When I'm Fifty-Four


A companion piece to "With Age, Comes a TOG Sticker "

Doyle stretched lazily, surfacing as he liked to surface first thing in the morning, slowly. He hoisted his eyes open several times and, after the third attempt, succeeded in keeping them there. He sighed contentedly, pulling the duvet up - bloody things, why didn't they stay where they were put - and cocooning himself in it. Not bad, this early retirement lark. Nice little pension, nice little house, nice little lie-ins. Gone were the days when he thought the safety of the entire nation depended solely upon him. Age and experience had taught him otherwise, a hard lesson, but one well learnt. Bodie now, well he'd not had such a problem. His philosophy always had been ' turn up on time, do a good days work, go home, forget about it.' It was an outlook on life that Doyle had always envied.

He looked over to the other side of the bed, empty, except for a pair of pyjamas strewn over the pillow. Never folded them up! Knew Doyle would do it, that's why! And of course he always did. Fool. He smiled. Mind you, folding someone's nightwear was a small price to pay for last night's fun. His smile widened into a grin. Life in the old dog yet. Both of them! His gaze returned to the abandoned pyjamas. These days, cool cotton was replaced by a warmer material, felt the cold now, did Bodie. Getting on. Both of them.

He snuggled down a bit further. No hurry. Give Bodie a chance to eat his plate of cholesterol and get rid of the evidence. It looked like it might be a nice day out. Perhaps he might be able to persuade Bodie to come for a walk with him. But not to the supermarket! Bodie held celebrity status in the place, practically, and it was a good way to waste several hours if you weren't careful.

Reluctantly, he realised it was time to make a move. Throwing off the duvet he hauled himself to the edge of the bed and stretched. He got to his feet and winced as all but a very few of his joints objected strenuously. More cracks than the Antiques Road Show, he thought ruefully; ready for the knacker's yard...

Padding to the bathroom, he turned on the shower. Giving it time to warm up, he inspected himself in the mirror. Few more pounds round the waistline, nothing to get panicky about. Chest-hair now completely grey. Likewise the hair on his head. Least he hadn't gone bald but he looked like a refugee from a hay-stack at the moment. One of those nice short crops would be practical, he'd decided a few months ago, but when he'd mentioned it to Bodie the man had gone ballistic. Doyle, of course had completely forgotten how Bodie liked to wrap himself around his lover with one hand entwined in his hair. He hadn't brought the subject up again.

Back in the bedroom and awake at last, he chose a clean pair of jeans from the multitude in his wardrobe. Slipping into them he remembered, with a smile, a time when he had to get on the floor to get into his jeans. It was a wonder he'd never done himself a mischief! He tucked his deep yellow shirt in before doing up the zip. Bodie's favourite, it was not a colour he would ever have chosen but once he'd tried it on, he'd had to admit that his lover had good taste. After seeing the look in those deep blue eyes he would have bought the bloody thing regardless, even if he'd hated it. Sentimental old fool.

Coming down the stairs, the dulcet tones of Wogan rose to meet him. Bodie's preferred listening in the morning, Radio 4 apparently depressed him. The Irishman's humour completely eluded Doyle but he was the first to admit it might be too subtle.

Bodie was pouring himself a cup of tea. Track-suited, grey hair neatly cut, and parted to the side, he looked a million dollars and Doyle's heart skipped a beat. It never failed.

"Have you sent for your TOG sticker then, Bodie?" He asked, sniggering.

Bodie jumped, spilling the tea. "Do you have to creep around the place, Ray?"

"Creep? Who are you calling a creep? You know, I keep tellin' you to go to the doctor and get your hearing tested."

"And I keep telling you, that there's nothing wrong with my ears!"

Doyle opened the box of Muesli and tipped some into a bowl. "Pass the milk will you Bodie, need some extra protein after last night! Running low - better visit your groupies at Tescos later. A couple of OAPs asked me for a photo of you last week - better watch it, you don't want to be responsible for heart seizures in the elderly!" He cackled, wickedly.

Opening the paper Doyle looked around for his glasses. "Where have you put them Bodie? I wish you wouldn't keep tidying them away!"

"Me? I haven't touched them!"

Doyle rose and went in search. Eventually. "Bloody 'ell, who put them in the soddin' loo?"

"Expect you needed them to check your aim. Once you'd found your little precious, that is!" Bodie stuck his tongue out and smirked.

"You didn't complain last night! A few things passed your lips, but they definitely weren't complaints!"

"Yes, well, never mock the afflicted could see you was doin' your best like..."

The tea cosy hit him square on the head.

Doyle sat at last to eat his breakfast, winking cheekily at Bodie who seemed suddenly to have drifted away.

'When I get older, losing my hair..'

"Is that Ringo Starr? God, how old is he now?" Doyle wondered. "Wonder if he's still got all his hai... never mind."

-- THE END --

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