When I arrived, the Old Man had not opened the gates of the drive, or unlocked the front door. He had forgotten that I was coming to Peakville, even though we had discussed it on the phone at breakfast-time.
Not long afterwards, I was about to go to Bert’s. From the dining-room window, I waved to Mrs CJ, who was hanging out her washing. “Glad to see you up and about,” I told her.
Dr K had attended Mrs CJ to treat her haematoma.
“Did I tell you we got a call the other night?” Mrs CJ asked me. The Old Man had phoned, and had asked whether the Deceased Lady was there. Mrs CJ had replied “No, lovey, she isn’t,” and had asked him had he phoned BLEKE? The Old Man had said he thought BLEKE had gone to work. Mrs CJ had then advised the Old Man to try my number in Suburbia Somnolenta. That must have been the evening when he asked me where I was, etc etc.
As I drove to Bert’s, Spem in Alium was playing on EKN FM. At Bert’s, only Short Woman was there, wearing a dark blue pinafore, and accompanied only by Junior. The grey car and the Suzuki motor-bike were parked on the forecourt.
When we were eating the fish and chips, the Old Man said:
“Wherever you got these from, don’t go there again.” He reckoned they were yesterday’s, re-heated.
The Old Man repeated several questions many times that afternoon.
I found a box of six small knives, three with their blades still in the wrapping-paper, three not. We have another of these small knives, which we use regularly. Presumably it is one of a further set — but I have no idea where the remaining five are.
After 19:00 I was in the sun-lounge, sorting out cardboard and taking it to the recycling bin which had been emptied on Friday 16 April. While I was sorting out the third and final consignment, the Old Man came into the sun-lounge, sat down, and asked me:
“Do you ever fancy going to see your mother’s grave?”
I reminded him that the Deceased Lady had been cremated, and her ashes scattered in the Garden of Remembrance. However, we could visit the Garden of Remembrance. The Old Man seemed to like that suggestion. He said:
“I often think of your mother.” His facial expression was one of sadness.
[Original posting 17 April 2011]