Here is the post for day 2 of NaBloPoMo. I’m not sure this is as strong as the previous pieces. I think I might have been a bit too hasty in completing it before the clock strikes 12! As always feel free to comment on the post.
Closing the door behind me I stepped out into the warm summer evening. With only a short walk to Jewel’s house, there was little time to soak up the final moments of the glowing sunset. Jewel was hosting an evening of poetry. All guests had been invited for their shared literary interests and were expected to contribute.
This meant Editor would be in attendance. Editor had played the other half of my bitter high school romance. So tonight’s dynamics would prove to be interesting to say the least. Having considered my options I planned to be the quintessential Englishman. I envisaged myself to be laid back, confident and socializing with ease. The diametric opposite of everything he had wanted me to be.
I was pretty certain Editor would do his level best to be centre stage. This would be entirely appropriate considering all his previous appearances. Recently, he had made attempts to reemerge in social circles he had arrogantly neglected in search of greater excitement. Indeed it would be interesting to observe him with the insight I had gained over the past year; essentially since I knew he was a fraud. No doubt he would attempt to ignite conversation. I was undecided if I would indulge him any further than civil pleasantries.
On my arrival, Jewel greeted me with open arms. As ever, Jewel was the picture of beauty, an inspiration to us all. Over the years we had grown incredibly fond of one another. Our choices in life had seen us take rather different paths. Yet somehow, we were always perfectly positioned to counsel one another on the many challenges we faced.
The gathered party was most entertaining, each bringing their own charm, knowledge and delights. We were slowly joined by the late arrivals, the last of whom was Editor. With no apology to the party for his time keeping, he placed himself next to the only other good-looking, eligible bachelor. It seemed Editor had clearly not thought much of this event. He openly declared that his reading was undecided until twenty minutes prior to arrival. Then there was the small matter of his presentation; hair like straw and an emerging, teenage boy like beard. Add to it glasses, a bright turquoise polo and chocolate slim fits. I may appear ‘boring’ as he had once referred to my style, but for the most part, my fashion sense had always found approval amongst my contemporaries. In fact, tonight I had received a number of compliments. I had opted for straight leg khaki Chinos with a sky blue Oxford shirt, accented with a brown straw Trilby. The hat I think won the day, I was likened to Bruno Mars and Indiana Jones!
Apart from a distant nod, Editor ensured he was consistently preoccupied with the other guests. Until it was time for my recital. Then his attention had no choice but to face me. Jewel had insisted I recite the poem that defined the relationships once existing between the three of us. Perhaps she felt this invitation to our old configuration necessary, in order to save Editor from his self-destruction. Jewel and I had become only too aware of Editor’s hedonistic preoccupations. She was however, naive to think that these were new interests. I had learned that they existed long before they were known to us. Editor’s true personality had deceived us. Behind the façade, Editor controlled the image he presented in every social sphere. He calculated exactly what he needed to be in order to reap the most benefit. With me, he had kept up an image of a reliable and romantic love interest but with strict moral principles. In his community he retained his mantle as suitable boy for all the debutantes. And behind closed doors, Editor indulged in all manners of debauchery.
Apart from a superficial round of applause, Editor did not respond to my reading. I could not sense even the remotest desire to rekindle what we had lost. The remainder of the party appreciated my offering and I felt alive with the warm reception. I must confess Editor’s recital did throw me. Themes of roots, identity and ‘no place like home’ running throughout the piece, suggested a desire to reemerge in the old friendship circles. Jewel and I sort one another’s gaze repeatedly, both surprised by this clear message from our estranged Editor. I wondered then, how he would choose to act on this.
My curiosity was not satisfied until the end of the night. In his exit, Editor finally addressed me personally. To say good-bye. Other than a look that seemed to linger a little too long, nothing suggested this was anything beyond a pleasantry. Perhaps it was just a courteous exchange. My mind however, was amused by the possibility that he had taken an entire evening to gather courage, in order to cast aside his pride and break the ice. Delaying his gaze on me, he hoped I would carry the conversation forward. Like I had carried our relationship. But that was over. And this conversation? It had started with good-bye.