The Man Who Loved.

More of a prologue than a short story, an alternative view of man today. Please read and leave comments...


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The problem with the modern idea of men is that, everyone thinks their bastards. People see men now as fly by night pretty boys who have little appreciation for the feelings of women and happily go from one lover to another with little consideration of the consequences. In the majority of my experience too, this generalisation is unerringly accurate. Let me get this clear, I'm a man. My name is Jon, I'm 32 years old and I feel I'm the exception to the rule. Take my current situation for example, I've been in a relationship now for the past 6 years. My girlfriend is pregnant and I'm pretty sure by Christmas I'm going to propose. In the whole time we've been together I have never been unfaithful, and that goes for all my relationships in the past. Now, I know that this doesn't deserve a medal, I don't expect you to put this book down and give an impromptu round of applause or nominate me for 'Man of the Year' or anything but there is something that sets me apart. In the 6 years I've been with my girlfriend, I've fallen in love 15 times. Real love. Now that's a lot isn't it? That's a fair bit for a lifetime let alone a 6 year period of monogamy. My name is Jon and I'm addicted to falling in love. 

Now you might be asking yourself how it's possible for someone to fall in love this easily, and I feel now may be an adequate time for an example. 6 months ago, I fell in love with a girl on the train on the way home from work. She had auburn hair and beautiful green eyes, and she loved Bob Dylan I knew this because when she passed me on the platform I saw she was listening to Dylan on her ipod and strangely enough so was I.  This must be fate I felt my Hollywood influenced heart sing, so as we got on the train I glanced in her direction across the carriage and shockingly, I got a smile back! Not a magical, invitational smile, but not a 'please don't hurt me you pervert' smile either. So, with my confidence boosted I sidled over, trying to act both cool and nervous at the same time to give over the impression that I was neither seasoned chatter-upper or social pariah at the same time. I asked politely if I could sit down and for the rest of the 40 minute journey we discussed our shared love of Dylan. What our favourite tracks were (me: Talking World War 3 Blues, her: Maggies Farm), how we both agreed that although neither of us enjoyed his voice we both felt the poetry of the words and the simplicity of the music was enough to overcome that small detail. I made her laugh with an anecdote of a drunken friend once tying to convince me that with 'Subterrainian Homesick Blues', Dylan had invented hiphop and finally, after I had got up to get off at my stop (only two before hers) she ran and caught me at the doors, handing a slip of paper to me with her number, a name and two kisses at the bottom as she planted a third, softly on my cheek.

Her name? I don't know. What happened after that? Nothing. Because aside from the glance and the less than comfortable smile, none of it happened. It's all an idea of the conversation I think we would have, could have or maybe should have had. It's one of scores of conversations I've had with scores of women. I'm aware that this isn't rare, I'm aware that people, men and women, fantasise about chance meetings, love at first sight etc. Only with me (and herein lies my problem), I love that girl from the train and I believe I always will and despite the fact that had I have actually got up and spoken to her I would have found that a) she only liked one Bob Dylan song and the rest of her iPod was shite pop music b) although she liked Dylan she hated me or c) she'd stolen the iPod the day before and was only smiling at me as she thought about stabbing me to death and stuffing my body underneath the seats of the almost empty carriage, my own perception and memory of her is that she was perfect and that, somehow, in some reality we could have been happy. 
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