For the most part, life is pretty routine. Go to work, go home, eat, sleep… and there are only a set amount of moments that really standout. And, some of those moments, can be very awkward.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, my dream was to live and work in London for a year — I managed to squeeze out four months and it wasn’t exactly idyllic. But, to backtrack, the day I went to view a flatshare, right after I met up with a friend. A guy friend. Noooo, not a boyfriend, hence the awkward part.
I texted him that I was randomly in Camden and coincidentally he was in the park down the street with some mates celebrating the World Cup. I met up with them, no big deal, and then headed to a bar in the area called The Phoenix.
I was sitting with him and his friends. One of the girls asked how I knew him, which I explained, we were friends of friends. She continued on, asking what our relationship was… err, I thought I had just said it: we’re friends.
That’s not what she was getting at. She got more specific, like, “How do you feel about him?” Again, errrr. I was much more blunt that I usually am, but I was kind of put on the spot, so the answer was: “Well, if I were going to talk about my feelings for him, I’d talk to him… not you guys.”
Right then and there he blurted out, “I’m in love with her. But she doesn’t love me back.”
Ohmygawd, it was like I had just been punched. Oof! More like a pillow fight punch, but still…
I didn’t have a chance to process it, or even say anything, because when I looked up, there was Amy Winehouse.
So, that’s what I said, with kind of a side-whisper, “Oh, look, there’s Amy Winehouse.”
The same girl announced: “Stop avoiding the question, just answer it.”
No, really. There’s Amy Winehouse. I’m going to go see if I can play the winner of her pool match. Be right back, guys — hold that thought, seriously, I will address it.
Normally I would not approach a celebrity for the obvious reasons — because it’s really forward and I’m too vain to treat someone like they’re better than the rest of us regular folk — but, I needed an out. I walked over to her and her friend and exclaimed, “Hi girls! Would I be able to play the winner of your match?”
Ermagherd, writing it out, makes me cringe. I was 33-years-old at the time, but I spoke like I was 83. I didn’t even realize Amy was only 26. I digress…
She turned to me, and goes, “Oh! You play pool — you’re American? I so much prefer American pool.”
We chatted about that for a minute, how the pool tables differ, they are much bigger in the U.K. and the pockets are smaller.
She and her friend were set to play, so I returned to my seat. By the time I was back, the conversation had shifted.
But, then my mind turned only to pool. My friend, the same guy friend, goes, “Listen, I know you like to play pool. But, you’re not going to play pool this time.” He had turned from having lovelorn puppy sickness to acting like an actual friend.
When we arrived, the table was covered to protect it and make room, with the bar being more crowded than usual. I had already asked if I could play, and they said ‘no.’
My friend reminded me of this and they had only uncovered it for Amy. Of course, in true Cheeky Bird-style, it was like, “So, she gets to play pool because she’s famous!?” His answer was simply: yes.
That day was not my day to play pool, but, that day was bigger than that.
Her mere presence gave me the reason to stand up and walk away from what was becoming an uncomfortable situation.
And there’s been times since then and a lightbulb goes off and I remember, “I don’t have to stand here, this is getting weird, I can… walk away.”
Not run away per say, but sometimes things are totally out of your control. And, you can’t talk your way out, or even, need to, it’s not worth it.
Amy passed away the following year, and, of course, like many I was very sad.
A little more sad than I would’ve been if I hadn’t met her. But, glad I did, even if it was brief.
I appreciate her being kind to me, engaging in a quick chat, allowing me needed relief.
I wish she had had more moments, even if utterly awkward, but, that wasn’t the case.
So, with that said, thanks, Amy, thanks! Wherever you are…
We have more stories coming… until then.