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When we fall in love


‘When we meet those we fall in love with, there is an aspect of our spirit that is historian, a bit of a pedant, who imagines or remembers a meeting when the other had passed by innocently, just as Clifton might have opened a car door for you a year earlier and ignored the fate of his life. But all parts of the body must be ready for the other, all atoms must jump in one direction for desire to occur.’
The English Patient, p 359 Michael Ondaatje.
I could expand on everything I have written by offering such insights, either as the author, or from the point of view of the characters involved.
“When we meet those we fall in love with” we become many things.
We deny our first reactions.
My diary comments on Suzi’s bad breath after our first kiss. Ooops. We kissed at the bottom of the stairs in the Elizabethan lobby of Appleby Castle, Cumbria. He father had come to pick her up after a day with me; he was at the gates, he’d rung the bell by the 15th century gate house.
Only years later did I reflect on when, where and how we were first introduced outside her school. And only then did I realise I’d seen her before, at a party packed with drunken teenagers in Jesmond.
I have been besotted by a number of people. My affections were tickled but turned away. I loved Antonia too; I was condemned to ‘go-out’ with everyone but her, even though she was the one I wanted. Rather than be rejected I did nothing to ‘open up’ the relationship.
With Darlingest everything was different. I knew her sister and brother well, I’d met her mother too – she and her father were the two missing parts of a family I’d come to like. We were introduced at a dinner party I gave.
Part of ‘our story’ is used, when a character is able to ‘move on’ when he finds their lovemaking beats anything he’d done before – they came together, often, without fail, joyously, nosily and with great enthusiasm!
Death and loss do strange things to the mind
You see her in the crowd, you stand behind her in queues, and you think that is her driving towards you. It never is, not in reality. In fiction, she is everywhere.
I collect article on writers. The other week there was a piece on Anthony Burgess to mark the opening of the Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester (Just around the corner from the Red Lion pub). I’ll have toe read him, just as I have read J G Ballard. I’ll have to see what I make of ‘A Clockwork Orange.’

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