When Riaz Met Pami (Part 2)

Pami & Riaz - the only thing I have left to show for the relationship, is a picture of a chocolate egg...

Pami & Riaz – the only thing I have left to show for our relationship, is a picture of a chocolate egg…

Being the second part of the story of Riaz Ali & Pami Gill…

The Kate Bush fan meeting at Glastonbury in the summer of 2009 invoked a strange mixture of emotions in me. It had been roughly fifteen years since I had attended any type of fan event and thought I had left that world behind. But due to Pami’s instance, and the fact I would not have to travel to Glastonbury alone, I went.

I reached Pami and Paul’s house on the Friday. I cannot remember the details of that evening. The five of us (Jake and Emily included) probably had a take away and watched a movie. That was the usual routine for visits. It’s funny as it often was a routine, in my younger years, that irked me. In my late teens and early twenties, there was so much I wanted to know about life. I wanted to share opinions, absorb other peoples ideas, discuss meaning and purpose and yet, quite often I would be sat down and forced to watch The City of Lost Children or some other prententious pile of tosh at the bequest of Paul Gill. He was quite taken by style over substance. I much preferred substance over style, which probably explains why I was always a fan of Bod.

Derek Griffiths composed all the tunes for this show, you know!

Derek Griffiths composed all the tunes for this show, you know!

But that film, The City of lost fucking Children, became the bane of my life. Interestingly the director of that went on to make a film I really enjoyed – The Time Traveller’s Wife. Then again, Spielberg is guilty for unleashing 1941 upon the world but that doesn’t stop me still loving E.T – in a non-incestual way of course.

The next morning was sunny and we set off for the drive to Glastonbury. During our time swapping messages on Facebook over the last few months, it turned out certain songs became very special to us. Looking back, I am still not sure how and why it happened, but the song ‘America’ by Simon & Garfunkel, with it’s lyrics telling a story about escape, freedom and exploration, became important to us. As the car wound it’s way to Glastonbury, beneath one of the few spells of sunshine that we would have that summer, that song started playing on the radio.

Paul, ignorant of the importance of that song to us, began talking. I can’t remember what it was about. Probably The City Of Lost Children.



“Paul, be quiet,” said Pami. “We’re trying to listen to the song.”
For some reason, this made an impression on me. A song that we had exchanged thoughts about – and on reflection, they were the sort of thoughts that lovers tentatively share with each other as deeper feelings are explored – mattered that that much to her.

The day at Glastonbury passed without incident and a full write up of that event can be found here on my blog. There is one small thing that happened though which I cut out of my original write up. At one point Pami and I were walking and it began to rain. She had an umbrella and linked arms with me, so we could both stay under it. Her breasts were pressed into my arm and I could feel them. Months later, after our love was consummated and we lay panting in our bedsit, staring at the ceiling and wishing we hadn’t eaten so much, Pami told me that it had been deliberate. She had consciously been pushing her breasts into my arm as we walked along.

It was later that night, at their house in Calne, that things changed. Paul had retired to bed, having given up trying to start a conversation about The City Of Lost Children, leaving Pami and I downstairs. And we started talking. It had been clear, through months of swapping emails, that she wasn’t happy. I wasn’t the only one who noticed it. Other friends of hers on Facebook – Debi Bowes, Lisa Oliver, Cath Amos, Krys Boswell and many others, had all noticed to, through Pami’s wall posts on Facebook.

And so we talked, late into the night. We talked and she told me how unhappy she had been for nearly 25 years of her marriage to Paul. I believed her. What else was I supposed to feel? I believed her and then, just as dawn was breaking, we kissed.

To be continued…