I don’t often dedicate this blog to people, preferring instead to wang on pointlessly about myself, but this one is, I feel necessary.
If I were to be the patron saint of something – and now that the position of Patron Saint of Quality Footwear has been taken – I would be the Patron Saint of Getting People Wrong. I mis-judge everyone I meet, and couldn’t weigh up character if I had a gun to my head. The only way I can really work with this is to find myself defending people to my friends. That is usually a very good indicator that, once again, I have Got It Wrong.
There is one exception to this rule and that is Alex. No-one likes Alex – he is a rude, obnoxious bastard – not in a loveable rogue way – he actually is just rude and obnoxious. For years I defended him, stood up for him and stepped up to tell everyone that no, he is okay really, I know he just called you a terrible cunt yes, I heard him too, but really, he’s only joking.
A few years ago I went to a Reclaim the Streets march to protest against global multinationals and denounce capitalism as Babylon or something, it’s all a bit vague now.
Alex called me from his office in the City.
“Where are you ?”
“Penned into Oxford Circus by the police. Where are you ?”
“At my desk. In the warm. Earning a fortune.”
A week later I found he had set up a standing order to my bank in the name of ‘Satan’ paying the sum of £6.66 every month into my account. When I quizzed him about this he simply said,
“It was you who said money was the root of all evil.”
When I got my first place in Brighton Alex put the deposit down for me, and helped out with the rent because money and I had long since fallen out beyond repair. Typically he gave me the money with the line,
“I’m loaded. Even if you tripled your salary you wouldn’t earn as much as me. Don’t worry about paying it back.”
When I went to London recently he put me up at his, didn’t complain when I stayed in playing Resident Evil 4 on his playstation while he chipped off with his friends, and when I woke up in the morning there was a note on my pillow saying,
‘You need to shoot the chainsaw guys with the shotgun. It’s the only thing which works.”
There is more to our friendship than money and playstations obviously, although not much more. To me the boy is proof that sometimes, or maybe only really this once, I got someone just right.