Tonight I came home after a few stand-up shows feeling excited after the rush of writing yesterday's blog. I wanted to talk to him to see if he had anything more to contribute today, and we ended up having a really nice conversation. It always takes me a while to get into anything with him though, because the stories he has to tell are always pretty mundane nothings, but I guess the same could be said about the day-to-day stories anyone might tell their housemate in the hour or so catch-up before bed. Today's anecdote was something about a lock not working.
His boss, the owner of the property agency, had called him up asking whether he'd changed the locks on one of the properties, Andy said he hadn't, and suspected the boss was trying to size him up because they have this whole chest-beating, 'who's-fucking-who' thing going on right now where I'm pretty sure they're both trying to rinse the other dry for money or services or... something I'm not quite sure. Bottom line is, they don't trust each other. So Andy blamed two of the other managers in the company, saying they'd changed the locks, but then remembered to himself that actually that lock was just a fiddly one to get open and they'd figured it out when they were drunk and... yeah, riveting stuff I know.
And I'm sitting there half thinking this isn't going anywhere, but then he started talking about his plans for the future and about this girl he met on the weekend, some Mexican girl who he chatted to for a couple of hours. He recounted how he'd met her for the second time after their first drunken chat at a drug-fuelled party, and when they locked eyes the second time they'd both beamed with joy. He told me he'd only felt this way about a girl twice before, one he married, and the other he lived with for a few years. Maybe it's because I'm a little soft from my own heartbreak right now, but hearing someone talk earnestly with honest excitement about love like that really got to me, and I sat down on the rickety chair next to the door without taking the folded jumper off of it.
He tells me he's seriously thinking about leaving to Mexico with this girl: “We'll see how it goes when she gets back in a few days and if she's still there like 'I want to see you', then I guess I'll fookin' head over to Mexico with her.” “Do you need a visa to go to Mexico?” “I'll just go over on a travel visa and then stay won't I... it's fookin' Mexico innit!” and then he laughed a trademark falsetto chuckle to himself. I'm not sure whether that plan works in real life, like just being in Mexico means you can't get caught for doing illegal shit. But then again, who am I to say it doesn't work, I've never been?
I can't decide whether he's a genius, or an idiot, and I said that to him as I walked out of the room, only to turn around and walk back in, because I didn't feel like we were done, but I stood at the door with my three jackets inside each other all hung over my one tiny shoulder because it's really cold in London sometimes guys and a fella's gotta have OPTIONS! He bent down to do a line of coke off the plate on his bed, and I took a picture of him while he wasn't looking, because it seemed like a very quintessential moment. I guess I'll post that at the bottom of the page. I suddenly feel less like a part of Andy's life, and more like a nature documentarian, and I feel a little bit dirty. But there's no going back now right?
Amidst the pseudo-philosophical ramblings about future plans and love and schemes involving renting properties in London where Andy would make me a live-in property manager in a flat somewhere and we'd run it like an AirBnB hotel and split the profits down the middle. And after he told me the Mexican girl he's known for all of six days has a sixteen-year lease on a flat in Central Paris for 300 Euro a month that she's currently subletting to a friend for 1100 a month. And somewhere around the part where he told me his boss, who he's apparently going to sue for some reason or another, “actually probably owes me about five grand to be fair”. Somewhere in there, with much better context than I'm about to give it, the following words fell out of Andy's mouth:
“It's all about the book you can write, not how many pages you've got left”
I know, right.
Like all great profundities, it doesn't stand up to close inspection or after-thought, and that's why it's perfect. We both laughed together in surprise at how amazing those words sounded, like they'd sprung up out of thin air into our company, I asked if he'd stolen that from somewhere. He said he wasn't sure, and started Googling them on his tablet (which by the way is a replacement for the old one he bought last month and which he's pretty sure might still be a bit dodgy and he needs to go in tomorrow and talk to the girl because he thinks she might have stitched him up a bit there). Then we started talking about song lyrics, and maybe he was just paraphrasing “You can't judge a book by it's cover.” But that doesn't mean the same thing at all anyway...
It was at this point that I walked out, and said goodnight, and Andy took his third line in the fifteen minutes I'd been in there. He didn't seem wired though. I honestly have no idea whether he'll remember those words in the morning, whenever that might be. But I've got them down here now, written, and attributed.
The search for truth continues, who is the elusive Andy? And what can he tell us about ourselves tomorrow? What mysteries will he unravel? Maybe the name of the weird introverted guy who has been sleeping on a mattress in the kitchen for the past three nights? Although to be fair I could just ask the guy myself, but he seems wack and I'd probably forget his dumb name anyway.
Click here to read the next part - £20 Don't Come For Free