Monday, May 23, 2005

A friend indeed....

If you deigned to spend more than 5 consecutive minutes outside a house in CJ's area then the chances are that you would be joined by a young lad called Paul.

You can normally hear Paul approaching before you see him. Because he's got a kind of hum when he runs. Paul is disabled.

I don't know how he knows you're there - I can't see his house from CJ's, nor CJ's from his. The only explanation would be that he has some sort of thermal imaging in his bedroom. Either that or there's some CCTV/Intercom thing going off with the neighbours.

Washing the car I could hear the distant sound of humming, which gradually got louder and louder, until it stopped with:

"Hello Watski"

"Hello Paul - are you alright? I reckon I've been outside about 8 minutes - you're slacking!"

"I know - what are you doing?"

"I'm washing the car Paul"

"I can see that!"

"Oh right. Why did you ask then?"

"I've had my tea"

Paul always told you what he'd just had to eat. He loved his food.

"Nice. What have you had?"

"It's Friday, it's Eggs and Bacon"

"That sounds like a breakfasty sort of meal to me. I thought it was Fish and Chips on a Friday?"

"Yes, Fish and Chips on Friday"

He generally got it wrong too. He wasn't much good under interrogation - his stories would fall apart. I made a note not to rely on him for an alibi.


"What you had for your tea?"

"Nothing yet Paul.

"Oooh, you must be hungry. "

"Yes I am now you come to mention it"

"I've had fish and chips. Fish and chips on a Friday"

"That sounds nice"

What are you going to have?"

"I'm not sure yet"

"Don't know? How could you?"

Mortified by this terrible news he aimed a shake of the fist at the kitchen window where CJ was and pointed at me and pointed at my stomach. She waved back. Paul liked to know what he was having for his tea before he had it, and the following days tea, and the day after that, etc.

"Have you been out today?"

"Yes, I went to Nottingham earlier"

"In this old thing?"

"It's older than you Paul"

"Yeah I know. So you don't know what you're having for your tea?"

"No Paul. It's terrible isn't it"

"Yeah it is. Are you hungry?"


"It's just not right is it?"

"No Paul, it's shocking. I don't know how I cope"

"No, me neither" he muttered whilst shaking his head

"Are you my friend" he asked, after he'd got over the lack of food problem.

Paul always wanted to know if I was his friend. He wanted to know if everyone was his friend.

"Yes Paul, of course. You know I am. We're best friends aren't we?" I said, expecting some sort of advice that best friends might give about the wiseness of having a girlfriend who didn't provide adequate sustenance.

"No. Christian's my best friend"

"Oh right. I see" I said, mortally wounded.

"Christian lets me ride his bike"
explained Paul

"Ah. Easily bought then?"

"What you washing this old rust bucket for?"

"You're not much of a friend Paul. Do you know that?"

But it was too late. Christian had just opened his back door and Paul was already humming his way over there.

"I've had my tea Christian. Eggs and Bacon! What you had?"