Saturday, 8 October 2016

A Recollection Come to Visit.

For some unknown reason, today I started thinking about a woman I lived with for three years when I was in my mid-twenties. (Actually, it would probably be truer to say that we lived together for about six months. For the next two and half years we lived in the same house.)

I suppose the most interesting thing about her is that of the five women I lived with during my life, she was the only one I never saw or heard from after she left. I drove her to work one morning, said goodbye, and never saw hide nor hair of her again.

(Isn’t that a splendid expression? ‘Never saw hide nor hair…’ Mmm. Gramatically incorrect, but doubly alliterative. Nice one, and it isn't even of my coining.)

I saw plenty of both her hide and her hair when we lived together. Her hair was a very fetching shade of deep auburn and, as you might imagine, I saw every square inch of her hide frequently. Except, that is, the hide on her face. She kept it hidden (great pun) under make-up. In three years I never saw her face without make-up. She was very vain, or maybe insecure, or both.)

I wouldn’t waste my time telling the story of our relationship here, of course. It contains a lot that is personal, even more that is less than edifying, and I don’t see why anybody would be interested anyway. Suffice it to say that it’s the closest I ever came to playing a leading role in a Shakespearian tragedy. It had infidelity, intrigue, high passion, deceit, threats, two suicide attempts, one hysterical coma, tears aplenty, the metaphorical slaughter of innocents, and multiple levels of betrayal.

And now, all these years on, I’m wondering whatever happened to her. When she left she said she had another man to go to. Did she? I never checked. Did she succeed with him where she failed with me, or did she consign herself to a life of self-ministration? And what of her career? Did that prosper? And what of her body, which was very splendidly formed and of which she was rightly proud? Is it growing dry and stiff now, visiting aches and twinges upon her when she puts this leg here or that arm there? As for her face, well. I doubt it’s improved any more than mine has, so does she hide it with even more make-up or has she given up now? And then there’s her lifestyle, and her state of mind… I could go on. I just wonder, for some unknown reason.

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