KOOL-AID: meeting my landlord (part 2)

Yes, yes, I know. Has been a long time since last Kool-Aid post. Not to worry, have rectified this by scheduling the next few posts, so Kool-Aid will now be back on board!

To catch up on what’s been happening with Almost Drank the Kool-Aid, click the menu link above. You can also read the last post here.

And now, for the next instalment of Almost Drank the Kool-Aid.

 

meeting my landlord (part 2)

Right. So quite a lot has happened this afternoon. Is most activity I’ve had since day I left the church.

Got text from Gruff explaining Landlord’s behaviour probably due to his reclusiveness. Yes, Landlord is a recluse. So seeing another human being probably scared the shit out of him.

Felt much better after this discovery. Don’t like the idea of anyone hating me for any reason which is bizarre because normal insecure behaviour usually has me thinking that people hate me.

But then — get knock at door. Slightly on edge because only person I expect is mail man and was not mail man time of day.

Open door, completely aware of possible escapes from situation — French door in lounge and back door in kitchen.

Was Landlord. In hands, a coat, much like that he was wearing. He held it up in greeting and said, ‘I thought you could use this.’

Was still wrapped in duvet, so couldn’t deny it. Nor could turn nose up at coat because was a very country style, probably Barbour (have since confirmed it is Barbour), the type of thing Madonna used to get about in when going through her bizarre British phase (that accent!) when married to Guy Ritchie. Even if was hideous, could not deny coat as rest of current wardrobe also hideous.

Nodded head in thanks, extracting hand from under wrapped duvet and took coat. Would mean no longer needing use of duvet, a thought which brings slight sadness as have grown attached to it in a security blanket kind of way.

Use of duvet alerted Landlord to temperature in cottage. He stepped inside, frown on face, and asked why I did not have fire on.

I gave an expression which I hoped would convey my uselessness at ability to start a fire. Of course, it only took one look inside wood burning stove and the remnants of unburnt wood for Landlord to see for himself.

I watched as he stood back, evaluating the situation, before emitting an ‘ah,’ and flicking what I thought was a useless know on the chimney. ‘You need to open the vent to start the fire.’

Noted that he spoke this in matter-of-fact terms. No judgement or accusation. Is weird for me to hear. Everything said to me these last few years has been with a tone of judgement and accusation.

Landlord then settled self in front of fire and began building a new one. Felt quite hopeless sitting back, watching him work, and decided I needed my own occupation. Took kettle from kitchen, holding it up to Landlord to indicate the question of tea. I myself do not drink it but was left a container of teabags from the landlord himself.

He understood my question, answering that yes, he would have a tea. Probably not because he wanted one, but because was polite thing to do.

‘Just with milk, thank you, ____.’

I didn’t like the way he said my name. As if it was familiar to him. As if he knew it well.

I set about making his tea and my coffee while he sorted the fire.

When I came back with the two mugs (but no biscuits — have eaten them all and still currently waiting for next Waitrose delivery) to the lounge, the fire was roaring.

As we sat down on the settee, Landlord explained how I could close the floor when the fire got going. Felt a bit ridiculous. Though did not have much experience with fires I do remember the one or two occasions spent in country houses when was required to light them. I remembered the whole opening of the flue thing and felt like an idiot forgetting it. Well done dickhead indeed.

Landlord drank tea silently for a few moments. Is probably exhausting talking to someone who doesn’t talk back. After a few moments. Landlord indicated coat, which I’d left on the back of the chair, and noted it probably would swamp me, but at least I’d be warm.

Without trying it on I knew it wouldn’t swamp me. Sure, I’d have to roll up the sleeves as Landlord’s arms are Neanderthal in length, but body-wise, there was a greater chance of me not fitting into the coat. With my chest being as largely-proportioned as it is, I knew it would be a tight squeeze. I may not even be able to zip it up, but at least I would be warm.

Knew Landlord was working up to his next question. A lot of swallowing and repositioning involved.

Before he opened his mouth, the realisation struck me. The ping of a long-ago held memory, of Wedgwood Blue eyes, a clean-shaven face and cropped hair.

As Landlord asked, ‘you don’t remember me, do you?’ I sucked in a great of air, cheeks reddening with the memory.

‘Ah, you do now,’ Landlord declared. I nodded in response. ‘Age, I guess, had not been kind.’

And then Landlord did a very British thing of nodding, standing up, clearing throat, straightening self and then declaring, thanks for tea, and leaving.

Yes. Quite. Let’s sweep all memories and feeling under the rug and move on.

Not sure how I feel about it all though. A lifetime ago. And yet, if am honest with self, that time has been kept in the store of my memory bank, brought out to mull over, wondering what would have been. Wondering what kind of life that nameless man was living.

Now I know. The nameless man has a name. A recluse who just so happens to be my landlord. And for whatever reason, fate has seen fit to bring us together again.

 

Next time…

Kool-Aid gives more detail on the ‘church’. And her reasons for joining the cult in the first place.

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