One night 10 or 11 years ago I booked a woman to supply a casino table at the disco I was doing. I didn't know her very well but we'd worked together 9 or 10 times over 4 or 5 years and we were on first name terms . After she finished, at the end of her night she came to say goodbye behind the decks where I was still working.
Before she left she leaned over to kiss me on the cheek. I was surprised by this overly familiar gesture and I hesitated briefly before returning the gesture.
The instant that I did so I realised she hadn't been leaning in to kiss my check but to say something the noise of music and I'd just overstepped the mark, I'd uninvited kissed a relative stranger.
Instantly, I was mortified. Before I even broke contact the embarrassment of my faux pas exploded white hot across my face, tracked fire through every muscle and solidified like hot lead in my gut. I attempted to style it out like I'd meant it, like it was the most common thing in the world. But I barely managed to smile weakly at her as she looked slightly taken aback before she turned and walked away.
I'm sure lady in question hardly remembers the event, if at all. Indeed, having not worked together for 10 years, I'd be surprised if she recalled either me or that night at all.
But, when I'm lying in bed at 4am feeling a little stressed because I've got to get up in 2 hours and I've not slept at all, this memory is one off a select, torturous few that my mind dusts off, dials up the colour and contrast on and plays on loop for my delectation.
There are important moments in my life that I can remember but the haziest wisps of. This, though; this is there in 4k, IMAX Technicolor with 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound. I know exactly where it was and more detail of what was happening around me than I remember of my own wedding. I don't remember the woman's face or clothes, although I can picture the room easily. But most of all I remember the stomach tightening, face flushing, muscle burning embarrassment of it, because I get I small facsimile of that dread feeling every time the memory, undesired and unbidden, replays in my head.
And what better way to deal with such an occassion than to get up and hand code some writing about it on this bloody ridiculous website.