because none of us is fucking up like we think we are, is what i'm trying to say

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Darby and Joan: May 2011


Darby and Joan are the quintessential middle-aged British couple, characterised by knitwear, hours of scrabble, and a penchant for staying in on Saturday nights. Darby and Joan are, in fact, Calum and me.
Once a month I'll be posting an open letter to Darby Cal to keep him up to date on a life that now we've graduated, won't involve flashing him my boobs every day. At least not in person, anyway. Sometimes, he might do the same here. I miss him already.

Dear Darby

Well. That’s it now. It’s all changing. It’s all changing and GODDAMIT we might just have to go on ahead and lead separate lives now. I believe it was you who coined the term sad koala face. This is totally a sad koala face moment. It might be what sad koala face was coined for, in fact. This is the sad koala face PINNACLE.

In the space of a single week we’ve finished university, won awards, been sick to high hell, performed our work in public, had our birthdays, and gotten engaged. AND OHMYGOD I CAN’T BELIEVE I NEARLY FORGOT- we have awesome new blazers too. I’m so pleased that I bullied you into that navy TopMan number- seriously, it was pricey but TRUST ME. In terms of price per wear? Pennies.

Hey! Are you still listening to me? Oh, right. I guess you deciding to spend the rest of your life with one single man is kinda a bigger deal than the blazer. If you insist. But it was a great blazer.

Know that even though I hate ceremonies and brides and grooms and BULLSHIT WEDDING STUFF I’m totally stoked about you getting hitched because BITCHES, RECOGNISE. You had better believe that your stag party is gonna be all pink glitter and black cock. And that’s so worth making this life-altering commitment that will change the course of your entire destiny. You know- so that I can get drunk and laid. So thanks. 

But that’s the future. Right now I’m kinda bummed about our present becoming our past. Since our very first day at university when I smelt your gay and so you sat next to me out of everyone because I smiled at you like Heath Ledger in Batman, you’ve been my wingman. You and Lee have come to be my family, in fact. You guys make me feel safe. But I won’t be seeing you everyday anymore.

This year has been my favourite, if I had to pick. For four long months you’ve rung my bell at 9 a.m. every morning, and I have answered in pretend Italian, and you have bollocked me for not being ready on time. Again. And then you’ve asked me if your hair looks okay this morning and EVERYTIME I’ve been like, huh? What do you mean it’s different?

Every morning we’ve said hi to our favourite ladies in Sainsbury’s, patting Emma-The-Dog-With-No-Teeth who was nearly always sat outside with her owner (Well. You know. The owner wasn’t sat- that’d just be stupid.) and then taken it in turns to get the Raspberry and Peach flavoured sparkling water that they have on special: 2 bottles for 70p. MADNESS! They should just give it away!

Dad asked me who the last one to buy the water was- did it all work out fair? I couldn’t answer him. I’ve done such a good job about not being an emotional GIRL about all this change that it took a question about bottled water to tip me over the edge. So I just cried instead. Dad didn’t understand.

We’ve sat at the same desk, in the same place, day-in and day-out as we have finished those all-important last bits of coursework that count for 80% of our degree and thus were a pre-cursor on how we can expect to measure the success we have FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES. Totally no big deal. And you have pushed me on every single one of those days, harder and harder and harder so that I didn’t once leave that place without knowing I had done my very best. But it made the walk home a bit hard. All the bruises from where you have kicked my arse slowed me down.

You wrote a story about fictional friends who leave university and agree to meet on the Italian Riviera some time later. But the chick doesn’t show, and the guy in your story just sits there, heartbroken. Thing is, it’s not fiction, is it? Because in a week I am meeting YOU on the Italian Riviera, for another part of our adventure. I’m actually writing this from the airport as I fly out ahead of you. Only, I’ve got a good mind not to turn up on Friday. Art imitating life and all that. See You In San Remo you called it. Well- maybe you won’t.

Just kidding. My being a dick is the only way I know how to deal with all the emotion of change. And I’m lucky that you’re the one person who let’s me get away with that. YOU KNOW. Often we demand of one another, “UNDERSTAND ME!” when we can’t be bothered to explain something. I don’t have to make demands now. You do understand me.

Okay, well my plane it almost here. Before I go I’d like to thank you for my birthday present. A book called The Art of Cheating is exactly like you said in yours and Lee’s inscription: something I already know a lot about. You told me that as I have faked orgasms, cried to get a better grade, and successfully avoided the world of work for 25 years, it was probably written by me anyway. THANKS. That’s why we are friends. Because of all the love and mutual respect.

See You In San Remo (probably),

Joan x

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