Monday, 21 March 2011

Putting faces to names

Long time followers, you might remember my eviction, when I wrote to Allocations all the time.
Dear Allocations, Dear Allocations... writing into a void every hope every fear, to a woman I knew nothing about. You've read some of the emails reader, you know.

Imagine then, on Saturday, looking down the list of workshops to see who would be leading mine:
Allocations. Her!

My heart stopped. It did, for a moment there it did. Fuck. This is the woman I've been writing to for years. This is the woman I told I was suicidal, this who I asked if shooting heroin into my veins would get me a council flat. Fuck. She might be a real patronising bitch.

I switched off.

I tried to concentrate on what a Professor from the London School of Economics was saying about how knocking down estates doesn't increase the housing supply and is actually more costly than regenerating existing ones, but it was hard.

After the talks from the Professor, the Council Member for Housing and the Director for Needs and Social Care, it was time to attend one of the six workshops.

I was attending the one on the Allocations Scheme. No, I hadn't even thought she might be leading it. Blimey.

I entered the room and there were maybe twenty people there. On the chairs were a piece of paper. Workshop Groups. Group One. Group Two.

I was in Group One.

Which one is she? I was thinking. Only one man in the room.

It is when she came over and said she would be sitting with Group One that the penny dropped somewhat. She, who knows me so intimately, didn't have a clue who I was either.
By putting us into groups, it narrowed the faces to names down.

Afterwards, I did go up to her, although I think she guessed, despite my being quiet. "Hi, I'm Sue," I said, "you know me really well!"
"Yes, I got a surprise when I saw you on the list, I thought.." and her expression said it all and we laughed.

Do you know what. All this time I've thought she'd be blond. I don't know why. I really have no idea.
I wonder what she'd thought of me?
Who knows, it's like asking you the same question. For you, who I don't know, knows me intimately too.

Next time I write to her, I'll know who I'm writing to.

I wonder if that will make any difference to what I say?

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