Monday, May 05, 2008


The gift that keeps on giving

Ousted from my bed by the discordant blaring of my would-be doorbell, (would probably sound a bit less like someone spilling water on a casio keyboard if I replaced the battery) I stumbled to the door, and dragged it open to reveal two men in some kind of uniform. One of them can even speak.


I regard him blearily, he repeats himself, adding the word "cleaning" and explains that Mr Yokoi (Issei) sent them.

"Does such a service even exist?" I ask, temples throbbing and pasty taste in parched mouth.

"It certainly does!" the man cries, perhaps a little nettled by my scepticism. I am forced to take him at his word, his existence on my doorstep being evidential in itself of a wider, more general existence.

For how long am I required to absent myself?

"Around an hour," he says. He leans across my threshhold to peer into the gloom and then, without missing a beat: "Maybe two."

Of course Issei made the necessary arrangements, but the gift of cleaners sent to my room was a collaborative effort amongst the worthy elders of my football team, to whom I now repeat the words which I said to Issei over the phone that morning:

I love you. And I hate you.
But, mostly: I hate you.
And thank you.


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