Diana buzzed me because her electricity wouldn’t come on despite her being in credit and having inserted the key I had to tell her to keep in. I pay by direct debit so am not au fait. I produced a candle the better to see but was impeded by a barrage of talk about her recent life and misfortunes. Eventually I went back upstairs to ask Leslie, who is au fait with keys. While doing so, I had the idea her circuit breaker had broken and needed to be switched back on. By now I was becoming exasperated by the windy talk and her getting in my way and told her to get out of it, on which she switched the circuit back on, and lo! there was light. She knew exactly why the electricity hadn’t been on. It was one of her fusses to get attention.

Next day it was to have me change a bulb. She can no longer do this herself. She took the opportunity to bring up her bete noire she believes attacks her when she’s at her weakest and without her tablets. I could say without comeback I thought she did it to herself and it was hard to believe any man would spend his life persecuting her. She conceded she didn’t know why he did without giving up the paranoiac fantasy he did.

On the third day why she buzzed was evident almost from the start but was lost in the rigmarole that led up to it, her having had a fall day before, at which I asked had she hurt her head. She hadn’t. It nonetheless had taken her some time to recover from and entailed her having forgotten to buy cigarettes. I went out and bought them. What takes a few minutes for me would take her a long time. She’s a lot saner it seems to me, admitting Mike, her dead friend who advises her, is probably only in her head but, and she quotes me, ‘if it works, it works’. “Like god,” I said. “Exactly,” she said.

When I was bringing in the washing, Sheila said Diana said I’d said she, Sheila, had complained about her, Diana, to the council or something. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. It doesn’t sound like Diana.” It sounded more like Rodger, the troublemaker. “I’ll ask Diana, if I remember and I will.” Sheila threatened me with her sons without specifying on what condition. Before coming to me she’d spoken with Tina. Diana hadn’t wanted her, Sheila, to tell me.

I did ask Diana who waved it aside, dismissing Sheila and Tina as two busybodies. I persisted to the extent I found out Sheila was supposed to have complained to the police. It had been the cafe owner who’d complained about her to the police, for giving money to men and throwing avocados.


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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