So, I was thinking; am I that predictable? And the answer must be; yeah, you are, a bit. Maybe a lot. At least more than you think you are. And possibly a bit more than that as well.
Sitting on the sofa with Clare, more on her in a bit, and we’re just recovering from a session of howling around at a shared joke when, in that silent gap between the event finishing and a new one starting I was about to turn round to her, catch her eye, and say… “so-oh…?” But she beat me to it and a beat before I said it she goes; “So-oh!” she was rolling with laughter at her insight. She knew she'd got me. I turned away and sighed to myself thinking “am I really that predictable?”
I spend most of my time trying not to be predictable; to be original and spontaneous but, alas, to no avail. Someone who has only known me a few months can anticipate what I’m about to say and say it before I do.
She’s a smart one.
I met her at a party of a mutual friend of ours called Carol. It was just before Christmas 06, December the 14th actually, and the party was at its fag end. That nearly finished moment when all that are left are either very drunk, asleep or fending off the predators, or in fact picking up the predators. Or even the predators picking each other up. Can there be anything more fun than predating a predator? Or maybe it was just a few lonely drunk people pairing off. Maybe Clare and I were like that?
Clare wasn’t like that at all actually.
I’d already known her for a few years. Seen her around. Whitstable art scene. Talented people. Even started to get to know her a bit. I liked her but she was one of those people forever surrounded by her gaggle of beautiful art chums and I’d felt that I couldn’t get near her. I’m a lazy fucker anyway and didn’t even bother to try if I’m honest. Why should I work hard for something I don't even know I want? Everything usually comes to me if I wait long enough. Or doesn’t. Doesn't matter anyway. I can always use it to beat myself up with if it doesn't work. Or maybe its related to my deep seated insecurities and fear of rejection, nurtured by my unconscious throughout my tormented childhood, that prevented me from approaching her. I prefer to be the rejecting one if there is a choice. Besides that Whitstable “art set”; weren’t they all a bit aloof?
So, I’m sitting around pondering the meaning of my insubstantial experience when this woman, dressed in fancy dress as a knife throwers assistant, complete with board target strapped to her back and fake rubber knives sticking out of it, plonks herself down on my knee and says,
“Hi Paul.” She looks me straight in the eye, her eyes sparkling with light, “I’ve liked you for two years…”
“Really? I’ve liked you since that party at Tea and Times when you were dressed up as a Goth.”
“Yeah, that was my birthday party.”
“I know, you seemed to be enjoying yourself so much I forgot to come up to you and tell how, er, Gothic you looked.”
“Well, I’m here now…”
“I don’t normally do things like this…” I began.
“Neither do I…” she replied.
We both smiled and both knew at that moment that this could be the start of something that might last the rest of the evening...