How Could You!



Mmm…a bit of an odd one. As you can see the painting shows one man carrying a woman away on his shoulder while the other man turns away in disgust. The man on the left is based on me in that I put on a decent shirt and took a photo or two of myself turning away. I added that thick thatch of hair as my fourteen hairs wouldn’t cover a beetle’s back.


There have been a few times when I’ve thought, “How could you!” and here are two that stick in my mind for the wrong reasons. I have had to chose my words carefully and say just enough. Years ago one summer I was out walking in the upper reaches of the countryside. One road snaked through the area and I was heading there towards my parked car. It was quiet and deserted up there except for the occasional passing car. When I was about thirty feet away from the road I saw a car approaching slowly as though to park up. I could see the two people in the front seats clearly. I recognised one very well and was about to wave. With horror I saw the passenger certainly wasn’t their spouse. I was slightly shocked and dismayed, couldn’t believe it. Surely not! Why on earth would they be up here?


They were too busy sharing a joke to notice my drooping jaw. The car sped up but I guessed what was happening. I felt nauseous especially when, from a high point that afforded a broader view, I could see the car had pulled into a discreet parking area. I thought, “How could you!” and the day was ruined. The chances of me being up there at the same time were pretty slim but these things happen.


Sometimes it’s better to let storm clouds blow, remain silent and just let things go. If you pull a tiger’s tail you’re bound to meet trouble so I did nothing. There are some secrets you don’t want to bear, though.


Another time a woman I was friendly with (can’t say much here) said I could call round to her home any time. Once I called round at random but there was no answer at the front door. Perhaps she hadn’t heard me so I knocked two or three times. As I was leaving I saw a shadow pass behind the window of the front door. I headed back up the path and knocked again to hear but there was no answer. That’s funny, I thought, and wondered if I had dreamt the shadow. I opened the letterbox and drew breath to shout but the emanating noises kindled my suspicions that she and a male were of a mutually carnal disposition (or they were having a race to see who could do 500 press-ups first.) What people do privately is none of my business but when I latterly identified the panting male I was so shocked and thought “How could you!”  Something things are hard to forgive and even harder to stomach.


Unfortunately I’ve learnt over the years that a lot of people are like statues –from a distance quite nice - but close-up just horrid. Guinea pigs seem to be nearly always nice.