“So how was your first day?” I ask Seb when he calls last night. I’m waiting for my artichoke to cook. It’s simmering away. Not long to go now. The room is filled with its earthy scent.
“Oh, good, I think,” Seb says, sounding cheerful, as well he might, having just started a three year Ecology degree. “Met the other students, they seem so young and…”
“They are young,” I say, unloading the clean crockery from the dishwasher.
“I mean they seem even younger than they are,” he says.
Good, I think. Please don’t fancy them.
“Did you find a lab coat?” I say. “And goggles and…”
“Yes,” he says. “I’m all set.”
“So what happens about food?” I say, chopping up a yellow courgette, broccoli and mushrooms and putting them into the frying pan.
“Well, there’s a refectory,” Seb say. “And plenty of other eating establishments or…”
“Have you met anyone in your building yet?” I say, pouring a tin of chopped tomatoes on top of the vegetables and turning the dial on the hob.
“Not yet,” he says. “I think I’m going to check out the boxing club in the town tomorrow and…”
“Excellent plan,” I say, thinking of the eponymous hero teaching the young chaps to box in Maurice. Seb won’t fancy the boys in the boxing club though, I shouldn’t think. Unlike Maurice of course who gets all hot and bothered by the young men.
“What are you doing, my lovely?” Seb says.
“Just making supper,” I say.
“Let me give you a call tomorrow then,” he says. “I’m going to make some supper too and go to bed – I’m still knackered from the journey up here.”
“OK darling,” I say. Oh, how I wish we were together, I think, but I don’t say this. “Speak to you tomorrow.”
Here’s another baby photo of the fluffy monster to cheer us up on this rainy autumn day.
Happy Tuesday everyone!
*2003. By Eddie Muller. A Billy Nichols hardboiled detective fiction novel, set in the 1940s San Francisco boxing scene.