Fix you

I hate my 4 to midnight shifts. Well not hate, but I’m certainly not a fan.

I get up and eat bacon and clean the house and by 11.30 I’m ready to sit in front of the fire and read and listen to music till it all gets dark and I fall asleep.

But I can’t do this because I know that as soon as I get comfy and settled and onto the fourth cup of coffee it’ll be time to go to work and deal with all the sickly, grumpy, moaning, demanding people in work, never mind all the patients.

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So I set aside little projects, little things to do. Like trying to finally fix my bike since the bastard let the tyres down outside work one day about 3 months ago.

Admittedly it is an old bike, possibly even older than me. I ask if it remembers the Falklands and the Iranian embassy siege or even when I was born but it just sits there and stares at me from under the blue tarpaulin.

You see it was never really my bike, it was always dads. This is why I like it. I like old broken things.

But just like most of the possessions and personality traits i have, i merely found it brought into my ownership by repeated “borrowings”.

I ask it if it remembers Dad, and where they used to go on it. And whether or not it was bought merely during the brief “keep fit” phase of his life when he bought that odd chest expander gym tool that neither me nor Simy could ever make any movement on.

I ask if it remembers the roads and hedges round Drumnacanvy, or the time I used to try it before my legs were long enough to touch the ground and i got scared.

Still it stares from under the tarp, its tyres bursting quicker than I can buy new ones from Halfords.

3 months since it has been in decent working order. All through winter, under the blue tarp, worrying bout where someone in the 21st century would get a 630-32 tyre to fit it.

In the end I didn’t. I got it a nice shiny continental brand 622-32 which despite messy hands and 2 hours effort I realised would not actually fit.

I was convinced it sniggered at me. Laughing at my greasy, swearing self.

I resorted to the old tyre but with a new inner. Only to find I couldn’t quite remember how to put the whole thing back together again.

I didn’t remember the gear mechanism being quite that complicated.

The bike stopped sniggering. I think it began to smell the fear. That maybe I couldn’t get it back together again. And I knew it was on the tip of its tongue, but too scared to ask. I could almost hear it whisper – why don’t you ask Dad?

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1 Response to “Fix you”


  1. 1 stevenmcquitty February 18, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    How to win friends and influence people.

    I also meant to say sorry for not even offering you a lift home and leaving you to brave the elements…I was so worried about how late it was and what “She Who Must Be Obeyed” would have to say about my late arrival that I simply rushed off home and forgot about poor Andy, three pints later, walking home on a chilly February…


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