Charlie said that you should always look both ways before crossing the road. He helpfully advised us as we grew up, not to take sweets from strangers or go over to look at the man’s nice puppies. On many matters important to our safety and development, Charlie, despite his unfortunate speech impediment and tendency to ramble, was able to impart some life-saving safety advice, the likes of which we’d have otherwise overlooked and doubtless perished under the wheels of a dustcart or at the hands of some minty breathed beagle owner.
Yes Charlie was indeed the voice of wisdom to a certain generation. But he had his limitations. Oh sure, come two days before bonfire night he became the fount of all knowledge on firework safety, stressing the importance of standing well back whilst Dad blew himself up with the biscuit tin, but where was his great intellect when it came to matters of love?
You see dear listener, I’ve recently encountered a new physical phenomenon. Having now reached the age of forty (ok, forty plus VAT) i thought my body was all through giving me surprises. I’ve got to know it quite well, intimately in places, photographically in others. On the whole, it fails to surprise me. Oh sure I’ll occasionally scratch behind my ear with my big toe and wonder why people are staring, but on the whole, my body is pretty normal. A bit bendy, but relatively normal.
Until recently. (Now, at this point, i think that it is only fair to warn you, that what follows can only be described as “vomworthy” navel gazing. You will need a bucket and you will need to stab yourself in the eye with a blunt rat).
You see a while ago, i met someone. She’s rather nice. I like her. She rather bizarrely, likes me too. In fact, “like” is, true to my British tradition of understatement, the very least i could say. We are somewhat smitten and all’s rather good. Like all new relationships, we miss each other when we’re apart and this is where my body has decided to pop up and pull a new little trick out of the hat. Sometimes as i say, by necessity, we’re apart. And what i experience during those times, can only be described as real physical pain. I literally ache inside. This is not some romantic, poetic line being spun (regular readers will have gathered that I’m certainly no Byron, as my epic “Here I sit upon the loo” is testament to). No, I physically hurt. It’s like I’m suddenly extremely hungry or as if some vital organ has been ripped out and the hole has been left gaping.
And here’s the thing: I can’t decide if i like it or not. The pain shows me that it’s real, that it’s special. But ouch!!
And then I’ll see her again. Suddenly I’m whole again. I’m like the puppy that’s been left alone all day who is literally overjoyed to see his Mistress again. (Only i hardly ever make puddles, except the occasional puddle of love juice that all little boys …… never mind). As soon as i see her, the pain goes.
But Love (most definitely) is a real and lasting Pain and Pain (most definitely) is Love.
We will now sing hymn 324, “As we vomit, o’er thy keyboard”.