For the record I am alive and not dead

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The darnedest thing happened earlier last week on my way back from Stoke Newington. I bumped into someone I went to school with a few decades ago,  while walking down Church Street, who thought I was dead. Imagine that.

After being without car for two weeks last month, I’ve taken to public transport for local errands that doesn’t involve me carrying anything or during rush hour, and must say, as much as I’ve moaned about public transport, I am getting use to it and appreciating my neighbourhood while pounding the pavements.
My street is amongst hilliest (is there such a word?) in Hackney borough, so the cardio is greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat! Back with a car and

The plan was that after I’d dropped off keys at a client, I would do some shoping, starting off with Rosa an independently owned lingerie shop on Church Street. It’s been on my ‘to shop’ list for almost a year and been a while since I got an…ahem… ‘expert bra fitting.’

Two doors away from Rosa I ran into the guy. He recognised me, but I began to get irritated after he asked 3 times if I was who I was. He had the right name but it took me a few seconds to realise who he was, even after he told me his name. I guess some people fear better than others in the aging process.

‘Duchess’ (not my real name, as I’m sure most of y’all know) “I heard you were dead”.
“Said who?” I asked”.

He couldn’t remember, but the general consensus amongst a few people was that I died in California, circa 2000. I had to tell him not only was I not living in California in 2000, but was very much alive in Texas and he wasn’t talking to a ghost. He probably didn’t want to tell me because he didn’t want to bringing up my past life style, which I’m sure they were aware of from rumours and incomplete assumptions. My most dangerous days were California and not Texas, if there ever was a time I cheated death more than a few times, it was in California.

We said our good-byes and since he wasn’t terribly interesting, didn’t fancy him and wasn’t close to him at school, I mumbled something about changing my phone number but took his, waved good-bye and walked straight to the bus stop on Northwold Road, but not before I reminded him to let them know I was alive and doing well.

It’s a bit unsettling finding out you were thought of as dead by a group of people for over a decade, even though they were and still are a very very insignificant part of your life.

However it did jolt a memory of a person, who for eight years I thought was dead. After I relocated back to London from the US in 2005. I answered an ad for a lovely garden flat and fell in love with it, because it came with a herb garden and 2 adorable restored original fire places. But what sealed the deal was my connection to a certain person.

I happened to mention to the prospective landlord, that back in the 80’s I had a part time job just a block away at what was a very cozy pub. He knew of the pub before it became what it was now – a nondescript wine bar. Then I mentioned how sad it was that **** the owner, had committed suicide. Prospective landlord coincidentally knew him and said “Noooooo **** is alive, in fact he’s coming to dinner at my home tonight with his wife. He lived down the road in Epping Essex, where prospective landlord

That got my attention. You see, nine years before, I ran into someone on one of my trips back to London, who mentioned that **** was caught blowing another guy in the cellar of the pub. Shortly after the embarrassing incident, out of shame, he hung himself in the cellar. He was a great employer and I have fond memories of him and the regs that drank and ate there……only thing is I was told the wrong person committed suicide. Mr prospective landlord said it was an employee who hung himself and not my old boss. See how rumours can be so wrong?

Anyway landlord liked me, I got the flat and didn’t even have to provide references.

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