I met a girl last night who is a friend of my sister’s, a girl I haven’t seen in a while. In fact the penultimate time that I saw her was last Christmas, when I got drunk and completely embarassed myself. She said she wouldn’t embarass me by relating the sheer horror of that night but effectively then proceeded to do so (the fact that no-one but me heard her seems completely irrelevant), and I cringed every second. I think I was supposed to find it amusing. I have very little wish to talk to her again, which is irrational, because she’s a lovely girl, and actually I want to have nothing to do with my old self, and this sweet, self-possessed young girl has almost nothing to do with the matter.
But all she knows of me is the things I used to do, the person I used to be – and she knows very little of what was going on behind all of that of that behaviour. I have no wish to tell her what was going on inside my head that day or indeed any other round that time, none whatsoever. I don’t want to have to explain myself, spend all my time wanting to tattoo it on the insides of peoples’ eyelids: forget everything you ever thought you knew about me. I am not that girl any more. Not only am I not the girl who used to get hideously drunk and do some bloody atrociously stupid things, I am also not the kind of girl to spill up my emotional guts to people I barely know. I don’t want to have to make excuses for myself either – I chose to do those things, after all, and the fact that I wasn’t in a good place isn’t really an excuse. But I do wish there was really such a thing as a clean slate, a complete tabula rasa. All I can do is be patient, though, live by example, until people just get it.