One of us is lonely
I have a friend who loves his ex-wife very much. One evening, after they’d put the kids to bed and were sitting in front of the TV, she suddenly took the remote and switched it off. This was while they were still married, of course. She said: “I want a divorce.” Just like that, out of the blue. He had absolutely not seen that coming.
This is how I felt as I read the final result of the referendum back in June 2016. It hit me hard on an emotional level. The intellectual processing started later. Right then I had a totally irrational feeling of having been spurned. Like my friend felt he had been. I told him that his wife might regret her decision and come back. Something like this:
One of us is lonely
One of us is only
Waiting for a call
Sorry for herself, feeling stupid, feeling small
Wishing she had never left at all
She didn’t come back, but despite that they now have a great relationship. They’re both intelligent and sensible people, and they quickly realised that having three children together means compromise and collaboration.
For as long as I can remember, the Swedes have loved the UK. A one-way love? I don’t think so. I’ve always felt so incredibly welcome, ever since I had a summer job in an office at 1 New Oxford Street in London. I was 15 and the trad jazz clubs along Oxford Street were heaven for a small-town boy from Sweden.
And then Abba won the Eurovision song contest in Brighton in 1974. We were rushed to London and did Top of the Pops and went to No 1 in the charts with Waterloo. How could I not love Britain even more?
After the initial shock and sense of loss of 23 June 2016, I tried to make sense of the fact that a majority of British people wanted to leave the EU. Why? I read and heard the phrase “take back control” very often and I wondered why someone in Boston [Lincolnshire] would feel more in control if certain decisions were taken in London rather than Brussels.
For a while I toyed with the idea that I would actually go to Boston and find out. To have a drink in a pub with someone out of the 75.6% there who voted leave. Somehow that never happened.
I will never fully understand it and I’ve made peace with that. I know one thing: Britain will always remain a country I love. In or out of the EU. It took a while for me to realise that, as far as I’m concerned, if the UK and Sweden are divorcing it is a very amicable one. And my friends? They got legally divorced, but continued to have a happy parenting marriage. I find that comforting.
This entry was originally posted at https://just-tom.dreamwidth.org/831823.html.