A Love Story

I wasn't the only one there interested in her, but I was the one who didn't puke on the stair carpet and crash out dead-drunk at midnight. Instead she and I spent the early morning rolling over and hitting one another with soft furnishings, and at the start of the day she got up, went out for an interview, and got the job. She phoned me up that evening. She said, "hello, it's trouble". Soft, amused phone voice.

I met her again a year later, in Durham at my sister's house on a really cold and frosty winter night when we were both leftover after a party. We crawled together into a cold empty bed and lay holding each other, touching noses and pushing our faces together, and my twisting away and refusing to kiss her.

I only come back here when it's winter, for the frosted communities of trees in the dale, and steep grey streets with thick streams of red fat drunken people and terraced houses with damp, frost and rot on the litter in the back yards, broken wooden fences and gates with half-painted rusting red iron -- all this stuff reminds me of laying with her on this bed, bemused but trying our best to be good and to sleep. Delighting in the distance between us; joyful for the damage we could do, and still comfortable knowing we didn't need to.