The clock on the computer switched from 17:59 to 18:00, and from downstairs Mark’s voice erupted in a “Come down, tea is ready”. Of course, there wouldn’t be a hint of any Darjeeling or Lapsang Souchong downstairs. It would be two plates on the little kitchen table next to where Spikey the Cactus lives, and on it would be what other people would call dinner or supper. In that uniquely British way, dinner or supper has been refashioned to celebrate the most British of drinks.
Mark has not shut up about the Audi since yesterday, and he wants to go over things again and again, as if he still wants to convince himself that he should buy it. I’ve only said that I would give him the £300 he’s missing so that he doesn’t become indebted to his friend, and he’s accepted that. Before when I’ve offered him money from that stash he’s blanked out, but not this time, and maybe he has become used to it. Or maybe he thinks it’s safe now that there’s that paper we signed. He says he wants to pay it back, and that’s it. He will, and so the money is not getting in the way this time.
And he’s going on about the car as he ladles mash on the plates and slides sausages out of the sizzling pan, two for each, and I like seeing him talk and talk like that. It gives me reason not to say anything until he changes subject away from the damned car. Eve when he scoops the peas from the boiling water of a small pot does he reference the torque and the speed of the thing and the quick handling. Only when we’re eating do I manage to get him to tell me about his day.
After tea, when I put on the track pants and the hoodie, and search the whole house for my rugged phone and the iPod, and when I go out running he’s on about the car again. He only shuts up when I close the front door and draw the first breaths outside, and when Daft Punk’s “One more time / Aerodynamic” from Alive 2007 starts to pump up my veins and my heart. By the time the guitar riff which starts at 2:35 in that song starts, I’m flying – and I’ve forgotten everything about the world and it’s all about breathing and flying and moving. By then, the beat of the song has turned running into a dance. My strides follow the beat.
There’s only the murmur of the television downstairs now, and I had to suppress a chuckle when I wondered if he was banging on about the car to the telly. When I came home from the run, he was on the phone, draped all over the sofa. From his tone and words, I think he was talking to Stephen. They have a particular jargon and tone with each other, which comes from knowing each other for fifteen years or so. Guess what he was telling Stephen about?
I’m not so preoccupied with something. The Mac mini that Mark bought off another friend earlier has a word-processor open, but the page is blank, and I’m procrastinating an assignment that I should do by writing on the laptop instead. The Mac is the work-station, with the emphasis on Work. It has nothing of personality on it, and all my music and things are on the Linux boxes. Instead of doing what I’m supposed to, I build play lists, and write this.
My posts easily become boring and formulaic, since I tend to write them quickly. As I write them quickly, I follow a mental guide that’s fixed in my head. I think I should try for more variation, and for different styles. Like I have to do in my school work. And I have to start sending out work to magazines and journals too. I might as well start now. I’m producing so much text now, almost full-time, that I may as well try to flog some of it.