Sunday, December 20, 2009

Old Dog

Miles called again this morning.

'Did you get my Christmas card yet?’

I explained that we hadn’t had the post, but looked forward to getting the card about which he had called several times.

‘It’s because he has turned over a new leaf this year and sending us a Christmas card is highly symbolic.’

Maude always respects the turning over of new leaves.

Miles did recently change career. Being a drug liaison worker in the West Country had lost its allure and he made the natural switch to the selling of double-glazing.

His drug liaison colleagues had judged him harshly after a misunderstanding involving a digital camera at a civil partnership ceremony. Miles had been using his girlfriend’s camera for the day. After what he thought was a particularly handsome shot of the happy couple, Miles passed the camera to the new partners to review his efforts. Unfortunately he had forgotten that the camera contained some intimate documentary footage of his relationship with Gloria. The groom and groom held the camera together, flanked by their mothers and genuinely moved by Miles’ interest in their big day (the unkind office consensus persisted that Miles was an unreconstructed Geordie who had 'fallen into' social work).

It is so easy to scroll the wrong way through someone else’s memories if one is unfamiliar with a given camera.

‘It wasn’t my fault,’ Miles told me later. ‘The picture I wanted them to see was on the screen when I handed the bloody camera over. They had no business hitting the back button. I did feel bad, though, about the ambulance n’that for Justin’s mam. I could tell all day that she’d been struggling with the idea of her only son marrying another bloke. I think the sight of me knocking one out pushed her over the edge.’

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