SATURDAY 17TH JUNE 1978 4 PM
Many a slip tween cut and lint. Given that the cutting of the thumb occurred at 10 a.m., and the temporary remedial lint and band aid assembly took around an hour to come up with, after dancing around as if attacked by a wasp nest and showering blood across a large area of my bedroom… so recently sullied by voluminous amounts of vomit, and then hastily cleaned by two moth-eaten towels… Now languishing in the darkest depths of the taboo washing machine, which no man should ever use.
With this state of play, the letter in response to Kate’s Dear John missive, was put largely on a back burner… As by this time it had ceased to be of paramount importance. Of paramount importance at this time, was to anaesthetise the throbbing pain of my thumb. Given that the primary anaesthetic I had access to was paracetamol, whisky and coke, the cola variety not the nose candy, I took 4 tablets and half a pint of whisky and coke.
I sat in front of the tedious Test match between Pakistan and England on the T.V. In the late 1970’s television consisted of three channels. BBC1 BBC2 and ITV were the full smorgasbord of our in house entertainment. BBC2 had a wide selection of talking beards on open university, and ITV offered the british version of WWF wrestling, which involved fat man rubbing bellies together, the cricket was the only game in town.
I lay on the couch, drunk my medicinal whisky, and fell asleep.
At four, there was a knock on the door. I woke and jumped up. I grabbed the lounge door, with my right hand and screamed. The knock at the door became more insistent.
I opened the door with my left hand. There stood my soul mate. Mary.
“Are you ok?”
I tried to smile.
“Given that I yelping like a beaten dog, and my thumb is the size of a belisha beacon, (in the UK) an orange ball containing a flashing light, mounted on a striped post on the pavement at each end of a zebra crossing. ) I think we can safely say, I’m not at my best”.
“Can I come in?”
She came in. I shut the door. She hugged me. I hugged her as best I could. I smelt her hair. Is that weird?
“Did you just smell my hair?”
“Because it smells nice?”
“Still weird then?”
“So it would appear… You still beautiful then?”
“What do you think?”
“You know I think your beautiful.”
“Ok, getting way too earnest already…”
” Would you like a cup of tea? Is that more formal?”
“Yes. I would love a cup of tea.”
“Please do come in sit down, I will make you a cup of tea.”
She sat down. I went into the kitchen and put on the kettle. I got cups out, then realised there was no tea. We, as a family, drank coffee.
“I’m sorry we don’t appear to have any tea. Do you want a coffee”
“No, a bit early for whisky.”
” I’m sorry I’m all out of small talk. What do I owe this pleasure?”
“Just an off chance really.”
” An off chance?”
” Yes, on the off-chance that you still have the acoustic guitar I bought you for christmas.”
Tricky. I did still have the acoustic guitar, but it only had three strings. I cannot begin to tell you what happened to the other strings, suffice to say, they were stretched across a wicker work clothes basket, in a vain attempt to create a bass sound for my musical creations. I was in the process of becoming a rock star. With two tape decks, an electric guitar and amp, a bass made as above mentioned and a drum made from an oil can and spoons… The acoustic guitar with three remaining strings, I bowed with a metal coat hanger. In my defence, I was a fucking idiot and 18, not necessarily in that order.
Did I tell Mary that? No. This is what I told Mary.
” I’ve got the acoustic guitar, but three of the strings were broke by my little brother when he was using it as a bow for his arrows. Little bastard!”
“Oh, that’s disappointing.”
“I wanted to teach my flatmate how to play acoustic guitar, so we could go out busking together…”
“Who is he?”
“Not a he, a she, she is called Deborah.”
“So not a man then?”
“No. Not a man. I’m Married.”
“You’re fucking what now?”
“I got married!”
“You are married? You can’t be married.”
ok. The back story. I knew Mary was my soul mate. Mary knew I was her soul mate… The reason we were not still together… Fucking hormones! I was besotted with her, but I was a teenage boy… And I couldn’t resist temptation… Ever! Not even when my life depended on it. And boy did I have time to repent at leisure!
“It’s no big deal. I got married so that I couldn’t be asked to give evidence against him in court.”
“Seems a pretty big deal to me… So where is your husband now?”
“In jail. They had enough evidence to convict him without my evidence being required.”
“Seems an awful big commitment to me. So what happens now?”
“I wait til he gets out of jail then get an annulment.”
“Is that even a thing?”
“Yeah my solicitors says should be fine, he got sent down the day after we married, so now chance of consummation. So, providing he agrees we should be able to get the marriage annulled.”
“You don’t love him then?”
“God no, he’s my fucking dealer!”
“Your Dealer? What you on smack now?”
“injecting? You fucking hate needles!”
“Don’t be daft, I’d never inject, just chasing the dragon, a few times.”
“And this is what?”
“Just inhaling the smoke.”
“Oh right, nothing serious then.”
“No, nothing serious.”
” But worth getting hitched to a junkie dealer for?”
“He’s not a junkie.”
“Well that’s a relief. And you accuse me of making bad choices…”
“You, my love, are led by your dick, you have a good mind but you never use it because your cock is in control… I am led by the desire to experience everything… This is why we are not together. We are bad for each other. You know that, I know that. But you are still my best friend. I love you.”
” And I dream of a day when you have experienced all you need and I have fucked all I need to fuck, and finally, we can settle down together.”
“Chances are fairly remote.”
“Mary, I know the day will come.”
“Ok. I wanted the guitar to sell. How nice am I now?”
“What did you hope to get for it?”
“£20. I hoped too get £20, just enough to get some food for the next week.”
” I can give you a fiver.”
“You can… Why? Why would you give me a fiver?”
“I feel bad I ruined the guitar. I wouldn’t want you to starve.”
“Bless you. You are such a sweetie.”
“What you doing tonight?”
“Oh um… I’ve got a date, But Debs is at a lose end, would you like to take her out for me?”
“Really? You want me to go out with your flatmate?”
” As a favour? She has massive tits…”
” Oh please, that’s your thing not mine!”
” I know. I’ve already seen them!”
“So your fucking your flatmate too?”
“Don’t you find that exciting?”
“Ok. Maybe. Are we normal?”
“Who the fuck wants to be normal?”
“Good point. What chance did we ever have of being normal?”
“We are what we are. So if you come to the flat, sixth floor of Bosworth House, about six, then you can meet Debs, and take her out for a while.”
“Ok. I’ve got nothing better to do.”
“Just one thing…”
“Don’t mention that we’ve been together to her, she doesn’t want any one to think she’s a dyke.”
“About that fiver”
“Could you make it a tenner?”
So I had a date. My only interest,the fact that she may or may not have slept with Mary.