So, so you think you can tell heaven from hell?
Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here

I may be going mad. Then again, maybe I always was. There was a dance lessons ball yesterday and some of my friends invited me there. It was quite fun actually - I have already forgotten how to dance, not having attended those lessons in about seven years, but everybody else seemed to be on par with me, so no major damage to health, life, or property has been wrought. The dance hall is underground and lacks any decent AC, but the heat that builds up is kind of traditional in this venue. So, there I was, dancing, drinking, chatting, and generally having a good time. Then I took a look at the dance floor and I froze solid, for I saw myself with a girl with whom I was in those courses seven years ago. On second inspection, the guy was quite different, but it is her, my friend, my nemesis, my muse, my love, as she was these seven years ago, when she wasn't all of these...yet. Cannot be, it's impossible, she's somewhere in Spain for the semester, my perfectly logical brain tells me. But there on the dancefloor she is, for an instant looking back at me. I didn't get myself to talk to her - maybe I was afraid to spoil my illusion, maybe I was afraid that it might be her and it would all begin anew. Is it better to regret the things you have done, or the things you have not done, although you had the chance to?

On a side note, although the e2 server may think otherwise for another ten minutes or so, I've turned 24 today (and e2 has,apparently, turned 6). Hmph. Nothing really celebration-worthy on my side, I guess. "Your age is a number assigned to you by an anonymous stranger. Treat it as such."

It is dangerous to be in love with one person, and infatuated with another.

You admit love, you want to share your life with one person, and you are comfortable always having them around. The thought of them not being a constant part of your life is unpleasant at worst. You talk happily of sharing a home, of possibly settling down to make a family, so on and so forth. Holding them, having them hold you, is a warm fuzzy feeling.

And yet..
Someone else dominates your thoughts. You know you won't up and leave the life you've made, but thoughts of secret, stolen moments with the object of your sudden infatuation sneak into your mind at random moments. Driving, riding a bus, trying to fall asleep... they are there, tantalizing you with visions of things you shouldn't have - and want all the more, because of it.

This level of obsession (as it is slowly becoming) is completely new to me. I have felt the teasing pull of infatuation before, but never so strongly. Perhaps it is because it came at a time in my life when I was able to act on it, when, for a short time, I was able to forget my complicated love life and simply follow my hormones.

That is most likely the reason.

But my love life is slowly pulling itself together, and I am not sure how I feel about it. I am in love again, I believe.. and yet.

I have lain with my lover, with my mind full of You.
Your kisses were different, and exciting for their difference. The touch of your hands on me, both urgent and teasing, drove me to a wildness I have not experienced in a long time. We let our passions run free until we were slick with sweat, our bodies burning in forbidden desire, clutching hard to each other - as if by holding hard enough, we could become one, and satisfy the raging lust between us.
I could go on for hours, describing it. How your skin felt under my hands, how you tasted, the small sounds we made..
But that is not what I have set myself to thinking tonight.

I know what I should - and will - do. I cannot have you, and not simply because I believe I am too in love with someone else already. Our lives are going in different directions, slowly. For now, we are suspended in the same place, but your plans involve a place far from here, where you are needed, where you feel you will find the life you want. I have to stay here, where I have things to do, people who need me.

You are the most delicious person to have ever crossed my path, and while I want you more than anything right now...
I know that after a time, this will fade. You are content in singlehood, I am mostly content with the love I've rediscovered here. We may dance our fiery circles for a little longer, but I don't expect it to last forever.

I am in danger of repeating myself endlessly now, so I will depart.
#1: Know that I will always love you, no matter what happens.
#2: Know that I will never forget you, nor how you made me feel at a time when I desperately wished only to feel wanted.

Today I ache. Yesterday I spent the best part of six hours trying to learn how to ride a motorcycle. About two and a half months ago I entered a competition.

I work for my local council. They often are trying to promote new initiatives, and a couple of months back it was all about being "green". An email was sent to all staff recommending that people walk more, cycle more and consider using motorbikes and scooters rather than cars. To make this email more than just advice, they ran a competition. In less than fifty words entrants had to write why they wanted to do either a Cycling Proficency course or Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) for Motorbike.

Having spent three years solidly trundling around Cambridge on an ancient push bike, I didn't feel as though I wanted much instruction in bicycling. I had fancied learning how to ride a motorbike since my mother got one when I was about 18. I'd ridden pillon a few times too, and enjoyed it enormously.

I entered the competition for the CBT, wrote just over fifty words which were incredibly cheesy (I reasoned that writing exactly what they probably wanted to hear was the only way to win), and promptly forgot all about it.

About ten days ago I received an email from the Road Safety Unit at the council informing me that I'd won. I don't often enter competitions, and the last time I won anything was a McDonald's colouring competition when I was about seven. I was really excited, rang them up and organised that I would do the CBT on Saturday 12th November. Instructions were received by email a few minutes later.

As the 12th drew nearer I began to get really nervous. I have been driving a car for about six years and like to think I have good road awareness and highway code knowledge, but I wasn't really sure what to expect. I arrived at the training centre at 0845 and wandered around looking lost and wearing biking leathers until one of the instructors arrived and pointed me and another lost learner to the training room.

After they checked our driving licences and explained how the day was suppose to pan out we were taken outside. The first part was a sight test (checking you can read a normal sized licence plate from 67 feet), and a safety talk about biking with a basic introduction to the different parts of a bike. That was when it stopped being easy. I am good at sitting in a room listening to information (for short periods at least) and with the assistance of my specs can read licence plates.

I don't like to do things by halves. It's a cliché, but I honestly believe that if something is worth doing, then it's worth doing properly. I had the choice between learning on an automatic scooter or a manual geared motorbike. I also demonstrate a tendency to make things difficult for myself, often far more difficult than anything would ever need to be. I learnt to drive a manual car, and would learn to drive a manual motorbike.

I was given a Yamaha YBR125 which looked small next to the Suzuki GS500Es, but a behemoth next to the scooters. For the next two hours I divided my time between stalling the bike, bunny hopping around a small car park, and falling off. And stalling. Lots of stalling. Eventually I actually flattened the battery and the instructors had to resort to kickstarting the bike.

Despite how terrible this sounds, I did eventually manage to do some convincing figures-of-eight and get through a slalom course of six cones before we stopped for lunch at about 1300. My progress was not fast enough for me to be allowed out on the road (the final part of the course). In fact, when the instructor told me this I was very relieved as the idea of riding among cars and other bikes was, quite simply, terrifying.

I spent the afternoon practising stopping, pulling away and left and right turns (when to look, when to indicate, when to look again, and road positioning. I am not sure if you could say I was good, but I definitely improved over the afternoon.

When I left they encouraged me to return to complete the course (they assured me that plenty of people do not complete the course on the first attempt, and you do not have to start again from the beginning). I have to arrange a time for this, and am trying to decide right now if I want to do it. When I woke up this morning my arms, legs, wrists and fingers all ached. They still do now.

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