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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

I had lunch this afternoon with my past. Since making and announcing the decision to move to London, I’ve been trying to catch up with people I’ve been meaning to catch up with since moving back to Dublin. Yes, nearly two years ago. It’s best not to rush these things. I’ve decided on a strict policy of luncheon meetings, because meeting in pubs after work has proven to become a bit messy in the past.

The problem with the age of internet, email and text messages is that it’s very easy to continue a relationship with people without realising that you haven’t been face to face with that person for a very, very long time. And the problem with casually rolling through life the way I have been for at least the last year is that time casually rolls away from you, and all of a sudden you’re leaving without saying hello, let alone saying goodbye.

So this afternoon, I had lunch with someone I haven’t seen for maybe three years. This is a fact I only realised as I walked up to him to say hello, and he entirely failed to recognise me. Which is a novel experience for me, since I’m usually the person blanking the other person, seeing as how I’m blessed with a weird form of facial dyslexia. I’ll remember what someone is wearing forever more, but will entirely fail to remember what their face is like.

We went to a café, we sat down, we talked for an age about this and that. Since we both keep blogs, and both read each other’s blogs, there wasn’t a huge amount of catching up to be done. Talk quickly turned instead to plans and jobs and get-rich-quick schemes and the like. And although it probably doesn’t sound it, this I think was the very first grown-up conversation I’ve ever had in all of my life.

I’ve talked to people about their marriage plans, their pregnancies, the children, their divorces, the death of their friends, family, pets, their mortgages, their birth control plans, their sexual dysfunctions – I’ve pretty much covered all of the adult basics. But for all of this, I’ve never felt like a proper grown up having these conversations, at least not in the way I was so aware of being a grown up this lunchtime.

This, I think had a tremendous amount to do with the fact that I very much am no longer the person I was when I first met and associated with my lunch date. In that long and distant past, I realised while drinking my coffee and talking about where I’d ultimately like to end up living, I was a psychotic child, barely out of my teens and desperate to prove myself. Now I’m a psychotic adult, barely still in my twenties, and perfectly happy with how things seem to be cruising along. Which is a very nice thing to realise of a Friday.


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