Near midnight the train slowly rattles out of the great metal barn of liverpool street station. I know that a man like you thinks all women are stupid whores. New year to you too! My mum smiles, although kung hay fat choi means wishing you prosperity more than anything to do with the passing of another year.
Why do you ask? I just want to know if im going to be compared to her. Then she is standing there with a bucket in one hand and a bottle of disinfectant in the other. She thought she had landed this i dont know this older man. If you want to remember the dead or rather if you want to see the dead, if you want to meet them, to see them smile, to reassure yourself that they are at peace now then you have to look inside yourself. Those were the lessons that i wanted george chang to teach me, because i knew i would never learn them from my real father.
But she politely thanks me for the use of the phone, as if we have just been introduced and i have just passed the salt, and then she shuffles off to bed, soon falling asleep as the winter day quickly dies and darkness creeps into my flat. So would you be if you saw the world from down on your hands and knees. But its not the same when youre living together and the boiler is on the blink.
I knock louder, longer, and tamsin opens the door, pretty and friendly, blonde and barefoot, smiling at me as though i have never disgraced myself in this flat, as though i didnt act like a prize dickhead after one tsingtao too many, as though i am her best friend in the whole wide world. If im happy or sad or worried, i suddenly get this need to talk to her about it. The stairs to her first-floor apartment are all at once too steep. In the middle of all those aunts and uncles, those college friends and work colleagues, there is old josh, a big handsome fellow in his morning suit, his arms folded across his chest. Then the large black guy from behind the bar wraps his arms around me and drags me away, expertly lifting me right off the ground, pulling me past the stunned faces of the friends of josh and the granite-faced girls and the businessmen making small talk with women who have seen thousands exactly like them.