Thursday, 16 July 2009

Charlie and Oddest

I met my old colleague Charlie lunch today. As I waited for her to come out of the town hall, I stumbled across a Warhammer 40k figurine in the crook of an brass elbow as part of the shipwreck statue. I’m geeky enough to recognise it as a Space Marine, but not enough to identify its clan. Who put it there? I don’t care, I liked it.

We went to Don Giovanni’s, where the service was slow and the food mediocre, and had a bit of a chat. I wasn’t sure why Charlie had asked me to meet up with her. We were never that close when we worked together. She was widely acknowledged as being the hottest girl in the office, tall, pretty and busty – but I’d never seen it myself. I once went on a blind date with her sister. But I wouldn’t describe us as friends. Why was I there?

Because, it turns out, Charlie is pretty lonesome. She moved in with her boyfriend around the same sort of time that I started working in my current, somewhat tiresome job. They live together, alone, in Northenden, and she doesn’t get up to much of an evening. Or at lunchtime. As she spoke, something sad in her eyes touched me. Maybe I could help her. Choices and chances, right?

I kept thinking about her as the afternoon rolled on. It was heart on a plate stuff on her part, I realised. Pretty gutsy to ask to be friends. Brave. As I was about to leave for my holiday, I was given a pile of junk to handle. Frustrating. Sometimes I want to smash my office with a sledgehammer. Monitors, light switches, other people’s mugs, the photocopier – all of it. It was one of those days. Way to bum me out before my holiday.

An hour later than planned, my 85 rolled up outside Oddest and I went in for a furious pint to wipe out my work anger.

“We’re closing in twenty minutes,” said Kate
“I think I can fit in a pint. I need one.”

After the bar kind of closed, I stayed to help inflate balloons for a little while. It helped. The anger drained out of me. And when I got home I was filled with joy: my new phone had arrived

Dunk and I headed down for the bona fide opening party a little later on. With my holiday and then his European odyssey, I wasn’t going to get much Dunk time for a few weeks. Was the party trendy? We had our picture taken by a photographer. Were we trendy?

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