I met a chap at the supermarket a couple of years ago & got chatting to him at the checkout. It turned out we were about the same ages, both of us were musicians with a similar taste in music, Namely The Rolling Stones,  we were both divorced & both saw our children every second weekend. His children were younger than mine. It also turned out that  he didn’t live too far away from me. We exchanged phone numbers.

About a week later he rang me & invited me up for a coffee. I found  his house  easily.

These phone calls began to increase in frequency & I have  trouble saying “No.” Always have. I can’t not answer the phone in case it’s my kids who need me.

I then got to meet his children one Friday. By the time I was up there (after he called me) I couldn’t believe that they were the same kids. They were rude,, badly behaved & demanding. “Dad can we do this?” Dad can we do that?” Dad can we go there?” No discipline whatsoever, The term ‘loved to death’ is the understatement of the decade. The way that he was with them was nauseating. It was fake.

Then, as time progressed, he began to randomly turn up at my house. Is it just me or does courtesy dictate that you call to see if a visit would be convenient. His visits increased, sometimes 2-3 times a day. I can’t pretend to not be home as my car is visible under a carport.

He then began talking pompously & quite aggressively about world politics totally unresearched & obviously his own homespun theories….& if I hear another homespun theory I’ll punch him. He also tells you the same stories over & over again.

His latest trick is to take my cigarettes. I don’t mind him having a cigarette here & there but ‘forgetting’ to bring his own every time? Give me break.

As if this isn’t enough, I’m an author. I can’t just switch on & off like he does. He’s usually ‘on.’ He’s manic & jumps from one made-up  subject to another. His  rude & erratic behaviour doesn’t get me down. It winds me up. I sit writing with my ears & half my mind focusing on his  car speeding down my driveway. He’s down the driveway, out of his car & on my doorstep before I can  get my backside out of my chair. I have to  take Valium while he’s there as he generally stays a while.

I can see the day coming soon, for thee sake of my nerves, that I’m going to be just downright rude to him & point out a few things.

He won’t like it & will take it badly. I also have a gut feeling it will only last for a short time.  At least it will give some peace & quiet & lower Valium intake.