I can’t truly explain why some bloggers just capture your imagination. It’s a little bit like dating, where you are both testing each other, sensing if there is any chemistry. Ingrid writes “Ice Cream is Nice Cream,” and I think we both are… a little eccentric, so I am intrigued by her. Her post today was typically oddball:
Post a fictional memory of you and me. Anything you like, but it has to be fake.
I think I have found a soulmate.
My Fake Memory of Ingrid
Ingrid, even though you told me never to tell our story, I’m going to assume that your latest blog post was directed at me — that you finally want me to openly talk about our prior relationship. Surely, you realize that I am referring to that summer in 1987 when we were both talking film classes at the University of London. Those were special days, happy days. Unlike today, our friendship wasn’t based on superficial twitters or blog comments, but from the real intimacy and physical passion that only comes from young love.
At the time, I thought we could make a “go” of our relationship, and that we would both follow our dream of opening the first “authentic” falafel cafe in Lima, Peru, but alas, it wasn’t to be.
I remember “that night” so clearly; it is as if I can almost touch it with my fingers — August 21, 1987. You went out to buy some chips at the local pub while I relaxed in your flat, watching cricket on the BBC. Little did I know that the pub was burned down that previous night by an angry Irish dentist who lost his lease to his Indian-born landlord, and that you were returning back to your flat earlier than expected. And then you walked in, that gorgeous smile leading the way, and I saw the shock and dismay on your face. With Culture Club blasting from the speakers, you stood there, staring at me parading around your flat, wearing your bra, panties, and those red pumps that you loved so much, the ones that we bought at Harrod’s together during that rainy night, after the Kubrick film festival.
After I returned your underwear and shoes, and dressed into my clothes, you took me aside and said that our relationship could never work. You said that you loved me, but that you wanted a man to care for you, one that you could feel proud to call “your one and only.” And that you could never bring a cross-dresser back to your conservative parents in Ottawa.
That night, I didn’t sleep a wink. The next day, I rushed to class, my eyes bloodshot, my face unshaven, hoping to apologize to you, to fall to my knees and beg you to reconsider. I even thought up a creative, if desperate, excuse to win you back — I would tell you that my wearing your underwear and f**k me pumps was all an elaborate “art project” for my “performance art” class.
I hoped, I prayed to God, despite my atheism, that you would believe my lie, and that we could one day live one of those Hollywood ending that we loved so much on the silver screen. But you were nowhere to be found. You had packed and left London. You did not leave an address.
For years, I searched for you. I had no idea that you had moved to Amsterdam, changed you name, and became a stripper in the city’s infamous red light district, even though once, when I was in the city on business in 2001, I received a sleazy flier handed to me at Centraal Station which showed a buxom woman in a bikini, her legs seductively open, who looked very much like you — but I could not believe for a second that you, a product of St. Mary’s Catholic School for Women would ever choose this type of demeaning lifestyle.
I lost touch with you — until last year, when I saw your familiar face on Facebook. I “poked” you. You “poked” me back, poking me in that special way that only you could, and I knew it was you. I looked at your profile photo. The face had aged a little. There were a few wrinkles around the eyes. There was a sadness to your expression, as if you had seen it all, and you probably had, jumping from one lover’s bed to another, sleeping with horny German men just to pay the bills, each one leaving you behind in the same way, your naked body stretched out on the bed, the rumpled, dirty sheets hanging to the dusty floor, like a surrender flag during World War One. But even though you had become a broken woman, a whore for an American cigarette, the eyes were the same. The eyes that I had gazed into a long long time ago. The eyes of the girl from the summer cinema class at the University of London.