Last year, there were some memes doing the rounds about favourite books and reading habits, and I wrote a post that was my riff on the theme – about 10 books that changed my life.
One of the books was A Room with a View. It’s not necessarily one of my all-time great reads, but as I wrote
“This was the book that inspired my passionate crush on Grant Gillespie, a boy in the upper sixth who dressed like he lived on a Merchant-Ivory film set. Grant broke my heart when he left to go to Glasgow University – which may have had something to do with the fact I ended up there, a year later. Sad, but true.”
Last night, I was looking through my blog stats, as you do, and in between the alarming number of searches relating to “monkey porn”, I noticed someone searching for my lost love’s name and the word ‘sleep’.
“Weird,” I thought to myself. “Wonder who’d be Googling Grant Gillespie?”
Of course, I know the answer to this question now, because I opened my email this morning to find a perfectly lovely email from Grant Gillespie, with the subject line: “Hello There!”
Apparently, Grant was looking for an article he’d written for a sleep website and so Googled his name and the word ‘sleep’. He then found my blog – and the reference to him. I won't share the entire email but he does say:
“Thanks for thinking I was James Ivoryesque. Personally, I think I might have been trying too hard.”
Which is very nice really, if a bit looking-at-the-screen-through-your-fingers embarrassing. It’s not like I ever actually TOLD Grant Gillespie that I had a crush on him, after all. I checked his current website, just or research purposes – he's still cute, but lacks the crucial foppish fringe and ecru clothing that so impressed the younger me.
Then there was the killer blow:
"What was your school surname – as it were?"
Oh Grant, Grant – my name was just the same as it is now. Sob. I had your name on the back of my English Lit folder for two years, and you never even knew I was alive.