Monday, 29 October 2012



They’d only just met, and he was moving away.

It was just one of those things.

Their circles of friends had only recently overlapped sufficiently, and he’d had this opportunity, which he couldn’t really – and so on.

So they were saying goodbye, without knowing what they’d be missing, if anything.

“Another one that got away,” she thought, a little drunk, a little wistful, filing him away in some mental space, to be taken out and contemplated at a later date.

The party was ending. She got up from where she’d slumped (how bohemian) on the floor, between piles of books and CDs – his things, half packed.

“It’s been good,” and “I’ll be back, I’m sure”, and a hug, close, lingering, somehow satisfying, but still not solving anything (it seemed to say lots of things, but how many, she wondered, were her own invention?) and that, was that.

The Strand

At 47 he’d never looked better, but neither of them knew it.

He avoided thinking about age, if he could, and she – well, she’d only just met him, and she hadn’t really thought too much about how he looked, either now or before.

She asked what he did, and for some reason he just said, obscurely, “I work on the Strand.” And for some reason, she just nodded and smiled, as if that was an answer.

Her eyes drifted but her smile stayed, and they moved on through the conventional round of first-meeting questions.

But afterwards, she came back to that phrase, and thought, how strange. What a strange thing to say, and why didn’t I ask what he meant? I suppose, she concluded, I didn’t really care.


She seemed to go to a lot of parties. At least, she had a lot of stories that started, ‘I met this person at a party…’

And she laughed a lot, more than most people, but she didn’t seem happy. Even when she was laughing she seemed somehow sad – especially when she was laughing, perhaps.

He realised she’d never looked him full in the eyes, or at least that was the impression she gave. 

As if her eyes, and her mind, were always somewhere else, even in the middle of laughing, or telling one of these stories about the people she met at all these parties.