“How did you that poem was about me and Alex?” asked my colleague.
She had been reading it out at the launch of a book produced by our students. She reads rather well and it was a fine piece of writing, enhanced by its simplicity.
It was about mountain climbing with a partner. I know she climbs a lot and that climbing feeds her creativity. She climbs frequently with our choir master. Oh yes, when you’re valued for your individual creativity and you tend to work in a bit of a vacuum, with even the most well meaning colleagues not quite understanding exactly what you do, in your spare time you join a choir where you have to work very precisely with other people. Climbing with a partner is like that too.
But Jayne climbs with various people, so how did I know it was Alex?
I guess I guessed, but I was led on by the degree of intimacy. These two do know each other well. Yet there were no sexual overtones. That would be about right. Jayne is single and Alex has a partner. They’re singing and climbing buddies.
“That poem was about climbing with Alex,” she said at the end of the reading.
“Ah, I thought so,” I said triumphantly.
I guess the truth of the matter is that we writers are nosy and observant. We share much with the private detective. We have to be like that in order to be able to write about life.
On another occasion I remember not being at all surprised when one of our friends announced her engagement to another one of our friends twenty years her junior. I’d seen it coming. Everyone else was gobsmacked.