I had a girlfriend once, and I think as a married, mature adult I can say that. Although I’m pretty sure the beautiful 23 year old I met in 2005 and am now married to from a small town in New Zealand where there isn’t a lot to do in the evenings had been single all her life before she met me. I heard her say words to those effect, once. So I had a girlfriend once, a first girlfriend. and she fitted my fifteen year old criteria perfectly. She was interested in me, and she was pretty. Also turns out she was cultured in ways I wasn’t and introverted too. I loved her then, the only way you can when you fifteen to nineteen. With a desperation which led to obsessional letter writing and her initials scraped into the skin on my left hand. I was that kind of guy.
As much as this might have been…a little overbearing, it also led to a situation where I would accept any new terms which were placed on our relationship. We need a break. Sure got it. Let’s just hang out. Yep, I like hanging out. There’s this other guy at college and…Well you should check that out. The interest in the other guy stage was a killer. I’d still see my girl, but she wasn’t all there, and couldn’t be touched. Not in the way I wanted to touch her. There she’d be, right in front in front of me, sometimes with that fantastic red bra peeking out. Hi, red bra. Gut wrenchingly devasting to see you.
And I think about those days a little now. We have two cats. But now we also have a dog. The cats came first and they were the business. Sitting in weird places. Showing indifference and then sleeping on our heads after a two day absence. They’re still around and let me know when they are hungry. They live in the shed, generally and give me dirty looks when I go in there to top up their food and water. I can approach but I can’t touch. I’m eighteen, again.
How will this all play out? In the latest Game of Thrones esque power twist I found the dog chewing on a photograph of our boy cat. Take that picture. Have some of that, cat. Perhaps life will unfold as it did twenty years ago, and we’ll all end up going our own way. But probably not. I’d like the cats to come back inside though. Maybe the winter will bring them in.