terrible state of affairs (Munch Scream). A woman of her whim, she flung herself into the world of web-dating and set my comfort zone on fire with her inexhaustible optimism and candour at the state of my “aura”. Not forgetting the fact my dress sense was beginning to resemble that of an “orthodox Muslim”.
Under pressure, but unable to come up with a profile, I settled for hiding behind a few lines quoted from a favourite song. A cunning plan that would guarantee a non-response, or separate the Pink Panthers from the Anthill Mob.
I got one reply. He was funny, self-assured, with a great taste in music (obviously), a passion he converted into a living by writing about it. It was the height of Summer and our early attempts to meet were thwarted by family visits and pre-arranged trips elsewhere. Gradually our lives became a backdrop to our emails so that by the time Autumn came round the shine had gone off my nerve.
He’s happily hitched now with two kids of his own. It would be another year before I could brave it over the threshold of my charred comfort zone into the trust of another.
Jenny is still sitting cross-legged somewhere. Switching between umpteen languages on the phone nestled under her chin as she frantically rummages around looking for the phone she’s holding. I imagine it’s one of the many reasons her fella fell for her. And some other pair of eejits will be slumped at our old table tomorrow.
I think if I got that email it would be my worst nightmare. Our past sometimes just needs to stay in the past. Mind you your one reply seems to have been a good one.
Jenny also sounds like a good un, certainly never boring.
Never! I think the fact we didn’t really share a past, but a potential one, made it fairly innocuous. I might elaborate in a future post *dramatic violin music*
A potential future can create an interesting potential past.
Indeed. Change one thing, change the course of everything. Er. Potentially 🙂
Butterfly flapping its wings and all that 😉
Every time Bono sighs a butterfly loses its will to live.
Stay tuned – another disturbing photo and text about to be launched….
Ah Jaysis. What’s the footie situation like in your house then? The pair of us have finally got a legitimate reason to sit in separate rooms. My parents have been doing it for years. It’s probably the only thing that’s kept them under the same roof for so long. That and the debt incurred by their underachieving off-spring. Anyway, bring it on. Bring on the horror. It’s probably safer for society that you’ve a safety valve for your heebie jeebie storylines.
We don’t do footie in our hoose. Too busy with the comedy of life. ;-/
I love the limitless potential of the things that never happened to me. Unsurprisingly, there are lots of them. I have a big imagination though.
That’s why you’re such a good writer. I’m better at day-dreaming and procrastination than the follow-through.
I think I’ll answer this comment later, and we’ll see then who wins in the procrastination stakes.