When I arrived at The York , my favorite London pub, straight from the airport and the States this summer I had no idea at all what to expect from this trip. I hadnt been to london 5 years, since it all went so terriby wrong and so I hadn’t seen or even spoken to my friend Simon in almost six!
And only by email. Several thousand really pissed off ones from me lol, and the occassional apologetic one from him.
And only in the last year or so…
He had disappeared off the face of the planet in 2010, with no warning or explination, when they tore down the old flats and he just upped and moved away, leaving no new phone number or even a forwarding address. And without a Goodbye
He called me, for what he knew damn well for god knows how long was going to be the last time and he said ” im moving house this week, i will give you a call with all my new information as soon as i get settled in.”
It was a good six months before i really began to truly comprehend that NO ONE is THAT BUSY, and that the promised call was never going to come.
It felt more like murder than me mate merely moved from one house to another five minutes away . While it appears he had successfully managed to fake his own death (from 2010 to 2015 ) just to escape me , fairly painlessly, it had been more like my own slow motion drive-by execution all those years sad and suffering over here in the USA for me.
But a scant five years, seven months and 8 days and 49 minutes later, he must have finally gotten his jammies unpacked, so at the start of 2015 I got a package and a letter.
And now, here i am. In london. To see Simon. Once again.
Which, as i write this, I realize may sound like a completly insane thing to do
What can i say? We fairies are known for our flights of fancy!
For over five years i never knew if he were alive or dead, and the whole time i was so confused and upset. My heart was broken, I had lost my best friend in the world and i had absolutly no warning or explaination. He just Disappeared. With every passing month, in spite all my best efforts and email letters , i never heard back from him and it was becoming unbearably obvious that i would never know WHY
i was desperatly worried about him, what had possesed him to do such a terribly , cold callous and cruel thing to ME , his “very best friend” or what may have happened to him, or might be happening to him now or in the future!
Because i knew if anything ever happened to him or if , God forbid, we never spoke again i would never be able to forgive myself
And forever regret never having just one chance to see him , if only one more time again. In order to finally have the opportunity to kill him my own damn self , in an unmercifull, exceedingly painful, henious and hideous , prolonged, agonizing and torturous fashion , the selfish miserable old bastard! LMAO
And yet, somehow..
i still cant help but wonder…
WHY, OH WHY? would he leave me?
And Now.. here i am, and there he is! looking and being all simon-ey again,
and me, just looking all the worse for the wear and tear and feeling ten years closer to the grave, instead of just five, thanks to him.
Have I called him a bad name lately? lol
Dont worry, im certain to do it again ..
We are planning to spend almost a month together once more time, just like the old days, when i was living there 3-6 weeks at a time, three or four times a year for a lot of years.
Like a couple of hopped -up maze- enraged research rats in a cage match for freedom, just the two of us, trapped in in his ( SHUDDER ) fancy-schmancy new flat.
I loved the old flat so much , i cried for five days as if i had just attended the funeral of a dear old friend, when i had to leave the last time, knowing i would never see it again.
I didnt know , but that rat bastard Simon did , for who knows how long, that if he had his way I would never be seeing him again either.
See? Told you that you wouldnt have to wait long lol
From the very first moment i saw it i fell in love with his place. It and London became my second home. Unfortunatly for me, it was a package deal LOL. There wasnt a Simon’s house without my Simon in it, and London just wasnt London anymore without him.
So i quit travelling for a while and to my great shock I became a writer .
Because i do adore him and always have and always will, so….
“GIVE ME LIBERTY or give me CHEESE!
And Let the GAMES BEGIN… May the odds be ever in our favor
” And s long as your up getting cheese Si, can you bring more chips.. and the rest of that good dip, and a bottle of some of that”two for a fiver” merlot… and i want it in A REAL GLASS not in a measuring cup or a jelly jar or a thimble or something… okay, OKAY FFS, dont get yer knickers in a twist, i told you I wont dump it all over the futon THIS TIME… Can you scratch my back? its really itchy, no..left, over over,over THERE THATS IT, thanks…Do you have any socks? i forgot to pack any. My feeties are FREEZING …Hey quit hogging the blanky, I hate it when you always do that, you know it drives me crazy.. HA HA thats hilarious, but dont you worry your pretty little head about how little gas that will take, Funny Boy, with the way we are scarfin down that cheese i’m sure there will be more than enough to go around … NO, cmon nooooo I DONT WANNA MOVE OVER..I JUST GOT COMFY! .. oh Shush you Big Baby ! PuLeeezZ Give it a rest , you have plenty of room down there on your end, im practiclly falling off the end of my side as it is.. quit pushin, now YER squishing ME i’m moving , i’m moving what the hell?Now where are my glasses… So.. Anything good tonight on the telly?”
“And DONT SAY a penguin or i swear to god i will smack you right into next sunday.”
I miss vivid pink, rich purple, deep fuchsia and pale rose sunrises
slowly moving across turquoise walls to the sound of quiet morning guitar music.
And Simon describing them to me on the phone, when I was in America and couldn’t be there to see them
While he brushed his teeth
The grey skies and rooftops of London just the other side of the big
window and the sun through the hanging prisms Dempsy
gave us,making spinning , dancing rainbows all over.
A hint of incense (and magic) in the air
Tiny, beautiful bottles of essential oils
in the icebox.
Lavender, goldenrod, patchouli.
Almond, cinnamon, geranium, gardenia
Good friends. Everywhere. All hours of the day and night .
Always dropping by for us to cook them something, together.
Or to make conversation and music
Or just for a cup of tea.
The never ending sound of relentless re-building and new construction, jack hammers and cranes and shouty builders and occassional scary drills and crashes
before they tore it all down and it was gone.
The old tall boy, the one piece of REAL furniture in the whole place,
where he kept anything and everything of any value
I wonder where he put it in the new flat? And if anything of mine is still in it.
and if it is not, where did it all go?
and , more importantly , WHY?
The scary hallway, was ever ready to catch you by the ankles
and trip you up
if you ventured out in the dark by yourself in the
middle of the night
to get to the toilet ( not the baaathroom)
Is the new bathtub as nice as the old one?
That would be impossible.
I loved that tub.
Spaghetti in the bath with a glass of merlot
He’s bound to miss that.
No matter how good the new one is.
I guess I will never know.
No more cheerfully waving hello at the kitchen people who silently watched me through the window from across the estate.
And, I imagined, patiently waited for me there for months, until i came back.
And came home
I wonder where they live now too. And if maybe, at least they miss me.
The furry zebra…couch? Or whatever that thing was supposed to be!
Just cover it up with enough big pillows and it will kinda sorta
pass for one.
The big clay ashtray was perpetually on the floor underfoot, so it was always extremely
convenient for me to trip over so i could kick the whole mess across the floor every single time I stood up
Even though it worked hard, it always had a day off on Thursdays
There was an awful lot of Thursdays at Simon House
And about a thousand real vinyl records lined the walls
and almost as many stacks of old cassettes tapes he made of radio shows . Not a single cd.
Stacks of music magazines everywhere. some going back thirty years.
Dial -up. for gods sake. DIAL-UP! I didn’t even know you could still get that anymore
Even if you wanted to!
I guess he doesn’t have it anymore. It was all he had ever known! We learned to use a computer together that way. Him here, Me there.
Like Dinosaurs trying to invent fire
He must have been so surprised when he got wireless! You know, the one that actually works. ALL THE TIME , in nano seconds. Instead of hours
I wish i could have seen his face!
ButI guess it was time to upgrade. Everything. You know what they say
“Out with the old…”
Simons old house, was kinda messy , sort of disorganized, frankly, kind of a wreck.
Basic but messy ,somehow really comfy, warm and friendly, very home-y, I thought it was very nice. I thought we were a good match. I loved it so.
And i thought I would always be welcome in Simons house
Because Simon has always had trouble getting rid of anything he really likes
or truly cares about
At least that’s what I used to think.
I guess I was wrong.
Eveything through his eyes wasso perfect and possible, nothing too strange to admire and experience, as he wandered the city streets and through his own life .
Anything , no matter how odd or eccentric ( like us) could happen .
And when someone or something did, he would save it away , add it to his collection and it seemed he would have always loved it forever.
Daffy duck glared psychotically at me off the wall out of the crazy kaleidoscope poster
And Jimi , always so cool, sucking that cigarette smiling through the smoke .
Concert posters and pictures of family and friends and gig ticket stubs and postcards and Chinese fortune cookie fortunes and pretty take away menus, glossy adverts for events long past, or he knew he would never go to.
Tiny pieces of paper everywhere with phone numbers of good friends or strangers he struck up a chat with on the Tube
Cartoons cut from magazines and articles from the newspapers stuck all around the walls
Most of them so old they were curling and so yellowed, they could barely be read .
So damaged. So well worn but cared for . Almost falling to pieces.
They must have disintegrated into dust in his hand when he moved on.
He didn’t leave any of that behind.
I never really got the hang of using the hot water kitchen tap without the entire thing coming off in my hand
It took me eight years to work out how to switch on the boiler, work the outlets, figure out which light switch did what ? How to wiggle the telly antenna, use the remotes.
I had just started to feel like I was getting the hang of it.
I bet everything works just fine and dandy in Simons life .
Everythings finally perfect.
In the new flat. I’m sure its so much better.
I miss the magpies imitating the car alarms
And the distant church bells. And the doves.
Looking for red foxes every night when we came home”‘ just in case”
Even the sound of the telephone, even though it was constantly ringing.
I dont even know what his phone number is now.
To say “I’m sorry too. Thank you and Good bye.”
Without fail, every Saturday morning, right at 7, the Spanish
radio station would start playing full blast from a few flats below
But it was okay
because we were never ready for bed yet.
Accompanied of course, by a full volume family sing along while they ran the Hoover for hours and hours!
What the hell were they getting all over their floor?
Every single week?
Your guess is as good as mine.
I am not sure I really wanna know!
Almost as scary as that weird little kid who used to howl like a banshee every day in the
park below our big window and her mother screaching back down at
her from the 5th floor.
I bet he doesn’t miss them! He doesnt even miss me. I guess
I really miss the cheerful invisible leprechaun living on the
floor above most of all
Who was apparently studying tap dancing, occasionally accompanied by several dozen friends in the early morning hours
Only stopping to drive a few nails or dribble a basketball once and a while.
I quite liked lying still at sunrise and listening to his tiny little toenails on the linoleu
But mostly, I miss Simon. every single day
I even miss the sound of the rattle-y bedroom door kept semi-silent with the assistance of a folded bit of old cardboard jammed in place ,that seemed to breathe in and out with the breeze.
I guess he doesnt have to stuff an old pair of jeans under the door in the cold weather anymore. In Simons NEW house, and in his new life , without me in it.
One thing i certainly will not miss is that horrible loud constantly yapping dog that luckily for us lived way down at the other end of the corridor, but it still barked all night and all day and it almost drove the poor guy crazy.
He never got a moments peace once they moved in , and he couldnt wait to be rid of it, and them, when they knocked down the old place.
I wonder where they went? With that intolerable, obnoxious, ill tempered , ill bred mutt?
I hope it was in the flat right next door to Simon
In his new house.
Wherever that may be.
Well, I guess NOW i’m finally about to find out .. Coming soon: Part Three