I grew up a little bit this weekend. Love, Life and Mortality

I dumped my girlfriend for a couple of hours -- until I realised there still might be a way for me to life my life with her in it. Paradoxically, this requires shouting (when I'm angry) and/or ignoring her calls (when I don't want to talk to her).

I endured spiteful british weather and a chaotic rail system to attend the ritualistic clan gathering in honour of my grandad's birthday. Three hours of clucking judgment by people I have fondness for but precious little else to share but our genes. We live in utterly detached worlds: Theirs of memories, routine and security; mine of learning, growth and uncertainty. It's not their fault -- they're just old. And I'm young, which means I'm impatient and critical.

As I came back to the station my girlfriend started trying to get me on my mobile. By her tone, it was clear something was up. She took a moment then told me a mutual friend had been killed in a car accident during the week. I say friend but he had actually become a bit of an annoyance lately and was terribly self-obsessed. My girlfriend screened his calls on her answer-machine. Still, he had just as much right to life as anyone. He was not yet 30. He had been working at a new job for just 3 days. Now he's dead.