High Fidelity, by Nick Hornby, an extract:
I see a woman on her own, Saturday -night-smart, off to meet somebody somewhere, friends, or a lover. And when I was living with [the ex] Laura, I missed… what? Maybe I missed somebody travelling on a bus or tube or cab, going out of their way, to meet me, maybe dressed up a little, maybe wearing more make-up than usual, maybe even slightly nervous; when I was younger, the knowledge that I was responsible for any of this, even the bus ride, made me feel pathetically grateful.
Hot damn. The ‘I’ here is ostensibly Rob, a 35 year old who has just broken up and is taking it a little badly. Something about this passage did more than strike a chord, though – it’s an insight into the male condition, in many ways, when it comes to dealing with the fairer sex.
This book is fairly brilliant, by the by, though I’d recommend it to single and/or recently seperated guys first before all others. I’ve gone out and gotten the film too, but from the opening moments I was disappointed to find the story was transposed to New York. It somehow fits better in London, or perhaps that’s my own familiarity with London taking precedence.
In any case, worth a read.