Beep Beep " 'scuse me mate...."
if someone in a car parked at the side of the road calls for your attention you would be likely to think that they are after directions. You wouldn't expect to be asked for directions by a London Cabbie though. So I was a bit confused when this cabbie tooted and called me, it got worse when he lent across the seat of his cab, held his hand out for me to shake and said "alright mate, how's it going?"
Nothing, nada, not a sausage, no hint of recognition entered my head as I stared blankly back at the mystery cabbie. Obviously realising that I was clueless as to his identity the cabbie said "you used to go to Jane So and So's parties ", pause, "remember?"
A small light flicked on, "Jane So and So" I knew "Jane, yeah right, I'm sorry I don't recognise you though"
"Steve" he replied as if that would clear the matter up straight away.
" I've got little boy, Jamie," hang on that sounded a bit familiar, something vague started to stir in the depths of my memory, "my wife's Karen" Bingo! got it Karen, red hair, cracking bird, I quite fancied her, little boy Jamie two weeks younger than No1 Son, it all came flooding back. I still didn't remember him though.
Jane was a work friend of Wifey's, she had a little girl who was two when her dad was killed in a bike accident.
I met John at a party held by someone at Wifey's work, we hit it off straight away and discovered a mutual interest in Star Trek and motorbikes. We became good friends and used to go for rideouts until his taste in Bikes started to go awry (he bought a Harley).
I hadn't seen John for a while and had last had an e-mail from him a few weeks previously, moaning about the unreliability and lack of parts for his Harley, when Wifey phoned me at work on a Saturday "John's dead" I can't remember what I said but it was something with no point or meaning, Wifey continued " Jane and John had split up and he was living with another girl and she had a scooter and he had an accident and died" "WHAT!" now I really was stunned, my mate killed in a bike crash I could accept as something of an occupational hazard for bikers but that they had split up and he was living with someone else WTF!
Anyway, shit happens, I went to his funeral, Wifey stayed their home and looked after No1 son and John and Janes little girl, I said goodbye to my mate, the cabbies wife held my hand and I cried my eyes out.
The world moved on and we drifted out of contact with Jane and haven't seen or heard from them in a good few years now.
The cabbie said he'd seen me a few times wandering about and wasn't sure if I was who he thought I was, we had a chat and a reminisce and I went back to work.
It's a funny old game, life, innit?