The first reaction of most people to Graham's house is: "WHAT A MESS!". I'm pretty used to his sense of organization, but still I was shocked when I entered the house. I guess one year does make you forget some things.
"How in the hell do you manage to live in this shit?" I almost yelled.
"Happily." He said. "Shall I show you around?"
"Graham, I'm not 80 yet. I can remember your house."
He shrugged. "It's been a long time."
"Yeah." I got nostalgic, and in the moment I've noticed it, I mentally thrashed my head against an imaginary wall. There's no point at being nostalgic. It only brings out the worse in you.
"Wanna see the cat?" He asked.
"Sure. Can you find him?"
"I'll give it my best shot."
And we started looking around the house, me following his gentle movements. Sometimes he can be so feminine. I really don't know how to explain it.
The cat was under the rug, which was under piles of used, torn and abused books. Don't ask me how he got there. Cats are unbelievable when it comes to hiding. He was an amazing all-black little kitten, with tiny paws and big blue eyes, which reminded me of the meditation student.
"He's lovely!" I patted the cat, and then took him on my hands, for further admiration.
"Yeah, isn't he?" Graham sounded like a proud father.
Bastard meowed softly, in a new born kitten voice. He reached his paw to my face and, as if fearing to hurt me, touched my nose. It made me burst in laughter.
Graham smiled too. "He's much more good natured than the old Bastard, as you can probably see."
There it was again. We had nothing to say. No, of course it's not true. We had tons to say to each other. We had so many things to discuss about, that it will take years to get through them. We just didn't even mention it. He didn't seem interested, and I… Well, I usually avoid hurt whenever I can. But something has had to be done.
"So, hmmm, Graham." I started.
"I don't know." Be careful! Don't get emotional! "It's just we really haven't talked in a long time, and if we weren't doing the record, well, I don't know if I was even sitting here and worshipping your cat… So, I don't know. How's life?"
"I've quitted drinking."
"I know that much. I mean more than that."
He looked at me. Strangely. "Gee, Damon, that's one hell of a question. A lot happens in a one year time."
"I almost got married."
"You don't want to know."
"I do, actually."
He sighed. "She was my girlfriend for about, I don't know, a week? Her name was Kate or something. A K thing anyway. She got me drunk like you wouldn't believe. She made me sign some papers, claiming it's something about ordering more beers. She was on her way to call the priest when a car hit her and she died. So turns out I'm a widower."
"I don't believe a word." I announced.
"Don't blame you, pal. Neither would I."
"You know, I almost had a baby."
"Yeah. And then, on the 8th month, it turned out she got the mad caw thing. Both her and the baby died. I never got over that."
"You mock my pain!" But he laughed despite.
"Life is pain, Your Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something."
He calmed his laughter, and took Bastard away from me. "So, what really has been going on in your life?"
"We're not done with yours."
"We'll get to it later, I guess. It's my turn to nag you."
"I don't know. Really nothing much. I've been to Iceland for quite a long time. I've had a girlfriend there. It turned to be… Oh, but I don't think you'll find my pathetic love life interesting."
"I couldn't think of something more interesting.". There he goes again. It seems like he has changed. Graham used to be the sweet, pure, naive young boy whom I had to teach the cruel facts of life. We used to leave the irony for Alex.
"It's your time, mate." I shrugged. "I just said it turned out to be, well, I don't know… Like I lied to her. I was very fond of her, don't get me wrong, but I didn't love her. It seems like I don't find myself capable of really loving girls ever since, you know…"
"Yeah." And I was talking about not getting emotional.
"Than you know what you can do."
"Go for boys."
That does it. I've had enough of his remarks for time being. His dirty game of hidden insults indeed made its first achievements.
"Fuck you, Graham."
"Screw you. Don't be a second Alex. It's not like you."
"Who are you to tell me what's like me and what's not?"
I looked at him. "You're right. I'm nothing to you. As you are nothing to me. And it was such a bad idea to come over your place that I can't believe I agreed. Ever since I got here you're doing your best job trying to… whatever you're trying to do. Fuck you. I'm leaving."
"Okay, now wait." He putted his arm on mine. "Look, I was joking. I had no idea you'd be so touchy. I'm sorry. Let's forget the whole damned thing. Feel like having a coffee?"
"No," I said. "I feel like drinking it."