At the risk of labouring a point, I intend to squeeze just one more post out of the situation with Siobhan. Hopefully, before you tire of reading about it. That droning sound you hear is me.
There hasn't been much change in the past couple of weeks. We've practiced with the ensemble twice now and it's slowly starting to come together. The two women who sing are just brilliant. Sandra, at her first session, hit all of the notes and even made it easier to keep time. And she said she was nervous! Yvonne has a lovely voice. Jim knows his way around the fretboard and fitted right in. I'm wading through the songs as if through treacle and I've only completely nailed just Dear Prudence of the five. The others are on the way and I'm hopeful they'll follow suit soon.
Siobhan is coping well with a new type of guitar and new songs. Did I tell you I loaned her my acoustic guitar so it'd be louder than the classical guitar she has? No? Look, it's no big deal, really, not like sharing a toothbrush. I was apprehensive about offering it to her, suspecting she might shoot back with "What's wrong with my guitar?"causing me to beat a hasty retreat. But she was really good about it, thanking me for the opportunity and telling me repeatedly how much she likes my Ovation Celebrity DeLuxe.
Every time I think there might be a problem, there just isn't. When I wanted photos of the band for a slideshow, she came straight over and sat for me so it took only three clicks and I had all I needed. No "How's my hair?" or "Ooh, not today" or anything.
I'm anticipating she'll be well-practiced for tomorrow night's session. Sandra and Yvonne can't make it so I'm hoping like hell Jim doesn't bail out as that will leave us with the two's company dilemma. We really need to get together and play, but Siobhan might be apprehensive about it being just us. I hope not, she's been great about everything else with the band.
Just the other week, she gave me a soft kiss on the cheek and a gentle rub up and down my back to wish me a happy birthday as I was cutting the cake in the lunchroom (49. Shit. I feel 17 but mirrors keep giving me away). In Australia, if the knife touches the dish you don't get your wish and you have to kiss the nearest girl. A colleague called out to Siobhan in a louder-than-she-probably-meant-it voice that this had indeed happened and Siobhan needed to make tracks. Possibly because there's been some talk, or possibly because Siobhan happened to be the closest girl, I don't know.
I ignored it and didn't look left to where Siobhan was standing next to me but I didn't see her move at all, which if I'm correct, was quite lovely of her. Afterwards, we chatted for a few minutes and once again everyone else just faded into the background. Wallpaper, all of them. Can't seem to help doing that. I know I shouldn't but....
On Friday she came over to return my pen-drive again and I got the breathless "See you soon," with the big smile and the dimples. I smiled back but I think what she got was my best Milhous-pathetically-and-vainly-courting-Lisa look.
So I've decided to lay down a few guiding principles to keep things ticking along just as they are. To enable us to keep doing what we're doing. And not doing what we're not doing. To stay as friends. And limit the potential for causing discomfiture or embarassment to either of us.
1) No drinking anything stronger than light beer at work things. Not because I might do anything rash, but in case I say something stupid to Siobhan or let my guard down and enter into discussions about her with anyone else. To date, I've confided in no-one. Just to you invited members of my now-restricted blogosphere, where I'm an entirely separate non-entity. Entirely separate entity, I meant to say;
2) No seeking her out. That means no beating a path to or hanging around the lunchroom if she's there - just breeze on through and if she comes in afterwards, don't linger. Avoid going to her desk to drop disks or things off. I can feel a few eyes on me when I'm talking to her around there. And she tends to turn on the dazzle for me when I go over to her desk;
3) Include others when we talk. I'm far too focused on her. With a little luck, I'll be able to recognize that there actually are other people present. This is going to be difficult. She seems to exert a considerable gravitational pull on all of my attention;
4) Never touch her, not even fumbling for spoons in the drawer;
5) No lingering eye contact. There's also something of a gravitational pull there. Strong too. I'm sure it could dilate time;
6) Definitely no flirting with her - I don't think I have so far - absolutely nothing suggestive or cute. Here are a couple of things I stopped just short of blurting out: when she mentioned for the first time that she had a boyfriend, I nearly asked "So, who is this fellow you've been seeing behind my back?" Funny line maybe, but could easily have come out wrong; and when she gave me the birthday kiss, "Hey, there is a God." Again, overstepping the mark. "Aww, thanks Siobhan," was a better fit;
7) Don't be so quickfire about replying to her emails - shit, we do have to communicate but keep to the point. Don't try to write a cackfest of gags every time. Save something for the blog readership;
8) Don't try too hard to make her laugh, generally; she's got a good sense of humour and she's made me chuckle a few times. Let things flow naturally;
9) Don't be drawn into or initiate serious personal conversations with her about life, relationships, anything. You're bound to say too much;
10) Don't deconstruct your "relationship" with her. Don't talk about how well we get along or re-enact things that have happened. She's shown no inclination towards initiating this sort of thing so far;
11) Just basically, make things as fuck up-proof as possible, I suppose. Sounds pretty simple, doesn't it? I couldn't possibly be aware of the right thing to do and then not do the right thing, surely?
12) Don't write another blog entry on this topic unless things change. Hopefully, they won't.