They don’t know much about me in Local Shop even though I’ve been there since October 2012. I don’t go to works parties and I never meet any of them outside work. Except Nemo, who I found on a drinking night out one night recently. He’s an ex-storeman and now knows more about me and my immediate-future plans than anyone in Local Shop. Or indeed, anyone in this town. And he doesn’t know much.
I don’t think he’ll leak any info, in fact I doubt he’ll remember anything. He was pretty damn pissed at the time. It’s getting so close now that it doesn’t really matter anyway.
Today, on a smoke break, Big Nads asked me if I smoked dope. She was sure I was a dope-head from the day she started. I don’t take any drugs, not even aspirin. I’m just like this all the time and my life is so damn weird I can do without anything to make it weirder!
Later I offered to help her move the tables in the cafe so I could get the floor machine in – ‘I can’t just leave you to do it alone, I know you’re only a woman’ – and managed to get clear before she realised what I’d said. When she did, the shouting started. Ah, normality is restored.
But back to Boss. She’s used to hearing about little chairs for knitted rats from Thailand, driving a truck blindfold, drinking with a lobster in Frankfurt, curry for breakfast, whisky to excess, seeing tiny skulls with lit cigarettes, 1 cm high telephone boxes made of brass, hearing wildly exaggerated accounts of violence and death threats from the staff and she still says breaking an apple in half with one hand is the weirdest thing she’s ever seen me do. Oh there is so much more to come! It’s all true, too.
I once phoned her from hospital to say I might need a couple of days off – and she really has pulled out the stops to make sure I get that week off at the end of this month. She knows it’s really important to me but I haven’t told her why.
I will have to tell her. All of it. It is going to affect work in the coming months. She’ll have to be sitting down for this one and when I tell you lot, I’ll put a ‘sit down first’ note at the top. I’ve been pretty good at hiding in plain sight so far but it’s time to come out of the shadows.
I think I’ll start that conversation with ‘I can’t go to Denmark without Toblerone, caramel fudge and a knitting book’. Then wait for the closed eyes, the deep sigh and the ‘Okay. Why?’
I’d better put a cushion on the table before her jaw hits it.
Timing will be difficult because she’s training Mopzilla this week (I thought it was a better name than ‘Lurch’) but if necessary I’ll visit the shop one morning to do this. It will be necessary to reassure her that I will really be coming back to work and not vanishing forever, tempting though that thought might be.
I’ll give her the abridged version because there really is a hell of a lot of it and I’ve never told anyone any of it before this year. Some of those out there know bits, one knows more than most but there is still much more to come.
In all these years of blogging I have met three people from the internet and spoken to one other on the phone. One of those I met doesn’t even know me as Legiron, only as Dume. I only met those people once.
Next week, one of them becomes the first person I’ll have met twice 😉
Better brace yourselves. Things are likely to get a little bit strange around here.