Day 97

I allow myself a little rudeness. You tell me about an event you’ve just seen and I look down at you – you’re small – and say, What? Then louder, WHAT? A writer, you inform me, and very good. I let my mouth open. A yawn? I think it is. Someone pushes past me. I swear at them, or at least mouth the words. Your wife praises the speaker she heard. She’s tall, hunches to hear us. I say, Uh instead of Pardon and roll my eyes. When we say goodbye, I am nice again. A real pleasure to meet you both.


Day 96

Floor plans cover the walls, ceiling and sofa. Standing against an open window, you’re shivering yet pleased: All in the name of art. This 1960’s housing estate is condemned, though you don’t know why. This building will be replaced, but you’re not sure what is. This building offers free furniture after 10pm, however you can’t be certain. I take your responses to mean that site-specific creativity in urban spaces does not automatically breed interest in the place. You wear several scarves and hold a walkie-talkie, I try again: You must be cold. You cheer up: Right, right yes I am.

Day 95

It’s Camden you need to get off at, I say to you when you ask. Your girlfriend is drunk and gazing blankly around the carriage. I like her for her aquamarine eyeliner and sun-bleached hair. You ask me questions and say you’re from Sydney. She is stressed,  briefly, because you’re late. I assure you that you’ll be fine for time, though I have no idea where you are heading. When we step off the tube, the ambition of your aim is infectious. I also speed towards the next train, desperate to meet my deadline of no time and doesn’t matter.

Day 94

You tell me it won’t hurt a bit. I perch on the examination table and roll up my sleeve. Tapping at my veins, you inadvertently drop everything on the floor. Scuffling near my feet, you pick up spare needles and containers while one hand keeps the point in my arm throughout. You ask me if I’ll return to work. I will, but not before I eat a pain au chocolate and gape at the blue sky. As I leave I think, don’t speak to me: if you wish me luck, I’ll take your words and throw them out the window.

Day 93

You serve me with a smile. You really like me. I have fennel tea. For you, every customer has to be reckoned with. There’s solitude at home and then there’s company at work. You’re bewildered by my choice. Do I want milk? I don’t. Do I want tap water? Yes. You want me to stay and talk. You raise your hand and I’m a puppy to your instruction. Stay, stay. I wait and count your tips. Coppers and some silver. My drinks are here. You ask me with your eyes, Why not stay? Have a heart. Why not just stay?

Day 92

You hand me an envelope with a cheque I can’t accept. For such a public transaction, we show no awkwardness. Life, which can seem so effortless and repetitive, is really a marvellously complex sequence of exchanges with people you know and can reassure you, and those who are strangers and cannot. You are so interested in me, and the way I articulate my thoughts. I use flamboyant hand gestures, suck on my glass of juice, tell you my ideas on transformationn. We think life carries on elsewhere but where we are, right here, is the very centre of the universe.

Day 91

We have a conversation about our values. How do we feel about them, about each other? If we had morals, what would they be? We have three hours to decide and then what? Then we know. You come in late and I ask you which side you are on. You have delicate lips and when you speak, the truth comes out. Out it comes, from your mouth to my ears. It journeys easily, it’s done so before. You pick words from a low orchard of trees you have nearby. And only the ripest most seasoned apposite ones you will taste.