Friday, 14 September 2007
There's really no way to start this one without use of a cliche. I've tried, believe me, but I suppose cliches are cliches because they've been true in the past and remain so today. So let's dive right in with how I met the writer. It really was a cold winter's morning, there really was a biting frost in the air, and she really did stand out from the crowd.
What the cliches can't tell you, however, because they weren't there, is that she stood out because of the god-awful purple fuzzy sweater she was wearing. You know how some sweaters are made of a wool slightly more more fuzzy than regular wool? I don't know the name for it, but it's just... fuzzy! Add to this a green beret and bright yellow gloves... yep, she stood out alright.
That was the first time I saw her. In all honesty, I may have seen her before then but this was the first time I noticed her. And for that I thank the purple fuzzy sweater.
The first time we actually met was down to me being a klutz. I had a study period and so did she, so there we were, both alone and completely unaware in a near empty cafeteria. I got some coffee and spilled it on my hand, so whilst heading back to my empty table and looking at my hand I crashed straight into her and emptied the remainder of my beverage over her arm. It was an ice-breaker, to say the least.
I don't want to reveal too much detail on this life (there'll be others for that), as some memories still warm you like an extra blanket on a sudden crisp night, and when you share them it's no longer just yours. I don't think I'm ready to lose that feeling about her. Yet. I will say this; she was a journalism student, and wrote many pieces for local publications (even she said "to call them newspapers is a stretch"). In fact, it was she that got me interested in reading, and later writing. Before her, I'd been a strictly TV/movie guy. She changed that, showing me that written word could muster any world or emotion the mind is capable of, regardless of ad breaks or budget. So I stuck at it.
I certainly could never claim to have such prowess of the craft to induce these things, nor did I ever reach the standard of her work. She had a way of lifting a phrase off a page and letting it get into your blood... her friends used to joke if you could get past her first two sentences without being entranced you're either a zombie or dead (I always thought it best not to point out that those two conditions are essentially the same).
Of all my lives, she'll be the one I miss the most. For everything; her poise, her noisy way of eating soup, the way she'd bring a book and mag light to the movies in case the film was terrible... that stupid purple sweater...
Sunday, 26 August 2007
We met when I was 17 years old. Quite old for a first love, I admit, but although I'd dated girls before that she was the first one I can claim I loved. And certainly the first one to love me back.
I had joined a local theatre company as a way to find something constructive to do with my spare time; I was never interested/good at sports of any kind and the Internet hadn't been invented yet. I showed up for our first rehearsal at the community theatre half an hour early (I was worried about being late) and a ballet recital was just finishing their practise.
There she was. Her grace and poise captivated me as she seemed to glide across the stage. It was effortless, and beautiful. I had never seen a creature of such art coming from their soul. Right at that moment, I made it my promise to myself that I would get to know this woman.
Our affair was brief but seemed (in my memory, at least) to last forever. She was all I had ever wanted, and I was in no way worthy of such a gift as her. And while I tried my hardest to please her, I think I somehow knew all along that I was a stopgap, nothing more than a handy resting place on her ascent to her true love. And, if I'm honest, that suited me fine, as just being with her was reward enough.
She used to stroke my face with a gentle power that made me quiver. She would say such mundane things, that drove me mad and made me adore her more at the same time. She used to roll her newly washed socks into balls to avoid getting odd pairs. After getting drunk she would sleep all day, refusing to move even at 3pm. She loved Garfield.
It was a lifetime ago, and I hope she found someone that made her truly happy. But it's those things I miss.