stories worth a thousand words #48



The Unitarian Church at St Stephens Green, Dublin, where we plan to be married in August, 2006.

Written: December 5, 2004

It had only been a couple of weeks since I had made the painful move from the marital home in Clondalkin back to Booterstown.

Earlier that summer, my grandfather had been accepted for full-time care at the Royal Hospital Donnybrook, and his wife was in the midst of a two-week stint at St Vincents Hospital herself. All this meant I had a free house for the fortnight.

On the Saturday afternoon I received a call from a guy I used to work with in Champion Sports, Dillon Collins. He was a tall, good looking bloke with whom I had often gone on the pull before that summer, and the prospect of a night’s “pulling” with him seemed to be just what I needed.

Our final destination was a nightclub called “Boomerang’s”, a well known pick up place in Temple Bar. We got there late, and so knocked back a few double vodkas to get into the mood. The next memory I have is seeing this tall glamorous looking lady with short hair and clear white skin standing on her own and in an act totally out of character, I found myself walking over to her and asking her could I kiss her neck! She let me, but her friend called her from behind me and so she got away. I probably wandered off to get another double vodka and coke.

At the end of the night, I stumbled over toward the queue for the cloakroom to get my jacket. By pure coincidence, there I was standing behind the tall beauty once again, so I tried to strike up another conversation. In pure defiance, she turned to me and said; “I bet you don’t even know what my name is!”

Maybe it was adrenaline, maybe it was a desire to stick up for fellow men in the wake of an accusation that we see all women as mere sex objects, or maybe it was the fact that I was extremely inebriated, but somehow, I managed to remember what her friend had said when she called her earlier. “Sandra?” I said tentatively. Before I knew what was what I was walking her to her taxi, we were having the odd mooch and talking about ourselves and I was even cheekily asking her back to my place. She refused the invite, but did give me her number as the taxi left her home.

I had to work the next day, and I sat in my office knowing that although it was very soon, if I didn’t find the courage ring her then I never would; and also I only had a week left of the free house!!! And so while shaking like a leaf I made the call, and to my surprise she agreed to meet me the following night for what was to be first actual proper date since I was in college.

We met at The Trinity Arch Bar on Dame St, and the night went brilliantly, mostly because once again she proved herself a lady by not coming home with me. I vividly remember how good I felt the following morning; it was clear I had met someone special.

And so we started seeing each other regularly, and it was not until the fourth date that I was able to bring myself to break the news of my baggage. Her reaction of “Oh, my God!” led me to believe that we were doomed, but after reflection on her part she still wanted to go out with me, and before I knew what was happening, I was in a full blown relationship again.

The one thing about Sandra I can categorically say is that my association with her has nothing to do with being on the rebound or anything like that. It could be said that since MyX had someone in her life, all I wanted was someone in mine, but the reality was I had been with a few different women for the previous few months and had no desire to take anything further until I met Ms Curran.

So what is it about Sandra that kept me interested? She is beautiful, she makes me laugh, she has her vulnerabilities with which I can easily relate, and she genuinely loves me. One day I completely forgot that I was to collect my daughter RA from school, and MyX rang me to let me know it. That evening I was with Sandra and after having a few drinks I became overwhelmed by the image of the poor little girl sitting waiting for her Daddy, until she came through and brought me to my senses that it was a simple mistake that I would never repeat.

We moved in together for a brief time, but it only lasted a few months, with my losing my job together with a sizeable chunk of my self esteem being the principal factor. We then went through a period where we were split up, but still keeping in contact, even spending the odd night together while we were seeing other people.

It was a Saturday night in November 2003. I was in full flow of my “hash phase”, and out on a session with a crowd of people I had met from the internet chatrooms. These two Scottish net-friends were telling me who my “ideal woman” was, and seemed to be describing Sandra to a T. Around midnight, with me quite drunk, my mobile rang and sure enough it was her, a bit tipsy herself, wondering if we could get back together.

I didn’t need a second invitation. I presumed when I decided to move back in with my grandmother that I was to be a single man for a long time to come; instead I was back with Sandra and extremely happy.

Just over a year later, we are now engaged and I want my future to include her; if she isn’t my soulmate, I doubt I will ever meet one.

© JL Pagano 2004


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JG said…
I hope that will be a defense of bleeding heart liberals!!

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