Things had come to a head. And to be honest, the last thing I wanted was a problem with Aubrey given the fact that he was so… Unpredictable. Imagine being asleep, only to wake up to plumes of smoke rising up from the ground floor below. He had a “thing” about matches so throwing a lit couple through the letterbox in an attempt to burn us AND the house down, was not out of the question. Anyways, Looch knocked on the door the next day as per usual, around 4pm. I remember being pretty upbeat about the fact that the bike had been returned and there being a slim chance this sordid affair was over. Opening the door, I soon discovered it was anything but. I was greeted by Aubrey’s haunted face leering back at me. God, he was a frightful spectacle to look at. Taken aback, but not outwardly showing it, I kept the door open mid-way with a concealed hand covering the handle, in case he tried anything stupid. The awkward conversation we exchanged between one another went something like this…
”Aubrey… You alright, man?”
His pretentious smile faded into an ugly scowl. ”What do you think? You guys took my property and just coz I got it back, makes everything OK again?”
”I had nothing to do with it.” I replied, almost too quick to pass the blame but not in anybody’s direction in particular. ”It was just a misunderstanding. That’s all.”
”Oh really?” Was the sinister response. ”So that’s how you guys get your kicks? Stealing other people’s stuff and calling it a “misunderstanding” afterwards?”
I must admit. I was quite impressed with his powers of conversational ability up until this point. I got way more than I would have expected. ”No, man. Just one of my friends plain not thinking. That’s all it was. Look, can we just move on, like? You know, as respectful neighbours to one another?” And yes, I know I sounded like a whimpering hound dog. But hey, rather that than stir the cauldron any further, if you catch my drift.
He eyed me up suspiciously. ”We don’t hang out together or anything. You're on your side and I’m on mine. Does that mean I owe you any favours?” Strange point, for a delusional crackhead. Although I wasn’t about to let him know my personal sentiments.
”I’m not saying that.” I reasoned back. ”Just can we leave this situation where it is. Like, in the “no harm done” sort of way.” I could see his twisted facial contortion leaning towards heeding my words. In a way, him contemplating my logical and peaceful solution. However, it’s not your average everyday “Joe” we’re dealing with here. A few unspoken prayers pushed their way into my mind round about the same time.
”I’ll think about it.” He mumbled over some horrendous reeking breath. ”But you best hope nothing like this ever happens again.”
”I can promise you, man. I’ll put those guys in check after this. Nice one, yes?”
Without saying a word, he turned around and sauntered down my front garden path, taking a sharp right back to the void hence he came. Wow, I thought to myself. I’ve just had an encounter with the notorious Aubrey and managed to salvage some good out of it. What the hell is going on here?
Well, what can I tell you. That’s exactly the way it went down. That episode, anyways. I mean, no more drama, no horrific scenario’s I have previously envisioned playing out. Just a blunt, straight to the point, chat with the demonic presence that is Aubrey. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that he wasn’t really all the menacing if you got to speaking with him. Or was that just my “ego” talking after having a pretty close call. Not sure, but that was that and nothing more was ever said about that damned bike.
The irony of the story is that it ended up trashed outside his backyard. Broken and dismantled. A jungle of a place if ever I saw one. Home to wasps, foxes and all manner of other nocturnal creatures you’d care to think of. But the crux of the matter was the abomination had been subdued. And as time went by, he drew more and more closed off into his own private shell. Oh yes, there was a time a few years on when you would see Aubrey loping down the road, completely off his head. Must have been on some pretty hard stuff, I can tell you. But at least I was free of worry and concern from any more run in’s with him after that. Alf has a lot to thank me for. And that right there might well be the understatement of the year.