I pan back. Age, height, eyes, legs - she's almost a clone, save for colouring and class. This version is Islington upper working and brunette, whereas the original was Wimbledon pinky-ginger and middle middle. Name? Sharon. Suckered? Only completely. She's flirting, flashing her fuck-me shoes, telling me she'll get a bandage, etc. But she's with some dreary DJ, so I forget it and go home.
March this year I go to a club with Anita, glamorous Deconstruction press officer who looks after Kylie. The door girl with the clipboard says, "Hello, you don't recognise me, do you? I trod on your foot, remember?" "Yeah," I lie. "Of course." Later, I try talking to her, but she's wasted on Charlie so I forget it and go home.
Mid-July, I'm at the Face party, laughing my head off with two mates when some girl asks if I remember her, and we go over the foot business, etc. She likes my work, apparently. She gets in real close and breathes all over me with that mouth, and I realise she's right to push herself, this girl. There's something special there. So I call her. We go out to dinner.
She touches the creases in my face and says, "I like these lines here." She says, "You're quite quiet, aren't you?" I feel so proud. She asks if I've ever been in love and my heart flutters. She laughs at my jokes, and invites me to a friend's private view. She thinks I'm "nice".
Back at my flat the next evening I make her a special drink with vodka, Cointreau and pink grapefruit juice. We talk until four, then go to bed. The best bit is kissing in the dark. Our kisses are torn from each other. Her mouth feels even more beautiful than it looks. We don't actually do the deed. It seems unnecessary.
Then I go to America for two weeks, by which time I'm stupid in love. Three postcards, two phone calls, completely overboard. Can't wait to get back, and when I do, I'm phoning before I've left the airport. She's not home. I leave messages. No answer. I leave stroppy messages. No answer. When I track her down, she sounds cool, and says she'll call. She doesn't. I say, "Sharon, do you want to go to - da-dah! - the Dazed & Confused party?" Says she'll call. She doesn't. So I call just hours before the party to learn she's off to her mum's. I snarl, "Fine. You do what you like." And hang up.
Two days later, I call to say sorry. She doesn't like being harangued. Says she'll call. She doesn't. Two more days, I call and she says, "I think we better leave it there. I just want to concentrate on work." Me, I'm gutted, babe, as my cute pinky-ginger ex used to say (ever so ironic, that one).
Cue three-weeks of self-torture, gnawing like a dog on a bone. Imaginary conversations, justifying myself over and over, days spent psychoanalysing someone I don't even know. I speculate about her work, about mum and dad (I love her being so close to them, it's her most attractive feature). Did I sound like her domineering ex, Steve?
Or maybe it's just me. A whiff of desperation turned her off. Perhaps she asked around and got some answers she didn't like. Maybe she just lost interest. Maybe she met someone else.
Then Neil, a mutual friend, tells me Sharon "did all that flirty sexy stuff" to him too, jerked his chain for a couple of weeks, then dumped him. He's seen the pattern repeated at least twice since. But, hey, she's just a 26-year-old girl, into handbag DJs and iffy club promoters. Why shouldn't she sleep around, break a few hearts, and be a "coke whore" (as she once put it)? Good for her. Why shouldn't she mess me up? It's only my karma, this girl drama. After all, my mate Andy says I've got more exes than Littlewoods.
Does this smack of sour grapes? I hope not. I still love her, but in a very different way. She taught me a lesson I needed to learn. Like my friend Guy says, "It's always the same girl, only the names change. All the time you need her, you keep on losing her. And she'll just keep on showing up until you finally understand why."
Saint Sharon, my patron, my babe in patent Birkenstocks, you suckered me with that mouth. Ah, Sharon. What a mirror you've been for me. I should have listened carefully to your very first words. Out of the mouths of babes, eh?Reuse content