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Profit and loss

  Sun 7th June 2020

A couple of days' work at The Big House. It starts with an hour for breakfast, sitting in a huge bay window, before me and Beryl attempt to iron the king size duvet covers and other bedding, all linen and silk, reluctant to yield their creases. It's a pity Beryl likes the television on all the time; otherwise it would be somnolent work.

Down the park with Hayley and Harry, her friend Tammy, who put her up in her High Gothic art gallery flat for a few weeks when she was homeless, and Tammy's Aussie boyfriend. I'm impatient to see Tammy again. I told Hayley once that I find Tammy very attractive, and she gave me the look that one might give a disloyal boyfriend.

Tammy shows us her new toes, newly straight after an operation and a month being pinned along a metal plate, correcting years of being crammed into high heels. There is much planning about going for a piss, now that the pubs are shut, and we relay to a spot underneath the bridge. It's a chatty, easy afternoon, no-one dominating. I think about Tammy in high heels.

Hayley and Harry separately tell me, with am dram eyebrow raising, of an enterprise they want us to start, both telling me to keep it quiet from the other. We are to set up a coke operation in Bath. It's a risible scheme. Hayley would swindle me and smoke any profits. But I go along with it, not wanting to cloud our sunny mood, nor the in-group air they're enjoying creating for me.

The following day, at hers, her cigarette smoke follows me wherever I stand. She talks about her son, and her friend Faye, with whom Hayley's dealer Nick is smitten.

"You should have seen it. She's never met Nick before, and his fucked-up wife is taking ages getting the rock ready, and she says 'look, it's not like you've not done this before so don't fuck us about. £40 is a lot bigger than that. And get a fucking move on.' She went off in a huff to the front room, but slammed down a massive rock, much more than £40. Nick was open-mouthed, and you could see it -- it was like he fell in love, right there."

"So she's in the front room and Nick goes to the loo. When he gets down he says 'where's L---?'. 'Don't know. In the front room. I don't care, it's nice and quiet without her.' He went into the front room came back with this funny look on his face. She was smacked out on the floor."

"Anyway, he talks about her all the time. So I'm going to milk him a bit, say Faye was wondering if you could sort her out with a couple of g's, and hope he doesn't ask for any money."

Hayley started talking about her night and day with the former Fish Importer, who has now moved out of mackerel and into crack. The posh lunch, the pub where they went dancing, "...and he's a great fuck. Harry can't... get it up." And she looked at the ground, planning; she jumped up and texted our fishy friend.

I walk part of the way back to Harry's with her. When we part, we hug, and kiss, on the lips. There's a moment when I wonder if it'll turn into a proper kiss. We look at each other for a second; the moment passes.

Three afternoons spent on a disembodied group video call, during one of which my computer overheats and can only be persuaded to rejoin the presentation when provided with freezer packs under its arse. We are shown colour-coded phials, and a complicated machine with lots of tubular attachments and plastic bags suspended on in-patient pylons with some fluid of yours. It'll make more sense on Tuesday I suppose, when I start at the hospital proper.



Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

Guess Harry is soon to be written out of the story then?
Kinda hoping I never need any plasma.

Comment from: [Member]

I think Harry might unknowingly be outsourcing one of the usual activities of a boyfriend to Mr Fish soon. I like Mr Fish. He’s urbane, and I like how he is around Hayley.

And I’m not looking forward to the bit of the job involving veins either.

Sun 7th June 2020 @ 04:32 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

I always get a good chuckle when the rock/coke fiends decide it’ll be a wise idea to get into the game, i know what they’re thinking, make some dosh or free gear but they always neglect to think about that little think called discipline that most addicts don’t have or want, i’ve watched that ship sink more times than i care to remember, oh we humans are a funny sort, some things will never change… you’re well wise to steer clear of that enterprise… (i particularly like how both Hayley and Harry told you about it but also not to tell the other, who will swindle who first? i gotta feeling Harry’s gonna loose every time!)

Tue 9th June 2020 @ 04:11 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Yes I thought that was odd too. The following day they discussed it with me together, in front of each other, so not sure what was going on there.

I don’t think it’ll happen, and if it does, it’ll be a costly shambles. Harry seems a bit more organised, but I wouldn’t trust Hayley with a farthing of my money. She’s clever enough to make sure she wouldn’t lose out either.

It’ll be interesting to watch though!

Tue 9th June 2020 @ 14:52 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

Maybe they were testing you to see if you could be trusted by discussing it with you separately? All very cloak and dagger.

Tue 9th June 2020 @ 23:15 Reply to this comment
Comment from: monkey man [Visitor]

Looby, Looby, Looby: finally something happens in Bristol & you’re not there!

Wed 10th June 2020 @ 01:09 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Well Scarlet, in the fast moving world of import-export, Hayley’s decided to duck out of the firm. I’ll do another entry today with the dull developments.

Mr Man – I was on the official bit of the march and missed the ultramontane adventures.

Wed 10th June 2020 @ 06:59 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Eryl [Visitor]

Blimey, you’ve landed in Howl!
Hope the job goes well…

Wed 10th June 2020 @ 11:14 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

It’s far more mundane than that Eryl :)

Wed 10th June 2020 @ 11:56 Reply to this comment

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M / 60 / Bristol, "the most beautiful, interesting and distinguished city in England" -- John Betjeman [1961, source eludes me].

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