• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 03


RICHARD taught me the muscle and slap. 2007, it must have been. Drunken memories emerge in freeze-frame: the taxi rank…lamp-post lights gliding by too fast…his body…his bed.

I dream OF YORK Station: my close friend on Platform 5 is waiting. Soon we will wander and talk, and wander and cry, and wander still. I recall lonelier days when a friend on a station platform seemed far-fetched. I dream of York, and the dream is defined by wisdom, or by luck.

Dad always took the piss out of the way George Michael sang the word ‘GAVE’ in Last Christmas. “I gev you my heart,” Dad would sing. I look out of a January window and laugh when I think of this. (The memory is audio only, yet still I giggle.)

Twenty-two minutes to do BATTLE. Twenty-two minutes until the horseman falls, and is dragged, and is discarded. Twenty-two minutes until he becomes what lies before you: a corpse in a coat of arms. Twenty-two minutes and counting.

Over lunch we met, and laughed. It was a pleasant alternative to a hook-up. It was all very civilised. A few days later, you made me Russian soup. (You’d just finished reading a biography of Putin.) But our third date lasted too long, and in the morning, I tried IN VAIN to carry on. “We could meet in two or three weeks,” you said – a code, I realised, for Goodbye.