It’s been a bit of a weird day for me. For some reason I started remembering things from years ago. It was weird because I tend not to reminisce; I look ahead and worry about what the future has in store for me. Today was different.
The first thing that I started thinking about was in 1989. I was on a train, heading back to London after spending a weekend at home. I was in training but had the weekend off. Typically for me, I upgraded to First Class (only £10 at the time) in order to have some peace and quiet for the two hour journey.
As it was, I was reading a book when a young woman walked into the carriage and asked if the seat opposite me was taken. The whole carriage was empty!! Now don’t get me wrong, I am not the kind of man that attracts women with some aura of pheromones or something. At best I have been described as scarey. At the time I was over 6ft 5ins, slim and well built (how I hate the course of time!) but, for some reason, I always had an aura of ‘don’t come near me’. All my friends, at the time, mentioned this.
Obviously my ‘no entry’ aura was switched off as she promptly sat opposite me and began reading Viz. I put down my book and started reading the back pages as she concentrated on the front. Any man in his very early 20’s enjoyed reading Viz! It was practically mandatory! Anyway, as I was reading away, she had stopped and was watching me. I, being as fast as a speeding snail, didn’t notice her until I had finished reading the page. When I looked up, she asked if I was finished. Embarrassed, I apologised and asked if I could read it when she had finished. She put the comic down and introduced herself as Kay.
For the remained of the journey, Kay and I spent the time talking and getting to know each other. When we arrived at Euston Station, we walked off the train together and she grabbed me and kissed me. Now, that was no mean feat considering she was about 5ft 6ins! She gave me her telephone number and asked me to call her.
To say I was stunned would be an understatement. I just don’t attract women that way, or anyway at all for that matter! I just put the number away and continued my journey in a state of semi-stupor. My mind was reeling and my raging hormones were in overdrive!
Needless to say, I called Kay and arranged to meet her, in London, where she happened to be living at the time. I was in Ashford, which was near Folkstone on the coast, so had to travel by train to the Capital. I met up with her and some of her friends and we went out for a meal. It was a good evening and we stayed at her friend’s flat, with me sleeping on the floor.
Kay and I began a relationship soon after and it was as intense as it was short. I was young and infatuated. I thought of her during the week while I was supposed to be concentrating on my training and spent the weekend with her when I was supposed to be revising. As a result, I started to fail my exams and was close to being removed from training. Until I had met Kay, I was doing well. Before Kay, there were no distractions! The downside to it all was I had to decide which was more important. My career or my relationship. I chose my career and ended it with Kay, never to look back and regret. Well, never to look back until today.
I had completely forgotten about that part of my life. Admittedly it was a long time ago and I had a lot going on, during and since. I cannot remember how we split up or what her reaction was. All I can remember are the good times we had. Kay was a wonderful young woman who picked someone who decided that something else was more important than she was. I feel a little guilty about it, but as I cannot remember all the details, I don’t feel bad.
I wonder what she is doing now and if, perhaps, she paused at one time since our time together in 1989 and remembered our brief time together. I wish there were some way I could apologise to her but life isn’t like that. I just have the memories of a wonderful time.
Today has been a day of introspection. I have been sitting down and just trying to remember things from my past. Some of the things I have remembered have made me cringe with embarrassment or with self loathing, others have made me smile. There should be no regrets for the past, but I do have a few. Young men tend to be pretty stupid and I was no exception; perhaps stupider than most! But the thing about memories like this are that you filter out the bad things and remember the good. I wish all memories could be like that. I have too many that are all bad and I wish I could filter them out all together.
Good or bad, it’s our experiences that define us. Our memories are the remnants of those experiences. I envy those that have kept journals throughout their lives. They can go back and read exactly what happened. I am left with patchy recollections with too many gaps. They are, nonetheless, parts of my life that I shouldn’t forget. Memories are the pause and rewind mechanism in our consciousness.
Today has been a weird day. Maybe I should have more weird days!