Saturday, August 26, 2006

Wrap me up now, I'm untied again

Wrap me up now, I'm untied again

We walk into the resturant with D holding my hand as I try my damnedest to slink to the back of our group hoping that being a short-arse is, for once, going to pay off. I have no such luck though, the group seems to magically part in front of me and N looks me in the eye.

Before I say hello, before anyone says anything, I can't help it as the words fall out as N's eyes burn through me and I see something I'm not sure I like.

"Don't look at me like that"

We break eye contact.

"We've come for our money and [C] said that you'd pay Corinne"

Even I laugh as the tension is cut and N holds out a pound coin to me.

"I don't think so".

N starts filling in his petty cash book. And starts to count money.

"Of everyone on this tour I expected this of you least"

"Of everyone?"

"Well, maybe not some of the bible bashers we had in Edinburgh".

"So, the bible bashers and then me?"

"Yes."

And N proceeds to tell me what I already know. What I already knew long before the events of the past fortnight but which in the surroundings of Wagamama come out harsh and ragged. Known facts that I haven't processed, haven't put into lines. Facts outside the cosy world of Kirkstall Abbey Shakespeare that we'd carved. And whilst I protest, it's a half hearted protest because I can see dissapointment reflected in N's eyes as he mentally writes a letter of protest quoting the Trade Descriptions Act. And I'll give him something, he knows how to pierce the armour that seems to have become more and more shaky by the second. Because what is worse - that I was lied to by ommission, or that I knew and still went through with it?

"You're no better than [-]"

I splutter. This was different. Our situation was different. I didn't set out with such careless abandon. But for the first time it's no longer a joke. I can think of few things as profoundly unfunny as the words that dangle in front of me. Because it's all a logical culimination of the way I've chosen to live my life, the beliefs I've chosen, the things I've joked about over the past few years. It had that air of inevitability to it that made it seem perfectly, totally, right. But not right to N.

And I know I don't want to have this conversation here amongst the sanitised white tables of a sushi restuarant. I don't want to have this conversation with N who thinks he understands me but never really did. Because there's nothing that either of us can say to stop the gulf widening between us. And, worst of all, I have the overwhelming sense that if this continues I will cry. Instead I try to sort out some twisted financial arrangements, during which the fact that I vomitted in the 4* hotel emerges.

"You make a good couple - you both vomit in rooms that don't belong to you".

It's deadpan. Fact. But it's a fucking brilliant metaphor and we all know it. N looks up at me.

"Don't look at me like that".

N keeps looking. D takes my hand again and ushers me out. A muffled goodbye comes out as I turn and walk out of the whitewashed room to the grime of the Leeds street.

From here I'm frogmarched to Accessorize where, on orders, I buy a ridiculously expensive umbrella. It's beautiful, I can't deny it. But the creeping experience of a feeling I've never really had before, of something that seems in the last few minutes to have seeped through my clothes and left me cold is still present. And as much as I thought I'd steeled myself for this, thought I was totally in control and knew the expected outcome - it still sticks in the throat.

And the worst thing? The knawing realisation that the feeling most likely isn't mutual.

1 comment:

cat said...

don't really understand much else, but I do love the title.

hugs, and trinkety shiny beaded things of joy and distraction, Cx