You never really know what others think of you until they make it clear in some way and sometimes when they do it can come as a complete surprise or even, dare I say, a bit of a shock Such an incident happened to me at the end of last week when out of the blue a letter arrived from and old old flame. Before I go on to the contents of that letter, let me tell you the intriguing story of how this physical letter got to me is as remarkable as contents themselves, for some reason it was sent to a place I used to work many long years ago and when I say many, I really do mean many, ten or more at least. Luckily someone there still recognised my name as they forwarded it to an address I used to live at in Crawley, West Sussex. Luckily the owner still remained the same as all those years ago who forwarded it to the Kemp Town flat where I used to reside and from there the lovely eastern European escorts that occupy the top apartment popped it back in the post with my current abode crammed into one corner. Thus the letters unusual and utterly remarkable journey from pillar to post had finally come to a wonderfully correct conclusion. Hat’s off to the Royal Mail on this occasion for their endeavours in the delivery of the letter and deep sentiments of gratitude are expelled to all who had a hand in ensuring its progress continued until in my hands it rested.
The contents of the letter as indeed the letter itself were a complete surprise and not a particularly happy one. The letter as I said before was from an old, old flame from the very dim and distant past. We dated for a relatively short time, perhaps ten or eleven months, maybe a year at the most, during the mid 1990’s. I can’t say how we got together or even why, we certainly came to from different places and lived in seemingly different worlds, plus he was a full decade and half again my senior which only added to the differences between us. Our brief relationship was, I suppose you could say was tempestuous, fiery would be another, we were both strong and stubborn personalities and I dare say we both suffered from the ’I know best’ mantra and philosophy. There were times of great passion, intellectual stimulation and learning, but also times of arguments and anger which ultimately forced the affair to be a rather dysfunctional one, which lead to its inevitable termination.
He loved me, yet always resented and never forgave me for breaking up our ’beautiful’ relationship, at least that’s what his letter informed me. It also told me that he believed we could have ’gone the distance’ which surprised the heck out of me because from my memory we were never destined for longevity and it was he that told me to get out of his car and out of his life when we broke up. There were a few other things mentioned in the letter which I have altogether different recollections of, however, I suppose that’s only to be expected, we were two different people and too different people. I would write back to perhaps disagree with his memories of our time together, or rather offer my side of the story and my views of how it came to a bitter and factious end. Oh yes the end was factious to say the least, when I said earlier he was the one to tell me to get out of his car and out of his life I meant that literally. We’d been out at a early ‘summer’ party where shorts and shades had been the theme, somewhat surprising really as it was taking place end of January beginning of February. I being the typical larger than life character full of fun I happily sported rather short black shorts complete with skull and crossbones design upon the front area. In reality, I’ll level with you, these were comic boxer shorts, yet I wore them as over shorts with nothing underneath. I also sported a ripped black ‘Boy’ t-shirt that was about two sizes too small for me and that was before it had shrunk in the wash! I want to say I also had flip flops on, but if memory serves me rightly, I actually sported some Hi-Tec trainers. It was a private party and we weren't going anywhere else which negated my need for cash, plus I had no pockets upon my person anyway. I don’t recall how our argument started or who the instigator was, nor can I remember how it or why it escalated the way it did, but I sure do remember how it ended. We’d gotten halfway back between the location on the south coast of this party and my home in Crawley when he slammed on his breaks, pulled into a lay-by at the side of the road and uttered the infamous last words and the opposite of Billy Ocean, ’get out of my car and out of my life’. As I said, I was stubborn back then, so I did, he drove off and that was the last I ever saw of him. I then simply had no other option other than to walk home during the middle of a January / February night, wearing nothing other than a pair of funny boxer shorts, trainers and a shirt far too small for me. I can’t say how far the distance was exactly, nor how long the journey took me, all I can say by the time I got in my door the dawn had arrived and people were already on their way to work.
|Mine were a wee bit smaller!|
|Mine was ripped at the neck|
and at the bottom and so small!
As I said, I would have written back to him to share my views on the relationship that never was without the benefit of rose tinted spectacles, had his letter not come with a short little note from one of his family members informing me he had recently passed away after a short illness. A surprise indeed and I’d wished I’d read the note before the letter, a letter in fact that he had written sometime before his death, rather than the other way around. I also wish he’d have sent the letter before he died as then he’d had gone to his grave with both sides of the story, but that of course isn’t to be, but it just emphasises to me how there are always at least two sides to every story, that one person’s truth can be another person’s invention, and leaves me to wonder that perhaps we never really know how others see us.