Saturday, 16 June 2007

Chapter 105

Danny was enjoying his morning with Alan McFry. He’d settled into their easy amble around the flea market, picking over the oddments of people’s lives that were on display for sale. No launderettes were passed en route.

Alan seemed ‘straight up’. There was none of that second-guessing which he’d begun to feel was part and parcel of being a work colleague of Harry. That didn’t mean he didn’t have questions, however. Danny was as much of an analyst in his spare time as poor old Harry. Perhaps that’s what had drawn them to work together?

Why, he wondered, had Alan been so interested in the idea that Harry might have been seeing his ex-wife? Could it be that he still carried (‘sic’, he said, in his mind) a torch for Carrie? He’d never met this Carrie woman – tried to imagine what she was like.

Maybe Alan and his brother had a ‘type’ of woman they both went for, the way some men seemed to go for redheads, or blondes, or women who were well-endowed or had a good pair of legs? He hadn’t even met this mysterious Ana of Harry’s. All he had to go by was Yolanda, and he supposed she was attractive – if you liked the kind of confident, sharp woman he reckoned her to be, that was.

The McFry brothers were very different, he’d noticed. Alan was much more relaxed (at least on the surface), while Harry had seemed, at first, supremely in charge of himself and self-assured. But he’d seen, soon enough, some of Harry’s weaknesses – for drink, for cigarettes and (he guessed) for women, too. The older of the brothers masked a mass of insecurities beneath the confident exterior he projected. He’d caught glimpses of that same insecurity towards the end of the week in Birkenhead. If they were so different, what explained the way they seemed to share their lovers (or, at least, their siblings)?

Had Harry spent Friday night at his (ex-) sister-in-laws? Danny couldn’t know for sure. He knew Carrie had rung Alan, though: he’d been there, he guessed, when Alan had taken her call. What if she’d hinted to her ex-husband that Harry had been with her, the night before? He remembered waiting around for Harry to arrive back at his flat on Saturday morning, and how he’d seemed flustered at being late. Maybe he'd got it wrong: Carrie might have told Alan all about her night with Harry to make him jealous, precisely because she was the one holding the torch?

Danny found himself visualizing Harry alongside a woman (who might look a little like Yolanda - his only yardstick). One thing was for sure – and he knew this for certain. They wouldn’t be in a car. Or, of they were, it wouldn’t be a Ford Cortina. And if it was, he doubted it would have a sun visor with their names printed on it.

Harry Carrie – that would just be suicidal…

“Hey, Danny,” Alan said, interrupting his train of thought. “Should we walk back through the park?”

Well, it seemed like a perfectly good idea, at the time...

6 comments:

70steen said...

Would it ever have passed through Harrys mind ....... Harry Carrie? Harry is too much of a coward and too full of self preservation for that :-) Danny is sure a sharper chap ... great interlude chapter(as I was wondering who was entertaining Danny , poor lad!)

Thomas Hamburger Jnr said...

Thanks, 70steen ... Danny does seem a better emotional radar than Harry, doesn't he?

Monica said...

Don't be long with the next chapter. You've got them all heading into the park - you must know what's going to happen next!

Thomas Hamburger Jnr said...

Yes, monica - I'll try not to make it too much like High Noon!

Enumerator said...

So which third party is going to turn up in the park - Laurel McFry, Pablo, Carrie McFry, Cyril Galloway, Bill Blunt, Dacre Lawrence mumbling in a bath chair, Ma Shipman sniffing the rent, or even the indomitable Lillian McFry herself? Or someone else entirely?

We are on tenterhooks.

Thomas Hamburger Jnr said...

Oh, you've got me thinking of totally new twists now, Enumerator!