Deus ex Machina

I was buzzed by the police. I asked was it all right for me to come down for them to identify themselves at the outside door. A badge was shown by the man.

In the stairwell I was asked by him did I know a John Merch. “No, I’d recognise the name.” A print-out photo was shown me. It was of John, “if that is him,” I qualified. I think I got through without lying and without giving John up either. The salient point in that respect would be his Saturday visits from prison so that any such question about the last time of seeing him would be in reference to them, so six or four months ago would be the truth as I was trying to gauge lapsed time. I didn’t want to say three.

The connexion made of him with me was something to do with phones. I knew after I’d paid for John’s by card, I should’ve by cash. John had said nothing of it and it wasn’t necessarily a mistake if it engendered a necessary out for me, I thought at the time. The policeman said something about John’s knowing my details. Had he ever asked for money? I thought not. I was asked did I have a phone, had I ever had a phone. No. How did I contact friends? They knew where I lived. I’d go to them. I completely forgot about email. That may or may not be an example of my completely forgetting from one second to the next if necessary. Since I can’t lie without trauma, I need alternatives, one is that of being asked questions I can answer truthfully, that the policeman was being directed by my man into asking for my benefit (although I was having no intimation of any such spiritual supervening). What about in an emergency? he asked. Last time, I said, I went to the police station after failing to have a neighbour phone for me on my being assailed. I’d use a public phone if I had to. I had no way of contacting him at all. He turned up.

I suppose I would’ve lied if I had to – one does not betray a lover, friend or psychological problem case – but it is incompatible with what I am.

I’ve packed his things in his holdall. He has a bolt hole. The police aren’t local but from Scotland Yard. “Oh it’s important then.” “Not necessarily,” the policeman deprecated. I was thanked for my honesty. I’d used a diversionary tactic about John’s homosexual relationship with me.

My neighbour they also wanted to interview was out. It’s not as if I’m under close surveillance. What now for us?

I had a headache.

John fortunately hadn’t been there and when I went to get my neighbour’s surname, which escaped me, from my address book, they could plainly see through the open front door no-one else was there, that John wasn ‘t. They were successfully deflected. John came back but didn’t stop. We went out on a transport tour of London while I told him of the police intervention. He contemplated a Gary Speed ie suicide. I said it wasn’t that bad and he should see his solicitor. The policeman had said he was just wanted in order to finish his sentence but the police would say that, what only a court could determine.

John saw me onto the underground and because stunned into slowness and tiredness I slept well for the first half of the night before worrying. The police intervention has decriminalised me. Being truthful and good, I’m not made for criminality, though as my mum once observed, if I did put my mind to it, I’d probably be the best ie worst.

I’m enjoying the respite: alleviated and free.


About johnbrucecairns

I'm a retired history teacher who's written for most of his life with a book readied for publication.
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