Where do I start with this? And where do I start without giving self away? I don’t know. I just don’t know.
It was such an innocuous morning. The fire was going. The kitchen warm. Landlord and I were sitting together. He with his breakfast, me with my coffee. The TV, as per normal, was on. It is normally just background noise for me. I might give extra attention when talk turns to the weather, to see if we are going to be met with snow, perhaps even the elusive white Christmas. But nothing much else. It’s all talking to b-grade celebrities who appeared on a season of I’m a Celebrity Get me Out of Here and now have a makeup line or fitness video, or news stories on some politician who has fucked up in some way. I tune it out. I find it far more entertaining to look out the window. The view is still intoxicating for me. Wonder if it is the same for Landlord, even after all the years he’s been living here.
So was staring out the window this morning, sipping away at my coffee, when I heard his voice.
I froze. Momentarily, I thought he was in the room with us. But he wouldn’t be sounding so jovial, would he?
Slowly, I turned to the TV. There he was. Older, still handsome, but with a harshness somehow. Smiling brightly at the camera in that way we’re all taught to do. Happy, happy, happy, because the church makes us sooo happy.
This wasn’t something which had been filmed in America. He’s here. As in, in the UK, here. He’s in the UK, appearing on morning television.
And I don’t know what to do with this information.
I guess I never imagined he’d come back here. He was so set in LA. Everyone from the church at his beck and call, the sunshine he always desired because where he grew up was grim and grey, and being surrounded by the celebrities he always wanted to be.
Why is he here? What does he have left here? He was always so above it all. American fame — however small — is always preferable to British fame.
No family. No friends. Does he need the money? Or does the church need him over here for good publicity? Is the church suffering?
Of course, it’s a coincidence that he’s here now. Of course it is. Has nothing to do with me. Nothing at all…
Landlord knew. He saw it on my face. He asked the question. Tried to comfort. But it all was done from a distance. He’s somewhere else today. His eyes are faraway. He’s sad, I think.
I pulled myself together pretty quickly. Landlord doesn’t need to take on any of my crap. He has enough of his own at the moment.