Chapter XXII

Living together, that’s what it’s all about.
I have been married before, it didn’t really work. I remember our car got broken into in the middle of the night. The police apprehended the miscreant and knocked at my door in the early hours to see if the house had been broken into as well. The officer walked in, saw the mess in the front room and sighed,
“sorry mate, looks like you’ve been burgled too.”
“It’s ok sarge, it always looks like this.”
Its amazing what you will put up with if someone tells you its normal to live in shit.
I remember the first week I lived with Sarah. I opened my t shirt draw and all my t shirts were immaculately folded in neat little rows. I stared at them for a few seconds, unable to comprehend the enormity of what I was seeing. I picked one up. It was washed ironed and folded on top of his brothers. I felt it, smelt it, pressed it to my cheek. And there was another, and another, in fact every t shirt was the same. But it didn’t end there. there was the sock draw too.
In my previous situation, nothing peed me off more than trying to find a pair of socks to put on just to go to work. In the end I’d either put the old ones on or make do with cousins rather than identical twins.
Once, in the dead of winter I had to be in early for a big meeting in work. It was a feisty battle between the accounts and marketing departments. Budget and re-organisations and other boring rubbish which seemed so vital at the time were up for debate. Things were getting personal. I cleared my throat and called the meeting to order. I crossed my legs and in a laid back informal manner lectured the meeting on how everyone unprofessional everyone was behaving
I noticed that some eyes in the room were gravitating to my shoe, perched nonchalantly athwart my knee. Fearing a wardrobe malfunction I picked an imaginary thread of cotton from the hem of my trousers and saw that covering my ankle was a pink and black sock with an image of one of the Bratz dolls (I think it was Sasha). My other sock was brown. I had got dressed in the dark. I folded the offending ankle behind the other and pressed on, my authority in tatters.
So it was that I came across the sock drawer. Little bundles of furry animals curled up together, all snug and cozy. My sports socks on the right, work socks on the left. But where were the odd socks, the socks with holes in? The grey socks that used to be white?
A feeling of disquiet came over me. This had to be a one off, this couldn’t happen every week ,surely? What superhuman effort was required to wash, clean and iron all this and run a house and go to work? This achievement was more than amazing, it was a miracle. There was only one answer. Somewhere, in some unseen corner of this house, out of sight from the humans, a little fairy was hiding.
“Sarah! Sarah! Come and see this!”
“Yes, what of it?
“Look! Look at it all! isn’t it amazing? Where have you hidden her?
“Who?
“The fairy who did all this!
“You’re looking at her.
I gave her my “what you talkin’ ’bout Willis?’ face.
You?
Of course its me, who else?
“Why?
“Why?
she looked at me like id just asked her why she doesn’t steal lamb chops from the butchers
Why? because I love you I suppose.
That’s what happens when you fold up socks.
But, don’t forget what they say about fairies, if they don’t get looked after, they get quite difficult
Of course I was delighted about my new discovery. I couldn’t wait to tell my mates down the pub, were they being looked after in the same manner to which I just couldn’t become accustomed to?
The next saturday, we were all in the bar gawping up at the tv as some over paid Premiership beauty collapsed onto the turf holding his broken eyelash. There was a break in play while the effete little pixie was airlifted to Geneva, and I thought this was as good a time as any to share my good fortune.
“Listen lads, I’ve got an announcement to make.” Pints were held in mid sip, conversations were paused, what was their old muckers’ news? Well?
“….I’m living with a fairy.”
Now, I think men today are a little more pc than they were say, ten years ago, however, before i could clarify the true identity of this heavenly body i could see them all recalibrating their relationships with yours truly.
Eventually, Hugh, the titular leader of the pack, spoke for them all. In a gruff voice he mumbled,
“Well, if that’s what you want we all support you, but what about Sarah?”
The mix up was explained without too much fuss, although I suspect even to this day Malcolm behind the bar holds the tiniest candle for me.

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