5,7,5 – 365 25th November 2015 (2)
A haiku and a diary entry, every day for a year.
This a copy of a Facebook post from May this year, posted with an added haiku as part of our anniversary story.
Laila and I have this thing, a routine if you will, in which I put my arms around her and tell her, “I’m sorry”. Laila always says, “Stop saying sorry”. I then apologise for saying sorry by saying – yes you guessed it – “Sorry.” I say sorry a lot and have been doing so for some years.
A little over 35 years ago, on a day much like today, the socially awkward 15 year old me might well have been skateboarding his way to Nower Hill High School to meet his best friend, the then also 15 year old Laila. 15 year old me would walk his best friend home from school, hang around at her house for an hour or two, before getting back on his skateboard and going home for his supper. This was pretty much 15 year old me’s daily routine. He would see Laila everyday, and everyday he would tell her about all the various girls that had caught his attention and seek her advice as to which one might prove to be a suitable girlfriend for him. At no point did it even occur to him to even consider the very pretty, 15 year old Laila as a potential girlfriend. Why? Well, he had reasoned that a pretty girl like that wouldn’t be interested in him, she was well and truly out of his league. The 15 year old me had reasoned this, despite the fact that Laila had been leaving notes for him in her desk at school for months, waited for him at the school gate everyday to meet her and spent every evening with him. As you will no doubt have deduced, the 15 year old me wasn’t terribly bright, he was, I am ashamed to admit, a bit dim. In fact if the now only slightly less socially awkward 50 year old me could travel back in time, on that very same skateboard he’d or I’d give the 15 year old me a good clip round my or his ear to knock some well needed sense into me or him (time travel can get a little confusing). I still keep that old skateboard in our garage, for just such an occasion, because that’s how time travel works – it is my contention that you can travel back to any point in time on a skateboard, providing that it is the very same skateboard you owned at that time. This is achieved by traveling at breakneck speeds – what we boarders call ‘terminal velocity’ – down an incredibly steep hill and then, without slowing down, performing a 180, whereby rider and board flip round 180 degrees whilst continuing travel in the original direction. Risky? Well yes, but surely it’s worth it to make sure the course of true love runs smooth.
But hold on, there’s a bit more to this story – 35 years ago today, 15 year old Laila finally lost patience with the dim 15 year old me and asked if he or I wanted to go out with her. However sensing a trap and the potential for major humiliation, 15 year old me skirted around the topic, trying desperately to avoid answering the question but 15 year old Laila was having none of it and eventually pinned 15 year old me down (though not physically – that came a bit later, watch this space for the anniversary announcement – I am planning a big party for that one!) and demanded an answer. 15 year old me said, “Yes”. 15 year old Laila said, “Well ask me out then”. Aha! 15 year old me was right, it was a trap. Up until that point 15 year old me had carefully avoided asking any girl out and with good reason. A year or two before he had witnessed his best friend Ian, ask a girl out at her front door only to be shot down in flames. Poor Ian was so humiliated, he couldn’t talk for hours – so there was no way the 15 year old me was going to going risk going through that. Or was there? Well of course there was – perhaps the 15 year old me heard a voice telling him what to do, perhaps he received an sudden and unexpected clip round the ear, whatever the reason he did ask the 15 year old Laila if she would go out with him, despite expecting her to turn him down. However, not for the last time, she took him completely by surprise and said yes, setting in motion a lifetime of increasingly older but rarely wiser me’s blundering their way through a relationship, having to repeatedly say sorry and very much in need of the time travelling me from the future to roll past on a dusty but familiar looking skateboard to provide either a good clip round the ear or perhaps some whispered words of advice.
And just maybe that’s what has kept us together. Over the years, my extensive scientific research into the science of time travel has included watching Dr Who, Back to the Future (skateboards featuring heavily there), The Time Tunnel (takes me back to the 1970s, that one), classic Trek and Futurama. If any of that has taught me anything, it is that the results are unpredictable, flexible and ever changing and can be tailored to fit into any storyline being worked on. What if my travelling back in time to advise the younger me affects the time line in such a way that in the future I no longer need to travel to do so? Do I still need to go back and speak to him or me? Does the younger me know that I gave me or him some advice or does my no longer needing to go back mean he or me doesn’t remember? Did I, do I or will I actually go back in time? If not, why then do I still have the skateboard? That last question is the clincher – the answer is that I obviously have, will or do travel back in time – it’s the only rational explanation for both Laila’s and the skateboard’s continued presence in my life.
And so to today – it’s our 35th anniversary, I remembered, plus I got a proper card and an appropriate present – all of which, is in all probability thanks to a handsome, elderly but very cool looking guy on a skateboard. Oh, and while I’m thinking about it – I’m sorry Laila.
Tales woven round her
Time travelling skateboarder
Bind us together