OK, here goes. Those of you who know me will know about my story. (If you don't; I'll give you time to read it before we carry on. Or you could just skip this entry.) (Oh, while we wait, a big thank you to rab for putting the script together which extracts the story. I'm still not used to the idea that I have actual readers out there, people who go out of their way to follow what I write.) OK? Ready? New para, I think.
You'll have noticed a character in the story called 'Janet'. She's a character in a work of fiction, just as all the others are, including the narrator, who in truth is someone I would have liked to have been, rather than who I was. But there's a fair bit of autobiography in there, too - lots of the background colour is stuff that actually happened to me. I had a friend called Janet in those days; she was a fellow linguist and lived in a flat in Buccleuch Place, pretty much as per the story. As far as I know, she didn't even know anyone called James, and certainly didn't get up to the things I portray. And especially (and this is the bit I feel bad about) wasn't weak-willed and easily influenced my mere men. So, anyway - last week, Janet turned up at Friends Reunited. I got in touch (well, what would you do?); she wrote back; I confessed. I pointed her to the story, I explained as best I could what was going on, and I pointed out that 'Janet' wasn't Janet.
I haven't heard back. She's probably wondering what happened to that nice, sensible, quiet bloke she used to know, and how come he turned into the sort of person who writes defamatory prose.
Well, she might be.
I'll keep you posted.