ForgetMeNot

With friends like that?

Friends like what?

Well it’s kinda hard to explain.

Have you ever had or do you currently have a friend that you love dearly,  that you’ve went through lots together,  marriage,  divorce,  in his case re-marriage ..  long term friends who have went through the good and bad together.

I was best man at his wedding,  the second one that is,   been there when the twins came along,  advised him to play more of an active part and stop using work as an excuse to avoid dealing with the kids as his wife needs the help.

Not that I’ve ever been a fan of his missus,   I never thought they were right for each other,   particularly as during the pre-marriage days he had a few misdemeanours,    one in particular where his future wife turned up at my door asking me if he’d stayed at mine the previous night.

Now what can you say in that situation?

Tell the truth and stick your bestie deep in the doo-do?

Or lie your ass off and swear to the big guy in the sky that you’d been out for curry and beers,  came back to mine for some more drinks and he’d fell asleep.

Nobody sticks their mate in the shit,  it just isn’t done.

The missus couldn’t prove I was lying and although I was deeply uncomfortable with it,  what else could I say?

He’d texted me that morning in a panic,   he’d met a girl a few weeks ago and unbeknown to me,  was out with her on the Friday night, telling his girlfriend that he was out with me for the night.

Boys will be boys and all that.

They go out for dinner and drinks,  he goes back to hers,   nature takes it’s due course and the fud then falls asleep, waking up at 7 in the morning in a panic and calling a cab.

He then texts me from the cab to ask me to cover for him if his missus gets in touch.

What can you say?

Errr .. Nah mate,  your on your own?

So he gets home,  the missus suspects he’s been up to no good and rightfully gives him the third degree.

He feigns innocence and has deleted the text to me from his mobile.

I wake up at 8am .. well it is a Saturday .. and see his text, I  can tell he’s panicking and on the way home and know that he’s in it deep as he has a bit of previous.

I swither on sending him a text,  but don’t want to say anything that drops him in it and don’t’ really want involved either.

Nothing happens the rest of the day,  she’s obviously watching him like a hawk and he’s on best behaviour.   But later that evening,  while eating a take-away with the kids, the doorbell rings.  It’s his girlfriend asking if she can come in for a chat.

“Of course you can,    I’m surprised to see you,  hope everything is okay?” .. and I was surprised to see her .. hoping that my genuine surprise is masking my discomfort.

So she comes into the kitchen and I put the kettle on,  any excuse to buy a bit of thinking time.

I turn to face her and although her blue eyes are red as she’s clearly been crying,   they’re intensely staring at mine and she wants a straight answer.

“Did Robert stay here last night?”

Short, sweet and straight to the point.

It’s the moment of truth .. or lie.   It’s the moment of choice.

To choose the path of the hard and hurtful truth or to tell a horrible but gentle lie?

What would you do?

Back your best mate up or tell the truth and drop him right in it?

Call me weak,  I chose the easier path and lied .. yep,  as brazen-faced as I could manage,  I put surprise on my face as if the question had came out of the blue and lied through my teeth.

“Yes,  he was here”  .. and I’m doing my best to look as if the question itself was a surprise  ..  “We went for a curry and a few beers,  then he came here and we put on a Bowie concert and that Depeche Mode one that we had been to,  he fell asleep on the sofa,  so I went to my bed and when I woke up this morning he was gone”

Bowie and Depeche mode an easy and convincing add-on .. my bad …  but she knows we are both fans and have been to see them and watched these concerts at his house after nights out when she’d been there and went up to her bed.

“Is that what really happened?”

“Not sure what you mean?   Yes that’s what happened,  did he say that we did something else?  Is everything okay?”

“He says that he stayed here last night,   but I don’t believe him.   He’s been too secretive lately and disappeared a few times without saying where he’s going or where he’s been,  making excuse to go shopping on his own,  anything to get out the house for a while”

And she stares at me,  almost pleading to hear the truth  “Are you sure that’s what happened?”

And she knows,  of course she knows,  she just can’t prove it.

And I lie again, shamefully,   brazenly,  I’m even embarrassed about it now 15 years later.

A lot has changed in that time,    their married,  got the twins,  I’ve never had to lie for him again.

Back then,  after the dust settled and we met for another beer and curry night .. I ripped him up for putting me in such a horrible position.

If his missus was to read this now,  how would she feel,  knowing that despite him being a good dad and husband,  he had lied to her back then,  would it change anything .. or does time heal and we move along and close off the past,  preferring not to look at its dark secrets?

Let me give you a wee bit of advice … if you’re ever in that situation where you know your partner has cheated but can’t prove it and he has his best friend backing him up.

Trust your instincts.

 

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So what’s wrong with me?

3am and the world is dark

Everywhere except the blue-white light from my phone.

Fell asleep on the sofa .. again.

There was a message from her waiting when I woke up.

Asking if I was awake and wanted to talk.

I wasn’t and I didn’t.

She says that she misses me.

I miss her too, but not enough.

Not enough to make the effort, invite her over, spend the night wrapped in her arms.

Or legs. Continue reading “So what’s wrong with me?”

He Ain’t Heavy ..

Bert Hardy exhibiton

There he was, lying sleeping, or so I thought.

A private ward on the 11th floor of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow, fantastic views out the window looking north to the Campsie Hills then Ben Lomond and the Arrochar Alps beyond.

Not that he was in any state to admire the vista, he had more important priorities having just came through a kidney removal.

His wife and daughter had already been and gone, leaving him resting, recovering from the effects of the anaesthetic.

I waited outside the room, I didn’t want to go in, wake him or even chat to him. It didn’t seem appropriate.    I just wanted to see him.

I just wanted to know that he was alive and well and that he was on the way back and over the trauma of the operation.

I can see him through the glass of the door, head back, propped up on pillows, eyes closed, mouth slightly open.

That was enough for me, maybe a quick chat with his nurse and get his status, then head for home.

At that she appeared, Nurse Aboui, small, slim, black as the ace of spades, afro hair and a dazzling smile as she offers her greeting. Continue reading “He Ain’t Heavy ..”

The First To Say Good-Bye?

 

The First To Say Good-Bye?

Well she actually said,  “Fuck Off”   .. delightful I’m sure!   🙂

It’s not that I haven’t said the same thing to her before,  because I have,  even although I didn’t mean it.

It was more a “Seriously?”  than a “Get out of here”.

Where as hers was more a ” Get out of here asap and never come back”  🙂

But the big difference is,  somewhere inside,  this time I knew she meant it.

This time I thought,  you really are pissed off with me.

What is it that I do to make piss her off so much?

How can I simply be out with friends and family enjoying the day,  then get a rattling angry text from her.

Truth is,  I was enjoying spending time with my closest brother before he goes through a major operation,  enjoying the football,   the sunshine and his last few days of freedom before going under the knife with life changing results and I don’t even want to think about the worst case scenario.

So we got caught up,  I hadn’t contacted her until 8:30,  but it was only 8:30 for fucks sake,  hardly the end of the night.

Yeah,  maybe I should have contacted her earlier to finalise arrangements,  let her plan ahead,   I get that,  but it takes 2 to tango,  does it not?

So what next?

Let it go?

Apologise?

Look for some middle-ground between eating humble pie and maintaining a huff.

You know I miss her,  she knows I miss her,   I know that she’s hurting,   probably waiting on a call  ..  or maybe not.

Here’s the truth,   good-bye isn’t always a one-sided decision and fuck off isn’t always the end.

We’ve came this far and its a lot to throw away for trivial reasons.


 

Anyway,   my closest brother is genuinely under the knife today,    they found a 4cm long tumour in one of his kidneys and are removing the kidney completely.

Only this time last week, we met for a curry and some beers before going to see Bryan Ferry at The Royal concert Hall in Glasgow.     He’d only just heard the bad news.

He’s a different kind of character to me,  he’s  more “get it done” where I’d be worried sick.

But you’ve really got to love the NHS for taking care of business so quickly.

So it might not be perfect,  budgets are limited,  but when you need it,  it’s there.

Last night,  I went over to see him ..  strange thing ..  I don’t see him every week,    we aren’t in constant contact,    but he’s my oldest friend,  a close confidante,  I just can’t imagine him not being around.

Right now,   waiting on the news from the hospital,  it’s a strange situation,  a pregnant pause,  when life is out of your hands,  big things are happening and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about them.

I’m not really religious,  but I will admit to having said a silent prayer.

I never ever want to say goodbye.

Celtic vs Rangers Perspective.

I regularly put on a post with odds before the Glasgow Derby of Celtic vs Rangers.

It’s by far the biggest rivalry in Scotland, the UK and certainly one of the most fiercestly contested derby matches in the world.

It’s more than simple rivalry, there’s cultural history involved where most people would presume that all Celtic fans are Catholic with an Irish heritage and all Rangers fans are Protestant with loyalty to the UK.

It’s a generalisation but it’s not as simple as that. Continue reading “Celtic vs Rangers Perspective.”

To Thine Own Self … #Kiss

4am, awake again …

Just watched Gene Simmons, the frontman of the band Kiss on BBC HardTalk.

I was never a fan, but as an 8 year old Hungarian immigrant to the USA, he has had a life and a half and gives an interesting perspective on the music business, sex, drugs, immigration and Trump.

Well worth a watch.

Here’s a snippet of the wisdom learned from experience – To Thine Own Self Be True.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09hmc1j