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I'd nodded off that evening in the shade,
Alone; next thing I knew, beneath the rain
I woke, roused by the sounds her shoes had made
Upon the soggy pavement. She explained:
"I just read what you wrote to me -- at length --
And now I see your point: that throwing down
One's shields is no great weakness, but real strength;
That sometimes, we must even let be found
Those ugly secrets we all keep inside:
For true love, to be true, must be entire,
Acquainted even with the faults we hide."
She left me then, for some place that was drier --
Musing, as she skipped across the pools,
"I had him going there! That April fool."

I still remember the first time we met, you know.

Wait, no, no I don't. I remember the first time I recognised you, that's all.

That's pretty indecent, that I forgot you. I can remember how I met them, why can't I remember you?

My muse, my multi-wigged muse (for how else do you explain your hair, which changes colours more rapidly than leaves between seasons?). The torment of my soul, for so long. And I can remember nothing of how we met, save a later memory of my ridiculing you for a pencil case which resembled a small jungle cat.

Christ, your pencil cases so frequently featured in our conversations. First some sort of wild feline, then a domestic helper dog, then some convoluted pattern, some explosion of colour, that defined you perfectly, and yet I cannot recall.

The details of your face are slipping from my mind.

Still, it doesn't much matter. I was never more to you than a constant source of morale, a willing supplier of anything you wanted — money, pick-ups, Simon & Garfunkel. Anything. I would have given you anything, and gladly accepted what meagre offerings you gave me in return.

Four years this October, since we met. Two, since you walked out those gates and clean from my life.

And I still know nothing about you, except for the way you moved and how your eyes sparkled when you smiled.

Failure and I have become synonym to each other. More I try, more badly I have failed. It’s me and only me who is responsible for it .I think I am not able to handle pressure well .After the disastrous childhood; I can expect more beating from the life. After fighting so many battles, now I’m thinking to give up. No point fighting if you can’t win. I’m not afraid of failures but the way they are coming, I’m started feeling that jinx is there.

Birthdays come and go. Some are a pain, some are a success. This one, today, was rather nice and low key. I didn't quite get out of having a cake and making merry, but since the visitors were my son and his family it was relaxed and fine. Fniggles was at her most charming; even chatted a bit with a good friend of mine in New Jersey via Skype. She bowled him over completely, I think. Pics taken, uploaded. People gone home. Got lots of good wishes from near and far, all and sundry. Thank you, by the way, all of you. You know who you are.

Now I can sit back and relax. For another year.

By the way you are all invited to come to my birthday in 2014. That's when I turn 55. I figure I'll throw a big one every five years. Make a note of it. Now. Some of you remember the last one; I am expecting you to attend the next one too. It'll be at the Labyrinth again, and this time the playground will be awesome and cool. Just go to Copenhagen and turn left.

See you then and there.

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