Wednesday, 27 September 2017
Paul was tired; weary; so tired he was beyond sleep; travelling on a slow delayed cross country train back to Manchester. It was dark but at least the Pet Shop Boys were on his I-phone. His trip to Cambridge had been mostly a waste of time but not completely as it had eliminated one area of inquiry relating to Frankie and had also opened up a new one. But so what? The gloomy song Suburbia seemed just right to resonate with Paul’s mood.
Travelling to Cambridge the night before he’d been hopeful. And even the hotel – recommended by Frankie – had not been bad at all. Neither had the restaurant with its camp style and food, and retro feel which added to his enjoyment. As did its name. I mean who in 2020 calls a restaurant Battleship Potemkin?
But the next morning his meeting with James had at first seemed like a right waste of time.
- James, I’m glad you agreed to meet me.
- And to talk to me about him.
- I’m only doing this for him …
- What can you tell me about his relationship with Julia?
- She was a right case … a real money grabbing bitch …She pushed him and pushed him … wanted him to get promoted and promoted, when all Frankie wanted was to teach his students. But that’s not where the real money lies. (The last words were almost spat out with – anger, resentment?)
- So you first got to know him when his marriage was on the rocks?
- He was so beaten down, sad to see it really.
- Was that when?
- When he got busted?
- Whose fault was it?
- At first I thought it was her.
- His wife?
- But no it can’t have been.
- Then who?
- Can’t tell you.
- Can’t or wont?
- More than my life’s worth …Look I am sorry … and Frankie is a great guy but …
- You know he got thumped last week?
- Sure, that’s why I am even talking to you.
- Is there nothing you can tell me?
- OK... Look all I am going to say is this… Check out the Sons of Gideon.
Friday, 15 September 2017
Ashes to Ashes by David Bowie was playing in the T Hive where Paul was settling down over a mug of mocha. It took him back to his childhood and his father’s love of Bowie. Music was one place where he and his dad met up. ‘Haven’t heard this song in years and it makes me feel a bit misty and spaced out inside listening to it again,’ said Paul to himself. And memories of being out with his dad in a rowing boat on the River Severn flooded through him. These moments of contact with his dad were precious to Paul – few and far between. Most of the time his dad was kind of absent – lost in some unhealed traumas relating to his army service in Northern Ireland during The Troubles in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
His father had died in 2001 unresolved about his time in the Army despite the relative success of the Northern Ireland Peace Process. And it was as if he had passed on these issues to Paul to figure out. Paul’s own service in the police force had not helped. But somehow working now as a private detective seem to. Sometimes, indeed often, things could be resolved to some extent; not always how his customers wanted it to be but a resolution none the less.
And with regard to his friend Frankie and his recent beating, the question remained: was Frankie in the wrong place at the wrong time or was he a victim of a deliberate hit and if so by who and for what?
- Did you get a good sight of who attacked you?Frankie shook his head,
- It was all over so quick… and it was dark… all I remember is that one of them had a sniffle.
- Broken nose?
- Oh… just remembered one of them had a Welsh accent.
- Yeah and not the sniffler. It was the way he said “Isn’t it?” at the end of a sentence, typical Welsh!