It was Valentines day and I had some time to kill on the streets of Cork. It should come as a shock to nobody that I ended up in Waterstones. I was browsing aimlessly, privately amused that HHhH was on a shelf of Valentines recommendations when I saw her again. Hanging around the Classics section as per usual. In my defence I did try to distract myself. I turned my back and found another corner of the store to shop in, but while my mind was saying no, my heart was saying yes. Every so often I’d find myself glancing out of the corner of my eye, unable to quite concentrate on what I was doing, book titles blurring into so much white noise. And then it wasn’t just my eyes that were betraying me anymore. It was my feet, dragging me across the shop, the rest of me an unwilling participant in the journey to the classics section. And when I got there, I just stared. My mouth stayed glued firmly shut.
“I saw you looking…or trying not to look. It’s been a while.”
I pause, trying to formulate some riposte. I have nothing. Deer, meet headlights. I return to the tactic of looking somewhere, anywhere else. But there’s a bell clanging in my head now, and it’s singing her name with every strike.
“You know, we could just get out of here. Go somewhere for a quiet drink and cuddle up together.” I can almost hear the smirk. “Wouldn’t you like that?” It does sound inviting. My eyes cease their desperate search for an escape route. I reach out a hand.
“It’s okay. Go ahead.”
I make contact. Skin on skin, the delicate yet firm ridges of her spine resting under my palm. I know this is wrong. I can’t do it. But I let myself have this one moment of weakness, a minor escape from the circling vultures of reality and responsibility. For the briefest of instants I let the flesh of my thumb trace along her back. Then I push her away, back on the shelf with the rest of the copies of The Complete Stories Of Sherlock Holmes and go buy something that will make me look like less of a bloody hipster.
On the off chance anyone took the above seriously, don’t. It’s just a goofy joke formed from a real life temptation to buy one of those big old leatherbound compilations of Sherlock Holmes on Saturday. But they’re expensive, would take weeks to read and would take up far too much space on an already crammed bookshelf. Eh, c’est la vie, mon ami. With the silliness over and done with I can move on to the music. Here’s a cool cover of Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Baltimore dream pop artist Adryelle.