I've always believed people come into your life for a reason...even those you rather wish you'd never met. In my own case that'd be Horrible Heather...not quite sure what meeting her taught me actually...discovering I had a total lack of tolerance towards people who've 'done a course in counselling' probably...she drove me quite demented what with 'finding herself' and 'going on a journey' and deciding all her customers were in need of regressing to their childhoods in order to 'move forward'...she had a little antique shop in town and offered me a job, which I snatched, but I sold more stuff than she did and she was quite cross and sacked me after two weeks...said I talked to the customers too much.
And we mustn't forget Potty Penny...poor Penny is away with the fairies so she is. She told me one day that she'd been on the frontline during the Vietnam War when I know for certain fact she's ten years younger than me and I was a young teenager during those years...and her husband was a member...could still be of course...of MI6 and MI5 and Special Branch and everything in-between. He has an office in their squalid cottage, and when we went there to feed Penny's horrible mangy cats, I had to practically tie my own hands together so as not to take just a quick peek into his filing cabinets. She had said we could go into any room in the cottage...but NOT his office 'cos it was very private...
Meeting Penny reminded me why I was so good at my job.
Then there's Loopy Lulu who lives round the corner...another one away with the fairies and no mistake. About six foot tall and as thin as a lathe she sort of swoops on me when we meet...which, thankfully isn't too often...and clutches me to her waist...while murmuring how much she loves me truly and misses me...this usually takes place beside the magazine display in the supermarket. Lulu was quite revoltingly rich at one time...now she appears every now and then at our front door to ask would Himself please lend her a tenner...he always does and never gets it back...I hide in the bathroom 'til she's gone.
Not certain what meeting up with Lulu has taught me actually...back hastily away from emotionally needy people maybe.
Maybe one of the best examples would be Tad. Now Tad is married to a real life Lady though her family dis-owned her once she shacked up with the Oscar Wilde wannabe...she still receives her allowance though...they weren't that unkind to cut her off without a bit of spending money. Tad introduced himself to me by holding out a limp, moist, heavily be-ringed hand to be shaken and asking had I read the Ballad of Reading Goal...he was attired in a long black cloak...a fedora...which I'd have stolen when he took it off if I'd thought I'd get away with it...a scarlet shirt worn outside black trousers tucked into knee length black leather boots...I was spellbound by this apparition. Couldn't take my eyes off him, which he mistook for passion and lust on my part and made quite suggestive remarks until I said I'd understood part of Oscar Wildes problem was he was Gay when it was still a criminal offence to be so? He backed away after that and went to annoy someone else.
There's Peter...the first and last sentence he said to me on being introduced for the first time was 'I have a degree you know'...there's no answer to that really...I think I replied something along the lines of 'Gosh! How Wonderful!' Heavy sarcasm positively dripping from each and every word...he was oblivious.
All these people live within a couple of miles of us...except for Horrible Heather who was last glimpsed going down to Cork with a bloke she'd met...plus his first wife and the first wife's sister. They all lived in a cottage more or less opposite to ours...where Otto, the fearsome hound, lives now...put a whole new slant on a ménage a trios.
My turn to cook the supper tonight so I'd best away...