A few weeks ago the lovely Kit Lovelace twinned up with those folks at Stand Up Tragedy to bring the good people of Camden a tragic night of romance-themed comedy. Here’s what I said. (Some names, for once, have been changed)
My first taste of heartbreak came, like my first taste of toxoplasmosis, while surrounded by sheep nuts.
I cannot begin to tell you how much this story acts as a template for every heart break I’ve ever shuddered through. But here goes. I was four years old, at Cotswold Wildlife Park – a place that prides itself on its menu of £7.90 chicken nugget and chips – with my best friend CT and the love of my young life, HS.
HS, it turns out, was the grandson of Steven Spender. The man who wrote
Ah, like a comet through flame she moves entranced
Wrapt in her music no bird song, no, nor bough
Breaking with honey buds, shall ever equal.
Well, I can tell you, that poem was not written about my entranced movement through the boughs and birdsong of Cotsworld Wildlife Park. Even though I was, apparently, wearing my favourite striped cotton dungarees at the time. Because, on that day, I had the burning comet of searing betrayal fired through my heart.