You know how they say that you can live with someone for a lifetime and still not really know them? Well, obviously I haven’t lived with Richard for a lifetime, but I do think that I know him, which is hardly fair because there is no way he knows me…at least, not the part of me that constantly confuses and surprises him.
The latest ‘thought I knew him but obviously do not’ episode happened last week.
I was happily causing mayhem on the internet and a text arrived. It said that my order would be with me in two hours, which was weird because I hadn’t ordered anything, other than that nice Mark Harmon from NCIS and, being a realist, I knew the chances of him being delivered were slim. So I forwarded the text to Richard and received no reply. Considering that this was a mistake on the carriers part I cleared off to Morrison’s to buy some bleach for the loo.
On the way out of Morrison’s I spied a little man sitting at a table collecting for something or other. He looked nice so I dropped a pound in his lap. He said, ‘Thank you,’ followed by, ‘Can I interest you in signing up for organ donation?’ My first thought was that he was asking for my old piano, which in itself was weird because I don’t have a piano, old or new. When it twigged that what he was actually requesting was my offal, I laughed.
‘Don’t think any living skin cell on this body will be of any use to anyone,’ I said, smiling my best smile.
‘You don’t smoke and you don’t drink,’ he said, running his eyes up and down my body.
‘How do you know that!’ I screeched. ‘Are you psychic?
‘I know,’ he said, mysteriously. ‘I can tell by looking at you, so there will be a lot that they can use from your body.’
He then went on to convince me that I’m wonderful and that even the parts I thought were worn-out and buggered for all time would be of use to someone.
Anyway, I’m digressing. I trotted out of Morrison’s totally rejuvenated and clutching the organ donation form in my perfect hand.
I haven’t signed it yet. It’s one of those things that once you’ve thought about it you really should give it serious consideration, and I will. Richard has carried a donor card since the day I met him, 23/24 years ago – not that much of him will be of use to anyone. Except maybe his heart. He has the kindest heart and anyone would be privileged to receive it.
Right, when I got home there was a scrap of paper saying that the parcel had been returned from whence it came as no one was here.
Richard later admitted that yes he had ordered something and he would rearrange for it to be delivered.
The next day I saw a note pinned to the front door advising the delivery to be left in the porch, so as not to interrupt me and my busy schedule (????). At some point in the morning the package must have been delivered because when he came home from work he walked in carrying it.
‘What’s that?’ I said, shaking my head and fearing the answer. You see, Richard sits scanning eBay in the evenings and he can’t stop his grubby little finger from twitching over the ‘buy’ button and things are forever dropping through the letterbox, or the postie is standing there leaning on the doorbell, laden down with Richard’s latest ‘need’.
He set about opening the box and pulled out a….wait for it…. banjo!
Yep, a sodding banjo.
‘What the **** have you bought THAT for?’ I shrieked, not holding back on the expletive. This was definitely a more serious purchase than a sticker for the Land Rover.
‘Because I’ve always wanted one,’ he said, grinning, running his hand lovingly over the stupid thing.
‘What do you mean, “You’ve always wanted one” I’ve never heard you mention you’ve always wanted one in the twenty-three years that I’ve known you. You can’t play a triangle and you’re tone deaf.’
‘Well I have,’ he said, obstinately, continuing his loving caresses.
‘You can’t even play it!’
‘I’m going to learn,’ he said.
‘How?’ I said.
‘From the internet.’
‘The internet!’ I bellowed.
‘Yeah, You Tube.’
I had to turn my attention back to NCIS, but before I did I said, ‘You’re not playing that thing in the house.’
‘Don’t intend to,’ he said. ‘I’m playing it in my shed.’
Yeah well, good luck with that. But then, thinking about it, why not? He has a wood burner in there and a large leather sofa and a TV and a radio and wine (maturing in the corner) so he may well disappear into there at the start of autumn and not be seen again until the spring. Much like a grizzly. Suppose I may have to supply him with the odd casserole and crust of bread…but small price to pay for not having my ears subjected to the sound of a million wailing cats.
So, this is the point. You never really know someone. Richard has been hiding the fact that he wants to turn into a banjo-playing hickory-hollow-guy for a very long time, which is really strange because the guy can’t hide anything. He is as readable as a large print book.
I know what has started this. He thinks I don’t, but I do. He tracked down a very old film recently and they do that ‘duelling banjos’ thingy. He likes it. It offends my ears. But anyway, that’s that. The banjo has been taken to work today for an expert to ‘tune it,’ and then it’s off to the shed and away he goes.
I kid you not, my dears, it will be back on eBay by the end of the year!