Wednesday, 4 March 2009

It's all in the pupils

Have found the perfect place to write. I only have half an hour of free wifi so I won't be able to waffle a lot. It was in this cafe a couple of days ago when I was just leaving that I came face to face with a rather good looking young man in a narrow space where we had to squeeze by each other. It was one of those eyes moments. Now don't start thinking its one of those grubby moments of granny lusting after youth or an unlikely meeting of minds. No. However, it was a moment of recognition. His, not mine.
'Cathie.' he said, 'it is Cathie, isn't it?' His voice was dark and deep, setting in tremulous motion the strings of my memory...
'Heathcliff?' I thought. 
'You used to teach me the piano.'
He says his name. Oh yes! I did, I did! Blimey. That was a long time ago.
How nice he should remember me. But much more interesting is the brief story he told me of finding his sister very recently. They had been separated at birth and he was put up for adoption. She went to school only yards from where he did...he is an uncle now. He is clearly delighted. He tells me about his school chums that I also taught and their successes. I am thrilled, especially as one, very talented but troubled lad I thought might not make it past twenty is now a professional musician. And amazingly, this well brought up lad asks me about me! He wants to pass my news back to his friends. I try not to imagine how that will go. We part and I am thoroughly cheered.

And of course, there's a few nice little stories here. None of them particularly original, but that doesn't matter. But what is the story? Is it the lad finding his sister? Or the sister's story? Or is the story of the other troubled lad? Or their story through the eyes of their ageing piano teacher? I might well do the last one because I have such strong material to draw on. How about writing a steamy love story of an older woman meeting an ex pupil in a cafe? Notes on a Scandal 2 perhaps. I wish.

Whilst an encounter of that sort doesn't happen every day, daily encounters all contain stories if considered. One of my classes tends to balloon with chat every week and I console both myself and my students by saying its all fodder. Which it is. Honestly. It is!

Damn. I was going to talk about eyes, ended up talking about pupils.


  1. What a lovely story. I am imagining one of those delicious short stories on Radio 4...

  2. Wonderful! good luck with your writing