It’s not a failure we could help.

Now and again, we come across a situation that we find irresistible, someone or something that it’s difficult to say no to. A new job opportunity maybe, perhaps the chance of a new relationship. No real way though of telling at the start if either are going to be good for you. It’s easier to change jobs than partners, but you’ll never know if one or both will work out if you don’t try. It’s always exciting to be attracted to someone new, to something new. Depending on how your life is going, it’s cool to not want to take a chance on someone or something, it’s not always going to be ponies, rainbows and unicorns, so a leap of faith is needed. Shit or get off the pot.

Isn’t it also true that sometimes it’s hard not to like or love the people or things that will end up hurting us the most? Some of us can be attracted to people that have the ability to cause us pain. There’s fighting, hurt, a lack of trust. Frequent break-ups but lots of great make-up sex. Feelings of blame, jealousy, being undervalued, all are far too much drama for anyone to have to deal with regularly. Can you dislike or like someone at the same time? Sometimes it’s the conflict that keeps things going. You both know that you’re no good for each other, but you dance the dance, until one of you plucks up the courage to say that it’s not working any more. Just life, making choices every day, you need to be strong enough to trust yourself, right? Things are tearing you both apart, better to break than be irreparably scarred. It’s more than okay to be physically attracted to someone, but perhaps it’s not wise to have a proper relationship with them. Quit whilst you’re ahead? Wish one another well and don’t look back.

What’s the point in chasing a train when you know that it’s already left the station. You cannot outrun a ghost.

Death Cab For Cutie are in town and are playing at the Sydney Opera House. It’s sold out, but I manage to find a pair of tickets online. I arrange to meet the seller outside and one of my best friends is coming along too. Perfect. She has to decline at the last minute unfortunately, so I make the spare available online. A random girl replies first, so now it’s her ticket, and although I’ve not spoken to her, far less met her, shared interests are a good start. It’s a couple of hours, it could and should be fun, even with a stranger. We arrange to meet at the Opera Bar for a pre-show drink, it’s one of the nicest spots in the world with a knockout view, that gets even better when you snag seats facing the Harbour Bridge.

I pick up the tickets and I get to the bar first. I’m not presumptious enough to order for her before she gets here, so I get a beer and grab those wonderful seats. A few minutes later, I can smell perfume behind me, and in some way I know that my new concert buddy has arrived. We shake hands which is frankly ridiculous, I ask what she wants to drink and I head for the bar. As I wait, I glance back over and there are an insane amount of people saying hello to her. We all know that one person who seems to know everyone so I don’t think too much about it, I grab her drink and head back.

The conversation flows easily, she has the cutest inflection to her voice. We head upstairs and grab our seats. It’s more of an intimate venue than I expected, and again, she seems to know everyone. We share the same first name so every time that someone says it out loud, I look around, but of course, they’re not speaking to me, she’s the object of attention. She’s not a natural blonde, but she’s a natural beauty, so I can see why. Again though, I forget about it, the lights dim and the show begins. She knows the words to every song, pics and videos are taken, it’s an amazing couple of hours. During the interval, the conversation flows as easily as before, I know it’s going to blow when the night ends, I don’t need a map or compass to see the direction I want to be heading in.

I live in a different suburb, but she invites herself for a nightcap, so we catch the ferry. We get to a bar that is less than a hundred paces from where I live, I give her money for drinks and excuse myself. I come back and more and more people are saying hello, how popular can one girl be, weird.

The night ends, she comes back to mine and although there’s something there, neither of us are those kind of people. A quick glass of fizz follows, I give her the tour, she takes the spare room, shorts and a tee and kisses me on the cheek, thanking me for a good night. Sleep follows.

I hear the coffee machine when I wake, I smile and take the chance to grab a shave and a shower. The doorbell rings, I go downstairs to find friends that are borrowing my flatmate’s car for the weekend. They look quizzically at the girl disappearing back upstairs and then at me. I grab the keys for them, she comes back down minutes later, kisses me on the cheek and leaves with my number with a smile, we’ll see each other again. I apologise, look back at my friends and one half of the couple sees that I look confused. He asks, ‘Do you know who that is?’ I confess I don’t, I don’t even know her surname. He laughs uncontrollably and tells me that she’s nationally famous and appears regularly on TV. Spot the stupid expat.

They leave, still laughing, and although a high five is handed out, they don’t know that anything happened. I make a dick move, stick her name into an internet search engine and the penny drops.

Days, weeks and months pass, emails, phone calls, texts are exchanged. We meet up regularly and she now knows that I know who she is. It doesn’t change anything, I don’t think, things are kept private. One day, an invite drops through the postbox for a gala event and I’m the plus one. The kilt is on, we meet up, but something is different. No hands are held, there are zero hugs, don’t even start me on kisses. The red carpet belongs to her alone, I might as well make myself comfortable on the sidelines. Plenty of pictures are being taken of her but you can probably guess how many I made it into. It’s made very clear what her priority is and it’s not a guy in a kilt.

Who wants to settle for something that isn’t right? I’m a little heart heavy, but sometimes you have to close a window even when you know that you’re not going to like being on the other side of the glass.

Was I in your way, when the cameras turned to face you? No room in frame for two.

@TheSamMcLeod
@YouMeMusicLife