The air outside is heavy with moisture. It hasnâ€™t rained for hours, but the pitch is waterlogged and play has been called off for the day. There are still a few diehards in the bar: drinking, chatting, reading their broadsheet newspapers. They are all men. Except me.
I am between meetings. To be honest, I have sent Owen away (and type a little in fear of him reappearing behind me â€“ I have my back to the stairs!) as he has urgent business to attend to. So I thought, now, when he was here only moments ago, is a good time to analyse our encounter.
FFS â€“ what is there to analyse? There is nothing happening here; there is nothing in his eyes, so there canâ€™t be. Itâ€™s pretty failsafe, after all, watching the pupils, and his remained uniformly tiny, set in the blue that is so hard to describe. In fact, it is the blue of irises, the flowers, I meanâ€¦
And then, there was the way he leant back away from me as we talked. Another good non-verbal clue. But we sat close, we laughed, and we spoke of things that only friends do; there was trust between us. Maybe trust is what there isâ€¦ trust and friendship. If thatâ€™s the case, it will make life a hell of a lot simpler.
Goalposts are moving at a fairly rapid rate. It isnâ€™t that theyâ€™re going very far, itâ€™s more that you look away for a moment and they arenâ€™t quite where you thought they were.
We are in the middle of a four day County Championship match, in which we are trying to eke out to a draw. I wrote theÂ first half of the blogÂ on the first afternoon, and what I am about to describe happened just before lunch on day three.
â€˜On ground and willing to swap 2 CDs for a lunch voucherâ€™ I text.
My husband leans over. â€œWhat are you doing?â€
â€œTexting Owen. He said itâ€™s a working day so I can have a lunch voucher.â€
We sit back and watch the cricketers play touch rugby as a warm up. Our overseas bowler shoulder tackles this seasonâ€™s best batsman and leaves him flat out on the turf.
â€˜Itâ€™s a deal! Iâ€™ll text u to find your location after noon. Many thnxs!â€™ Itâ€™s Owenâ€™s favourite phrase to end a text or an email â€“ overused in my opinion.
Husband and I settle down to watch the cricket, and it is almost one oâ€™clock before another text arrives. â€˜Where r u? Iâ€™m heading to the Pavilion.â€™
â€˜In block in front of the playersâ€™ dining room. Shall we meet you in the bar?â€™
â€˜Yes pls. Youâ€™ll c me head overâ€™
Oh, will I? Will I take my eyes off the cricket to look out for a lone figure in a suit making his way around the ground?
At that moment we finally get a wicket. My favourite bowler takes a magnificent catch, which is way out of character. I have already bored my husband stupid singing his praises most of the morning and now I am ecstatic. And out of the corner of my eye I do spot Owen stopping to watch the excitement.
â€œAre you coming then?â€ I ask my husband.
â€œNo, Iâ€™ll stay here.â€
I was wondering how theyâ€™d get on. Today is not the day Iâ€™ll find out.
Instead I meet Owen and hand over the CDs. â€œItâ€™s so kind of you. Iâ€™m looking forward to the Mystery Mix even more than the Duffy one. Itâ€™s years since anyoneâ€™s made up a compilation for me â€“ so long ago it was probably on a cassette!â€ he laughs.
At this point I clock three things: (a) heâ€™s probably older than I thought he was; (b) itâ€™s kind of sad no-oneâ€™s done this small thing for him for ages, but that there was once someone who cared enough to do it; (c) he is leaning towards me over the table, his pupils dark and wide.
Another theory blown out of the water.
/Goalposts are moving at a fairly rapid rate. It isnâ€™t that theyâ€™re going very far, itâ€™s more that you look away for a moment and they arenâ€™t quite where you thought they were./
Interesting. Well written.
just goes to show that our perceptions of people are often quite wrong.
Specially when we tend to romanticize it all.
Ah, but writers do have an inbuilt personality flaw, which leads them to romanticise stuff…
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