If I ever get to heaven

I stumbled across a diary last night that predates this blog. It covered the period roughly from 2001 – 2004 and I was horrified – and fascinated – to read it.

Initially I read my words and didn’t like the person there. He  seemed self-indulgent, surprisingly immature, a little cocky, and occasionally oblivious to things he should have known better about. I cut some slack for the fact of it being a proper diary – instead of a blog – written solely for myself and never intended for external reading. You write differently then, and self-indulgence is just about the raison d’etre. Still, I felt a tad disappointed.

As I read many familiar times came back to me, some I had just about forgotten, some still fresh. What surprised me was how much I had forgotten altogether, and even more the things I couldn’t recall even with the prompt of the diary. I did that? Really? With whom?

The last part seemed particularly apt. Man, did I go through girls. Some I remembered, and some fondly. But there were quite a lot I have no recollection of. There seemed a procession of different names, or nicknames, sprinkled week after week of the 3 years the diary covers, dozens of them – and they’re just the ones I wrote of. At times there are gaps of weeks, sometimes months, in the record. It was strange and somewhat galling to read.

I lay in bed afterwards and acknowledged that over the years there have been hundreds of women in my life in some capacity. They say that when you die that your life flashes before your eyes – well I reckon I’ll see the faces of all these girls. I’m pretty sure come the time I knock on the pearly gates there’ll be a pop quiz before they let me in. Do you remember this girl? Why did you do that? Do you have any regrets? Why did you say/do that to her?

In truth I felt some shame. I always consider myself a decent person, but know there have been moments that I’ve acted pretty shabbily. I guess that’s odds-on when there are so many, but still inexcusable. You don’t mean to, but it seems often it is easier to do the shabby thing than to do the right thing. No defence, but in general those occasions were rare – and I remember them.

I don’t see anywhere near as many women these days, and perhaps because this is a public record I rarely write of them in any case. It feels a little odd to be writing this after the preceding post. I am a romantic, I yearn, I think, to love deeply, to express myself without hesitation. And perhaps that is what I was searching for in the eyes of all these women, that holy grail (honestly though, I had eyes on other parts of them to). Reality is that romantic as I may be, there’s always been a strongly pragmatic streak when it comes to women: if I can’t love them, then there are always other compensations.

In the end you have to put your hand up for what you’ve done and who you’ve been. I don’t want to make myself out as an ogre – there is plenty in the diaries that is good, is idealistic, and often naiive – but I can’t resile from the fact for for a while hot dinners and women ran a close race in my life.

Wikipedia: surprise definition: an attack made without warning.

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