I’ve had another close encounter with a carthorse. Yes, my dear friend Ron from Ashton Carthorse rang me again, but I just couldn’t get to the mobile in time.
You know how it is with old buddies: he was going to leave a quick message on my answerphone, but he couldn’t resist having a bit of a natter, even to a humble machine, about how we used to shin up trees when we were kiddies, and ford streams with rocks, and that time when I grazed my knee on a badger…. Before you know it he had to pull himself together and reach for a tissue to stop himself blubbing: that’s what all that endless chat about the old days does to you, of course. O halcyon youth; o Annie Labuntur. She hasn’t rung me yet, incidentally. I don’t think she forgives me for the frogspawn incident.
What was weird was that, although our last communication had ended with him apparently completely blanking me (dropping me like a hot potato might be more apposite) he didn’t make any mention of his brusque behaviour in this most recent telephone call. At the time it had been so completely out of character for him (he’s not the Ron I once dared to kiss Nadine Wilson, I can tell you; but then, who is?) that I’d half worried that maybe he’d succumbed to a sudden attack of Alzheimer’s, or an enormous axe in the head. But, no: there was no explanation. All he would say in the message was that he desperately wanted to catch up with dear old Smallbeds again, and that it was pure coincidence that he had a client who really wanted someone to start as soon as possible, and he appreciated I wasn’t interested, but did I know anyone? How lovely can you get?
Of course, with so many experiences and adventures behind us both, I simply must ring Ron back at the next opportunity. Naturally I’ll need to devote all my time and attention to dear Ron, so it might be a good few days before I’m able to really sit down and have the long reminisce with him that we’re both simply dying to indulge in. In fact, it’s looking more like weeks, or maybe months: I’ve just checked my diary and I find I’m spending at least every evening for the foreseeable future breathing in and out, which as you can appreciate is a pretty hectic schedule. But Ron will surely wait; our friendship is too strong a bond for him to take any offence. Indeed, a more well-adjusted man than I might dare to call it… love?