Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Sunday, 3 July 2011

I fear he was a gay old dog

This love story happened in the fifties when I lived in Bradford with my mother, enduring a forlorn adolescence which only ended when I moved to London aged 24.

My mother’s male English bull terrier, Kim, regularly had intimate relations with next door’s male boxer. These assaults left his body parts in disarray and a vet was needed to re-arrange them. This meant taking Kim by bus to the city centre and a half-mile walk thereafter.

Next door’s daughter – who’d observed the rape – volunteered to come with me. First name and surname are now forgotten but all else is sharply remembered. Her face was scarred, her blonde hair tangled and she wore NHS glasses. Perhaps a year older, she was unperturbed and spoke sympathetically in a voice of gentle authority. About various things. I was quickly in love.

The vet manipulated and we emerged from his surgery in a steep street. The dog needed to micturate and a green snake flowed down toward the Alhambra theatre. My saviour continued to chat unconcernedly.

She attended college and was away during termtime. Otherwise I might well have proposed, she might have accepted and we might never have left Bradford. A road not taken.

UPDATES Gorgon Times, re-edited yet again, is with several agents. The Love Problem (83,425 words) has been renamed A Stall Averted. Granddaughter Bella has a 2.1 in politics, the first on my side of the family to gain a degree. At her request I edited her CV and cut it by a fifth. Blogger failed last week and I was unable to access the server; other concerned users recommended clearing caches and (a frightening prospect) cookies. Despite the risk of losing favourites and shortcuts I did as bid and the sun rose again in Herefordshire.


The Crow said...

His determination is to be applauded, though. Talk about tilting at windmills!

Sir Hugh said...

I think this post has left most of your fans wordless.

Rouchswalwe said...

I admit that I am back for the third time, still not knowing how I can contribute. Have you seen the film, "Beginners" with Christopher Plummer. It is quite good. And there is a dog who can understand up to 150 words, but cannot speak. The film addresses love. And I would watch it again.

Barrett Bonden said...

All: Didn't work did it? But it's all true. My aim sixty years later was to show romantic feelings (mine) developing against a most unpromising background. In fact, the unpromising background was what caused my teenage infatuation to occur. Any woman capable of shrugging off the dog's bizarre behaviour and offering me support in my unladdish predicament seemed to deserve my contemporary affection. Back to Armstrong Whitworth bolts.

Avus said...

Just think - you might have been still living in Bradford, keeping homosexual bull terriers, BB.
(What's with the A/W bolts, then?)

Julia said...

Hard to comment on, but it is an unforgettable story.

Barrett Bonden said...

Avus: I know, I know. And yet at the time I was so folorn with all those adolescent juices flowing up and down I would seized on the opportunity. Of course I wouldn't have known, couldn't have known, that this would have denied me writing this re-comment to a fellow living in an exotic place like Kent. A/W is simply a shorthand way of saying I should suppress any future tendencies to write about intimate matters (see next re-comment to Julia) and limit myself to motorbikes, pressbrakes, non-stick frying pans and other manifestations of the material world.

Julia: Your comment is the most salutary of all suggesting, as it does, that it is possible to come up with a piece of stuff so brilliant, so intimate, so piercing, so memorable, that no one will be be tempted - will even dare to - respond. A border has clearly been crossed and I must dig out my passport and find some old-fashioned currency that will enable me to return to a less vivid world, scarred but ably instructed. Děkuji.

marja-leena said...

I, too, have been wordless. I guess first love, and stories about it, does that to one. Nice to see that under the crustiness, there is a soft heart. Mrs BB would agree, I'm sure.

Barrett Bonden said...

M-L: Wasn't my first. That occurred during an evening showing of the semi-documentary movie, San Demetrio, London, at my old school when one of my classmates brought a girlfriend who sat behind me, and frequently kicked the back of my chair. Alas, in this case, I remember her name and it wouldn't be fair to go further. Even though I can still feel those chair vibrations.

The Crow said...

I guess I didn't read carefully enough, BB. I read the first paragraph, which spoke of a love story, then the second, which talked about your mother's pet indulging in a display of dominance gone wild, which seemed to reflect back to the first para.

My bad.

Barrett Bonden said...

The Crow: My fault. The style was too tangential.