One of the perils of dipping into the past, that is the past as recorded by a set of recently found negatives of photographs taken in 1980, is that the filter fails.
You know the filter I mean. The one that selectively orders your memories. The good ones at the top and the bad at the bottom.
Unless some are so bad that they always rise to the top. Not a problem in my case, I've become quite adept at managing recollections of the tougher times. But they are far from tied down.
Some associated with these two women, two girlfriends. The two wildest relationships I've ever had. Brief, intense to a breaking point, many breaking points really. In many ways, my entire love life since has been charted by avoiding the waters inhabited by what happened between us.
Just as well really. Much of the dysfunction that characterized the arguments, the fights, the betrayals, the insane eroticism, the passion of emotions so strong that they can barely be borne, lay with my own behavior. If anyone ever offered a crash course in packing a lifetime's worth of emotional turmoil into a few months, I would be eminently qualified to teach it.
But, boy, was it exciting.
Today, I've no idea of their fate. Like me, they will be very different people. That's just fine. Life has its moments and we all move on. But I'll raise that metaphorical glass to you, Venetia and Hilary. I would not be the man I am today without you.