Day 38

5.03: Tricky things apologies, though Glyn Maxwell at least seems to have got the hang of them. And before him, Burns had also mastered the arts of pith and the ‘sorry’ poem.

But there’s a danger that poets end up a bit like smooth-talking, slick-haired adulterers, who can oil their way out of even the stickiest of pants-down catchouts. A winning rhyme and a seductive smile, and the folk you’ve wronged become as Play Doh in your pudgy infantile fingers.

But that isn’t really what’s on my mind at all. My dilemma is this: What do you do when someone from the past pops up and apologises for something they did to you some time ago?

Well that depends, I’m picturing you mumbling at your glaring screens, on what it was the person from the past did, and who they are, and how you feel about it now.

Yes, quite. But I’m not sure I want to tell you those things. This is all getting a bit Jon Ronson.

And you probably need to define ‘the past’ while you’re about it.

Will you shut up? I’m trying to wrestle an emotional snake pit down here.

Here’s the thing. I think getting the apology has made me feel worse about the something that the person from the past did to me than I did before I got it.

So maybe I should apologise back, mount a sort of revenge apology.

Or perhaps I should try cowardice: adopt the foetal position, hum distantly to myself, and wait it out until Leviathan and Behemoth come chomping at my toes.

And maybe I just shouldn’t air cryptic descriptions of my soiled psychological laundry on the internet.

6.43: On the Today Programme John Humphries is reading aloud from the Daily Express, which calls Roger Federer “the greatest tennis player who ever walked this planet.” I know the Express likes conspiracy theories, but I’d have thought it was a safe bet to say he was the greatest tennis player ever. Ever. Given this scientist reckons the chances of intelligent life emerging on other planets are “less than 0.01 per cent over four billion years,” I’d have thought the probability of there being intelligent, tennis-playing life are probably small enough to be discounted.

6.51: A new week, and my troops are beginning to get their act together once more – both in fictional and metaphorical terms as it happens, although literally speaking I don’t yet carry the clout to marshal my own fighting force.

~ by David Thorley on February 1, 2010.

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