Kiss and Tell 2

Sometimes there are moments in life that seem almost surreal in their cinematic quality. Raised on a diet of shmaltz, drama and pathetic fallacy through stories, tv and movies, we often fall into narrative thinking, but maintain a clear enough distinction between the conventions of fiction and real life. Nevertheless, every now and then, something occurs that makes one go ‘ok hold on there, cut!’ and look around for the cameras, because they seem too TV, too artificial, for reality.

Obviously life’s great variety, compiled with our own selective memory and romantic tendencies means that we experience (or simply remember) these moments reasonably frequently (or is it just me?).

On this Kiss and Tell, an episode in which I feel that the circumstances seemed almost scripted for the moment. This was while I was studying and living at University, and passing through the campus area when I met a girl that I was involved with. At the time, my feelings about this person were pretty complicated. I’d had a crush on her since before I even arrived in England, and I’d seen her picture in a feature on student societies. My first night in country and my new place, I’d seen her and gone and talked to her immediately. About six months later, we’d seen each other quite a lot and gotten on quite well, and eventually, ended up in bed together in a story with its own entry, but this series is about kisses.

Anyway…complicated feelings about a complicated girl. At this stage, the thing was that she was already spoken for, technically. She was going out with someone I knew, not a friend exactly, but we’d all been out together a few times and he struck me as a nice guy, who would be pretty upset if he knew. And I really didn’t see myself as ‘that guy’ in someone else’s story, so I resolved not to sleep with her again. But I did. And then re-resolved. Rinse and repeat until I saw the pointlessness of it all. I was really attracted to this girl, and she a power of persuasion like no one I’ve ever seen before. Given that she was working on someone who really likes to be seduced, I can’t say I presented more than a token resistance when it came to crunch time.

Anyway at this point I was still deluding myself that I wouldn’t carry on with it. I was passing through a small grassy quad around the halls of residence, just about to pass under the shade of the solitary tree in the centre, and there she was too. She knew that I was trying not to see her, but at the same time, I had feelings for her and I wasn’t going to ignore her. She stopped, uncharacteristically shyly, a few feet away from me, and we exchanged some awkward conversation. After a few pleasantries we both just sort of stood there, half heartedly talking, neither of us wanting to move on past.

My memory is a bit fuzzy on what exactly we were saying, but our body language must’ve been telegraphing the repressed desire under all that awkwardness pretty strongly, because out of the corner of my eye I noticed some movement in an upper storey window, which upon closer inspection revealed itself to be a gaggle of female students clustered at their kitchen window, observing us intently. One of them held up a large paper sign pressed up against the window. It said ‘KISS HER’.

Had it really been so obvious as to attract an audience of cheerleaders? Suddenly I felt trapped in a hollywood moment, I was Hugh Grant about to shoot the crucial scene in this big romantic comedy. Where a series of wacky coincidences just so happens to contrive to keep the lead couple apart, but then turn around to push them together. My environment, the world was telling me something. Rather temptingly, it was telling me to take what I wanted.

So I did (1). And it felt good. And I wonder if it was enhanced somewhat by the earnest, if cheesy romance of the situation. If it combined with my tendency towards narrative thinking to help me self-justify my pursuit of a relationship that ended up having far-reaching consequences in my life.

A silly coincidence, but these omens definitely play a part in the stories we make for myself. And this story was one with a fair few twists and turns, many which were far, far less saccharine. But there was third one moment when chance set the stage and I stepped up to the role. And it may seem naive, or mawkish, but it won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

1. Being the cynical, iconoclastic darkling that I was, I didn’t do it just there, but took her round a corner where the girls couldn’t see.

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~ by theserpentscircle on January 18, 2012.

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