The First Day
Sunday, April 04, 2004
Just watched Good Will Hunting for the first time. What a fantastic film. The idea that if you do not fulfill your potential, you are letting down not just yourself, but all those others who would give anything to have the chance. That concept rang a little bell in my head somewhere. However, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this new-found inspiration, or even if it will survive ten minutes of being at work tomorrow morning.

On Friday I had a nice evening with Genette. We had a delicious meal at a Thai resturant in Wimbledon called 'The Flaming Wok'. Great atmosphere - highly recommended. Then over to Walkabout to grab another drink (VB - what else?), before heading back to Genette's flat with a DVD. We'd intended to get something really scary, but somehow ended up with the remake of The Italian Job. After opening another bottle of wine and snuggling up on the sofa, we only managed about half an hour of the film before we gave up on that source of entertainment and concentrated on each other. The next morning was spent lazily cuddled up in bed, eventually rousing ourselves for lunch at Nando's.

Saturday night was take-away and movies at Fez's place. We watched 'X-Men'. Not bad. Probed Matt about Parminder and had a good laugh at some of the school-disco-style communications that have been going on.

Today has largely been spent polishing my car. During this I've been trying to rationalise my thoughts regarding Carly and Genette. I've spent the last year believing, admittedly to varying degrees, that Carly is the women for me. It is taking time for me to undo that, not least because a big part of me still believes it. Conversely I find I have to think to remember the details of my relationship with Carly, and that really worries me. It seems as if it would be easy to move on and let myself forget, but surely that would be doing a huge injustice to what has happened?

Need to write this more often.
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Tonight I am feeling thoughtful and a little melancholy, so it must be time for another post...

Since Sunday I've been like an excited child awaiting a visit from Santa Claus, looking forward to seeing Genette again. When we awoke together on Saturday morning, we were both relaxed. She tickled my armpit and stroked my stubble. I kissed her gently on the forehead. We nuzzled up to one another and both at different times opened our dozey eyes to see the other gazing back and smiling pensively. It was nice. Nice and relaxed.

Later on, whilst suffering the joys of overindulgence and lack of sleep, and the anticipation of the upcoming night out, I began to remember some of the more foolish aspects of the night before. Matt and Parminder gleefully told me about some others that I certainly did not remember and did not want to. As suspected, I had gotten rather too drunk and made a bit of a fool of myself on the way home, firstly by insisting upon relieving my bladder in the car park and then by groping Parminder's legs in the car (apparently believing them to be Genette's, which would have been bad enough in itself). To top it off, I was so drunk when we got back to the girls' flat that I could manage only to plonk myself on the sofa and watch the room spin.

Not the best impression to make on a potential new girlfriend, I'm sure you'll agree. However, I was still feeling reasonably confident because of the warmth that we had seemed to share, albeit briefly, in the morning.

On Saturday evening we exchanged texts, and Genette reiterated her promise to call me and arrange to do something in the coming week. On Monday she was away on site, so I didn't see her at work. On Monday evening I decided to take the initiative and call her. After all, three days is supposedly to be the optimum time to leave it, and it was the start on the week so I wanted to get some plans togther. She didn't answer. I didn't leave a message, although I thought that I probably should have done. Confidence ebbs a little... why didn't she answer? Finally at nearly 10pm she calls me back and she can't do Tuesday or Wednesday (my two suggested nights), so we agree on Thursday. And I'm beginning to wonder if she is playing The Game*.

[* In this case playing hard to get, but the The Game encompasses all of the unspoken strategies and tactics invloved in establishing and maintaining the power-balance of a relationship. Note: I like to think that I'm good at playing The Game (understanding that it exists is a commendable start), but I suspect in reality I'm pretty rubbish at it. ]

This morning I caught a glimpse or two of her at work, and knew instantly that (a) she had made an effort to look nice for me and (b) that she is was feeling a little awkward about the situation. Whilst not sorting out reading material my new team member (different story) I'm sitting at my desk with an inane grin on my face trying to find the right moment to go and have a chat. This isn't going the cool and collected way that I had hoped! Eventually, not long after lunch, I go over. Genette is pleasant and friendly, but it's clear we're both a little nervous. It does seem odd, dealing with this at work.

The conversation flounders around performance reviews, the weekend and some other stuff that I throw in just so that I don't run out of things to say. Generally, the conversation didn't flow as easily as I'd hoped, but then I know that Genette is a little quiet. Hopefully I'll be able to entice her out of her shell a little on Thursday night when we go for a drink together. My line has been that 'I want to get to know her better'. I really hope there is something to get to know.

Earlier today, whilst in a new-girl-on-the-scene stupor, I remember thinking 'Carly? Carly who?'. Tonight I came across some old photos of times that we had spent together, and I felt the familiar regret and sadness that I have to consign those memories to the past. What really concerns me is the thought that Carly was uniquely special to me in a way that I never be able to replace.
Monday, March 22, 2004
Continuing to do u-turns in my analysis of Friday night and the emotional dust that it has kicked up.

Genette: RIght now I want to hit her with my club and drag her back to my cave.

But of course, I need to be more careful than that.
Sunday, March 21, 2004
On Thursday, Fez enquires as to my plans for Friday evening. He and a couple of others are going out in Kingston-upon-Thames. One of the others to be in attendance is Genette who is also bringing along some friends from university.

Genette is a girl from work who I've been admiring from a distance since she joined the project last autumn. Once soon after she joined, a few of us were sitting in Weatherspoons eating lunch. Our eyes met (across a disappointing cheeseburger and half-empty glass of beer rather than the more usual crowded room) and she held my gaze for long enough to give me an inkling that there was some mutual interest happening.

A summary of the events of Friday night would probably include the following words, in some order or another: Weissbeer, tequila, friends busily match-making, more tequila, vodka & Redbull, drunk, it's 4am. And yes, at the end of the evening I found myself going home with aforementioned colleague. Ooops. Luckily I was hammered enough that the damage was limited to making a fool of myself rather than any bedroom-related complications.

A summary of my feelings from Saturday: My head hurts. That wasn't meant to happen. Am I ready for this? No. She is not like Carly. I want to go to sleep. My head hurts. I am a fool.

Amazingly I did manage to rouse myself into going to Sumaira's sisters wedding at an impressive hotel in central London. Sumaira is someone that I worked with on a previous project, so the reasons for being at the wedding were tenuous to say the least. However, there was good food and a great atmosphere, if not the cultural eye-opener I'd been expecting.
Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Was going to post the list of stuff I wrote to give me enough material for the landmark telephone call to Carly, but I thought better of it. Part of me is concerned that one day someone other than myself may stumble across this journal, and I should attempt to maintain some degree of dignity in my postings just in case that ever happens!

It is an interesting thought: I am treating this as a private diary - a convenient way to record what I have been thinking and what I have been doing (note that the latter tends to be the former, so that simplifies things a bit), yet this is published on the widest-reaching, most public medium the world has ever seen.

I am writing this as therapy. Purely for myself. Yet this idea allures me. Everyone wants to be understood, I guess, and maybe part of me hopes for a reader to cut through the self-obsessed tedium and relate to the way that I work.

Oh yeah, and as for the phone call to Carly, well she was still at work (at 9.15pm!) so I didn't take up much of her time (only got through two bullet points on my list ;o) ). Vitally though, she was warm and keen to talk, so I am feeling happy. Just need to remind myself that I have accepted this split and I'm not hoping for things that aint gonna happen. And it's for the best. Honest.
Approximately one month ago, I split up with my girlfriend. Ex-girlfriend, I should say.

Whilst our relationship was never perfect, it was the only one I've yet to have where I've felt the potential for a future of making babies and getting old together. (I should mention that these qualities have somewhat snuck up on me in their desirability, but perhaps that is something to be expected at the grand old age of twenty-six and a quater.)

I have just spoken to Carly for only the third time since our distressing split on Saint Valentine's day, and although I felt the time was right to tell her that I was ready to be friends again, I still found myself writing out the things that I wanted to say to her beforehand. This wasn't intended to be heavy stuff (deliberately otherwise actually), just a civilised and light-hearted exchange with undertones along the lines of "I still question some of the underlying reasons that this has happened, but I have excepted that it is for the best right now, and I'm getting on with my life".

But still I would fumble and get lost exploring tangents if I had not thought it through before hand. Sometimes it bothers me that I cannot think on the spot and speak coherently. I appear to need to control my racing mind by writing stuff down. Then I know that I am at least as eloquent as the next man.

This is precisely half the reason that I have begun this journal, to help myself make sense of the crazy overload of thinking, analysis and reanalysis that is doing aerobatics inside my head.

The other half of the reason is that I am a little paranoid about the capabilities of my memory. But that's a whole 'nother story.
Monday, March 15, 2004
So introductions then...

Who am I?

This is a question that leaves me feeling a little awkward, possibly because I'm not sure I know the correct answer, but more probably because I suspect the person that I believe I am is not to my satisfaction.

However, what bothers me more is that it seems like one hell of a cheesy way to start this journal. Damnit!

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Let's leave it at that.

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