just one more thing
Gemma is talking. A constant stream of waaah. I drink some wine and watch her mouth move, her hands gesticulate, her eyes sear. I hear the words but I’m not fully here with her. I get the gist of her rant. Basically Martin has been meeting his wife and going to tango classes. It was something he had promised to keep doing even though they split up but only fuck knows why. He kept if from Gemma and that of course is the real issue. She really is not someone to be lying to, especially if you leave your phone lying around unlocked. She then just went mental at him and did her uber flounce into the distance at about 8 this morning. By the sound of her, she’s been on the piss ever since. A tiny crevice of my disgusting psyche is enjoying her pain, that her fairytale has been smashed by a stupid fucking ballroom dance. Fucking psyche, fucking with me. My adorable habit of wanting people around me to be basically happy but not happier than me has once again surfaced. I will now have to fix all this so that I don’t have to carry a fat slab of guilt around with me.
I convince Gemma to come to my place. She protests, she wants to stay in the pub and destroy what is left of her. She’s being alchodramatic as usual. When I get drunk because I’m upset I go down into a burrow and hide. Gemma puts all the flags out and has her own fucking parade down the middle of the street. Eventually she gives in, mainly on the promise of more Prosecco at mine. I get her a bottle of her Prosecco out of my fridge and pop it. I make sure she’s nice and comfortable on the sofa. My evil genius plan is coming to pass. We talk and I even think about mentioning about going away with Jimmy but it is a risky thing to do right now. She might think it’s adorable and hug me or she might not and glass me. Hard to say with her at times like this. What I’m totally banking on is that having known her for many years, that she conforms to her norm. I know that when her bloodstream reaches a critical mass of alcohol, she will fall very asleep. She has done this in pubs, restaurants, on buses, on trains, on the bog, on a park bench, behind a hedge and my personal favourite, on a roundabout. We lost her that night and it was a concerned motorist who spotted her during the next morning rush hour and called the police, who kindly returned her home. So I let her rant, I let her drink, I let her eyes slowly fade to black. It takes a while but she goes down, her head slumped forward and I gently tip her to one side and put her gently into a vaguely lying down position.
I know she’ll be out for a good few hours. I need to move. I finish both glasses of our wine and change into my unreasonably heeled boots. They may slow me down but I need to feel at least 5ft 6 to get through this. I get to the gallery without breaking an ankle and Martin is there. I walk in and let the door hang open behind me. Fucking hell I do dramatic so well if I have to. ‘Martha…’ he looks terrified ‘...I made a mistake but Gemma is a bloody unreasonable woman…’ I have my hands on my hips and the combination of bubbly wine and heels mean I feel 7ft tall. I interrupt him ‘Martin’ he stops talking immediately. ‘Martin, do you love my ridiculous, yes unreasonable but totally amazing friend?’ I see his mouth tremble. Don’t cry you cunt, I’ll crumble. ‘yes Martha, I do’ he looks down at his hands. I nod slowly a couple of times ‘so, you love her, I love her obviously and I really would like to keep this job. So you see Martin, we have to fix this ok?’ he nods three times quickly, still looking at his hands. ‘she’s at my place. I’ll text you when it is a good time and you come round, ok?’ more nodding ‘good. I’ll text my address too’ ‘ok, thank you’ he’s gone from being a 57 year old probable millionaire to a 7 year old boy. It’s kind of cute. ‘Right that’s sorted then’ I say. ‘yes, thank you’ I turn to walk out of the door that is still hanging open. I can’t resist a Columbo just one more thing moment. I look back as I hold the handle ‘oh Martin, one more thing…’ he looks at me expectantly ‘no more fucking tango sunshine’