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Should Auld Acquaintance

Sometimes your past catches up with you, when you least expect it. Usually when you don't want it to! Oh, you know well you can't change it, though you wish sometimes you could, fleetingly, just wish it back again. But it's over and done with. And just out there!

I got the sad news during a casual conversation in the Gay centre bar with a friend. 'I heard some bad news mate, couldn't tell you over the phone. Heard that John passed away last Thursday! Just in his early 50s, is that right? What a shame! Sudden they said.'

It took a while before it finally registered, and hit me harder than I'd expected. 'He was once my John!' though I hadn't though of him for such a long time. No more a part of my life! Sadly far too brief a life, he deserved much longer.

We had met through a small advertisement in 1982. Photos and letters were exchanged and a pleasant first tryst, at the Bernie Inn Steak House at the top of Hope Street. No longer there either! A Building Society like all the rest now I think. As the advert requested, we enjoyed common pastimes and for eighteen months he was woven into my life's fabric, as close as I dared for as long as we could. It had not been an amicable breakup! A difficult time for both of us. We wanted different things. He was ready to 'settle down', and I was enjoying some freedom and the new scene.

He would often upset me though, and get the worse for drink, and I would have to watch over him. Get him home and put him to bed. The drink! and John! Bad news! But we had some really good times ... good times! You can't bring them back! Our parting conversation was intense though, in his car parked out at Langbank. Overlooking Dumbarton rock. Stilted! Passionate conversation! resolving us to part and 'go our own way'.

Some months later, I heard some good news of John. Some time after we parted, he had met another guy, and they were settling down together in a semi-detached on the Paisley Road. I was very happy things worked out right for him in the end.

Then the news became less frequent and Christmas cards stopped and time just passed. John's name did come up some time later though, when an actor and ex-affair of John's best pal, Colin, worked with me during a play project. Although he had never met me before, he said he thought he knew me quite well and said my name often came up in their conversation. It's a small world and how strange are the connections we make through lovers and friends.

So as the song says 'should auld acquaintance be forgot?' Not for you my John. Not for you!

Written Performed
2005 Donald Gray 2005 Donald Gray

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