unexpectedly i speak with my old friend caroline whom i knew when i was a teenager aged around 16 in london.
she and i used to meet at her family home up on the hill at around 10pm and stay up all night smoking weed, listening to church records and the soft boys. we would drink sparkling mineral water and eat phileas fogg corn chips and laugh quite a lot at the world through our artists eyes.
we remind one another two stories from that time, the first is my memory of a dinner party we attended that was hosted by an actress and her actor partner.
caroline drove across the city into an areas we had never been, filled with massive housing estates and typical oppressive architecture under a grey sky the days before gps and we became hopelessly lost.
we arrived very late and were greeted with hostility for about an hour. it was my first time meeting these people so i remained detached but i could tell we had catastrophically ruined their evening. apology after apology but still the wine was served with indifference plates slammed down before us and cold looks exchanged. awkward indeed.
the truth of the matter came to light when the couple revealed they were just acting and we all laughed hysterically at their effective pantomime.
after dinner we all played charades and i recall feeling really joyous about the whole event.
the other memory is caroline's and she told me about how we went to see 'a normal heart' at the theatre in the west end. the play was during the first year of the aids epidemic and hysteria was sweeping through the planet, it really was a dark weird time. the performance was so powerful it had us both gripped and if you have never seen it, i urge you to for sheer drama and impact. if stage cannot shock and provoke, then what can it do? we came out and apparently i said to caroline, 'that's it for me, the next person who falls in love with me, i will marry.'
and i did.
she said she always found that amazing.
we exchange many pleasantries about a long dead past life, but she is very generous in her appraisal of me and reminds me of something i didn't really know, a consistency that exists, that the me i seek has always been there. that's a reassurance i most definitely require in turbulent years. i know who i am, just occasionally it's better to remember who i am not. it's always people who do not know me that get sucked into my event horizon, i guess it's why the poets get me and i am lost to the rest. i'm not a black hole, not a dark energy, not anything even close. i am all.