He sits there, looming and spilling over the chair slightly, smooth pinky-red skin and a greasy feel to the very air surrounding him. Combed over oiled down hair, navy blue suit straining at his bulk, tie looking too tightly fixed under clean-shaven jowls and naturally, there are the brown tinted gold-rimmed glasses. He shifts uncomfortably as cheap shirt material makes him sweat, and clumsily sifts through pieces of paper with fat fingers.

When he speaks his attention is solely fixed upon his prey. Gift of the gab, that never ends. Hours he’s been here, wheedling and cajoling and funnelling the conversation to weave and turn just as he wishes it. Settling in as the longer he remains, the more the claws sink in – the better his job is done.

Then a pause, and for a moment we see beyond the glassy reflection drawn up before his eyes. A deep brown sofa where he sits, reclined scant feet away from a noisy bubbling TV set. He tells the cat in agreeable chatty tones of how his day went, for there is no other to listen. There wouldn’t be the cat, but she left it here when she went with no trace of forwarding address. There’s a hat too, the edge of the brim just showing over the top of the dusty wardrobe when you enter the bedroom. A hat and a cat. Funny sort of legacy to remain from fifteen years.

He stands up a little clumsily, shoving aside the discarded newspapers and junk mail that have slipped to the floor. Heads to the kitchen area of grubby worktops and discoloured cabinet doors, pours another glass of liquor. This to keep his visage evenly and pinkly flushed, and the echoes of the empty room at bay. His words can’t help him here. The brief clamour of the microwave in the stale air, and dinner is served. Another day, another night. Tomorrow it will begin again.

He looks up then, smiles. Even, yellowed teeth. “Cup of tea would be grand, love. Milk, two sugars”. Returns to shuffling paper once more.


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