I have good news … and I have bad news.
First the good news. It pertains to a rather productive conversation with my publisher, Idle Tom.
"Bill," he said, "I think you’re not really making the most of your tabloid training."
"Really Tommy?" I said. "What do you have in mind this time?"
"Well maybe … maybe you could start writing your blog a bit in the style of The Sun newspaper. I mean it’s a strange thing having a Sun reporter who also writes love stories. And, you know, I thought it might be kind of funny if you could do your blog as if it were a Sun story …"
"Very good Tom. And maybe I could start writing my next love story as if it were a piece of Sun editorial too? Is that what you’re after?"
"Give it a try, just for a couple of days. Just for me? Please? Pretty please?"
"No problem, Tommy. Your pleasure is my purpose …" I’ll start my Sun pastiche tomorrow.
But - if that’s the GOOD news, then what could possibly be the BAD news?
Unfortunately, I have not been able to track down an actual link to my ex-wife’s latest column in the Daily Mail (for non-regulars - I currently feature, in the guise of her ex, Jamie. And, for the first time in three years, Daisy Dooley and her ex-husband Jamie Prattlock have met up.)
I have tracked down a copy of Monday’s column. Do feel free to comment.
Here goes …
DAISY can’t believe her eyes when she finally talks to her former husband Jamie. WHEN I led Jamie into my sitting room, Miles and Lucy had scarpered, savvy enough to leave us to it. Seeing my exhusband after all these years, I lost control of myself so not much had changed there, then.
I couldn’t help blurting out the things that had been swimming through my subconscious ever since we divorced.
As we had not spoken since the afternoon I walked out when, instead of imploring me to stay, he went into the kitchen and fried himself an egg this was my first opportunity for ‘closure’.
As he sat down, I said: ‘She trapped you, didn’t she?’ Jamie’s eyes flickered, uncertain.
‘Katie,’ I prompted, but he looked away.
Katie was Jamie’s girlfriend, now his wife, who was on the scene with alacrity after I left.
They were dating within minutes and she was pregnant within a couple of months, which must have been karmic payback because when I first went out with Jamie he banged on that his biggest fear was ‘being trapped by a woman who deliberately gets herself up the duff’.
He was so paranoid about this that he doubled up on contraception: despite the fact I was on the Pill, condoms were compulsory.
‘Belt and braces, old girl,’ he used to say, underlining that you could never be too careful. Even on our honeymoon and well into the marriage.
Because I understood that this was a genuine fear, I never scared him on that front although I clearly freaked him out on every other. So the fact that he ricocheted straight from our broken marriage into some late-thirtysomething’s bed and she had a bun in the oven before the ink was dry on the decree nisi, always struck me as ironic.
Perhaps that was the one area that I had allowed him to let down his guard. Whatever else, he could relax about the fact that despite being his wife, I wasn’t out to dupe him. He could trust me on that, if nothing else.
Maybe he took off his braces, believing her when she said she was wearing a belt? ‘It was a happy accident’ he said, Does Divorce loyally. ‘Look, Daisy, I’m not here to do a relationship autopsy.’ ‘Then why are you here?’ I asked.
Jamie put his hands in a prayer position and lowered his head like you do in yoga to say Namaste.
I couldn’t have been more shocked if he had spat at me which he did once during a particularly vitriolic row as he only came to yoga with me a couple of times to check out the chicks’ butts and stare at their boobs as they did inversions.
‘I am here,’ he said, looking up slowly and speaking theatrically, ‘to apologise. And to ask for your forgiveness.’ ‘Are you on drugs?’ I gasped, incredulous, thinking that would explain the puffy bags beneath his eyes as endless cocaine hangovers do little for your looks.
‘I get high only through the divine,’ he said in a weird monotone.
Oh, God! It was even worse than I had envisaged. Had he been brainwashed by a cult? He crossed his legs in the lotus position and put his hands on the backs of his knees, palms up ‘to receive’.
‘Daisy, I have you to thank for initiating me on the spiritual path.
I couldn’t see it when we were together because I was blocked by my arrogance and fear. But you shone the torch of truth into my soul however much I resisted you. I am a Buddhist now and I need to acknowledge the wrongs I have done you.’ He paused and took a deep breath before reciting: ‘I am sorry that I never held you when you were scared. I am sorry that I never validated you or put you before my friends.
‘I’m so sorry that when you had chickenpox, I counted out loud the 42 spots you had on your face and laughed with revulsion and horror. I am so sorry that I was incapable of intimacy and that I misled you.’ But Jamie didn’t really say any of that. He didn’t even say: ‘Look, I’m sorry I hurt you, old girl. I played my part too, and for that I apologise.’ Instead, he broke through my reverie to announce spitefully: ‘I have a mucker that works for Insight Publications and apparently you sent in a book proposal about surviving divorce.
I bloody well hope you’re not going to embarrass me in front of my mates.’ I stood up. ‘Enough old boy,’ I said. ‘Time to go.’ NEXT week: What does Daisy hear from Insight? Divorce