In the back alley by the bread shop I saw you. I pivoted like they taught at band camp, netball, shuffle walked like a sixties’ zombie. You were out the shop quick like an alarm was going and everyone forgot to pay. I caught your eye as I thought I wouldn’t when before I’d been sure I would, like magnetic leads to laptop connectors, asexual. Your nod was condolent, like someone asked if a film was good and politeness forced an answer. I asked your back if you wanted coffee but you were past me, heading to work or your wife’s or a girlfriend’s. You were plumper like a first generation iPod; I don’t know if you are, as you’re pieced from hearsay, other people’s photos on Facebook.
I thought that was it. The agonised chance slipped like trying to spot myself as an extra in the background of shows on terrestrial. But I saw you later. I found where you worked as they led me. You weren’t unhappy to see me; you kissed my cheek like we were family. If we’d fucked, we would be.
But we didn’t, did we?
It was nightclub busy. I met colleagues, you were happy like when we watched 300, the bus station kiss, solidly better than daydreams. You were complete like a charity shop jigsaw: surprisingly, and I couldn’t be happier for it. If I’ve one wish that won’t be it, but it’s the second or third, the back-up present if the one I want is out of stock, continually.
We said we’d get coffee, drinks. Your friends talked like I’d seen them last week and five years of shit, regret collecting like junk mail behind the front door in immovable heaps, or social network friends’ lists, hadn’t happened.
I came back and we kissed like forever. Commitments since were interim roles in other films which didn’t make a top 100. And I’d made it my mission to watch every Allen, Brief Encounter now duffle coat marred, impossible to separate from you, like food cans when the ring pulls snap.
This was the start of a series, season, a show which would run for five years, six, or four, its cancellation creating online petitions, campaigns, and Bible pain in which hope’s there but cracker thin, wavering like an ombré dip dye. And I love.