Long Dusty Road.
I stopped off at the Spencer Arms, now a successful gastro pub on the Common. A real minx behind the bar. And sitting drinking, in an unseasonal mack with a pint of lager was someone I knew. Unshaven, a little unkempt, not at the top of his game by any means. It was John E. I had known him for thirty years.
One time public relations man who worked for Trevor,then struggled to keep his career together. Always a drinker. A player at the local church St Marys. A member of the Winchester House where he was a bit of a dinner bell (ie made people move on). I had heard he had down sized a couple of times to make ends meet. I couldn’t ignore him, so my paper had to wait.
He told me that after one lunch time session he took a lady home and his long suffering wife caught them and said that the suffering was now over. Though still in the same house they were effectively separated.”At least the children are grown up”.
Dreams of resuscitating his pr career were long over and he now invigilated exams at the local Roehampton University for £11 an hour, “its difficult keeping your eyes open, you hope there will be someone who wants to go to the loo, just for something to do.”.
As well he has signed up for two weeks casual at this year’s Wimbledon-he has yet to find out exactly what he will be doing. He was once an actor and he still gets the occasional shift as an extra at £120 a pop. Once in a blue moon he gets voice over work.
“I wouldn’t say I’m keeping my head above the water but I aint drowning,not yet.I don’t want to sell the house. I have been a fool,its all my fault. I don’t come down the club any more ,I can’t afford it.”
Schadenfreude- pleasure derived by someone from another’s misfortune.