December 16, 2011 § 57 Comments
Tomorrow it is a 50th birthday party of someone I haven’t seen for 20 years or so and who was never a close friend in the first place but I liked him well enough and he has asked me and lots of people from my past. Getting there will involve a tedious schlep and I don’t really want to make the monumental physical, mental and mascara effort to go but I will because… Well, I think it’s nice that I have been asked; nice idea to have a 50th and invite a lot of people from your past. And, as they say, who knows?
Who knows…? Jack Shit. I know fine well there won’t be a husband there, there again, the woman in whose house I live had just got divorced and she moved in here with three children and went to a party and bumped into an old university friend she hadn’t seen for twenty years or so and he had never married and they fell in love and she moved out of here and they bought a fuck-off mansion and the rest is smug married history. Well, I don’t know that they are smug, that’s unfair, but if that happened to me, I’d be fucking smug, I can tell you. So fucking smug that it’s in everyone’s interests – except mine, of course – that that never happens to me. I’d become insufferable.
Anyway, that’s why I have decided to make the schlep tomorrow night, just in case, when I know fine well the case will be nothing of the sort. The case will be that I turn up on my own and spend the evening talking to a lot of middle-aged women I haven’t seen for twenty years and we’ll all tell each other how well we look, and how young we look, and it’ll all be bollocks but we’ll each choose to believe it because we have to otherwise we might as well pack it in right now. And there will be a few people who I don’t recognise but who recognise me, and vice versa, and I will drift about a bit, in the holes in the crowd, desperately searching for a station in the form of a familiar, older face who may or may not say hello so it feels all the while like very risky drifting.
And then, for want of anything else to do, or anybody else to talk to, I’ll go home and on the solitary schlep home in the dark and in the rain, my mind will almost certainly, lazily and despondently, drift to thoughts of Long Shot once more. Was he really that bad? Was his email really so disengaged?
Just because I know he is in the country at the moment. Just because there is nothing – or, rather no one – else to think about, and just because he was the latest thought.
Just because it’s Christmas and another year has passed and it feels like shit not to have anyone even to think about.