2 December 2012

The Missed Moment


I was out last night with two of my friends. 

We had dinner. 

We ate in Club Street at an outside table. 

These two friends of mine are a couple - they are now engaged actually. They are good together because they accept, understand and appreciate each other. 

Acceptance. 

Comprehension. 

Appreciation. 

I think these are the fundamental requirements of a sound relationship - plus love of course. 

So I am confident it will work out well.

I was once again the third wheel but I didn't mind. 

I rarely do.

There was discussion about their wedding plans. It is not going to be a big event apparently - just forty or so guests. There will mostly be family and a few close friends. I am honored to be one of the close friends. The majority of people are coming from overseas. 

The bride is Australian. 

The groom is Irish. 

I like weddings - they are happy events. This one is going to be Black Tie so I get to wear my tuxedo. I have my own tuxedo and I have my own black tie. The tie is not one of those elastic or clip on jobs, it is one that knot myself. 

With the  incessant heat and humidity Singapore is not the best place to wear a tux however I have donned my tux before here and survived. I quite like getting dressed up on the odd occasion but I am normally otherwise a bit of a slob. I feel most comfortable in jeans and a tee shirt. 

No shoes. 

The bride-to-be is always immaculately dressed. She is very stylish and is most fashion savvy. She is classy.

Beautiful.

Elegant.

It is my belief that elegance is innate. In my mind it has nothing to do with being well dressed. Elegance is in fact refusal and it is sometimes surrender. Charles Dickens once wrote, 

"Great men are seldom over-scrupulous in the arrangement of their attire"

Don't judge a book by its cover he is saying. 

Good one Charles.

So the talk of weddings led on to discussions of love and romance. The bride-to-be was petting the future groom. She was stroking his hand across the table. 

He was loving it. 

He was lapping it up. 

“I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ was the first single released by the Beatles. It was brilliant. The Beatles nailed it with that one because it is what everyone wants really. A public expression of affection and an unhidden demonstration of connection. John Lennon wrote the music and penned the lyrics. 

Nice one John. 

We miss you.

The bride-to-be wanted to hear a romantic moment from me. She wanted to hear a love story. So I gave her one - a moment that is. Not literally groom so don't worry on that front. Mind you if she wasn't yours I would do her in a blink. 

She is gorgeous.

The moment I gave her happened a long time ago - when I was a youth. So that's a really long time ago now. I was traveling around Europe. I was just back packing about the place - flitting here and there. I was footloose and I was fancy free. 

Those were the days. 

On this long ago occasion I had caught a bus to a little village on the French Riviera. The name of the village was Beaulieu-sur-Mer. I got on the bus at Nice and as I alighted at the village square a girl got on. We passed each other in the doorway and as we did so we locked eyes and we smiled at each other. It was one of those moments where in a single glance souls were instantaneously exchanged. 

The Italians call such moments 'colpo di fulminate.' - the thunderbolt. The Italians understand passion. They get it. Their passion is often entangled with a maelstrom of lust but they do it very well. I have tasted love with an Italian before and it was both a sweet and a fiery fruit. 

But that's another story.

Anyway in this singular moment - in Beaulieu-sur-Mer - my chest felt that it had cracked open. I temporarily lost the capacity to breathe. By the time I realized what had struck me the bus was leaving. I looked up at it departing and this girl - this angel – she turned from her seat at the window and she smiled again and gave me a wave. I didn't even have time to wave back and it is one of my life regrets. The breath whooshed out of my body and everything around me froze for a moment. As the bus disappeared in the distance I felt as if I was looking at her through a telescopic camera lens. I was zoomed in all the way and the world around me paused for that tiny span of time between the opening and closing of the shutter.

Click.

I was only planning on staying in Beaulieu-sur-Mer for a couple of days before moving on to Monte Carlo. I however stayed for two weeks. I spent much of this time waiting at that bus stop. Every day. Hoping to see this girl again. This complete stranger and the thief of my heart. There were fourteen timeless days filled with Hope.

Anxiety.

Anticipation.

Then ultimately there was devastation. 

I have heard that when you meet the love of your life time stops and when time starts again it moves extra fast to catch up. 

This is what it was like. 

I never saw her again. 

Just the re-telling of this sad tale has opened up an old wound. I realize now that some people flash into our lives and leave imprints on our hearts. 

Deep ones.

It doesn't happen often but this was one of those moments. 

Missed as it was.

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