I think the first time I met #80 was when I got home from my first visit to #78 in Dublin. I remember getting off the airport bus and giving regrettably erroneous directions to a middle-aged Japanese couple, and then heading up Cockburn Street. When I got into my flat, #28 and #61 were holding court in the kitchen with a collection of people, including some new faces. I’d missed Fresher’s Week, and #80 was a new student.
I was too distracted by glorious coupledom back then to really get to know her or even remember who she was, so it was only Valentine’s Day 2000, when I was drinking to distract myself from my now doomed relationship, that I became properly aware of her. She was selling raffle tickets at the Blind Date event at Pleasance, and I shared a ticket with her, and then that turned out to be the winning ticket, and we won a fridge full of Metz. Gleeful, we stuffed as much Metz as we could into somebody’s sports bag, and ran off to a party down the road, intending to come back and claim our fridge another time, only the Pleasance staff claimed they didn’t know what had happened to it.
The party was where I kissed her, again just a platonic gleeful drunken thing, right before she and #79 disappeared off to have hot lesbionic sex. For the record, #80 was pretty gorgeous, by the way. She was English and wore hot dykey glasses and studied geography and was the only person who could ever get away with calling me “babe” without making me want to punch them; she just made me feel like I was in a Dykes To Watch Out For comic. In September 2000, she moved into a big flat in Bruntsfield with me and #28 and #98, and eventually Canadian Emily took up residence in a cupboard and completed the set, and plus there was a colourful cast of characters traipsing in and out of the flat all the time.
We kissed again on my birthday that December, when a load of us were out at the pub, and she was going home and she said goodbye to me and all of a sudden we made out in front of everybody. It was unplanned and I liked it, but I never really thought about what it would be like to be properly involved with her, and I doubt she did either. I mean, for starters, she was my flatmate. I’m foreshadowing again, but I wish I had stuck to that rule with everyone I lived with.