And so the ominous day comes along. Friday, October 17th, 2008. 3 p.m. Business as usual. The sun is shining out there or is it simply the knowledge that tomorrow I will be jetting off to Naples for the first time in a month? A meeting here and there swipe the morning hours away.
And then suddenly the weatherman turned evil wizard unleashes terrific thunderbolts, the entire building trembles, and heavy showers lash the windows of my ground-floor office as I read the very simple French words Laurine has written me on MSN (of all places).
Now, of course, it is still sunny outside – need I mention it? The weather only ever matches the main character’s mood in movies. Not real life. If only…
A rupture is never good. A crack is no good sign, a fault more than a tectonic phenomenon. There is no perfect break-up, only perfect make-ups when they do happen. But an MSN separation is the Grand Canyon of all rifts small and mighty. It could be worse I guess. Much like a man asked his girlfriend to marry him on Google StreetView, Laurine could have posed with a sign in Naples to letter out her desire to carry on her life without me. Thank God, Naples isn’t quite digitized yet.
NO, IT DIDN’T REALLY HAPPEN, DID IT?
From then on starts the period of denial, verbal jousts, pseudo-logical reasonings, knots in the brain, sordid calculations, phone harassments, and all for the benefit of mobile operators who reap in the cents of the rupture with their long cruel greedy clutches. Yes! Blame the Phone Operator! Go on, it feels good.
So there we are Friday Seventeenth of October 2008. It is between 5 PM and much later. I am quite in shock and am not really aware of what I’m doing. We have another meeting to close off the day’s work. But work is all in a daze. When I ask Laurine whether I should come, she merely replies ‘do as you like’. Reminds me of Mother when I wanted to do something she disapproved of.
I go out for dinner with friends – we wait for Sergio who never turns up and to top that points us to a shut restaurant. We then head out to the Galley on St Nicholas Street. A bit sordid really as I have only ever been there with Laurine. I remember Josh, Ji, and Fadi. God knows who else was there. Ah yes the Bar XIX gang.
I eventually decide to not go to Stansted. Why? The simple answer is it’s easier to stay in bed than to get up at 2 a.m. to grab a 2:30 a.m. Stansted-bound bus. The more complicated answer is in the form of a question: am I that lazy that an early bird bus puts me off from seeing the gal of my dreams? I wish I knew how to draw. I’d pencil the equation of laziness vs. flying to Italy – surely less challenging than that of Ostrogradsky.
It’s all Greek to me.
And so, over the following weeks, I ponder, wonder, chew over the previous years. I balance events, equate emotions, measure word impact, sketch out choices, calculate derivatives before integrating it all back together in a poorly knit bundle of feelings. I dream that Archimedes rings my doorbell and brings in a big papier-mâché sign spelling out Eurêka. But of course, I don’t read Greek, not to mention he was slain by the Romans: oh dear it all boils back down to them and Italy.
STORIA CONSUMENDAM EST
The hesitations & totters of my wee little brain do not end with whimsical equations that make no sense. But what happens next is in a later chapter where I get the unexpected visit from a charming young singer at my bedside. For now, here shall conclude the ramblings of a deflating heart.