Sunday, October 04, 2009

Don't be a hero

There are two little boys outside doing jobs for me. One of them is the neighbourhood tough guy (aged 12) and he is washing my car. He has been nodding at the bird shit for a couple of weeks now and telling me I need to wash it. I take it to the jet wash, I tell him. I love standing there, spraying the car with the high speed ice cold water and having it blow back at me in a fine mist. On a sunny day you can stare up at rainbows if you angle it right. But you have to pay for that, he tells me. The rainbows and the instant cool are worth £3.00 of anyones cash, but I dont tell him that. I don't think he'd get it. I give in as winter approaches and the thought of washing it myself beomes less appealing.

Billy, is the other little boy aged 7, and he is cutting away at the swathes of ivy that run along the fence and threaten to strangle passers by. I dream of this actually happening some days. Billy is my odd job boy. I met him last year when I rescued him from a crowd of kids that were throwing rocks at him. I have grown inordinately fond of Billy, his bright blue eyes with long dark lashes, his eager determination that he can do anything I want to throw at him - walk my dog, clean my car, fetch my shopping. I just ask him to clip the ivy. Billy doesnt want money, I give him cans of coke and chocolate biscuits and he talks to me as I sit on the doorstep smoking while he trims and clips away, Biily Titchmarsh. I'd pay for this time too, his funny insistance that I must know his aunty because she is a nurse too... where? Rotherham. Bless him. If I'd've had a son, I would've liked it to be Billy. My ex Husband used to say there was no way I could birth a boy, what with me being unable to tolerate a male for more than 9 minutes let alone 9 months.
He might have a point. Still, Billy. Awww...

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