Tuesday, 28 September 2010
Would love to see you if in London.
That's what the text said, one wet Wednesday evening. He'd used my name, signed his name: Adam, and then there was an x. And the Adam in question was the Adam in my phone's address book. Well, I thought, that's nice but ........ who the hell is Adam?
Now, part of the joy of old age is the loss of memory. Particularly memory of more recent events. And I couldn't remember any Adam. So, I phoned a friend.
'Do you know if I know anyone called Adam?' I asked.
'No', he said.
I called a girlfriend.
'No', came the reply, 'never heard of him'.
I scoured my little black book which I never leave home without. It's full of everything: notes to self, to do lists, pictures I like, things I want, homemade monthly planners........4 years at art college not wasted ....... and finally, there it was: lunch Adam. In April I had had lunch with Adam, right between the wedding rehearsal and the wedding day of a very good friend. Still no bells were ringing. Someone with something to do with the wedding perhaps? Nope.
Several hours later it came to me. Adam: the friend of a friend, of course, my one and only blind date....... and I wasn't even blind drunk....... he lived in Notting Hill, 50, tall, full head of hair, bingo! The lunch I remembered: a pleasant enough affair, despite the lack of instant chemistry on the menu. But, I reasoned, minds need to be open, judgements corralled, there was nothing obviously awful about him and he'd suggested we do it again. Messages were left, calls returned, but we never actually made another date........ c'est la vie.
So, I was a little surprised at this text, six months later. Surprised, intrigued and most importantly....... still single. I may not look like Angelina Jolie but on a good day I scrub up OK and with the wind behind me I can still zip into a size 12. However, although I may not be so slim, pickings tend to be, as the years roll by, so after careful consideration I replied. My natural instinct was to call him, I prefer voice recognition, there is no nuance in texts and emails and I'm nothing without nuance. But, he'd texted so I texted. He'd put an x so, following his lead, I put an x. A lunch was planned for the following week, details, as ever in the modern world, to be decided on the day.......x
Come the day a dawn text arrived expressing just how much he was looking forward to lunch...... x at a place and time of my choosing........x Dashing, as I was, to a yoga class....... it's what we all do in Islington ........ I suggested he come to my hood (well I'd schlepped over to Portobello Road for him). Imagine my surprise then, after emerging from my class, stretched in both mind and body, to read: Gosh that's a bit of a hike call me x ..... I think it was the use of the word gosh by a middle-aged man after 1945, that had initiated a certain unease or maybe it was a premonition.
'I thought you were still in Thurloe Place' he said.
'No', I said, wishing I'd called him when he'd first texted me, 'Do you know who I am?'
There was a pause, quite a long pause, before he said,
'Of course I do.'
And I knew he didn't.
'You've made a mistake haven't you?' I said, wishing I hadn't spent so much time deciding what to wear.
'No, no, no,' he said.
But I knew he had.
'I didn't even know who you were, it took me hours to remember you, I had to ring not one but two friends and they didn't know who you were either, really, I can give you their numbers, and then I had to really think about whether I actually wanted to see you, I haven't thought about you once in six months, haven't even mentioned you, I only said yes because you asked me.'
..........Is what I wanted to say. But I didn't. And then he said his day was actually busier than he'd thought and that we really should get together ..... as and when ..... but he didn't have as much time as he'd like so we should speak.... as and when ...... and........ I began to realise I was being dumped before the date. And worse than that, I'd put an x and I didn't even fancy him........
Top tip: In matters of the heart voices speak louder than texts.....