Wednesday, November 30, 2016
“Yeah why not” I reply to the skype message, because I work in the sort of business where people communicate in that manner despite sitting ten feet away from each other.
I don’t particularly ‘fancy a beer’ with Counterpart or anyone else but I’m trying to be nice. So long as he doesn’t start banging-on about his dead kid again.
Counterpart: It’s nice in here yeah? Beer’s ok as well. So. I’ve been on Tinder and that…
Some time passes.
Me: Right. Why? What is that? Is it a sex thing or something?
C: Nah not really it’s just a hook-up you know?
I don’t know, but I’m just glad we’re not talking about his dead kid.
C: Just to see if I’ve ‘still got it’…
I start laughing. Then look at his face. He’s being serious.
Me: Oh. Sorry. Ok.
C: You’re not exactly a film star you skinny twat. So anyway I start seeing this girl...she’s no looker or anything…
He shows me a picture on his phone of a beautiful young woman.
C: But, y’know…..so we’ve been out a few times and I’ve seen her and her son when me and my daughter had some free time and her mother didn’t know…
Me: [Head reeling] Err, do you think that’s really…
I’d much rather be at home and I don’t really want to hear about someone committing sort-of-adultery whilst making his daughter borderline-complicit. At least he hasn’t mentioned his dead kid.
C: …but I’m thinking I might not be so fond of her as just want to be with her son. You know? Because of what I’ve lost? You know? I’m thinking I might only be seeing her because I’m falling in love with the son I had who never lived.
I finish my drink and stare at the wall. A long night beckons.
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Ghost Of Christmas Past Part 2
By definition, you don't really see a crisis coming. Certainly not a mental and/or emotional one. They tend to wear the most nondescript clothing.
Dinner at my mother’s house has become something of a ‘thing’ each Thursday. I’m not sure how it started but it punctuates the week and it’s always good to catch up with her news of the allotment committee.
After which her husband and I discuss the world in general over too many drinks in the conservatory whilst my mother makes dinner.
We all have a chat and a drink first. The subject skirts around upcoming yuletide festivities.
Mother’s Husband: …But that was a funny Christmas morning last year though, eh?
My ever diminishing number of regular readers will remember that last Christmas I met and spoke to my father with whom I’d had next-to zero contact in nearly thirty years. We had a pleasant chat with the result that I felt rather content for the bulk of this year.
Mother’s Husband: Your Dad turning up! And he DIDN’T EVEN RECOGNISE YOU! His own son!
My mother gives her husband the sort of 'look' I’d grown accustomed to in childhood.
Mother’s Husband: [Quite drunk and not noticing The Look]: Yeah! After he’d been chatting to you he came into the kitchen and asked your Aunty H “who that bloke was in the sittng-room” he’d just been talking to! Amazing.
My mother kicks her husband’s calf. He notices THAT, looks at her and then at my face.
Mother’s Husband: Oh.
I light a cigarette in silence.
Some time passes.
My Mother: It’s lasagne tonight.
Me: Sounds great, thanks.