Thursday, August 09, 2007

Sliding Doors

[This post is brought to you by my friend Graeme. Oh sure, it's me writing it, but after a long conversation last night Graeme said "You have to write about this." Hey, who am I to be disobedient, right?]

I had drinks last night with the regular Wednesday irregulars. Aside from Graeme, who I have known for (sweet Jebus!) around 20 years or so, I've only known everyone else for a fairly short time. Mostly we only ever see each other at Wednesday night drinks, but I really enjoy everyone's company. We sit, we have some drinks, we flirt with the cute young bar manager, we talk about anything and everything, and we laugh. Lots of laughter.

Last night, as the night wore on, talk turned to how Graeme and I met. Graeme and I met back in my home town (and his) of Adelaide, after Graeme had already moved to Sydney to live but was paying a visit home to see his folks. We were both really attracted to each other, and it seemed like maybe we could have become boyfriends. In fact it seemed like that's where things were heading for a while.

But there was a disconnect. An incompatibility and a hang-up that got in the way. At the time I didn't understand it. Neither of us had the life experience or skills to be able to articulate the issue, so we never did become boyfriends. Instead I have a friend of 20+ years who I love dearly, which is a fantastic outcome.

What we got to talking about though were the 'what ifs', and that's where the title of this entry comes in. Like the film Sliding Doors, where a missed train has a dramatic outcome, we talked about what might have happened in the 20 years since we met if circumstances had been different. It's an interesting question, and not one that has an answer.

Graeme has become someone who is very articulate and open about his feelings, and he was talking about that time, what went through his head, what might have been if things had worked out differently, and also painted a snapshot of me through his eyes when I was in my very early twenties. (In fact he unearthed a photo recently from back then, which he has promised to email me, and I'll post here when I get it for a bit of fun.)

It's always an interesting and educational experience to see yourself through someone else's eyes. Also, Graeme has an incredible memory and is able to remember details of things I had forgotten. It was almost like having a mirror held up to myself that showed a version of me from way back then. None of us would be the people we are today if things had worked out differently, if we hadn't missed the train so to speak. The journey from who I was then to who I am now would have been very different, and so would the destination I suspect.

22 comments:

Michael said...

I love/hate to think about these things.

I can't remember if you've read any Ian McEwan, but this theme of how a single moment, an action taken or not taken, can change your entire life, is one he frequently visits. His most recent book, On Chesil Beach, is a short, fantastic read that details a REALLY bad honeymoon night and now it changes everything.

Check it out and thank me laters.

Michael said...

"how" it changes everything

The Other Andrew said...

How now? (brown cow)

I haven't read "Chesil Beach", but I'll look for it. Mind you, I still haven't purchased "The Time Traveller's Wife" so you know how these things go...

Michael said...

Since you segued, I've been anticipating the movie of TTTW ever since I heard Eric Bana was cast in the lead! IMDB says production still hasn't begun.

But back to your regularly scheduled programming....Sliding Doors.....

The Other Andrew said...

We like some Bana.

Michael said...

I'd like a Bana split right now.

Oops. OK, back to Sliding Doors....

The Other Andrew said...

Bana Smoothie anyone?

Michael said...

Yes! But I've been binging all day, so I'm thinking as a facial masque.

The Other Andrew said...

Nice. Makes you taut, apparently.

The Other Andrew said...

See. I write something meaningfull. Personal. Make some art from rich life experience.

What happens?...

Michael said...

I know! I feel awful. Almost like that time I had too much smoothie.

thombeau said...

*sigh*

This post makes me oddly emotional. The past...the present...the future...


So instead, on to Time Traveller's Wife, one of my favorite literary experiences, and not just because so many of the locations are places I know far too well. The emotions are also profound and familiar.

While reading the book, I pictured the actress who played Claire on "Six Feet Under" as the lead. I think she'd be brilliant in the film...

Also your post made me think of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", another favorite that captures moments in time and relationships and the directions they take. Again: *sigh*

Andrew, did you see my response to you on the Fabulon post "Lavender Menace"? There was some cosmic weirdness going on. And there are no coincidences...

Michael said...

See, Drew?! Thombeau don't lie. Get the book. It's mindbending and marvelous.

The Other Andrew said...

I hear you boys, I will check it out. How could I not? I trust both your judgements.

Thom, your blog keeps crashing my browser today for some reason. IE can't cope with too much fabulousness, obviously. I'll keep trying to read your comment response.

Cecilia said...

This is a little off topic, but this reminded me of a recent (unplanned) meeting I had recently with someone who was a good friend a couple of decades ago. We had lost touch and this was the first time we met since we can't remember when. We had a nice conversation but we didn't even pretend that we were going to keep in touch. It was a little sad that we don't connect any more but I guess that is part of growing up. Or some other cliche I can't find right now!

thombeau said...

Andrew: You really should use Firefox as a browser, it does way better than the ol' IE. (Of course, if you're at work that may be beyond your control.)At any rate, you're the second person to mention this, so I will take down some of the Amazon ads I put up last night. A girl's gotta earn a living!

The Other Andrew said...

Indeed she does!

I would get all (Fire)Foxy but like you said, I'm at work and am lacking in control.

The helpful error message "overflow in stack blah-blah..." oddly enough didn't help me figure out the problem. Thanks Microsoft!

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

chocolate-coated Bana, thanks :-)

lovely post TOA, you do reflective so well!

The Other Andrew said...

Thanks speedy! :)

Ur-spo said...

that was a lovely post
thank you for this.

The Other Andrew said...

You're welcome Dr Spo!

Graeme said...

Hey, I inspired a post! Amazing!

I think Agnetha said it best in 2004 on her album 'My Colouring Book' with the song..."Past, Present And Future"

[The Past]
Past - well now let me tell you about the past
Past is filled with silent joys and broken toys
Laughing girls and teasing boys
Was I ever in love?
I called it love
I mean - it felt like love
There were moments when...
Well, there were moments when...

[Present]
Go out with you?
Why not?
Do I like to dance?
Of course
Take a walk along the beach tonight?
I'd love to
(But) Don't try to touch me
Don't try to touch me
Cause that will never happen again
Shall we dance?

[Instrumental]

[The Future]
Tomorrow - well... Tomorrow is a long way off
Maybe someday I'll hold somebody's hand
Maybe somewhere someone will understand
You know - I used to sing: "A tisket, a tasket, a green and yellow basket"
I'm all packed up and I'm on my way and I'm gonna fall in love
But at the moment it's doesn't look good
At the moment it will never happen again
I don't think it will ever happen again