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Memories of Someone Like You

January 29, 2011

Most people watch Glee. Having only seen about seven episodes of it I’m not strictly one of them but I’ve been keeping an eye on the new series in case there are anything good covers in it. I know a lot of people don’t like Glee, which is fair enough, but their version of Bill Withers’ Lean On Me is one of my favourite songs from last year so I’m willing to give the show a chance.

However, Glee isn’t the reason for this post. Instead I’m writing about coincidences, one of which is the Glee episode that I just watched. It’s the one with all the religion in it, where Kurt’s dad is in hospital and everyone’s trying to help Kurt by praying for him even though he says that he doesn’t believe in God, and it got me thinking about what I believe. Again, this isn’t the point of this post so I won’t bore you with the details, but one of the things I believe in is that, be it because of love or another reason, you can have a connection with someone in a way that can’t really be explained.

So that’s the scene, me and my housemate watching the end of Glee and then wondering what to do next. It was my laptop we were watching it on so I reclaimed it and went on facebook as you do. I had two fairly dull notifications and dismissed them pretty quickly. I also had a new friend request which, it turns out, has made me quite nostalgic.

It was from a guy I knew a few years ago, when I was 18 or 19 and he was about two years younger. I’ve actually mentioned him before. Back when we first knew each other we were in love. It was my first love affair – the sort where nothing else really matters and the other person’s all you can think about, but also the sort that doesn’t last very long. After our romance ended we remained friends – good friends – for a long time afterwards, but before this evening we’d not really spoken for about two years. We didn’t live near each other and life got in the way I guess.

I still think about him sometimes and it makes me sad. Not because I still love him – I don’t and it would be stupid if I did – but because he was genuinely a really nice, interesting and funny guy who I got on well with the whole time I knew him, and who I felt I had a genuine mental connection with. And it’s never very nice when you realise that you’ve basically lost a friend, no matter what the reasons behind it.

You may be wondering why someone like that adding me on facebook is odd. In truth that bit’s not, the oddness comes from the timing. I’d been reminded of him recently by Adele who, in case you’ve failed to notice, is just about everywhere promoting her new album. Yesterday I was listening to her session in the Radio 1 Live Lounge on BBC iPlayer (which I urge you to watch, it’s amazing) and she finished with a new song called Someone Like You, which is a hauntingly beautiful song about remembering a love that didn’t last. The chorus goes like this:

Never mind, I’ll find someone like you,/I wish nothing but the best for you, too,/Don’t forget me, I beg, I remember you said,/Sometimes it lasts in love, But sometimes it hurts instead

Before she sang it she asked the audience to think of or remember someone they’ve loved. The person that came into my head was him which, considering those lyrics, wasn’t surprising. What was surprising was suddenly seeing his name on my facebook page. At first all I could think was how strange it was that I’d only been thinking about him the other day, and suddenly his name is right there in blue and white pixels. Did we still have that mental connection going on after years of not speaking? I was pretty spooked by it. It wasn’t until I remembered that song that I realised he’d probably heard it too, and if so it had probably reminded him of me. So no weird mental connections, no strange coincidences, just similar circumstances bringing up shared memories. And after all, he was always a big Adele fan.

But it’s weird thinking about the two people we were, who were lovers and then friends, and the two people we are now who barely know each other. There was a clip of him singing on his page and even his voice is different, so much so that I wouldn’t have recognised it as his. It made me think – we meet so many people in our lives, yet we hold on to so few. Even those we love can become little more than a memory after a few short years, and even if we did meet them again would we even still know them?

Those are the sort of thoughts that have been flying around my head tonight. If you were expecting a happy conclusion to this post then I’m afraid I don’t have one for you. Sadly these things happen. People don’t always find each other again, and many of us probably don’t even know who we’ve lost. I suppose all that we can really do is try to make more of an effort with the friends we have, be it with a letter, a phonecall or even just a text about Glee.

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