Firstly, there are people who you want to see more of. Then there are people who you're just glad to see and finally there are people who you don't really want to hook-up with but feel duty-bound to do so.
I am supposed to be having lunch with Melissa. I'll let you guess which category Melissa fits into...
My dearest, dear, beautiful and lovely Melissa. You are so boring.
You once lived next door to my flat while we were at University. We have nothing in common.
A few weeks ago you e-mailed me and asked about my 30th. How could I not say I was coming to Cape Town?
Today we are supposed to be having lunch. I tried to make it today because I knew you'd be working and so we'd have to keep it short.
Melissa, I'm having trouble typing this. It hurts me as much as it hurts you.
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains*
Melissa, I will donate R10 to a charity for abused animals every time you do any one of the following...
1/ Make a disparaging remark about why I choose to live in London
2/ Make a disparaging remark about black people
3/ Tell me how much you enjoy watching Prison Break and then try to convince me to do the same.
I will add an extra R10 to my third point if you try to entice me by explaining the plot. Melissa, it is me who is being held against my will, more than you will ever realise.
Called him soft names in many a mused rhyme
I am going to pack a little bag of HB pencils, all nicely sharpened and during our meal I will quietly snap them under the table.
And as you dominate the conversation you will not see the drops of blood from my hands, staining the starched white serviette, splinters of the pencil gashing and tearing into my skin.
Once the pencils are all broken in two I will find the sharpest edge from one of them and gouge lines down my thighs as you drone on about bloody black people, bloody South Africa, bloody crime, bloody this, bloody that.
Melissa, it will be me who is bloodied. Bruised. Broken.
To cease upon the midnight with no pain
The bill will arrive and you will find something to quibble about but the light will have broken. Once we have finished I will get up and the spatters of blood and flesh, smeared against the tablecloth, will vanish.
"Bobby, it's always so much fun. You should come around tomorrow night or something."
"Yes, Melissa, thank you, I will call you, perhaps." Hopefully you won't answer and I will leave a message. But you just won't get it.
* = From John Keats, Ode to a Nightingale, May 1819.