I’ll try anything once – she said.
I looked at her. Would you? I thought. Would you really?
And then my mind took off. Not perhaps where she had meant it to go.
Would I try anything, even just once?
Jump out of an airplane hundreds of metres above ground, even with a thrice-safety-checked parachute? No. Not even with TWO parachutes. Not unless the plane was on fire or going to crash – in which case, in a civil aircraft, there wouldn’t be any parachutes anyway.
Jump of a bridge on bungee cords? No. Not even off a high diving board! Yes, I know the water’s soft, serious bodily damage, even much pain extremely unlikely. But no.
Climb big windy, icy mountains? No. Scale cliffs? No.
OK, you’re seeing a connection with height here, right? But it doesn’t end there.
Go deep-sea diving? No. Not after that time on my third ever dive, when – despite a half-hour of air showing on my gauge, I suddenly ran out of it. Luckily I was not far down. Even getting me to dive at that shallow depth again would take some doing.
What else? OK, go against someone who is holding a knife? No. Yes, once in a drinker’s hostel I did take a knife off a guy but he wasn’t brandishing it at me. It certainly was not recommended procedure.
Demonstrate unarmed against soldiers who have proven, like the Israeli Occupation Force, that they don’t mind, even like shooting unarmed protesters? No. Almost certainly. But if I were a Palestinian, being ground down daily? Maybe, just maybe.
Be a cop? No. Be a cop’s tout? No. Take a job evicting people from their homes? Definitely not. Turn off water or electricity on families? No. Repossess cars? Only if I could choose according to circumstances, so that’s a No too.
Rob banks? Probably not. Yes, I know they’re robbing us – it has nothing to do with principle. In that career you end up having to use guns and then people tend to get shot. And they are hardly ever the bank-owners.
Be a surgeon? A bit late for that but probably no too.
Even in sexual categories, where perhaps (I could be flattering myself) I was intended to go …. No, in that tin of Quality Street sexual flavours, in the jar of Liquorice Allsorts, though there’s a lot to like, there are some things I wouldn’t try.
Looking at her, I wondered whether she really would ….
I wondered whether I’d been quiet too long. I’d probably missed my chance to suggest something.