In Chapter 8 of Feltham Made Me we fast forward to 1994. Peter decides to have a 30 th re-union. The venue for this party? Feltham Football Club of course. Jerry’s not so keen on the idea, especially as he’s been telling people he’s 28 and this party will blow his cover.
To got Chapter 8 click here http://web.mac.com/paolo99/Site/8_Whatever_Happened_To_The_Unholy_Trinity_1994.html
To rewind to the beginning http://www.feltham-made-me.com
Jerry was in the habit of phoning me up at weird times, just wanting a chat. Saying stuff like - “Have you heard Nirvana ? All that whispering stuff and then shouting - all quiet and then loud. We were doing all that ten years ago.” That's right, we were, we should have stuck with it. But we didn't - and now we're all going to be 30 in a couple of months.
Me a 30 year old? How did this happen? I found the very thought deeply traumatizing. How did I achieve so little in such a large amount of time? I was still clubbing it, putting on the occasional event. I kept on telling myself it was great that I was still “having it” at my age, when I presumed that everyone else from school would be at home working out their mortgage re-payments. I told myself this, but I would sometimes catch my reflection in a mirror in a night-club - my filled out face, my weather-beaten features. Should I really still be doing this at my age?
Me Old Man came to the rescue, sorted me out a job doing landscape gardening. Liked it, all peaceful, listening to Cds all day and grafting away. A nice feeling at the end of the working day looking over what I'd done and compare it to how it looked when I started that morning. Mind you, you didn't want to work too fast. Not when you're on a daily rate. I liked being close to nature - the birds singing, a breeze in my face, all that stuff.
After Carl was born, Michelle started getting all moody again. This wasn't how it was supposed to be. I wanted an atmosphere of family bliss. I couldn't just blame it all on post-natal depression and PMT and other women's trouble. I could tell she was getting bored with me. I needed to do something - take charge of my life and win back the respect of the woman I love.
I know I was being hard on Peter. He's a very caring considerate man - no woman could hope for any better. But I'm sure most women go through this when it comes to kids. You feel that you're carrying everything on your shoulders. The man of the house just thinks - oh! there's two more in the family now, that two's more plates on the table and we need a couple of spare rooms. But there's so much more to raising children than men realize.
It was very important for me to stay close to my buddies, I'm talking about Dermott and Jerry here. So I would often invite them round. It was fascinating to watch them play with the kids. They were so different - Dermott is a natural with kids and knows how to play with them - make 'em laugh. “It's Monkey Time” he would go, and Carl's face would light up with laughter. Carl would often ask “when is Uncle Dewott” - he couldn't say Dermott - “coming round? Jerry on the other hand - all stiff and awkward. “How's it going?” And shake his hand like he's at a job interview.
Peter was always getting Carl and Abby to call them Uncle Jerry and Uncle Dermott. I kept saying “No! No they are not your uncles. No way are those jerks related to us - in any way at all.”
Carl's an amazing dustbin lid. I loved being Uncle Dewott. Going round Peter's was ace. Having all the good stuff about being a Dad - all the playing around - and none of the bad stuff - the bills, the cleaning up the mess, the trouble and strife.
I envied Peter. Marriage is natural and normal. Being on your own in some squalid bedsit is not right at the age of 29. I should have been paired myself off by now. Was it too late?