For some reason every time I open this computer the date is 1st January 2004. What does that mean? What was doing that day? It wasn't so long ago. Would I like to go back there and check myself out? Noo wayy! I don't think I would go back to any of my recent incarnations - crazy divorcée, off-beat beloved, insane mother, depressed diplomat's wife, besotted skinny lover..
This year that I have sworn off love and other things I don't understand (string theory, just try it) I have had some weird encounters. The latest, in the supermarket car park on Friday night, where I had a mile-high trolley. I mean, did I look like I needed cracking onto? It wasn't debauched shopping either, you know, oodles of drink and snacks and cheeses and condoms and clinking wine bottles, it was hardcore mothershop: toilet rolls, milk and cereal, dog and cat food, frozen pizzas, cheap beer for the stoners, minimal fruit (I do that at the market on Sunday morning), more milk and cereal, oh and yoghurt. Honestly, dear fellow, when the greatest satisfaction I had looming before me was the idea of sitting down, throwing my legs out and not having to drive another teenager or fight for the tv remote, DO YOU THINK I WANT TO BE CHATTED UP OR AM LIKELY TO HAND OVER MY CELL NUMBER?
Now some of you may say, and I do feel it in a remote pocket of myself, just be humane girl, remember how many times you've put yourself out on a limb, blushed, tried to get the words right. But does getting older, and having being bruised and trampled and revived and trampled and bruised etc again in love, mean you just don't have the patience for it?
I used to think my gay friends had some answers. Use and abuse. Well, they were so light about it all, so detached. But they were so screwed up, for God's sake they killed themselves! And then African women, I learnt a lot from them about running the show, about networks of women and secrets, about 'African love'. But where does that leave a Western woman who wants some peace, and yet a piece of the action?
Back to string theory.
PS Do check out my interview with poet John Siddique 'Calendar Guys: A Naked Muse for all Seasons' on www.theviewfromhere.com