I met a friend today from another life. I hadn’t seen her in over 15 years and there she was in the café with a new addition, her 4-year-old son, George. She looked exactly the same..well better actually then she had back then. Tall and willowy, she had the same humour and gentleness and it was quite wonderful to see her but with her she bought a slew of names and memories that quite overwhelmed me. All those people we were at university with…all the friends we knew together in the early 90’s…including my ex fiancée who is still a close friend to her and her husband. He is alive. He even learnt French. He got married…he got divorced. For some reason this all makes me feel a little anxious. I loved him very much and he hurt me very much and it was all a long, long time ago and buried …and now.. …he learnt French???? Holy shit…. Life is bananas.
On the way home musing happily over our four-hour lunch, I made a mistake with my cane.. It was very dark and I misjudged the pavement and stepped out into the road just as an idiot in a Mazda blasted around the corner. ( I am not sure if it WAS a Mazda, but it felt cornered like one). I shrieked and just managed to twist my body and feet away but the metal brushed my coat. It drove away with all my confidence and joyfulness. I was less then a minute from my front door and as I stumbled into the house the phone rang and it was my aunt.. We talked Christmas nonsense for a few minutes and then, just as she was saying goodbye, I realised my hands were still shaking. ‘I was nearly run over’ I said. There was a confused pause..we don’t talk this way to each other. ‘Yes well…’nearly’ doesn’t count does it?’ she said and hung up. I sat for a while letting the anger ebb away and grasping harder to my aloneness. Hanging onto it with both my fists so I won’t cry. No one needs to know, no one needs to know, no one wants to know….….After 20 minutes or so my hands have stopped shaking. In the quiet of my flat I think about my ex. ‘Nearly’ doesn’t count apparently.