Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Gordon's Breakfast - 39

After saying goodbye to Larissa Snowe I take the tube back home, shower and change before heading straight out of the flat again over to Alison's house. Tonight Alison and I are going out on the town, well almost, we're heading over our favourite gastro pub in Islington for a post wedding evening, but it's still a big deal as Alison just doesn't go out anymore even though her mother is on the phone every day of the week volunteering to come over and look after Caitlin. Okay, it''s completely selfish on her mother's part as she wants to hurl Alison back into the post Paul world like some thirty something shock troop woman.

Alison's mother has won her daughter round tonight, but she's still not all that keen. Most of the time she says she would rather stay home drink some wine and watch DVDs.

As I head down the street I've only been walking for a minute or so when I hear some shouting coming from behind me. I sensibly ignore it first of all knowing that it has absolutely nothing to do with me and is likely to be one of the charming local drunks calling out for more beer who truth be told are not really that charming.

My favourite one is the Scottish guy who walks up to people and says: "I have nae eaten for three days". It doesn't matter when you see him or how many times you see him in a week it is always three days. It must be like a rule.

As I walk on ignoring the drunk behind me, rather than fading into the background the voice becomes clearer and more insistent and worryingly seems to be moving closer. I know this as I can now clearly hear the phrase "fucking bastard" being shouted repeatedly. The shouting is getting much closer, is accompanied by heavy footsteps, and worse still it is definitely directed at me.

It takes my eyes a little while to penetrate the gloom and when they finally do things get really bad as the shouting voice in fact belongs to Adam who is now running towards me at full pelt closing the distance between us at a rate of knots. I stand there for a few seconds and watch him run when I suddenly start to think that he probably isn't going to want to have just a quiet word with me, but more likely is going to attempt to use me as a punch bag. Now I think is the time to start running.

As I'm running I'm thinking to myself how weird as Adam is meant to be in the Caribbean with Mrs Wright who was once just known as Susan rather than running down my North London street hurling a barrage of expletives and murderous intent at me.

I'm breathing hard and pounding the pavement. Luckily being smaller than Adam's lumbering six foot four I'm considerably lighter and faster on my feet and have put enough distance between us to ensure that when I get to the end of the road I can make it to the next turning before Adam has even got to the end of the street. Taking myself back down the next street, I cut through the alley and keep going until it starts to bend when I stop and generally pant a little while my heart slams against my chest like baseball being bounced against a cage. I should really exercise more especially if I'm going to have to out run Adam on a regular basis.

Catching my breath I stand there for a while having these flashbacks of being a kid come rushing back to me, which I think means its been about 20 years since I've had to run for my life. I wait a little longer to check that I have given Adam the slip, which I seem to have done successfully, and then I break back into a run for a couple of minutes just to be sure and then I walk the rest of the way to Alison's. There's something rather satisfying at having outrun someone who is out for your blood, but I wouldn't like to do it on a regular basis just in case the running part failed to sufficiently pay off.
I mean I could have held my ground. Adam is no more of a street fighter than I am and all our moves are confined to the Playstation 2, as was witnessed by our pushing contest earlier this year, but I worry that he will swing and kick out at me and generally we'll look ungainly like two people who really don't know the first thing about fighting. Somehow I can't think of anything worse than that – oh hang on a second, I can. Getting a real beating would definitely be worse.

There's a slight concern that his anger might boil Hulk like over into something productive and more dangerous. I mean it's a long shot, but still.

Of course, he would have every right to do so. I after all did have a crack at trying to wreck his wedding and scuttle his future happiness, but in return I could argue I had every right to do so. Okay, so it's not a watertight argument. Come on I'm reaching, what can I say.

To be fair, well to be fair to me, they should remove that clause from the wedding ceremony as it surely only encourages people with crackpot plans (like Larissa Snowe) to attempt crackpot stunts. I feel it is only fair to blame her now as she has left the country and is heading out over the Atlantic Ocean.

Alison's mother opens the door and she offers me her check to kiss. I have to tell you that this is a bit of a new development and it really just adds to my general sense of alarm and concern. I mean I have no objection to Alison's mother and her cheek it's just that it's a new addition to our relationship and I'm worried what it all means to her.

"Oh look whose here," she coos, "young Gordon."

Instead I follow Alison's mother into the sitting room as she starts to tell me how much Alison is looking forward to her 'big night out'. This rings more alarm bells and frankly I'm now more perturbed than ever.

Alison's mother seems to be under the impression that Alison and I are teenagers and I am here to take her daughter out on her first date.

I'm just waiting for her to tell me what time Alison has to be back home ("She has school tomorrow Gordon") and that I had better not try any funny stuff, which is a shame as my jokes are really my best feature. I feel like I should at least remind her that Alison and I are no longer teenagers or attending school, but oddly I think that if I did this she would just smile indulgently at me like other people's parents can in that "oh you and your crazy young ideas" kind of way, which is really the cue for some more motherly advice.

I'm praying that Alison makes a fast appearance as her mother is starting to ask me lots of questions about work and the future (the what?). It's starting to remind me about this Jewish girl I dated.

On date four or five I met her mother at some family gathering and she grilled me intensively:

"A journalist you say? There's not much money in journalism is there?".
"That is very true," I admitted, "but I do enjoy it."
"You enjoy it you say, really?"
"Well most of the time."

It was one of the worst nights of my life. It went on for an hour. Wherever I went in the room she would saddle up to me. I wanted to ask her where the emergency exit was as I knew that she would gladly direct me ("here's £10 for your cab").

It's the opposite with Alison's mother she seems convinced I am the one for her daughter whereas Rachel's mother was of the opposite opinion.

Sadly Alison is taking her time, which leads to me becoming flustered and making an awful awful mistake. Instead of telling her than I am doing really pretty badly at the moment I tell her that I'm doing quite well and have loads of work on. Alison's mother loves this, she tells me she always knew that I would go far, which can't possibly be true as no one ever said that. It's all madness, but there is no way out so I keep on digging gripping my knees as I do as imaginary dirt flies over my head. I'll be up to my neck in no time.

Finally like the long awaited relief column Alison makes her appearance and I have to say she is looking great. Her hair is kind of shiny and she has this little black dress on that's kind of not too dressy if you know what I mean. I am up out of my seat and saying goodnight to Alison's mother and I'm moving towards the door.

"I'll get the door," I say, which makes Alison laugh.

I can't believe I said that. Everybody knows you only get the door when there is actually someone on the other side of it not when you are leaving. I am such a fool when it comes to making emergency exits.


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