Sometimes things are just OK, yet when the years have passed and you look back at everything that’s happened it’s usually much easier to remember the worst of times. The truth is, there were long periods of time where Katy and I were happy together, why else would we have put up with the bad times?
The highs that we shared were little things that often get taken for granted and forgotten over time. Warm fuzzy feelings that come from spending time together content. The evenings in front of the telly, the nights we got to share together which weren’t all together that frequent. Things were ticking along nicely.
When we weren’t having cosy nights in we’d either be at the pub while Peter was working behind the bar. The landlords there were a pretty cool gay male couple and we’d enjoy their company. We’d usually be joined by Michael, Billy, Nick and Aaron. When all of us would get together is was never a quiet night.
When we were among friends it was perfectly acceptable to indulge in crude banter. Hanging out with the lads was funny, stories would be swapped about girls they had dated. The was a friendly rivalry which encompassed trying to embarrass each other frequently and interestingly, for a long period of time a habit of slapping each other hard across the ass and shouting ‘Good Game’ to this day I have no idea how that started!
When money would get tight towards the end of the month we would more often be found handing out at Billy’s place. His dining room has an antique feel about it with a lot of theatre memorabilia and a huge round dark wood table. It was only Michael and I that didn’t smoke of all our friends, so when we’d hang out it would usually be to drink, play cards and the rest would smoke. You can imagine the scene with the smoke hanging in the air, card games going on all night and constantly ribbing each other all evening.
Card games makes it sound really interesting, like we were up all night playing poker and wasting our hard earned cash betting against each other. When in fact we would often be playing shi*tface and arguing about the many interpretations we all had for the rules of the game. We had some really good times hanging out at Billy’s.
Meanwhile I had been working full time for a few months and I had more money than I had ever had before. I decided to get a loan and buy a brand new car. I ordered a Peugeot 206 and I had to wait a really long time before it was delivered.
I had been calling the garage every other day hoping to get some news of the delivery date for my new car. I eventually got word that it would come in the week of my birthday. I took a last minute day trip to Portsmouth to see Chris and show Billy around. We drove up in my Punto and he got to see all the places I used to hang out and briefly see a couple of my friends.
It was a little anti-climatic, Portsmouth didn’t seem to be what I had remembered it to be. I only visited a couple times after that. On the drive home I got caught speeding on the slip road onto the M275 (going 48 in a 40) by a fixed speed camera. Then about 20 miles from home I noticed that my car wasn’t behaving properly. It seemed to be losing power, the CD player was acting up and the wipers made a feeble attempt to clear my windscreen. Worst of all shortly before my car decided to give up entirely a tiny little bunny rabbit ran out into the road and made a beeline straight for my tyres, there was no avoiding it.
Next thing we know Billy and I are camped out on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. I had no breakdown cover either so when I called the RAC to come and get me I was stung with the £120 penalty for needing a call out on the day the I joined up. An additional £20 for being towed home further than 10 miles, add that together with the £60 for speeding and the cost of a tank of petrol and it had been a very expensive ordeal.
When I got the car home I left it dead by the side of the road outside my place, I felt like the wee little beast knew that it’s days were numbered and that I’d be trading it in in less than a week and it exacted it’s revenge. I needed to get to work each day in the interim and my parents would let me borrow their car again. Although the first thing in order was to head to the pub with Billy and get over the ordeal with a few vodkas.
These were the days of plain sailing, I was happy with the life that I had. Sure I was working in a job that I didn’t truly want to be doing, but I got to work 5 days one week and 2 the next, it had it’s benefits. I was buying a new car. I had a girlfriend that loved me very much and friends that meant the world to me. I’d been home for about five months by this time, and I had just been offered a permanent position with my work.
For Katy and I it seemed like the worst was behind us. We’d stopped with the silly little mind games and managed to enjoy being together. Even our friends seemed to think we were back on the right track. I have the most randomly pieced together memories of these days. Like a barbecue at Aaron’s one evening and the guys had dared our friend Tom to see how many pegs we could attach to his face, it was hilarious. He had them hanging off his ears, nose, eyebrows and mouth. I wish I had the photos from those days, or just a better memory.
I think it’s important to acknowledge the good with the bad. So in those moments when there is nothing to complain about and each moment flows seamlessly to the next I like to remember that my poor recollection is usually because I was content and in those times had nothing to complain about. So tonight you’ll not catch me here with any tales of woe, just these random snippets that I barely remember, I wish I made an effort to think more positively of my past when I was younger, maybe then I have more happy memories to share.