Baggage Reclaim

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wigan2Rush hour at Euston station: not my usual habitat. I’d attended a dance class the night before in Angel and, distracted by the attentions of my favourite partner, had left without my favourite cardigan. So I was on a mission to reclaim it.

He comes through the same entrance that I did. Seeing me he does an odd little pivot, diverting his course in my direction.

‘That was very… something,’ I say, laughing.

He smiles. We exchange greetings.

‘You’ve been getting around a lot lately!’ I say, immediately regretting my turn of phrase.

He’d messaged me in January, saying he owed me dinner and asking when I was around. I’d learnt he’d recently spent time in India, Scotland and the north of England. And when I’d seen him in the autumn, he’d been on the brink of leaving for Japan.

‘Yes,’ he says, ‘I’ve been to Wigan today.’

I laugh. ‘That’s not quite what I meant!’

He doesn’t say anything, only smiles.

‘But OK, how was Wigan?’

The train comes; as we board, he tells me about Wigan. I listen, half-smiling, to his wry, intelligent words.

After letting him know I was around in February – and resisting the urge to specify the 14th – I’d heard nothing further from the man.

The train pulls into the platform at Angel.

‘See you soon,’ I say, as the doors open.

‘See you soon.’

We both know what that means.

CC Image courtesy of notmydayjobphotography on Flickr

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Little things

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CC Image courtesy of Pensiero on FlickrIt was such a little thing

When you came and sat beside me

But I felt safe

And quiet

And like I didn’t have to speak

You didn’t speak

At first

Only smiled

A small, secretive smile

And stole a glance

 

Your question

When it came

Was simple and kind

My mind a mess with yes and no

And everything in between

You could have made me feel small

And low

 

At the end of the evening

I went out onto the balcony

And found you there

Two empty chairs

I took the one to my left

And saw your mouth twitch

CC Image courtesy of NCM3 on Flickr

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Killing Me Softly

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This Friday perhaps? CC Image courtesy of Ani-Bee on Flickr

I hesitate, about to hit send.  Something’s niggling.  Friday, Friday…  I let it go, the niggle, and the email, out into cyberspace.

*

Time Out?’

‘Thanks.’

Colleague chucks the magazine across the desk.  I open it to be confronted by a sea of red.

‘What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?’ I say.

Colleague makes a pained sound.

I laugh.  ‘Aside from slowly killing yourself?!’

She’s got a family birthday party.  It sounds like fun.

‘Oops.’

‘What?’

I pull a face.  ‘I’ve just realized – I suggested doing something on Friday to someone.  But it’s fine, he won’t get the wrong idea.’

I say a little prayer that Editor will overlook my suggestion, and plump instead for a night the following week.  When, over dinner, he will ask how the blog is going (code for ‘how is your barren, featureless desert of a love life?’), before remarking that it can’t be going all that well since I suggested we do this on Valentine’s Day.

CC Image courtesy of juggzy_malone on Flickr

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Valentine’s Day Post

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‘Did you get my card?’CC Image courtesy of paulinel1 on Flickr

I do a double take. Does he know what day it is? Of course he does; it’s his party. He’s spent the afternoon blitzing beetroot to make a dip in keeping with the colour theme. Which is red.

‘€˜Er card?’ I say.

‘Well – letter.’

Thank you letter. I only know two men who write thank you letters; and for three hundred and sixty-four days of the year, I’m thrilled to receive them.

‘Oh. No, not yet.’

‘That’s odd,’ he says.

I laugh. ‘€˜It had better not arrive today!’

He looks hurt and confused. I remove a fleck of beetroot from his hair. Perhaps he doesn’€™t know what day it is.

CC Image courtesy of cynicalview on Flickr

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

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A New Leaf

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CC Image courtesy of freefotouk on Flickr1. I will not do a repeat of Joe or Toby (though hopefully will do other men in the course of the year, one at least).

2. I will find a fulfilling, real job which leaves me with enough time to write, and then…

3. I will get published!  Yay!

Back in the real world…

4. I will resume going for 45-minute runs at least 3 times a week, if only because I can’t a) afford the commute, or b) figure out how to cycle without getting damp patches on my bottom.

(Bored of real world.)

5. I will eat 50g chocolate MAX (I won’t do a repeat of Max either) on a daily basis.

6. I will not pursue men, esp. at speed (cf. running resolution) on Valentine’s Day.  Don’t ask.

7. I will learn to complete tasks, such as the above.

Come fly with MBE in 2013!

And remember, it’s not about the journey, it’s about the packed lunch (not a euphemism).

CC Image courtesy of cursedthing on Flickr

HAPPY NEW YEAR!