A stranger was approaching from the left side room -- though everyone else seemed to not notice him in a very deliberative manner. He was graceful without care, with instead a grace of purpose. He exchanged a polite 'good evening' with P in a drawl. He stood affront of them carefully leaning on an unplugged fruit machine with his legs crossed and his arse on the ledge above the cash chute.
His age was difficult even though we must know it within a year --- most likely between thirty and forty though it must be between sixteen and seventeen. He gave an impression of age and his hair seemed deliberately rifled with charcoal. His cloathing, corduroy brown, brown cord with the cords worn back to their skin tight base. They were too flared below the knees and the hems were low for P’s taste and the velvet of his jacket, with its too large lapels and cloth covered buttons a good 20 years out of fashion. L (for it was he what wore it) looked confused at the presence of P. P wished to continue to waste time by describing more of L. when L. himself asked (what is that in his hand?)
“What, is that, in y o u r hand?” He even pointed at the hand as he did it. P. hadn’t been aware, at that moment, of having anything in his hand, but it was true, there was something there. He looked at it to discover what it was, the interruption had thrown him.
Interrupt. “Why is a different question.”
- Sorry, uueehe, it is a book on steamships. A book on steamships!
“Why do you have it?”
- I was reading it on the Metro.
“Are you sure that was wise.”
- I didn’t seem to have anything else to read.
“If you didn’t want to read it, then you shouldn’t have taken it with you.”
- I didn’t seem to have a choice; my choice was made for me.
“You had a cake and your cake was eaten for you?”
- Yes, I was placed on the Metro, I don’t know how long ago, but not the Budapest Metro, with a book on steamships and when I got here I was here.
“Remarkable! I didn’t realise people still spoke the way I am doing.”
- That is the most remarkable thing about it? By your reckoning? I could also smell WD40 throughout the whole trip, though how I could tell it from turps I don’t know.
You was wearing a dark, olive-green with egg-shell blue, shirt, undone at the wrists and tight at the neck. The collar was worn bare and dirtied yellow if it was white but it is a grass-green a cloth coloured bodey green. A loose tab sweltered and drooped behind his ear; but despite all this P knew he was in the presence of a gentleman. The easy almost drunk and oozing expression and manner of slump was ascertainedly of one who, intellectually, was used to being in the right; or fashionably incorrect. This mingling of half-stare shaffyshab and the serene flavour of grace was unmistakably musical; from what he knew of the set he was not surprised to hear the inducement from without,
“Herr L, P.. Herr P., L.. Please.”
- P reached a hand out to shake right hands; L proffered his left femininely,
“Where are you manners?”
P took the hand gently, the nails were long but the skin surrounding them was ruinous, bitten down in uneven patterns and the long nails, the whites of them, were stained to sellotape. P. felt the testing atmosphere and carefully pursed and pressed his chapped lips against the back of that cold white hand. He closed his eyes and blushed. When he opened them he could see another pair, R’s rolling and small smirks rippling across the group.
L took him to one side and began to explain things… he began with a question.
“Where have you been? We were failing to exist without you.
- I was outside.
“Without eh? And did you enjoy it?”
- Well it was a short walk, downhill,
“Short you say? Short yes, short, usually a good omen, a short walk. Downhill too. Pleasant?”
“Pleasant was it P., this s h o r t walk?”
- Oh yes, as far as these things go.
“And ooeih, we have you there. How far do these things, when they do, supposing they do, what did you see, go?”
- I have certainly seen something worth seeing.
“Easy dull praise when the seeing of me is worth such a long walk. They will build a statue of me, of us perhaps, I suppose, and this will be a place of pilgrimage. Our inheritors with trim their flights and aim their wishes at us. You will write it, I can see you too devout for greatness without effort, and it would be ridiculous for a man to write his own chronicle. I never would wash my mouth with mine own praise for mine own deeds, afeart of getting a breath that stincks.”
Roisin: “But you’d eat your own shit.