I'm not at work today, which makes this one of the greatest Mondays on Earth. This is because this morning, I had to go to hospital where a nice lady injected an anaesthetic into the side of my tongue, and sliced out a tiny polyp.
This abnormal growth caused me no pain, or even made its presence felt, but was always there lurking in the background like an oral Jedward. The whole procedure from stabbing in my mouth to removal and stitching took about 3 real minutes, having initially been spotted by my dentist a couple of weeks earlier.
Now all that remains is a dull, irritating pain, like an actual Jeffrey Archer.
And in my excitement on phoning work to be told 'stay at home', I've done some spring-cleaning (I really can't tell you how exciting it is to be sat at a desk not covered in a 10-month old layer of grey dust), and washed my DNA-caked bedsheets which were as rigid as floorboards when I crowbarred them off my mattress.
All such new leaf-turning can probably be subscribed to a final war of e-words with my erstwhile Lovely American ex-Girlfriend, downgraded to ex-girlfriend (American), only to become, last night, 'bitch'.
It's all very unkind and a trifle sexist, but necessary if I'm to get the fuck on with my life. I probably have Tired Dad to thank for his helpful last comment to "Grow a pair" (although admittedly he could've been referring to a number of things I've been bitching about)
So how to best summarise this? We'd got back in touch (Me and my ex, not Tired Dad), she re-friended me on that fucking website. Pictures were exchanged for some reason, mainly from her, mostly when she was on holiday, or having returned from the hairdressers.
And I bemoaned my ever having dumped her (as I have been doing, admittedly, for several years.)
So I called her up a couple of times, and it was nice. And I invited her over to my warm cosy flat now that I'm all living on my own and independent, and she topsy-turvied that shit by inviting me over to hers instead, just a short, 6-hour, half-a-grand journey away - a little unfair as I'd been the last person to go over there 4 years earlier when she inexplicably treated me like shit and made me sleep on the sofa.
So I've been mulling over this potential new trip to the States for a couple of weeks now, even though it's been tempered by feelings of overwhelming stupidity. And I've been emailing her to gauge just how aloof she'd be if I'd turned up again.
And her response has been pretty aloof.
Which is odd, as she's been emailing me the occasional semi-naked picture of herself and telling me that there were many things on her mind that she'd been brooding over and wanting to tell me, then never actually telling me. And I'd let a couple of days pass before attempting any contact, but she'd be away with the fairies and nicely irrelevant when I did, and for nearly two weeks I'd tried to get a line of communication going until finally, yesterday, I got a lengthy e-lashing for, in short, bugging her.
So I replied to say it wasn't fair because really, she was sending me mixed messages. And as such, I didn't know where I stood, and I didn't really think that was particularly sporting.
I was about to press send when I felt something rise within me; Pride, I now realise. I re-read what I wrote, and saw that she was being pretty unfair. In fact, I had a bloody good argument on my side, so I added that I thought she was playing games.
That felt good, so I continued that it wasn't nice to fish for emails and phonecalls, then ignore them. And furthermore, it was also pretty childish to drip-feed me nuggets of attention, then pretend it hadn't happened.
In fact, I found myself typing, Fuck you, you silly little girl, and it occurred to me how utterly angry I was and how stupid I felt and I realised that I'd rather never hear from her again if it was going to be this one-sided forever so, with nothing else to lose, I told her never to contact me again.
What's the point if it's just to shore up her ego?
She surprised me by replying immediately. Apparently there'd been an enormous misunderstanding. She'd thought in my 'take the hint' email below that I was referring to her to leave me alone, but she wasn't particularly bothered. In fact she sounded like someone trying to gain the upper hand.
Angrily, I informed her she was completely mistaken. I reaffirmed that it was her loss, and that has been that. The chapter is finally closed as far as I'm concerned. Our relationship, even our friendship is doomed and no matter how much I'd like to see her again for old time's sake, too much water has passed under the bridge.
To use another old cliche, I'm drawing a line under the whole thing.
Which is a shame. Because this morning, as I came back home from the hospital eager to spring clean my living room, I accidentally came across the letters Rachel had written to me several years earlier.
I winced as I flicked through them, her neatly written messages on colourful paper that retold how her first trip to England to meet me had surpassed even her greatest expectations, another from a later time about how much I meant to her and then, finally, the love she felt for me which ached inside as she knew I didn't love her back.
That was the girl I was chasing, the one I'd hurt. The one I wanted to hold again and apologise profusely and run into the sunset with. The one who'd offered me her heart but I'd spurned it because I'm too fucking stupid and male and scared to realise what it meant. And now that heart has hardened and it's too late.
So that's that.