So much excitement I could… October 11, 2006Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
…dunno, really. Yelp, perhaps.
Yes, it’s yet more e-mailery for you today. I woke up at my take on the crack of dawn, hurtled headlong towards the computer, wondered if it would be the thin end of the wedge to start having a cigarette before breakfast – decided against, healthily – and looked through my riveting mail. I was fast heading towards a bout of RSI at having the mouse on delete for such ages when, all of a sudden, I removed my hand as quickly as if I’d just stuck it in some boiling water.
Title: a familiar abbreviation.
Sender: a familiar concoction.
E-mail: Is that BiB from abbreviation (common abbreviation for my school)? If so, I am an old school friend of yours! Signed the familiar concoction.
Well fuck me with a big stick! Imagine that. The power of google. Actually, it’s not that earth-shattering, in a way, because I’ve had e-mails like it from that friends reunited site, and have even seen this friend’s name there. But we left the school in different years and his search skills obviously didn’t amount to remembering the calendar, so it’s got to have been google. How exciting!
But what to do?
Now I left this school at 16. After that, I stayed in touch with this pal intermittently. I saw him once when we were at university. And bumped into him once in a pub in Camden Town. We must have been 21. Maximum 22. A massive 14 years ago.
I instantly wrote to the ex for advice. My one suggestion was, “Do I just press delete?” He answered instantly. “No, answer.”
Darlings, but do I answer? I mean, we’ve done quite a good job of losing touch with each other for the last fourteen years, after all. And furious googling back reveals that my old pal is now a diamond-trader. A diamond-trader, for fuck’s sake. No doubt he’s just had his hands on that massive one from Lesotho and is getting in touch with all us old losers to fly us somewhere lovely – he used to live in West Hampstead – for champagne, oysters and scantily-clad, trafficked ladies.
It might be fun to contact the old pal, but then it might be a pain having to spell out my CV for the last millennium. He doesn’t even know I’m a whoopsy. He was sporty and a big hit with the gals aged even 15. He was the first pal I had who started ‘working out’, although I don’t think that term existed in the mid-80s. He was the first person to drag me into a peep-show in Soho aged about 2, where I think we proceeded to pay 8 quid for a coke. (Little did I know this would stand me in good stead for future stag duties.) He was the first person I knew to rent ludicrously hard porn from his bog-standard corner-shop where he’d somehow got chatting, man to man, with the shop-keeper. He was the first person I knew with a Commodore 64. And I used to pretend to fancy his sister.
So I’m thinking of writing back in the guise of an invented alter ego. I’ll have to be BiB, and have to be in Berlin, but I think I might be married to a nice, sturdy Helga and have a gaggle of children whom I speak to in a selection of languages. There’ll probably be an Alexander in there somewhere. And a Bettina. And the twins, Berlina and Gonaria. “Oh yes, Gonaria’s a very talented violinist,” I’ll say, “…and Bettina’s got try-outs for the German youth lacrosse team. Helga and I worry Alexander might have a few mental health ishooz. Well, and the less said about Berlinochka the better…” And I suppose I’d better be the Deputy Vice Consul, or something, and hope that his google skills are wanting. And I’d probably better have an indoor pool, and be living in Charlottenburg.
…or do I just tell him the bitter truth, that I’m scraping by doing ludicrous work, living in a rented one-bedroom flat in Berlin’s Ruislip with a Russian student? And no children, mentalist or otherwise?
Damn you, past. Always sneaking up at the most inconvenient of moments to remind you how feckless you’ve been.
Or do I just press delete?