Friday, November 07, 2008

Nought to Sixty and Back Again

As we walk in the direction of the train station, I casually mention that she’s welcome to stay at mine.
"The tubes will have stopped running by the time you get back to London, and a bus could take ages to get you across town."
"No, I don’t think so, I’m not sure that’d be a good idea."
The penny drops and I cringe inwardly. And probably a bit outwardly too.
"I didn’t mean… you know. There’s a spare room, I’d give you a lift in the morning. I’m just thinking, you know, of sparing you the early hours mentalist-bus run."
"No, I can’t. Stuff will happen."
"It won’t. I’ll be good. Different rooms, straight to sleep, the lot."
"No, stuff will happen."
"Seriously I promise, best behaviour and all of that."
"No, I don’t think you understand. If I stay at yours, I’m saying we will have sex. It’s maybe not got as much to do with you as you think it does. If you stay in a separate room, I’ll just come and seek you out."
"Oh," I say, the penny dropping a second time, this time in super slow motion.
"And then we’d be different," she continued. "I like the way we are; we meet occasionally and you ask about who I’m going out with, and mercilessly dissect and criticise all that they are based on the smallest bits of information I provide, and then a few months later when I’ve split up with them I see you again, and can rely on you entirely to voice total astonishment and outrage at how I claim to have been treated. I like that."
"You know, before you go on with that chain of thought," I say, cutting in and talking fast. "May I just flag up I’m not actually that big a fan of this whole dynamic you describe. I think it’s hugely overrated as a conceptual framework for our relationship."
We’d arrived at the station by now, and she smiled and shook her head.
"In all honesty," I say. "On reflection, this whole friendship? Totally. Willing. To sacrifice it. Sell that badboy down the river in a flash."
"I really, really want to," she groans, leaning her head on my shoulder. "But I think it would change things."
"Things! You value things too much," I scoff. "And I’m not too crazy on this thinking you do either."
Her train pulls into the station and she gets on, and sits down. Any minute now, I think to myself, she’ll change her mind and get off. Any minute. Now. NOW. She’ll get off. Any. Minute…
The doors beep and shut, and the train inches away.
She smiles and waves. I shake my fist and call her a rude word.


Shane said...

That's a fine post.

Perhaps a petulant 'Right, I'm going to sit here on the dirty floor and not move until you agree to come home with me', would have done the trick.

But you know what else: If that post is roughly how it really was, then things already have changed. Tick tock tick tock...

Afe said...

Your raw sexuality can only be contained for so long. You do have a certain magnetism.

Chris Cope said...

I was slow to get to this, but whole-heartedly agreed that this post is brilliant.

Huw said...

Well, as long as some good came of it...

Pearl said...

That was the best-written post I've read today.

The best post was Chris Cope's directing me here.

Two for two!


Curly said...

What was the rude word?

That's a tough situation, many of us have been there (although in my case with less eloquence, shorter sentences and probably a higher frequency of rude words).

Copying everyone else here, I'm going to say that was well written too. It was almost as though we were there!

i am not your freud said...

ex's becoming "friends" is a bad bad idea. and in this case it looks like things worked out for the best cause i don't think you'd wanna go down that road and do all the talk.

Will said...

Yes, excellent, you reminded me why I used to enjoy reading blogs in the first place.

"It was almost as though we were there!" Curly, are you hinting that YOU are in fact the anonymous subject of this post?

Lucy said...


Léonie said...

Curly, I would hazard that it would have been rather more awkward if we had all been there, waiting politely in turn to make our comments.

Excellent post. I am in awe of such willpower.

Curly said...

I'm sure we all would have backed Huw's argument if we were there, changed her mind perhaps. There's nothing like a bit of peer pressure!

C said...

ah excellent, I'd forgotton you were a good read :)