Monday, 15 August 2016

Left luggage

It's always the little things. People in your life leave tiny imprints on it, and even if they leave, the marks are still there. Little things that, out of nowhere, will remind you of someone, sometimes someone you haven't thought of in years.

My best friend changed the way I prefer my "leverpostejmadder" (open sandwich with a sort of liver paté; very much a Danish thing). I now actually prefer them with tomato slices on top - before I became friends with her, it was always-always cucumber. (She also taught me that true love is best shown by making pancakes early in the morning)

An ex boyfriend inspired me to change from monthly to daily disposable contact lenses (and thus improved my life without even knowing it).  Another ex gifted me (not deliberately I'm sure) with a profound aversion to men who have nicknames for their member.  An unsolicited dick pic is one thing; actually being formally introduced to it is quite another. I mean, what are you supposed to do? Shake hands with it (how??) and say "pleased to meet you; I do look forward to working with you??"    Yet another ex left me with an expensive taste in alcohol and a slightly more adventurous palate (though nothing beats the guy who treated me to my first taste of frogs legs, steak tartare, and escargots, all in one hedonistic weekend).   And for years, I would habitually buy a certain kind of chocolate whenever I saw it on sale, only later to wonder why on earth I'd done that when I didn't even like it.

You may not even notice the subtle ways in which people influence you. And you can't really get rid of the memories, even if you may want to.  You can purge your life of the physical evidence - stuffing old pictures into a drawer, deleting old e-mails (or filing them away so efficiently you'll never find them again), looking at an old poster and then deciding to leave it up because, sod it, you like it more than you miss him. You go through all the motions, and you feel better for it, and then a tiny thing - something you didn't even share, but maybe saw in a shop and thought he might like - will send you reeling.

I once had a love ring (you might have called it an engagement ring, but that would imply a certain question having been asked, and yes having been the answer, and we never got quite that far). I wore it on the ring finger on my left hand. I still have the ring stashed away somewhere, in a place so secret even I cannot find it. And to this day, whenever I think about a love that didn't last, I have a dull ache in my left ring finger. Like a phantom pain in a lost limb, except it isn't the limb that is missing. 

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