24HourCoffeePeople is a bustling coffee shop on the outskirts of London: this blog shares moments where caffeine isn’t the main event but the people who visit or work there really are.
Able appeared out of nowhere; a rotund little fellow with a loud, resonant voice and a permanent grey stubble. The coffeemates were immediately curious and he integrated himself into our morning huddle with immediate ease. We never did find out where he lived, but we knew he had a wife, some grown up children and a pair of odious little dogs who barked and barked while tied to a lamp post outside 24. As time went on, he confided that he was an opera singer, a writer and a voice-over artist. As more time passed, he confided even more. Mainly that he’d just completed a long stretch with Her Majesty (15 years) for the biggest ever cannabis importation the UK has ever known.
He was in 24 every single day, with those yappy little dogs of his, and always so jolly. With such a huge presence, the coffeemates naturally noticed his absence; and as it grew longer and longer, we decided it couldn’t be a holiday, unlikely to be an illness and another prison spell? We didn’t think so. We rang his agent who had no idea where he was; Guy set to work tracking him on Facebook only to discover Able’s entire page has gone – just gone – and I’ve done a million Google searches. Nothing. Nobody knows if he is alive or dead.