After yesterday’s confusion over what exactly was meant as a subject by #Folkore Thursday, today on my thirty blogs in thirty days challenge, it’s quite simple:
“Look what I’ve found.”
“Um yes… what is it?”
“You know what it is,” I said somewhat severely.
“It’s a key,” he said sheepishly.
It was indeed a key, and it was a particular key, a key he claimed not to know its whereabouts. I thought he’d lost it, I genuinely thought that he had been the usual idiot he always is and lost or mislaid or dropped it. I waited for an explanation, an apology was too much to hope for, but I didn’t get so much as an excuse. He was concentrating on fitting a tiny-weeny something or another onto a some other teeny-tidgy whatnot. He was holding his breath because it was all so delicate, even breathing out at the wrong moment could upset some other thingmy. I was so disinterested, no not just disinterested, I had begun to hate, these blasted constructions, hated them whirring and dinging and pinging and bits opening or closing, balls rolling or dropping, balances tilting, chains cranking, pulleys pulling…
I’d though they were fascinating, I’d thought they were interesting and clever, I thought he was fascinating, interesting and clever. I’d taken on a job I didn’t like, I wouldn’t say hated, but I did it to earn money for us to live and to finance all the equipment and materials he needed. He gave up work so he could pursue his ‘craft’ as he called it, because it could make money, it could make big money – and yes, if he sold the damned things, yes it would. He had sold various at craft fairs and such like, and then had got commissions, but he wouldn’t do what the client wanted. He would ignore their specifics, even down to them saying they wanted it in green and gold and he would do make it in blue and red. That’s just one example, there are so many more.
At first I excused it, artistic temperament, being true to his calling, but I began to realise he did it deliberately, for whatever reason. He never finished anything – even in the early days of the craft fairs and car boot sales, his things were rarely finished and he would supply the extra pieces so people could ‘customise’ their own, ‘put their own stamp‘ on whatever it was. I only realised this retrospectively when I was at home doing the chores I’d asked him to do during the day, or working overtime because we had bills we needed to pay. It went over and over in my mind when he was out, meeting clients – except of course he wasn’t, he was in some pub where I would never think of looking. I only knew this because someone I worked with told me they’d bumped into him in The Mitre – I didn’t even know where it was, even when she told me the street it was on. The next time she saw him he was in The Sheep’s Head, another pub I didn’t know.
In a way, it was my fault for not properly challenging him sooner. It was my fault for mentally moaning about it and not facing up to confronting him. I guess when he was crouched over his workbench, with all the top range tools and expensive materials neatly laid out, his 20x-magnifier magnifying eye glasses/jeweller watch repair led light glasses/loupe lens (I saw the invoice slip and nearly fainted) on his nose, I could see how wrapped up in his ‘work‘ he was. When I found what I realised was a betting slip I did mention it very firmly but he said it was someone else’s he’d used to scribble a note, and yes there were a couple of telephone numbers written on the back. Funny how the amount that had been bet was exactly the same as an outgoing on the bank statement made payable to GetTed’s the well-known bookie.
“This key is the key to the valuables box.” I said. We called it that but really it was a lockable safety deposit box, to be precise a Mighty Lock S35G fire-resistant safe box, specifically designed to protect documents, digital and electronic devices and valuables from flood, fire and theft. In it, as you might imagine were all our ultra important documents and other things of value, including bank books.
We had lost or mislaid the key some time ago, neither of us was sure exactly when, and annoyingly we couldn’t remember where we kept the spare.
He didn’t look at me, but the whatever-it-was he held in his tweezers was vibrating.
“And this,” I said, holding out my other hand, “This is the spare key.”
The tweezers moved the whatever-it-was to the other-thingy which had a tiny bead of golden glue waiting to receive it. I wanted to smash the whole structure, break the chains, the wheels, the cogs, the pulleys and the chutes.
“And here,” I reached behind me to the table. “And this is the valuables box which strangely is empty of any valuables.”
He took his bug-like super jewellers specs off and opened his mouth to make whatever excuse/justification /reason/explanation/mitigation but I cut him off.
“You see over there? That’s my suitcase; the rest of my bags are downstairs. I’m not kicking you out because I truly can’t be…” I resisted using the word which sprang to mind. “Because I am leaving and never want to see you or this house or anything in it ever again.”
He jumped up but too late, I turned and walked away, grabbed my bag and headed out, down the short staircase into the hall and out of the front door. A gentleman was waiting, as he promised he would.
“Good evening,” he said politely, a pleasant smile on his face.
“I have my last bag here, all that’s in it is clothes – do you want to check?” no he didn’t, he’d checked through everything else. “Thanks so much for being so considerate,” I had a curious sensation building inside me. My shoulders twitched as if wings were about to sprout and bear me away to a bright new somewhere else.
“Good luck, and thank you for being so helpful. We will forward any remittance due. I took the liberty of calling you a taxi since the car will remain here, and the fare is paid to the station, I think that is where you said you were going.”
How very kind, my eyes prickled as I thanked him, and unexpectedly he gave me a hug, took my bag and carried it to the taxi. He handed me his card, although I already had one, Robert Tennison, bailiff (enforcement agent.)