7 April 2009


I drove a hundred and forty miles to see an old blind man spit into a bucket and do an impression of an armchair. He was sat in the corner of the room covered in fine dust, looking rickety and threadbare as I recounted the details of my journey.

“I drove a hundred and forty miles,” I said. “I got a flat tyre and the air conditioning stopped working on my car. It was unbearably hot.”

The old man was still doing a great armchair. Just as I was beginning to wonder if he had actually died, he started to draw a slow breath, the air entering his body through the hundreds of small holes left there by the woodworm. When he had finally filled his lungs he leant forward and said to me in a voice like kindling on a fire, “Next time, boy, use the god damn telephone.” Then he leant back into the corner and died.

The old man always was good at impressions.