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Verbum Est On:2005-01-20 05:53:54

I vaguely remember seeing an old manuscript in (I think) Balliol's library (or, wait a minute... was it in the Bodlian?'s just too long ago to remember exactly---in fact it seems so long ago that I fancy that when I saw it its ink was probably only just about dry, though they wisely didn't offer me the opportunity to test my radical hypothesis): anyway, ...anyway wherever the bloody thing was it contained that famous macaronic poem from the later fifteenth century, you know the one, the one with the refrain "Of alle creatures women be best / Cuius contrarium verbum est"! And, you know after the last couple of weeks wildness I've started to think that those old misogynistical monkish buggers who presumably wrote the thing might just have had a point in there---I mean one beyond the fact that they got their jollies from refusing to teach Latin to girls.

You see over the course of the last few weeks I have gained, and then again promptly lost what I suppose constitutes, at least in the context of my somewhat constrained existence, what could almost be called a ...a girlfriend.

Now perhaps I should explain, and give you that sort of background info stuff that other people seem to find so surprisingly interesting, so, I should explain that for the last, Oh! I don't know, five or so years I haven't really come within spitting distance of a woman (at least partly, I suppose, out of fear that if I did she would spit at me like the last one did), you know the famous 'triumph of experience over hope' sort of thing, when suddenly, as I say a few weeks ago, while I was busily engaged in doing something entirely different and not paying any attention at all to my surroundings, ...there I found myself in what looked and felt surprisingly like ...a relationship with a rather attractive one, and one who didn't seem to be spitting at me or, in fact, doing anything experiential or unhopeful. Well of course in the surprise and all the excitement I completely lost my head, I mean to be honest this came about as close to losing my virginity as it possibly could for a guy who's been married and has fathered five children. I mean there was the inevitable wild monkey sex (which is sooo great, ...well it is if you do ever manage to find a wild monkey down in Texas) but then there were other more subtle facets of the thing, which I suppose I really was starting to think of as "a Relationship": the hand-holding, and the silliness, and the overwhelming desire to travel by train (by the way this tendency towards train-related activity with the object of desire is almost certainly the one true defining characteristic of true romance), even, ...even, at its worst (and as I'm almost ashamed to admit), traveling by train whilst being silly and holding hands.

It was all very strange and not at all what I had planned to be doing.
And it was, as I hinted above, absolutely wonderful: but---Hey!--- reality check here (1, 2, 3 does this hurt? Testing. Testing. 1, 2, 3 does this hurt?) this is ME we are talking about.

So she dumped me.


Of course I do have trust issues, or more properly I have knowing-what-the-hell-is-going-on issues, but even allowing for that, this was very confusing because I did get the original dump-o-gram (with the welling of her tears and the solicitations after my well-being and the suggestions about doing things with her friends---which we all know is just doubleXese for "but not with me"---and the final hug and smoochy and I considered myself well and truly dumped). But then, then she issued a retraction (and not merely through the usual unnamed governmental source) but even then-er an astonishingly short time later she ...just more-or-less vanished and never again replied to any of my phone calls.

I'd like to think that she found herself in a place in her life where she needed to concentrate on herself and, co-incidentally, I'd found myself in a place where I needed to concentrate on her too but that strangely those two places were not as compatible as they might seem to be to the casual observer. Though if we consider for a moment my trajectory from my usual fairly constant state of base-line, non-specific, low-grade quasi-unhappines up that steep slope to the pinnacle of ecstasy and thence, maintaining my new equilibrium of joy for but a moment, plunging over the craggy precipice of rejection to abject misery you won't be surprised that I still keep looking for Miss Havisham's hand in this.

Cheerio for now
Richard Howland-Bolton

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