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A Dan style showdown

posted 27 Dec 2010, 04:07 by Jack Ellison
My former friend would have been proud of me.  You wait an age to tell your girlfriend that you have in your possession the autobiography of her dead ex-boyfriend, and then decide to do it on Christmas Day. 
December, for me, has been a month of trying to find the right moment.  I nearly told her when drunk at my work Christmas party, in and amongst the ice sculptures and a free bar that the tabloids would have baulked at (even us underlings working in bank call centres don't deserve a treat according to them.  Fat-cats, the lot of us, even those just about scraping 15 grand a year to listen to the general public rally against us and call us evil for 40 hours each week), but my opening got drowned out by the DJ calling everyone to the dancefloor for a rousing rendition of 'Hey Baby.'  
I toyed with the idea of giving her the manuscript as a Christmas present, then realised that's exactly what Dan would have done.  
There were a few quiet moments, just the two of us in the flat, but I have to say I bottled it.  
In the end I didn't pluck up the courage to tell her, she found out accidentally.  It was a slip up on my part, really.  I'd hidden her presents in the airing cupboard in the same place that I'd left the manuscript.  Imogen had woken up playfully on Christmas morning and decided to go on a hunt for her gifts before I woke up.  Living in a flat, there aren't a vast number of hiding places, so it took her all of five minutes to unearth the presents and notice the front page of Dan's book - THE ALMOST LIZARD by Dan Lizar.  
Fifteen seconds later (I imagine), she was at the foot of the bed screaming, "What the fucking hell is this?"
Bless her, she thought I'd gone and written the thing.  
So Christmas Day started for me with a confessional.  I told her everything, just like I'd planned to.  About Alex, about the book, about my thoughts on trying to get it published.  I said that it explained a lot, it changed things.  
"It changes nothing," she barked.
"You haven't read it," I replied, forgetting just how much more she'd been hurt by her time with Dan.   
Still, she took it on board.  She walked the manuscript into the living room and sat down on the couch in her dressing gown.
"I'd like a brew and some toast," she informed me as she turned the first page.  That was last she spoke to me that day.  It was supposed to be our first Christmas alone, but the spectre of Dan Lizar made it an uncomfortable threesome.  For my part, I provided her with regular coffees and cooked Christmas dinner.  I set a table and didn't say anything when she informed me that she'd have her dinner on her lap.  I didn't even complain when she ordered me to eat mine at the table.
There's nothing more pathetic than pulling a cracker on your own, and then sitting alone at a table with a paper hat on whilst the love of your life ignores you in favour of the deceased ex who broke her heart.
I know, it's my fault.  I should have had the balls to tell her what was going on but that was beyond me.  I'd deceived her to a point, but it wasn't because I was trying to hurt her.  Nonetheless, I think I got what I deserved.
She fell asleep on the sofa about half way through the book, still in her dressing gown, still ignoring me.  When she awoke the next morning, she carried on from where she left off.  She hadn't cast the book aside, so I guess I should take some heart from that.
Sometime during the TV Burp Christmas special last night, she finished the book and went and got showered and dressed.  She hasn't looked at me once since the moment she started reading.
"I'm going to my parents," she told me and left with a fairly significantly sized bag.  
So now it's the day after Boxing Day and I'm alone in the flat.  I'm going to try and write an album in a day.  I feel I have a sufficient amount of angst, and how many people have written a concept album about the impact of a dead ex on a relationship?  It might be an award winner.
This would be a lot easier if I could blame anyone but myself, I guess.