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Sunday, March 04, 2007


Sunday; March 4, 2007 6:53 PM

I woke up in the middle of the night, but didn't stir and pretended I was asleep. My dad and my grandad (my mother's father) were rummaging in my wardrobe. I knew what they were after. I had found it in my grandad's storage room. It was a very old, nineteen forties calendar with a sepia, very much retouched photograph of a naked blonde woman. I don't know how old I was, perhaps eleven or twelve, much younger than that in many ways. I nicked the calendar and showed it to my friend Eglis, who sneered "she hasn't got a pussy, they've airbrushed her bits out". And they had. But that made the image purer and closer to the world of the mind, or something. My sister's dolls, who together with my soldiers and action figures inhabited a world populated by characters and personalities that we had assigned to them, were like that, without 'bits'. I don't think that was in the mind of my grandad, surely irate that I should have nicked the calendar, or my dad's, angry that my grandad should keep such filth in the house. I was too young yet to think of that image in terms of filth. Give me a year or two...

The earliest I remember falling in love.. well, it wasn't falling in love at all, it could have been around the same times as the calendar episode. I can't remember her name or what she looked like, which is typical as I suspect I always tended to fall in love not with a person, but with an idea of a person, a construct lacking any real connection with the person who was supposedly the object of that love. She was I think in the next year up, which would have made her hopelessly much older than me, a whole year. And I was invisible, a situation which I much liked as it meant fewer fights on the way out of school, fewer conflicts of all sorts and even less attention from the teachers, which I did not relish. So that was fine by me, except that now there was somebody whose attention I wanted to grab. Pity that my own attention span wasn't that great and I would from one moment to the next go from swooning over this girl whose name I perhaps knew then but certainly cannot evoke now, to poring over picture books with dinosaurs -Stegosaurus, I liked that one a lot. And forget about the girl, at least until next time...

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