“You haven’t written a blog for ages” they said.
“I’ve nothing to write about” said I. “It’s not a block, there’s just nothing happened that has inspired me”.
“Make it up” they said. “We like your blogs”.
(I think they may have been exaggerating)
“You tell me what you want” I retorted with some mirth “and I’ll write it, go on. Anything you like”.
A debate ensued. Maybe about the time spent at war in a foreign country? Far too full of risk and open to misinterpretation. A trip somewhere ridiculous? A love story? “Write us a story of love and lust in the modern age Robby. That should test your mettle”.
I think I should begin with the disclaimer that the above “Bugger” is an exclamation of dismay rather than part of the love story. Here goes…
How does it all start? The young have it easy. They are beautiful and free of spirit. They mingle and conjoin with abandon and the broken heart is healed as soon as the next pretty face is in sight. My love story can’t be about them. The young know everything about love. It is the one true aspect of life where they have more experience than the generation before them. So it always will be. The youth have the internet, the youth have Tinder and the youth have bravado. The older one gets the less one understands. How can an oldie fall in love?
Where shall we go? The pubs are loud and full of Sky sports. “grab your coat, you’ve pulled” is less appealing when the sound of your voice is drowned by an inane commentary and the beery cheers of fellow patrons. The nightclub a dark and heaving mass of thumping beats and pulsating hormones. The sweet and sticky aroma of Vodka Red bull bodes ill for romance. The gym drips with energy of the wrong kind. Who could fall in love in a gym? A brief lust perhaps but love? It’s not going to happen.
Let us follow the example of our Mediterranean cousins. Let us visit the coffee shop. That must be the place to go. We can converse across a cappuccino and slowly simmer with a skinny latte.
Now where do we start? “Nice hat”, “Nice shoes”, “Your dog has just peed on me”. I guess they will all do. “Excuse me madam. You have the most bewitching eyes in Christendom and you lips were formed purely to be kissed by me” probably isn’t going to swing it whilst you are waiting for the cry of “Americano for Robby”. We should save that for later.
So we have met. Our gaze has locked and there’s a flutter of hand contact in and around the spillage and empty sugar sachets. You’ve pretended it was an accident. The mouth apologises, the eyes do not. We’re stepping in the right direction but there is still the unspoken words.
This is the sliding doors moment. “Would you…”. “Would you pass me a napkin please? I seem to have dribbled”. “Would you care to take a walk with me? I adore you”. “Would you…”.
Those ten words are going to change the shape of your life forever.
Take the napkin and life goes on. Nothing changes and nothing is bad. Time goes by and you perhaps occasionally look back fondly at the brief encounter.
Take the walk and life goes on. Everything changes and nothing is bad. Your stomach flips and never settles. Your head will be in disarray for eternity and you will smile. Forever.
Will that do? Not exactly a love story but perhaps a story of love.