This is one of the very few posts I’ve actually scheduled – you see, right at this moment, I’m somewhere in Liverpool, no doubt drinking more than is good for me and struggling to eat with my fucking temporary denture. Ah well, I hope that I’m having a good time.
There was one lad I found myself watching, quite by accident. I had been staring at an empty seat in the corner, reckoning it safe to do so, but it had become occupied without me quite registering the fact. He was slight and clean-shaven, with the very sensible hair of the modern poet embarrassed by his poetry. He wore a white shirt which clung to his slim body like a lover, and epaulettes hung from his shoulders, unbuttoned and shifting with his every subtle motion. His head was lowered, and he scribbled in a small notepad, like a reviewer hiding at the back of a concert, taking in the sights and the sounds and the smells and, yet, remaining above it all – letting it wash over him like a wave and leaving him untouched. Perhaps that is how he considered himself, I thought, a culture reviewer, a social critic with philosophical aspirations. I saw him raise his head in a furtive examination of the room, and he caught me staring at him. He lowered his head again, as though he had been the one invading my privacy, and I pitied him.