Written – was it cos I lied when I was just a teen.
No sooner had I got off the plane from my last trip, given my mum her cigarettes, had a KFC and watched some decent porn, Works got the old whip out again and got me driving around the place in search of gold. Well, in fact, to see some clients who could pay quite well at least.
They have got me going to a place called Bradford, which I’ll have you know used to be the fashion capital of the world, the past tense being very important there. For those of you not too hot on your English geography, it’s about 140 miles north (so about an hour depending on what kinda car you’re in) up the M1 from the Watford Gap services which in itself is nowhere near Watford although I personally think it should be.
Now there are a lot of nasty things said about Bradford which I think are a little unfair but I wasn’t taking any chances. Hence the reason why I decided not to stay there.
So I decided, with some persuasion from my mate Miles, that staying in York was the way to go. That was another 50 miles further up the motorway, which also just so happened to be where his girlfriend lived and, after a few hours of him grinding me down, I caved in and decided to spend the night in York and give Miles a lift up to see his girlfriend adding another100 miles to my journey
I mean maybe I could have stayed a little closer to Bradford. Leeds is right next door; actually No! there was nowhere else!
Miles and I go way back. He lived next door to me for years and we have grown up together all our lives. We have done everything together and everywhere I went he would come too. (The little bastard followed me everywhere; I could never shake him off. Just kidding)
It’s been a love hate relationship with each of us doing our fair share of both; we do fight like cat and dog which when we were younger was ok but now it’s not so good, the reason being I always used to be bigger than him and would almost certainly win a fight but now the little bastard is bigger than me and is in the army.
So now I only see him every few months but we’re still as close as ever.
I have a lot of fond memories of times with Miles but there is one in particular that sticks in my head.
Now I’m the slightly older more sensible one, while he is the bullish one who does things, then thinks about the consequences afterwards. I remember being on holiday with him at Centre Parks one year. I think we were about 13 at the time. Now, I love Centre Parks. There are so many things to do there. You can get into fights, steal each others bikes, duck each other in the pool until the loser begs for mercy, but best of all – when you’re running around at 13 – was trying to sneak into the disco and get served and of course all the girls. (Nothings changed there then!)
One night we did actually make it into the disco. It was for over 16’s after all, so it was quite a big achievement and what made it even more important on this particular night was that earlier that day I had got talking to this girl in the pool and she asked me to meet her later and gave me a little wink. We had to go now; it was imperative we got in.
We even worked out what our date of birth would havebeen so we could blag it. Hours of planning went in to it; I would have killed him if he had messed it up for me.
The girl was a little older than me at 17. Now at that age, that’s a huge gap in age, worlds apart, and I longed to be 17. So I told her I was 17 and it worked. So after a few dances and a few lemonades we decided to leave Miles in the disco and go for a little walk.
Now there are a lot places you could wander off to at Centre Parks, after all most of it is a forest, but for some reason we ended up settling on a croquet pitch.
One thing lead to another until we were both naked on this patch of grass. Now I may have been able to look 17 but I didn’t really manage to keep up my end of the bargain. Well a workman always blames his tools. I just put that one down to stage fright. I also learned that sometimes you should keep some things to yourself as I never heard the end of it for years afterwards when back at school.
So there we are in the field and by this point she’s getting quite frustrated that I wasn’t quite up to scratch when all of a sudden it was chucking out time and everyone started streaming past us, leaving us running naked through the woods for dear life. (Oh yes, those were the days.)
Now Miles, bless him, got a bit funny about me leaving him alone in the disco to go off with this girl and me bragging to him about losing my L-plates didn’t help the situation either, so he thought he would get his own back on me
The following morning Miles, still bitter from the night before, found it within himself to tell the older brothers of the girl, who I had just been with, my true age and that I had sex (well sort of) with their little sister.
Anyway it got very messy and subsequently our holiday finished rather sharpish, with us running for our lives. But it was a valuable lesson. Don’t trust the little shit. No, that’s not it, err? It was also fun trying to explain to my dad why me and Miles wanted to go home early all of a sudden.
You see, the thing is that through having these experience and making mistakes that’s how you learn -which is what I’m putting today down as. The journey north to York with Miles was torture. How did I ever get talked into it? The traffic was a nightmare and he drove me insane making me stop for KFC at every other service station, munching on my buttons and my fruit pastels, then teasing me by eating all the red and black ones before I got a look in.
Then he started playing with my radio and no matter how many times I would re-adjust it back, he would still bloody try it again.
The final straw was him trying to steal a piece of my chicken. At which point I had to put my foot down and stamp out his rebel behaviour.
To be honest, I didn’t see much of York. We didn’t leave London till 4pm and it took 7 hours to get up here and it rained the whole way and still is now. I do love the British summer!
Anyway I dropped him off at his girlfriends and enjoyed a nice peaceful drive back to my hotel as I now sit all alone getting readyfor my big day tomorrow, learning my lines – “ Hi, I’m James. This is my Book.” – sitting with my left-over chicken, reminiscing about my childhood, occasionally delving in to the hotel porn which doesn’t really cut it.
You never know though, it could be worse; at least we got here in one piece and it was good to hear Gladys’s voice again and although Miles drives me absolutely insane at times and we struggle to sit in a car for a few hours together, when he’s not about I do miss his qwerky little habits and I know at times I must drive him mad too. I guess we’re just two peas in a pod and I know if I ever needed him he’d be there and vice versa.
So maybe today was not so bad after all; atleast we didn’t get beaten up and maybe he did me a favour eating all my favourite sweets.
But I can’t help thinking maybe I put a curse on myself back on that day at Centre Parks. No really, I’m not joking. Every time I go away, it rains. Every time I stay home, it rains. I just can’t escape it. It’s as if a cloud permanently follows me around even when I go to places where it shouldn’t be raining. Places that are normally red hot, with money back guaranteed sunshine!
So I think now it’s time to put things right. To the girl all those years ago, I’m sorry I lied about my age; I was just worried that if you knew my real age I wouldn’t have got a look in and Miles may have beaten me to the most important race of our lives so far (which I did win).
Ok that’s it. Now please just stop the rain.