Saturday, 1 October 2005

What Spinsters Are For

A couple of weeks ago, I received one of those emails I get from time to time offering free tickets for recordings of TV shows. I have been to several recordings already and it is usually good fun. And anyway it is a free night out. This time, the offer was for a Channel 4 satirical show; the excellent and well informed Bremner, Bird and Fortune. Knowing that he would probably be interested too, I had invited Slightly Lost and had requested two tickets.

The big day was yesterday. Earlier I had sent an email to Slightly to decide on the contingencies of our meeting. He replied by telling me he had received an email from IP, the guy he currently sort of goes out with, saying he had had a bad news at work, was feeling sad and wanted to see him. Slightly said he did not like that sort of situation, that he did not know what to do but that whatever he did it would be wrong. I helpfully replied that indeed it probably would be. I followed this by a jocular email entitled: “this might help… not”, which went like this:

your options for tonight:

A tell IP that you'd rather go and have a laugh courtesy of the BBC than listen to him moaning about his miserable life

B tell me to f off because IP lets you snog him when I would refuse to do that and he has a nicer flat anyway

C go out and find new friends

D stay home and shag your bike

thought that might help you ;O)

To which he replied in the same tone:

"IT DOES !!!!!!

OK, I want to do A, but can't really, D is next favourite option but (need name for bike?) says no sex before a race, C is probably the safest option as it has better long term prospects.

But am going to probably go with B if thats ok? Sorry, its nothing to do with him being very down at the moment, or loosing his job or that his flat mate has started doing drugs. It's simply I can snog IP and your too frigid."

I told him to have fun and, when he repeated he was sorry, I added that he should not worry, that it is what spinsters are for.

After a false start, thinking it was five when it was only four, I made my way across South West London to the theatre. While travelling, I could not help but notice not for the first time that people seem to be somehow better looking in richer areas of the city. I have been to other recordings before, so I knew I had to get there early to get a seat. There was already queue when I got there however, even though the bus journey had been much shorter than announced by TFL’s Journey Planner. After a while the doors opened and we slowly filed in. I found myself in a reasonably good seat towards the middle in the last row and got ready to enjoy the show…

After a while the stewards directing the audience to their seats (as always according to arcane and seemingly illogical rules) started to direct people to the area I was seated in again. Despite my recent resolutions of trying not to pay attention to strange men any more, I could not help but noticed the man who found himself seated next to me (in the seat Slightly would have occupied). I started to tingle all over with contained excitement and apprehension. He was in his late twenties, about my height, with short black hair and dark-brown eyes. I could not really tell but he seemed stocky but svelte, in the way a rugby player can be.

I started looking around myself more intently, ostensibly to see what was happening but in reality trying to surreptitiously catch a glimpse of him. First I managed to see his hands which looked soft and powerful at the same time. After another trial, I managed to see more of his face. At the same moment, he turned and our eyes met. He smiled at me!!!! Shock! Horror! I suddenly felt that my hands required all my attention; my face burning with was would, in other people, be a blush.

It wasn’t long however before I tried to look at him again. In the meantime the comedian employed to warm up the audience, had started his banter and we were all laughing. I just had time to noticed my neighbour’s beautiful dimpled smile before he actually talked to me. To be honest I was too flustered to remember what he said but it was probably some comment about a joke we had just heard. I think I tried to reply more or less wittily and stared right in front of me, seemingly finding great interest in the nape of the woman in front of me. After a while, and several deep breaths, I had managed to calm down and we slowly started a whispered conversation. Soon the recording started and we had to shut up but are knees kept the dialogue going all along. On the way out, my handsome stranger asked for my phone number…

This is how things would have happened if I was pursuing a different life than my own. In truth, nothing whatsoever happened tonight. I found myself seated between a young woman, there with her friend and a older man in his late sixties. Neither paid the slightest attention to me. I spend the whole evening in complete anonymity, and invisibility it seemed; later, as I was waiting for a bus at Hyde Park Corner, even enjoying the familiar thought that no one knew where I was. The show, as expected, was quite fun and made a few powerful points about the current political situation in the US and the so-called “War on Terror”,TM.

Often, before going somewhere I indulge in the type of fantasies I have described above, although perhaps not is so many details. Call me Barbara, if you want. These thoughts are usually followed by the superstitious idea that, precisely because I have imagined that something would happen, nothing will happen. I am always proven right in this respect and life never seems to rise the measly glamour it sometimes manages to take on in my imagination. I know this is, in a way, living by proxy but it allows me to forget the lack of things to forget and deludes me into carrying on slightly less mournfully.

That’s what spinsters are for.

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1 comment:

  1. Well is it because you just dream or is it because you think that dreams never come true? The most weird things can happen when you don't expect them and can be even more "dramatic" that your most dreamy dreams ever.
    Dreaming never hurt anybody :) On the contrary, if we weren't "ashamed" of our dreams this world would be a lot better... A dream?


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