Wednesday, January 17, 2007

What else is there to do?

This is an extract from a great little book called Ruby and the Stone Age Diet in which the narrator and friend have been dumped. I found it years ago, probably before I'd ever even had a boyfriend, and I still think it's spot-on:

"Yesterday Ruby and I spent four hours wandering Brixton trying to
accidentally bump into our lovers but my plan was a failure. We met neither Cis
nor Domino, despite calling into every place where they might be.

'Sometimes it's difficult to manufacture coincidences,' says Ruby, sharing
a drink with me before closing time. 'A pity. I would have liked to fuck Domino
right this minute.'

'We could try again tomorrow.'

'It won't do any good,' says Ruby, morosely. 'Nothing does any good.

'You fall in love with someone and they leave you and you feel like dying.
You meet their friends in the street and you tell them how unhappy you are and
you hope this news will get back to your ex-lover and they'll take pity on you.
Or else you meet their friends in the street and you tell them you're having a
great time and you hope this news will get back to your ex-lover and make them

'You think about things you could have done and what you would do
differently if you had the chance, you wait for the phone or doorbell to ring,
you hang around the fringe of conversations hoping to hear some snippet of
information about how they are.

'You can write poems and send them or not send them, you can turn up drunk
at their house and plead with them to come back or turn up drunk and pretend you
don't give a damn, you can send flowers or love-notes or a few intellectual
books, you can discuss it endlessly with your friends till they're sick of the
sight of you, you can think about it all day and all night, imagining that
somehow your mental power will win them back, you can sit on your own and cry or
go out and make yourself frantically busy.

"You can think about killing yourself and warmly imagine how sorry they'll
be after you do it, you can think about going on a trip round the world and
probably when you got back you'd still hope to run into them on the street.

"You can do anything at all and none of it is any good. It is completely
pointless. Lovers never come back. You can't influence them to do it and you
would realise this if only you weren't so dementedly unhappy all the

The pub is noisy with little room to move, and we have to guard our drink
against a marauding barman who keeps trying to snatch it off the table even
though there is a good half-inch left at the bottom.

'So we won't try again tomorrow?'

'We might as well. What else is there to do?'"

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