Thursday, January 27, 2005


“Thomas, look. You’ve been staying at mine since – the 11th? And you haven’t found a job yet. And you don’t seem to have anywhere to move out to. And Dimtrios is back in a week – and he has to have his room back. And also, I don’t mind lending you my laptop while I’m out at work – I know it helps you writing your poetry and stuff – but I checked the websites you’ve been on. Porn? For an hour? So, young man, time to get a job and get a place and generally just get your damned act –”

“Hi Adam!” said Thomas, interrupting the little speech I was constructing in my head as he walked into my office. “I’ve just been having a look around the British Museum – God London is wonderful – and anyway realised you were near by – and just wondered if you’d like to go to lunch with me?”

“Well – I – ” I can’t think of any reason why not. “Sure.”

Soon we were in a Pret, me again trying to work out which soup would have the most soothing affect while Thomas was paying for his vegetarian salad.

“O no,” I heard him suddenly say from the till. “I’m seventy pee – Adam! Hold on – I –” I passed my blushing cousin some extra change and soon he was sat down while I was ordering. Soon he was sat down – next to the beautiful temp, as it turned out. The beautiful temp called … whose name is …

She picked her head out of her book and spotted me just as I was walking over.

“O hi Adam!”

“Hi there,” I said. “I’m just having lunch with my cousin Thomas here.”

“Hello there,” she said, smiling her beautiful smile at him.

“This is,” I said, fumbling my soup with a pause.


“This is – look actually you looked very absorbed in that book. Are we disturbing you?”

“No, no, it’s pretty boring anyway!”

“He usually is,” said Thomas of the author, masterfully.


“Anyway, Thomas. This is – Te – Th – I’m sorry, how do you pronounce your name?”


“Yes – I thought – never mind. Thomas, Teresa.”

And soon he’s recommending some Ian McEwan novel or another instead and telling her about the poets he likes and that he’s a poet and that cuz Adam here (touching me on the shoulder) is putting him for “a while” – a while – and –

“That’s kind of you Adam,” said Theresa, turning back to Thomas. “Very supportive. Just what a young poet needs.”

“Thomas is looking for temp work, actually. Know of anything, Theresa?”

“Well – no – I –”

“Actually Thomas that reminds me. There’s usually some spare work going in the post-room – the people they have down there are pretty unreliable sorts – not that well paid – a bit grotty – but for you –”

“You may as well have a look, Thomas” said Theresa. “Don’t look so doubtful! Heh – I’ll show you where it is on the way back.”

And suddenly I want to say that I wrote a poem once, while I was at university and slowly working out why Marx could be fun but wasn’t for me and I didn’t think he had it all worked out right at all and even why Lukacs was wrong in his famous statement and in a quiet moment in a café on my own how I worked out the little feeling I had about it all and I never even showed anyone it once – and – and – and now I’m back at my desk, having dug the thing out of some old discs I keep locked away in a draw, mementos of distant memory, with nothing better to do than let go of it all. And wondering if I should offer Thomas my bedroom floor for a few weeks more when Dimitrios returns.