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CC Image courtesy of AJC1 on Flickr

‘Oh fuck-a-duck.’  I start to laugh.  ‘That’s fast looking like my only option!’


It began with a fairly typical exchange off the back of an email I wrote to my mother, with the slightly melodramatic subject line ‘Suicide Watch’.

‘Did you see it?’ I say.


I laugh.  She joins in.

‘I mean – really!’ I say.  ‘What – what does it take?!  Of all the subject lines!’

Eventually the laughter subsides.  I can picture my mother, sitting at the kitchen table, opening the email on the iPad she bought because she thought it was pretty.

‘O-K,’ she says, ‘I’ve read it.’

‘Yeah so… my question was… should I – no – am I entitled to any kind of… confirmation-?’


‘No.’  But my echo is more of a question.

‘Listen to me,’ she says. ‘You do not contact him.’

‘No.  No, I know.’  I laugh.  ‘Flatmate must be going soft in his dotage, cos he said different.’

‘What did he say?’

I start to tell her.  She cuts in. ‘You do nothing.  OK?’

‘Yep.  Incidentally, Redhead seems to have also forgotten I exist.  Oh fuck-a-duck.’  I start to laugh.  ‘That’s fast looking like my only option!  I’ve gotta say, my love life really is a fail!’

My mother doesn’t respond immediately.  I find the silence oddly soothing.

‘And,’ I go on, ‘I don’t think I did anything so very wrong with this last one!’

‘No, but… well, it does sound like you tend to go for guys who have got it all: funny, charming, good-looking. And… well, they’ve got jobs….’

Which makes me smile.  There’s no denying it’s part of the attraction.

‘… so what can you expect?

‘Yeah but – I think that’s just the way I paint them.  I mean, I don’t think they have got it all…’

‘Well, I don’t know, but from what you say…’

‘Hmm maybe, but I can’t help the fact they’re the guys I like!  I mean, I don’t want to spend time with guys who aren’t those things!  So, what, I’m going to be single forever?!’

‘You’re probably going to have to accept that for quite a lot of the time you’re going to be on your own.’


I look up at the building which houses my office.  In there is Tristan, the only guy I really like who hasn’t blotted his copybook of late.  He has got it all, including a girlfriend, but that doesn’t alter the fact he’s a kind of standard.  Like Max, he has the ability to light up a room.  When he walks in, people relax and smile.  The effect is almost magical.

I climb the steps leading up to the entrance. ‘Yeah, well, I don’t think I’m gonna compromise.’

This muggle wants magic.

CC Image courtesy of JD Hancock on Flickr

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