I was apprehensive.
The text messages had been weird. Too familiar, too intimate. It had given me unease. I concentrated on the body of the text. We agreed on prices. Then there was a sudden “Can you give me some money in advance.” I see that nothing has changed. And, of course, I know very well how people, in general, are “dealt with” and so I know the tone really means nothing. It all is, after all, a great big lie.
Still, I have this strange feeling of unease as if, any moment now, I’m going to be hit with some information that I really won’t like. It shouldn’t affect me but I’m wary in case, in some way, it does. In my head, the answer is “no” to any question regarding loans.
As usual, I’m asking “Why?” Of course, on the surface, it’s plain and simple but my experience tells me that nothing is quite as it appears. He’s not doing this as a favour for me, how ever prettily it’s all wrapped up; nor is it in memory of “us”. I don’t believe that one for a second. Still, it’s odd.
I had a text the night before confirming everything but saying that he had “no electricity” to recharge the batteries on his phone as the electricity has been cut off. The story of this is both funny and ironic. Apparently. I suspect it’s neither funny nor ironic. I’m not even sure if he understands the word ironic. He’ll tell me tomorrow, apparently.
The day dawns and I find myself nervous. I’m nervous, in part, because I’m wondering how I’ll feel seeing the things that, in the main, I bought, being “left” or “thrown away” or “sold” (if he can find a buyer which, at such short notice is hardly likely). Will I feel sad? Will I feel some draw? In spite of myself. I’m also worried that I will be hit with some information which leads to a request where I will have to say “no”.
I’m nervous about the dinner service that I will be getting. Maybe F won’t like it with his “minimalist” approach. Ah well, it can always go down to the cellar. I shall have it anyway. And the chair. And the cocktail cabinet. The rest I’ve said “no” to. After all, where would we put it? Come to think of it, where will we even put the cocktail cabinet? Another for the cellar? These things I only left behind with some sadness. I guess, the difference would be that it wasn’t because they were “us” but because of the few things I have left from the UK, they were things that I really liked.
I had people over for dinner the previous night. Take-away Indian. Just for a change. There was FfI, FfC and L. I told them about the exchange of emails and the agreement we had reached. They weren’t happy. I got the feeling that they didn’t trust me. Or him? FfI reminded me of a comment he made all those years ago of “I could get him back any time I want.” He wasn’t right then and is certainly not right now. But my friends are worried.
“Have you told F?”, I am asked. I haven’t. Their question is heavy with alternate meanings. I do understand but they don’t apply. And, yet, my friends are incredulous that I haven’t mentioned it. I haven’t mentioned it because he has hardly been here since last week and he has more than enough to worry about, what with PaC and the rest of the family. He is tired and under stress and this is of no consequence.
But that is not the real question, is it? The real question is “Is F comfortable with you seeing him?” It’s so hard to explain that it’s OK. At least, I’m sure it’s OK. We don’t work “like that” and never have. It cannot be explained and, to be honest, until I met F, I wouldn’t have understood or believed it either. It’s called total trust and it’s what I like about our relationship and I refuse to be deterred by people who cannot believe in it.
But, you know, for a moment, they put doubt in my mind.
But, I find it impossible to explain because it’s not in other people’s experience so they don’t know how it could possibly work. Of course, everything was fine, as I expected.
So, I drive to the place. His house. I park nearby and ring the doorbell. I’ve forgotten which floor. I thought it was the 7th. Turns out it is the 4th. I am let in and introduced to Max. I don’t ask who Max is because, quite frankly, I don’t care. I see the stuff in the hall. There’s a LOT! CDs in bags. The dinner service in bags, wrapped in sheets and pillow cases because neither V nor I have newspaper or any packing material. I hope nothing gets damaged.
I wonder if it will all fit in. I note that the chair is broken. It wasn’t like that when I left. But, it can be repaired and I will get it repaired. It’s also not so clean. In fact, I decide to have a cigarette first before starting to load the car. I sit in the kitchen with Max whilst the DVDs are packed. Max tells me he’s not a good cook but he had made cous-cous for lunch. He’s right, it looks dreadful.
Whilst sitting in the kitchen I notice how filthy everything is. I’m used to living with F where cleaning is like a drug. It’s not here and it makes me feel uncomfortable and dirty. Funny how quickly my standards have changed.
We load the car. Everything fits. I pay most of the rest of the agreed price, keeping some back for the delivery of the cabinet. I will get that on Monday evening, apparently. Just in case, I’ve kept some back.
I get home and unload everything.
F arrives back earlier than expected, just as I’m cleaning the kitchen floor. He sees the service and really likes it. I am relieved. He also likes the chair. I am doubly relieved. He’s also happy to go through the CDs (although he will already have most of them.) And, since he came home on Sunday, we’ve been thinking about where to put the cabinet.
Although, surprise, surprise, I don’t have that yet.
Now promised for Thursday. We shall see.
But the unsurprising bit of news has been given – the deposit money for the new flat may not be available. I’ve ignored it. And, on Thursday, in my wallet, will be exactly €50 more than we’ve agreed. Which will be perfect.
And, then it will be done. Done and finished – the end of it all.