‘You and me, girl, we’re one and the same.’ That was among the first things he ever said to me. He was sitting astride a large motorbike, red, blue and white. In his leathers. All black. When he pulled off his helmet, his pink head looked all sweaty, like a large wet radish. He wore glasses. Not very attractive, if you know what I mean, but somehow charismatic. ‘We’re in the same business, you and me,’ he said. ‘We find out about other people. What they’re up to.’
A few weeks later, the same bald head appeared over my garden fence. ‘Hey girl, you alright?’ ‘Sure,’ I said. ‘What’s up?’ ‘Some bastard’s tried to smash in a couple of doors on the road. Just wanted to check you were alright.’ ‘I’m alright,’ I said. ‘Didn’t hear anything then?’ he asked. ‘Nothing, I’m afraid.’ Then I said, ‘Sorry. And thanks.’ His head disappeared and I heard him running up the road, shouting in a deep voice.
We’ve never really looked back since then. He’s told me about his love life. ‘I had a woman, but she left me. Never really understood why. But that’s life isn’t it. Just gotta keep going, girl.’
Today we met at the bottom of the market. ‘Hey girl,’ he said, ‘what you up to for Easter?’ ‘Making eggs,’ I said. He winked, ‘That sounds fun.’ ‘Chocolate ones,’ I said. ‘Good for you,’ he replied. ‘And what about you?’ I asked, ‘What are you doing?’ ‘I’m going to Ashdown Forest,’ he said. ‘Know it?’ I shook my head. ‘You don’t know Ashdown Forest?’ He laughed. ‘AA Milne! It all happened there, girl! Winnie the Pooh! There’s a bunch of us going. Thirty-eight, in fact. Hell’s Angels, most of us. We’re going to spend the day playing pooh sticks. I love pooh sticks.’