Monday, 11 August 2014

Life and the Long Term Relationship.

A bit more self-indulgence if I may:

It would be hard to describe what this song meant to me at one time in my life. It was one of those ‘Our Songs.’ You know what I mean.

It was just after Christmas 1984, and I’d made my decision. She was the one. I went to the office one morning, desperate to call her and say ‘I’ve decided. Can we go away together?’ But I was scheduled to be out and about with two colleagues that day, and as the morning progressed I became more and more desperate. At lunchtime I saw a phone box and stopped the car. My colleagues were bemused, but they weren’t privy to my secret. I got out and rang her number. No reply. The disappointment was so intense that it turned the heat down on the situation and we never did get together.

It must have been at least five years later that I went to lunch with her one day, and – for the first time, oddly – told her about the phone call.

‘I was in a bad way that Christmas,’ she said. ‘If I’d picked up the phone, I would have said yes.’

So there you have it – how the road you travel can depend on whether somebody was at home to take a phone call on one day in the course of a life.

It leads to obvious questions:

1. If she’d picked up the phone, would I be in a different place now? Physically, yes, but in myself? Probably not. I’ve always been terribly independent in the matter of who I am.

2. Is this a case of the missed great love, or simply a missed episode which would have been merely a variation on all the others? I suspect it’s the latter.

About ten years after I told her about the abortive phone call, I bumped into her in the city centre one day. She said:

‘You know, whenever I’m in trouble – struggling with something – I still have imaginary conversations with you. I always wonder what you would have said to me. I even think I’d like to call you sometimes.’

I gave her my phone number, in case she ever felt the need. She never did and I never saw her again. Is that romantic, or just life? Does it matter? And why think about it today? I have no idea.

Back to the present, and a little sanity: aren't the people in the chorus at the end of the video excruciatingly beautiful?

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