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She watched television

17 Apr 2001

The kettle began to react, trembling a little, and then the water was boiling, wisps of steam padding out to become clouds and then a mist, which condensed onto the shelf of spices, opened and spilled and tired. Packets of biscuits, cereal, a few tins and caddies: they kept a respectful distance of worktop from the kettle, cowering like primitives before fire. The switch clicked off by magic as a figure in jeans reached the kitchen. She found a cup, closed a cupboard door, shook out some dead coffee into the cup, poured water onto it and stirred.

To pass the time (I)

15 Apr 2001

She sits squeezed into a leatherette window seat, feet up and gaze fixed unfixedly on the street outside. Her oval, faintly tanned face catches the tired sunlight, turning grey the fuzz at the back of her cheeks, exposed by pulling back her hair severely. Occasionally she remembers about her cigarette and takes a distracted drag; otherwise it burns slowly, almost smokelessly - neglected.

To pass the time (II)

15 Apr 2001

He had seen her whilst collecting dead cups, some forty minutes after she had come into the shop. She had struck him and his twenty-year-old hormones as pretty, but - distracted, the ominous, archaic meaning. Someone else served her and, after looking uncomfortable by the capuccino machine, she went to sit alone, letting swathes of misery drape themselves over her table.

You old fucking bastard

11 Dec 2000

The whole school, a thousand non-individuals, faded out obediently as she walked to the lectern. At the edge of her vision, she saw the headmaster's exopthalmic glare and realised that he was bulbously staring down the chatter. She remembered her time as a student, all the names he had been called - she had called him - behind his back. Frogger. Marty Feldman. Bog-eye. Wondering how many in the audience were secretly thinking similar nicknames and worse, she shuffled her notes on the wood. Even from a few feet away, it had the varnish smell that took her back to classrooms and chalk dust.

Stanley Manly

28 Nov 2000

Woah! Stan, eh? Stan The Man! Remember Stan? Ahh, you must remember him, everybody knows Stan. Such a great bloke, he really is. Always got an answer to any question, and the answer is: Stan!