Martha-The Rewrite Chapter Sixty One
I had a dream about cleaning the place in Spain. Fuck, I’m starting to sound like my mum ‘my place in Spain, Costa Blanca doncha know’. Anyway, it was like the Flash advert but the mop was huge and perhaps more disconcertingly, just did its own thing around the place. It started off cleaning the floor, then it started on the ceiling and then it went mental and smashed all the windows and ran away down the garden. I woke up in a sweat, my mind spiralling around checkerboard floors and dirty buckets of water. I check my phone, there’s a message from Monty. I’d forgotten that we exchanged numbers. He was so funny and sparkly ‘Martha, Martha, Martha, the painting is coming tomorrow, so I think we should celebrate (again!). Come over to me after work, we’ll cavort beneath the splendour of Mr Smugly xxx’ he likes a celebration that bloke. I did end up drunkenly asking him how come he could blow 4 grand on a painting for a laugh ‘oh darling, I think I was just born rich’ he had replied, which was funny but not terribly informative. He did mention later that he had worked in the city and hated it all so retired when he was 40 after one last huge bonus ‘that was late 2007, then it all fucked up in 2008 and I laughed from the sidelines’ he had said. Some guys have all the luck. I text him back ‘Hey, I’d love to but I have my daughter tomorrow night xx’ I’m not giving back 3 kisses, that’s just excessive. He replies straight away ‘oh the more the merrier! My address is on my card, bring the family lol xxx’
Sash comes and meets me at work. I ask her about going to Monty’s place and she seems ok with it.
‘“Is he your boyfriend?” I stifle a laugh.
“No darling, he’s just a man who bought the painting and wants me to see it on the wall.”
“Hmm, sounds like he wants you to be his girlfriend. You are bloody beautiful mum.” From laughter to tears, no one will ever be able to flip me like this girl.
“Oh darling, thank you. I just don’t think he’s interested in me in that way.”
“Ohhh, I see.” Does she? Yeah, of course she does. Parents, myself included, like to think that their kids know so little about the world, when in fact they often know more than us. I remember clearly when mum caught me with a lad in our shed. In that moment I had become a different person in her eyes. There was no way she could think that I was just a little girl, not after that. Knowing her, she was probably just relieved that she didn’t have to do the sex talk to me as I was getting more than she was.
The gallery has been busier than usual but no more impromptu sales, sadly. I have become better at smiling at people and not looking too scary. Martin comes in just before 5 ‘let me settle up with you now as I’ll not be around tomorrow’ he pulls out his endless wad of cash and pulls out some notes.I take the cash and smile. The magic money fountain continues to spurt forth. I have heard people say that money goes to money but always thought that was a load of bollocks. I am starting to warm to the idea. It’s not like I am now suddenly loaded but to have a few quid is a pleasant change.
“I hope that chap comes by again, he knows his stuff and I think he has the means to be a very good customer.”
“We’re going round his house to look at the painting,” shrieks Sash, her shrillness bouncing around the white walls.
“Really? says Martin as Sash nods.
“He wanted me to see it on the wall Marty, I think he took a shine to me.”
“Oh well, good, yes, excellent.” He looks unbelievably confused, torn by the notion of his lowly shop girl fraternising with his best punters but also tripping on the sales possibilities. He does his hands on hips thing, I think it helps him suck his belly in.
“Well, you two get off then, I’ll lock up here.” Sash jumps up from the stool and hugs Martin tightly around the waist. I try not to look too aghast. Sash looks up at him and gives a smile worthy of any true love. Jesus. We set off down the road, I look back and see Martin looking out of the window, still looking really fucking bemused. Sash holds my hand as we walk.
“Why did you give Martin such a lovely hug Sash?”
“Well,” she begins, almost breaking into a skip, “It’s kinda because of him that we are going to see all those pretty islands.” I suppose she’s right. Though I’m not convinced that hugging your boss everytime you go on holiday or buy a nice telly is going to catch on.