When I first met Meeester we had both just graduated from our respective Universities. I had slunk home poverty-stricken to my parents after an ill advised spell in a Spanish language school, and Meeester was putting off the inevitable career in teaching to trying his hand at being a rock star full time.
Given that the market in Rock Stars wasn’t as buoyant as it is now, this meant that Meeester never had any money. In fact, he didn’t actually officially have a home. He was just staying with friends on a sofa located in their cottage porch. This should have been a temporary solution to Meeester’s housing problem. In fact, it was temporary solution that lasted 18 months.
Meeester’s stay in the porch is now the stuff of legend amongst our circle of friends.
Given that I stayed at home with my folks I could often be found sharing the sofa of a night. And given that we had just met, not to put too fine a point on it, that sofa saw a lot of action. As did anyone coming through the front door into the porch.
Oh the shame.
Here’s a list of people who I still can’t quite look in the eye:
The young lad next door was known to all of us as “Fuck-Off Davey”. Davey was a teenager who would routinely pop in to get one the cottage dwellers to tune his bass guitar and then never leave. Hence the nickname. I think Davey might have seen my lady bits. But he can fuck off.
The Best Man
T, was the official recognised tenant of the cottage and would become Best Man at our wedding. T was also the bass player in Meeester’s band. Did that guy have some stories to tell in the speech at our wedding? Oh yes he did. Revenge is sweet. Especially when is is done in front of parents and grandparents. The explaining I had to do...
Sorry T. No-one should have to knock before putting the key in their own front door.
Ian, the Minister
Ian also lived in the cottage and later became a minister. I think we may have driven him towards God, to be honest.
Meester and I once used his bedroom to get some privacy as we thought he wasn’t coming home and the porch was a little draughty. As he walked into his bedroom to see Meeester’s bottom in the air, I swear I heard him bellow, “May the power of Christ compel you!”
I have never been so embarrassed.
Donny would turn up every Sunday to whisk Meeester away to do a sing along at a sick kids’ hospital he worked in. He was once a nanosecond from whisking the duvet off a naked, sleeping Misssy, thinking I was Meeester (Meeester had very long hair at the time). Instead, I woke up just in time, saw a leather clad figure still wearing his bike helmet with his black, gloved hand extended towards me. Still half asleep, I thought I was about to be exterminated by Terminator and nearly hit the roof.
This is one of Donny’s favourite stories, I believe.
As no-one could afford to call Rentokil to get rid of the wasps’s bike that also inhabited the porch, we were also watched by the five thousand wasps that would fall onto us as we slept, The fact that neither of us went into toxic shock is a mystery.
A sure fire way to rid yourself of a wasp phobia is to have fifty of them in their sleepy and angry death throes land on your face of a morning, with your mouth slightly open.
Gerald the Cat
Gerald was the thousand year old cat came with the house and viewed us as his tenants. Gerald was so big that you would think you were having a heart seizure when he fell asleep on your chest. He was probably an actual puma.
An expert hunter, who laughed in the face of actual shop-bought cat food, Gerald would often drag a twitching, half-dead rabbit into the porch to eat on top of you in the middle of the night as you slept. The sound of a brittle bunny skull breaking under the brute force of cat mandibles, two inches from your head is something that will live with me forever.
I still pass that cottage regularly in my car and I smile.
Then I wince.
Then I smile again.
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