As I entered my office for the first time in nearly a year, having completed my secondment in Geneva, I was welcomed back with the excitement and dependable lack of humility that can only be expected from Jenny, my dependable admin girl and slobbering mistress.
She is now the ownership of another. Tasting her forbidden fruit was not likely a legal issue but could very well be a moral one. Luckily, I had left my morals in a grubby pub toilet in Southend with Sheila Tamworthy twenty years earlier.
Jenny raced towards me in full view of all and sundry and gave me a big squeezing ‘welcome home’ hug. I had forgotten how wonderful she looked, how great she smelled and how easily my ego could be massaged, but also how highly embarrassing she could be.
I gave her a fake kiss on the cheek and held my arms astride until she reluctantly let go. Frankly, it would have been more appropriate to hang a ‘still flirting with my old boss’ banner outside our building.
I walked on and raised my eyebrows at the world, shook my head in almost authentic surprise and proceeded to my desk as if the incident had never even occurred. Immediately, I felt a huge disappointment and despondency sitting at my desk, seeing the old corporate bullied and tired faces sat around me.
I had spent almost a year in the sunny backdrop of snow-topped mountains and spent late evenings with frustrated wealthy women of leisure. My weekends were filled with skiing trips to the Alps with the single task of preposterous posing with my pals.
This was not Geneva and now I was back in Blighty. As much as I loved England, it meant full-time exposure to my wife and her unbreakable frigidity would mean this exposure would not involve any kind of sexual intimacy, just the usual unforgiving verbal diarrhoea.
Later that day a text was delivered to my mobile. It was from Jenny. It read ‘IMU meet me2nite got a?4U’. At first, I assumed she had fallen over a disposable waste sack and landed fingers first on her mobile keypad, but this was obviously some teenage text code not understood by anyone over the age of 22.
To hell with it, I arranged to meet her later that evening. We had a drink. We talked. We laughed. It was surprisingly pleasant and no word of exchanging bodily fluids was mentioned, it was just a ‘how do you do,’ with a young woman who in her efforts to look older than she was, had had a misadventure with a vat of industrial make up.
I offered to take her home and we jumped into my car. We inadvertently stopped in a disused business park car park. Aghast, I promised to drive straight to the car dealers in the morning as both front seats gave way. We fell into the back of my car entangled with my show of middle-aged athleticism, disguised as an awkward, fumbling forty something oaf.
As the windows steamed up and things became a little warm under the collar, I had this bizarre sensation her face was beginning to melt on me. True enough, as we broke away for a breath, I looked at my collar and then at her. I noticed one side of her face looked as though she had been involved in a close up paint ball fight and I had suffered the debris of her injuries. I was caked in more make up than Boy George.
I jumped up banging my head on the car roof causing immediate erectile dysfunction and called an end to the food fight. I considered telling my wife I had popped into Boots on my way home for a makeover but it sounded too far-fetched.