Good friends come to those who wait.
I'm keenly anticipating the arrival of my best friend iDifficult, so that we can head out for a curry. It's gone eight, and he's forty minutes overdue. But I'm not concerned, it's perfectly normal; they don't call him The Late iDifficult for nothing.
And it's not like I'm being inconvenienced, or hanging about somewhere in the cold evening air. I'm at home by the fire sipping a cup of tea, with an excellent book to read. And believe me, Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man And The Sea is as compelling as ever.
Myself and 'Difficult have been trying to get tonight's plan on the calendar for weeks, and it'll be great to finally catch up with him. I got a postcard from Central America yesterday - apparently he's been searching for the fabled Lost Soup Mine of Hatzancoatl. The stuff of legends.
Five years ago, I would have gone with him.
But now? My wooden leg would only have slowed us down; why he always asks me to bring the damned thing, I have no idea.
Besides, someone has to keep an eye on the cuttlefish.
I finish my tea and turn back to my book. Santiago is wrestling with a gigantic marlin from his skiff for a second day, an epic final battle for a wily, old warrior whose heart is even stronger than his back.
I bet he'd know what do do with a collective of super-intelligent cephalopods.
Pages pass, the tale unfolds, and inevitably my tummy rumbles. But it's a good omen, and a moment later I leap up from my fictional world to an eccentric knocking from the hallway. My stomach growls its impatient appreciation as I step through to the cool of the hallway to open the front door.
It's dark out, but the light from the house illuminates my visitor. In the flesh, the arch-genius iDifficult, a striking figure in his sequined purple-and-black business clothes, looking like he's come straight from the office. If the office was a three-ring circus, where he'd been sawing a woman in half.
Hiya matey, fantastic to see you! As we shake hands warmly, I notice two other figures moving into view up the pathway into the halo of the front door. Hey, who's your... My voice tails off.
The second figure is dressed as a chicken, with a magnificent comb and wattle. His face is clear, and I immediately see that it's also iDifficult. He flaps his wings theatrically and laughs.
The third figure resembles a certain whip-carrying archaeologist, complete with fedora and three-day stubble. In each hand, he hefts a red-hot stone bucket of what looks and smells like spicy vegetable soup. And once again, it's iDifficult.
Shall we get a table for four? he asks with a trio of loopy grins.
Good friends do come to those who wait.
And sometimes, you wait over an hour, and three of him turn up at once.
This blog entry is protected by copyright © Indigo Roth, 2012