Albert emerged from the B&B where he’d lived for the last decade. As usual he was clad in his Sunday best and his full head of white hair was precisely combed and side-parted. A twinkle appeared in his normally fairly vacant eyes as he chuckled at a neighbour’s lingerie on her washing line. “Dear oh dear”. Albert left the front door wide open and descended the stairs slowly.
Albert had enjoyed living in the room on this affluent square ever since his wife had passed away. He’d refused to go into a home and enjoyed his absent-minded adventures. Since he began to lose his memory and common sense he now saw everyday tasks as exciting adventures. Today’s adventure was to buy a block of his favourite cheese. Spicy Cheddar, if you’re interested.
Albert pottered on until a young man, who wore jeans hanging very low, caught his eye. “I fear your belt may be faulty”, Albert informed him. The young man kissed his teeth and asked if Albert wanted a shank. Albert assumed he meant lamb shank.
“Medium rare if you please”, Albert called out of the bus he’d just boarded. The young man held up two fingers, an insult originating from the days where archers had their fingers chopped off if caught by the other side. Nowadays it means “fuck off”. Albert assumed it signified there were now two lamb shanks on offer. He looked forward to those later.
He shook the bus driver’s hand as he exited and was soon baffled when a homeless man said “change please”. Albert assumed he meant change of clothes, as his attire was tatty at best. Albert didn’t have a change of clothes and eventually assumed he meant he should change direction. Albert did this, although reluctantly, as his cheese shop was just ahead.
After getting hopelessly lost, Albert decided to get a bus back. His appetite had been wetted by all this talk of lamb shanks. On his way he stopped and asked a morbidly large lady, “When is it due, my dear?” She looked down at her stomach self-consciously and walked away in tears.
Albert now paced past the homeless man again, determined to avoid another wild goose chase. He had no need to worry as the man was now fast asleep. Albert mused that it must be a tiring job being a security guard. He tried to remember what his last job was before retiring. He couldn’t quite remember.
Albert finally arrived at his cheese shop only to find it’d now been taken over by a well-known chain of coffee shops. “It’s only been a few months since I was here,” muttered Albert, although it had been several years.
Eventually, he trundled off in the opposite direction to his bus stop to see about those lamb shanks.
Written by Martin Stocks
Next Wednesday: Melody
Part 1: Charlie Malbery
Part 2: Albert
Part 3: Ernest Malbery
Part 4: Ingrid
Part 5: Dalton
Part 6: Melody
Part 7: Marion