i remember the first date.
i have been in lust pretty much every day of my adult life.
love? been in love once.
i met annemarie in college we were both doing the same degree. she hung around with a different group and we only really chatted because a mutual pal was into comics. i concentrated on my studies (i was good that way) and didn’t notice that she had dropped out of college.
the next time i saw her she was working in forbidden planet as a till jockey. we chatted. i got my comics that day at a greatly reduced price. from that point i saw her quite regularly. i spent more time chatting to her while she was at the till, it seemed only polite as i was getting my comics cheap.
we went out for a christmas drink. she was wearing a red jumper and red tartan trousers.
i did some babysitting for her, while she started back doing her degree on an evening course.
i finished my degree. got a place at the london school of economics.
annemarie turned up at my parents place one evening just as i was recovering from a run. i was a less than pretty sight. in fact a total sweat monster. fortunately i had stopped the huffing and puffing. as ever mum did the tea and sandwiches thing. annemarie was wearing a paddington bear style duffel coat, jeans, dunlop green flash, brown combat socks (true they could have been green) a brown jumper, and blue glasses.
i walked her to the station and took the tube from south harrow to holloway to make sure she got home. i came back.
christmas was coming on fast.
she invited me over one night, she had some canadians staying: two loud women who just ‘loved england’. when it was time for me to go one of them told me not to go and stay. i did. the canadians went to sleep in annemarie’s room. annemarie and i stayed up chatting, for quite a lot of the night. for some odd reason we also wrestled. i was a gentleman and i let her win. i spent the night on a camp bed that felt like it was going to break at any moment. this wasn’t helped by the cat who wanted to attack my sheets.
i didn’t get much sleep.
a few nights later i slept over again. we chatted and chatted.
i spent christmas at home with mum and dad.
i decided to ask annemarie if she wanted to go see a movie. i was asking her out on a date. she said yes.
we were going to see ‘back to the future’ at screen on the green. it would be a brisk walk to the cinema and back.
i got there in a timely fashion, unusual for me. it was a chilly night. i was wearing a nice cashmere overcoat that my dad had liberated from the club he was working in.
i knocked. no answer.
i knocked again. no answer.
i laughed to myself i was being stood up.
i knocked one more time.
eventually annemarie’s flatmate came and let me.
i sat in the front room with the flatmate (who had only just moved in because annemarie needed money), she was from africa and was busy laughing at a carry on movie (up the khyber), it was the first time she had seen them. i have to say i laughed too.
annemarie appeared and we made our way to the cinema. we both enjoyed the movie. we both enjoyed the chocolate brownies that they served there. it was a good night.
i stayed over that night. we chatted and ate cheese on toast.
that was our first date.
shortly after that night annemarie decided that i was too dense to know what was going on, she was right. she made the first move. i was no longer free and single – now i was involved and a stepdad.
funny how love goes.
because i never got to take annemarie to see back to the future 2, i have never watched the sequels. i have never watched the whole of the first one since then,
i have been in love the once.
once was enough.