Friday 20th April 2018
Reading time 4 minutes 24 seconds
Is she dead? – OJ Simpson?
I recounted recently some of my feelings about sharing my life, and space, with others and a few people have kindly got in touch to remind me of the occasions I wasn’t the best house/flat mate/friend/boyfriend. Which was a shock as I didn’t think they were talking to me any longer.
One story, that still haunts me, goes back to the 90’s where at the time I lived with my then girlfriend in Shepherd’s Bush. Back then and it may not have changed, it was a very scary part of London to live in with the best example being that during a two-week period there were 3 murders. All within five minutes’ walk of our flat.
It was 1994, I was young and skinny [ish] and not for the first time I was in love. I had a good job and our rented home in Zone 2 cost less than £100 per week.
It was a 1st floor flat on a 1900’s terraced street nestled between the Goldhawk and Uxbridge roads, otherwise known as the Murder Mile. See previous paragraph.
We didn’t have an outside space so we would sit on the window sill, our legs dangling into the front garden 20 feet below, and smoke. As I said life was perfect. It was so perfect a packet of cigarettes cost around £2 and we never knew we had it so good.
The one day that still gives me nightmares was an idyllic and gloriously bright lazy Sunday. I should say I’ve never liked sunny days, probably because I’m a redhead and I burn easily.
I’ve always thought that if the sun were to tan me and join together my freckles that I’d have the skin tone of an original Ommpa Loompa. Best to stay away from the sun just in case.
The weekends, when you are young and in love with no responsibilities, are open to all possibilities and on this day, we chose to do nothing.
Doing nothing is a skill I have somehow lost along the way but as I have mentioned before I’ve estimated that I have about 16 summers remaining so I’m trying to get whatever it is that needs to be done, done.
Anyway, back to the story. I’m not sure why but as my girlfriend was sitting on the window sill watching the world go, puffing on a Dunhill red, I crept up behind her and pushed her a little bit as if to simulate her plummeting to her death. Obviously, it was only simulation so I stuck my fingers in the belt loop of her jeans, pulled her safely back and said “saved your life”.
Bad choice of words.
The belt loop snapped.
Along with the momentum I’d created by pushing her it meant she fell out of the window and onto the street below.
I’d like to say that it all happened in slow motion, similar to Hans Grubers dramatic death at the end of Die Hard, but this wasn’t the Nakatomi Tower, I’m not Bruce Willis, she wasn’t Alan Rickman and as we weren’t in a film it happened much quicker than that.
Chillingly I will always remember her momentary scream before she hit the ground below with a dull thud.
Damn, I’d killed someone.
I’d broken another of the Ten commandments. Five more and I’d have the set.
Immediately fearing the worst, I was doing a 10 stretch for murder.
I’m not a person designed for Jail. I didn’t even like going there when I played Monopoly. I’d be currency in prison and I wasn’t fancying the thought of my new life in the Scrubs.
I froze and looked at the corpse I created. I had seen a dead body before but not one of my own making. How could I dispose of this cadaver? I’d need help. Who should I call?
Then I heard a groan. Was that me? No. My girlfriend rolled over moaning.
Thank the lord Harry!! She wasn’t dead!! Not only had it saved a phone call but it also meant the only Porridge I was going to be doing was Ready Brek.
I rushed to her aid. “Are you ok?”, I managed to whimper. What a stupid question! Of course she wasn’t bloody OK. She was living with an incredibly selfish stupid boy/man who, from her point a view, had just pushed her out of the window of a first floor flat.
She looked to be in shock and almost as shook up as my good self.
I went to help her up and then started to apologise as we walked back into the flat with her hobbling behind me. In hindsight, and if I had been the visionary I always wanted to be, it was at that precise moment I should have created a TV show named Jackass.
She was OK. Angry, hurt, bruised, but OK and she’d only sustained a few minor cuts and bumps. I started to blame the belt loop on her jeans which, looking back, was a bit silly as belt loops are designed for belts and are not meant to be safety harnesses for women being propelled out of windows.
I recently learned that if you have a traumatic experience you should replay that in your mind for ten minutes while playing the game Tetris.
Apparently this removes the emotions from the event and it helps you to not suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I wish I knew that then because I could have certainly done with it.
My girlfriend also may have derived some benefit.
I lived to fight another day as did she.
Sadly, we didn’t survive as a couple because I’m not sure if she trusted me after that. We’re still friends though. She moved so far away she was almost on her way back and if I’m not mistaken I think she lives in a bungalow.
This weeks picture; Me at a fork in the road. It’s a metaphorical message about the dangers of indecision but mainly about a lesson I learned on how to stop cars to get a picture that made me laugh