I wonder if I can tell you about Monique. I met her so many years ago. Where was it now? It could have been in London, Paris or even on Brighton beach but I am sure she was like so many mysterious figures in the past. They continually appear in your life and at such unexpected moments. A glance, a shy smile or even a friendly wave, that may have been meant for you or perhaps not. Such moments you recall much later on and you say to yourself, “That was the girl I saw on the ferry to Ostend or bumped into at Heathrow airport.” But you are never quite sure, are you? Is it a different girl with a twinkle in her eye? Or perhaps it is some guardian angel watching over you for all eternity?
I was travelling around France some years ago and found myself in Monet’s beautiful garden at Giverney. Like many others in the garden that day I wandered around his house and studio, side stepped the army of gardeners that seems to work constantly on the flower beds, wound my way through the arches of roses and eventually made my way through the tunnel under the road that certainly wasn’t there in Monet’s day and discovered his water lily ponds.
I already had my camera snapping at all the scenes so reminiscent of his artistic work as I desperately tried to get a shot of the pond and the arched bridge in the background. Needless to say I was not alone and was annoyed that the people on the bridge didn’t look picturesque enough for my shot. There was a gardener in the pond cleaning up the debris heading my way so I hurriedly took my picture. This was in the days before digital and it was a week or so before I finally saw the print!
There she was, I had caught her on camera! My Monique; I had finally captured her.
Now of course her name wasn’t Monique, I just made that up. But how many of you have captured your fantasy? Well I did!
Now the sad part is that once again had she teased and eluded me. If I had not been so precious about getting the picture right I could have walked around to the bridge myself, gone up to her and said. “Hello Monique, I think we have been nearly meeting for a few years now, my name is Old Egg.”
And she in her turn would smile a little impish smile. Touch her finger to her lips then place it on mine and say “I am always with you.”
That didn’t happen though and I know somehow that even though she might always see me, I will never see her again.