Monday, February 21, 2005

Ah yes, I remember it well

As I sit here, having just had another 'chat date', I am reminded how music ties memories and feelings together in a way completely different than anything else.

Someone can tell you they had just heard some particular song, and you are instantly reminded of THAT night, when THAT happened, and THAT song was on.
I can't think of anything else that connects in quite the same way.

Like just now, when he said he was listening to 'Passengers', and did I remember that night in the library courtyard?
Not only did I instantly know the night to which he was referring, I remember the rain, and the cold, and him being grumpy with me because I insisted on going out to smoke.
We were allowed to stay in the library after hours while we went through Oscar's personal letters.
He had brought his mini CD player, I had brought my Passengers CD.

Out there, in the cold, smoking my colored Dunhills, dancing in the rain and watching him try his best to look grumpy while 'Always Forever Now' was echoing between the book stacks and out into the courtyard where a rather silly and very rain soaked American just HAD to have a ciggie.
And all he had to bring up was the album, and I knew what he was remembering.
Ah the power of song.

So this is what people do in the 21st century.
They have 'chat dates' and screw up their sleep patterns due to differences in time zones-to remember, and to flirt, and to test still waters.

You talk about normal stuff-

How was your day?

Mine-fun-went to the Fashion Institute to see the exhibit on Oscar nominated costumes and had lunch with friends.
His-productive-found out today he's been awarded a grant, and a paper he wrote on aestheticism and decadence is going to be published.
(Must read the paper ASAP)

How is the weather?

Mine-chilly and raining-
His-cold and rainy with some snow

What did you do this weekend?

Mine-Thursday went to a club opening, Friday didn't feel well and stayed home, Saturday went to a bitch and stitch, then a b'day dinner, and a ho down, Sunday went to a friends club for dancing and silliness.

"Were you the ho who was down?" he asks.
"Not quite-but I did get down a bit :)"

His-had a date Friday that did not go well-she does not read, she started the date by saying she expected to be married and pregnant by the end of the year, and she picked a fight with a woman who asked him if he had a lighter. Saturday he went to London for an art opening and stayed over till Sunday with friends and went to see a film.

Then the talk turned to indulgence-he asked what I did to celebrate AR's b'day-
I told him we all drank a 'Snape's Lust Potion' at midnight, and other than that I've had some films on in the background and added a few birthday graphics to my webpage that some friends made and sent me.
I teasingly asked him what he did to celebrate, and he said he sent me a present.

"I get presents for HIS birthday?"
"All the way from London my Dear"
"Is it bigger than a breadbox? Or smaller than a carat?"
"You'll have to have a look and report back."

That's all the hints he was willing to give me.
Few things drive me as mad as being told I have a present but not being given the present.
Until it arrives I will be distracted trying to figure out what it is-and he knows this-which just frustrates me all the more.

I'm struck by the thought of how amazing the world has become in just the day to day routine of life. A few short years ago it would have been unthinkable that friends could connect, for no extra long distance charges, for hours at a time, and for all practical purposes, have a 'date'.
"Rather marvelous this chat option, don't you think?" I ask.

We fall into a discussion about not only the way the world has changed, but how the world can be a funny place.

You set off on a new chapter, or adventure in your life, with no concept or idea what is really in store for you.
I went back to Ireland, expecting an adventure and personal growth.
And here it is years later, after an unexpected literary liaison, far wiser for the lessons learned, and with the magic of email and the bravery of an old friend to look someone up, am experiencing the marvel of modern technology being abused for all its humanistic opportunities.

Before I let myself get too abusive, I fet reflective.
I've always been someone to point out that relationships end for a reason.
People don't just break up.
While it is easy to forget those reasons because you miss someone, my recent history is testament that you really should not only accept the end, but remember why endings happen.
Not to say you can't be friends with people you have good reason to no longer be in a relationship with-I think if there was really something there in the relationship in the first place, you should remain friends.

What I think makes the world a funny place is that, without the advances of technology, two people on opposite ends of the world who ended things, are now able to try to be friends again.

"Why DID we end things?" I ask.
"WE didn't-YOU did-you told me you'd had enough, so I left."

"I was getting confused-part of me thought you were not taking it as serious as it could be, and part of me thought you were taking it too serious. You didn't have to listen to me", I offer. "You could have tried to clear things. You just gave up."

"I didn't just give up on you, or us. You made it clear you didn't want me anymore. You went in to hospital, and you yelled at me when I tried to take you home with me to take care of you." he reminds me.

"I still don't like to let people take care of me-it was nothing personal", I confess.
"and now I know not to take it personally :)"
"I think you might be being a bit too charming there-you should watch yourself-I may get distracted."
"Distraction is a bad thing?" he asks.
"perhaps. When it's after midnight your time."

In the midst of this new style of dating I went to put clothes in the dryer, and he proposed we each have some wine.
Interesting that when you date via the internet chat world you can also do your laundry. Another bonus is you don't have to look cute-

When I get back to the keyboard I ask that typical one-handed question, "so what are you wearing?"
"You'll make fun of me." he says.
"Probably-but indulge me."
"a turtleneck sweater and a tweed jacket-what are you wearing?"
"hang on-give me a chance to make fun of you!"
"nice"
"I'm Kidding!"
"so?" he asks.
"mix-matched PJs with big house slippers and my hair pulled back in a ponytail"
"sexy! too bad we don't have webcams. Why are your PJs mix-matched?"
"I already told you I'm doing laundry-its what ever is left on laundry day."

Hell-this may be the dating of the future!
I'm in my PJs, I didn't have to shave my legs, I'm having great wine, and getting domestic stuffs done all at once.

"Do you put away your laundry now that you're a respectable 32 year old?"
"Whose respectable?" I ask.

While we were working together on the Wilde research project, he was blessed with the misfortune of sharing his flat with me.
Of course it didn't start out that way. I had a dorm on campus, and he had his flat. Eventually I spent less time in the dorm and more time at his flat-like you do-but I quickly learned that one thing proper English gents have little patience for is a 'Texas Tornado' that does not put her washing away.

I'm embarrassed to admit, "nope-it just goes right from the laundry basket into the hamper"

The things people remember about relationships.

He didn't ask something romantic, or endearing-Didn't ask if I still like to be read Byron while I take a bubble bath, (which would be nice to have someone do), or if I still like fresh flowers with my Sunday brekkie (which I do)-no. He asks if I put my laundry away.
Not to be out done I ask him-

"Do you still read The Sun every day then bitch about what a horrible excuse of a publication it is?"
"It IS horrible.", he says.
"Yes, I know."
"yes I still read it-I can't help it. It's in our make up."

"What else is in your makeup?" I ask.
"Staying up far too early in the morning, trying like mad to come off as charming, and wishing you fancied someone on the same continent as you."

"yeah-we get that over here too :)-but hey! buck up! You play your cards right and you could be married with a pregnant wife by the end of the year!"

"Not the least bit amusing." he assesses.

"but oooh SO funny! :)" I correct.

"I don't want a pregnant wife by the end of the year"

"and what DO you want Darling?"

*long pause*

"you there?" I ask.

*more long pause*

"you ALWAYS do this! Where have you run off to now?"
"hello?"
as is typical for this new dating, I'm getting annoyed by a lack or reply.

"wait-I'm looking something up"
"ok-ask me again ;)" he says.

"ask you what? ask you what you want?"

"yes"

"okie-and what DO you want Darling?" I ask again.

"Don't want to lose my shirt
Don't want to dig the dirt
Don't want you to get hurt
Can't help that I'm a flirt

Don't want to take your drugs
Don't want to be your slug
Don't want to overdress
Don't want to make a mess
Don't want you to confess
Not under duress

Don't want to be untrue
I want to be with you

Don't want to lose my nerve
Don't want to clothe the curve
Don't want to make you swerve
Don't want what I deserve
Don't want to change the frame
Don't want to be a pain
Don't wanna stay the same"

"wow" is all I can manage

"Do you remember?", he asks.

"oh yes-well done."

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