About 10 years ago when I was in the middle of one of my exhausting and doomed infatuations I acquired a follower who would read my updates and make comment. I was in the thrall of a woman who had a boyfriend back home in England. I hoped I might be able to change her mind about that, and at different times it seemed almost likely.
My commenter was an unknown woman who was infatuated with a man already spoken for. We were in the same position, just a different gender, and our experiences were seemingly parallel – no surprise, for while it always seems unique to you it’s very much a cliché. In any case we formed a bond through the ups and downs of our experiences.
I never learnt her name, and never discovered how it worked out for her. Obviously it never worked out for me.
I was thinking about her the other day, quietly hoping that she might have had a happy ending to her story. I recalled her because, briefly, I reflected on that very tempestuous time of my life with something like wistful regret. I’d have preferred if at least one of those episodes had turned out right (for me), but I’m glad of the experience.
I’ve experienced different tempests in recent years, and know what I prefer. I experienced a succession of high-risk and difficult relationships with women who were all with others – 3 of them. Needless to say I was very fond of them all, and still am – though differently. It’s sort of typical of me, if not classic, that I would fall for women I was always unlikely to win.
It was an intense time of my life with great highs and desperate lows. I’m someone who doesn’t fall easy, but the other side of that is when I do fall, I fall all the way. There were great moments and occasions of soaring hope. You’re swept along like a fresh convert to a cause you previously scoffed at. Against expectation and temperament you find yourself true believer, both a little bashful and plenty joyous.
None of it worked out, but they were all fine women, and despite the misery that ultimately fell to me each time, I’m very glad for the experience, which is ultimately enriching. I miss it too. That was the moment in my life when something was poised to ‘happen’, and perhaps should have happened – I certainly wish it had. It seems certainly quiet since, but hope my chance will come again.
In reflection I realised just how many women I’ve known over the course of my life. It’s an awful lot. Don’t know what it says about me, but I’ve probably forgotten about 40% of them, and even those I remember the names are often long forgotten. I guess there have been 20-30 notable women in my life, and probably no more than 6-8 really significant.
As it happens I’ve been in contact with a couple of the friendlier ones in the last little while. After Trump’s victory I sent a message to the spy offering my commiserations. As an expat New Yorker she was greatly chastened, and firmly ensconced as an Aussie resident now. We exchanged a few fond text messages and it was nice.
Next week during my week off I’m catching up with the African for a drink. Since I last saw her she’s had a child, though there appears not be a father on the scene. I’ll get the lowdown when I meet her.
I’ve made small and unconvincing forays into the dating world recently. I had one woman the other day say “I hope you don’t mind me being blunt, but you’re very hot.” It’s part of my demeanour that I’m generally unimpressed (though privately chuffed) by such comments. I told her I didn’t mind her being blunt at all.
Which reminds me of Cup Day. I called Donna after the big race, and a friend of hers there grabbed phone upon hearing it was me. He’s a lovely guy, but very camp, and wanted to tell me that I had a natural skill with the horses that I should be doing something about. He rabbited on a bit longer, then to sign off told me that he thought I looked ‘hot’ at Donna’s birthday party way back in March. I didn’t know how to respond to that, and on this occasion opted not to. Thankfully Donna came on the line then laughing, having overheard the comment.
For the record I’m looking the best I have in years (generally – ironically much better than I did 10 years ago), but I’m by no means hot. Nice to be told though, all the same.