02 January 2008

'We may be through with the past...

... but the past ain't through with us.'

So says Philip Baker Hall's character Jimmy Gator in Magnolia, surely not merely the finest film of 1999, but one of the most astounding films in recent memory, up there with The Lives of Others, To Live, and Kieślowski's Three Colours trilogy. If you haven't seen it, and aren't easily offended, you should really rectify this lapse: it's one of the most accomplished and profound films I've ever seen.

I couldn't help but think of it yesterday afternoon, when I checked my sitemeter; I do this pretty often, not to keep track of how many people are reading, but because there are one or two people who I'd rather weren't reading and it's useful to keep tabs.

Anyway, so I checked the sitemeter yesterday afternoon, having come back from a wonderful evening, night, and indeed morning, and saw this:

Sorry, you probably can't see the problematic bit in that, so I'll zoom in a bit closer:

Yes, you're not imagining that. At twenty past eight last night, or twenty past nine in France, someone in France was looking up NMRBoy on the web, and then, having had a good gawk at my comrade in arms' site, crawled right through the google result list to have a look at this site, arriving -- ironically enough -- on a post about Black Dossier entitled 'Is Big Brother Watching You... Even Now?'

On New Year's Eve.

If you know either NMRBoy or me, and are any way familiar with our history over the past couple of years, it'll not be too difficult to guess who's been looking us up, not least because we only know a couple of people who live in France, and one of them was home in England over the Christmas. It'll have been someone who both of us had regarded as a good friend for several years, who was terribly misled by someone into believing horrible things of us, who -- sucked into the madness -- spread nasty lies and rumours herself, and who I haven't heard from since she sent me a nasty e-mail just over a year ago. I first learned of that e-mail not by reading it, but because several friends -- some of whom I'd not heard from in years -- called me to ask whether I'd received it and if I was okay, my erstwhile friend having hit 'reply all' and fired her missive to everyone on my mailing list.

They weren't impressed. The terms 'witch' and 'sad cow' were used.

So yes, I think it'll have been her. Not for the first time either. That's just my opinion, granted, but I'm pretty sure it's right.

Oddly, I don't bear any grudges about what happened a year and a half ago, although it took me a very long time to forgive her behaviour. In truth, I just feel sorry for her now, and think that in some ways she was as much a victim as we were, having been misled as she was, her protective tendencies having been so cruelly twisted, having been tricked into turning on people who had seen her as a friend. Seeing her crawling our blogs on New Year's Eve brought that powerfully home.

I was off at a friend's house, sharing in the most entertaining New Year's celebration I've enjoyed on Irish soil in years, while far away in France she was hovering on the internet checking to see what we'd written. Didn't she have anything better to be doing with her time, on New Year's Eve of all nights?

I keep thinking to contact her, to ask after her -- because recently she did something which I admire, and which I wish her luck in -- but I reckon there's a danger that might just pour fuel on near-dead embers.

Let sleeping dogs lie, and all that.

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