Saturday, 24 July 2010

Nearly man

On Thursday lunchtime, at 1.24pm, this voicemail was left on my phone:

'Hi Tamsin, it's Steve. I'm just... er... trying to catch up with you. I'm not sure if I've made a mistake but I'm at the Royal Opera House, kind of... hoping to meet up with you. [High-pitched nervous laugh]. So if you could give me a call, if you're about, if you're on your way or… if I've got the wrong day, please let me know. Thanks. Bye.'

Steve sounded like he was sweating through his shirt – possibly wishing he'd worn a different one. Steve sounded like Studied Insouciance grappling with High Anxiety. High Anxiety had Studied Insouciance on the ropes.

Steve sounded nice, really.

I couldn't say for certain that it was a date Steve and Tamsin were ineffectually trying to arrive together at. Perhaps it was a business meeting or a friendly lunch. Perhaps it was a friendly lunch that Steve was hoping might turn into a date. Perhaps Steve definitely did think it was a date, and Tamsin definitely didn't. It seems like Tamsin might not have been thinking of it at all.

I am a worrier by nature, and I felt worried about Steve, so I texted him. I told him he had left a voicemail on the wrong phone but that I hoped he had managed to find Tamsin. As much as I tried to suppress my usual sentimental extrapolation of the facts, thoughts like 'Imagine if he texted you back expressing his confusion at the mores of modern dating and you replied in sympathetic solidarity and this is how you met your future husband' and 'Imagine telling this story in 40 years' time at a big family lunch in the garden in front of your and Steve's 12 adorable, adoring grandchildren' and 'Do you remember when something like this happened to Kenny on
Press Gang? I wish Kenny from Press Gang was a real person. He was lovely' kept curling a tentacle around my consciousness.

All these things ran through my head, quite against my wishes, as I texted Steve.

Steve did not reply.


Shrimptowers said...

Damn you Steve. We want to know how the story ended. Text!

Miss Jones said...

Yeah! Damn you Steve!