I have a lot of time to reflect out here in Thailand. Nothing but a novel to distract.
I want to bring in the good bits of the story, now that my anger has subsided and I’m managing to stamp out that nasty hopeless feeling that’s so alien to me. I know that whatever I’ve written won’t be erased from people’s memory…but I want to balance it out.
I’ve been in relationships for years that’s have impacted me less.
We started talking during my first week in my first job. Our first date was simple but intense; pints and stimulating conversation, big brown eyes and lots of chemistry. It was just easy to be around one another…which has never changed. Simple attraction, no games. We went on to spend a couple of blurry weeks living in each others pockets and sharing.
Our first date (after the initial blind date) was to Selby. I kid you not. He had a spare ticket to see the comedian and ardent feminist called Sophie Hagen and hey, why not. He wore a shirt, I wore a skirt. We took it in turns to choose songs and went from ska to folk to old school mosher gold like AFI. We car danced and chatted life which I remember more than the gig itself.
Dates continued to be random and fresh, avoiding pints or dinner. We saw a wee show called Bookish that was…cute. I’d recommend it. We were 2 feet from the couple who mixed up comedy music and, you may have guessed it, book reviews. They mixed in a quiz or two, ie, guess the cost of the a badger taxidermy lampshade. We drank far too much gin which I blame for my ability to know the price within 10 British Pounds. Gin genius.
I realise I’m listing dates but they’re the memories I can share online without being too much of a soppy get.
We spent a weekend in the lakes staying in a friends cottage in kendal. We went for dinner with them and I saw a different side of him. It’s always weird seeing your partner around others for the first time, like breaking the 4th wall. We again, drank all the gin (they had a copious supply of homemade liquor) and got onto politics and American football. I just sat back and listened, proud and interested. Hearing things I’d never knew he felt. I’ve never found someone so comfortable to talk to friends and family independently of me. I could leave him with them and not worry he’d be too shy, uncomfortable or…. Rude. I need my partner to be their own person who I can admire from the other side of the room, secretly knowing they’re my person. I don’t want them clinging to my skirts and letting me talk for them, or them for me. The way he described his morals to my old friends (both my parents age), made me smile, sat slightly back from him at the dinner table, observing and happy, joining in when I had something worth inputting. Between that night and our walks in the hills, it was perfect.
I doubt he felt so strongly. It was probably just standard for him. I’ve felt that all the way through…that the feeling wasn’t entirely mutual.
He was just so up for doing anything new. Perhaps it’s American enthusiasm but it never slows, his constant pep and happiness to learn and get involved. Wanna help me at the allotment? HELL YES. Wanna walk up a massive hill? Yup. I’ll never know if it’s his feminism or the way he was brought up but he seems incapable of getting angry at me. You know sometimes you just want someone to shout? He just won’t. He’s always been complimentary with a touch of honesty, telling me what he likes instead of the droll ‘yes dear you look nice’. I guess my wonder at such simple things speaks wonders about men I’ve dated before…
With it all going so well I asked him not to hurt me because I knew, after all that had happened in the last few years, I couldn’t take it. He asked the same. Neither of us had planned to date someone so seriously, either of us. You can’t plan this stuff I guess.
I suppose I should have known that a relationship that starts so intensely is destined to end as such.
We are close friends and always will be, I have faith in that.