Monday, November 5, 2012


He would turn to me for absolution. He would email from internet cafés and text as soon as they'd get off stage. He would confess every debauched antic, temptation in Leeds, lust in Edinburgh. He admitted everything, even his fears that he would cheat on his girlfriend and ultimately transform into the rock star cliché he most vehemently detested.

I was in the studio when I received his text. He had just landed in London: "I'm in love and everything's totally seismic. I haven't told anyone else, I don't know what to do..." He was always terribly dramatic, but even then I wasn't aware of the gravity of the situation. I didn't respond with comfort, as I had done in the past, I responded with anger. He had never told me about her.

He largely withdrew from contact, knowing of my disapproval. He'd sometimes call when he got really desperate. He bemoaned endlessly about the implausibility of the affair, she lived in New York City with her husband and he lived in London with his girlfriend. I let him talk for as long as he needed to, but I still felt his detachment increase. When I suggested we meet in London, he said, "I'll only see you if it means more to me than it would to you."

Needless to say, we never met.

He messaged me to say that it was happening. She was to come over for the week. The affair was to start. My jealousy resulted in a long week of silence. His band had their first appearance on Jools Holland that Friday and on Sunday, they filmed a promo clip, wandering through high-rise commission flats. He looked weak and sallow, tired and despondent. I always felt like I knew why.

I received my last email from him when I was in Hull, explaining that I would never hear from him again. They were together at last and it was time to grow up, it was time to stop knocking about like a child and giving bits of himself to lots of different people. I grieved as I saw him perform, only metres away from me. He never would have recognised me.

He never bothered to know who I was.

Disappointed Love by Francis Danby

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