Fish and chips and curry sauce

January 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

The rain driving against the window of the fish and chip shop has doused the portly man standing at the counter; his coat is dripping sufficiently to form a small puddle at his feet. Not that he’d notice – the rain might have soaked him but it hasn’t washed away the smell of beer on his breath, or the slight list to his stance.

It was only supposed to be one pint. It always is, though, isn’t it? They’d kept him talking, mind, and before he knew where he was he was three pints up and half-wondering whether to chance a drive home.

He’d walked up in the end; left his car in the pub car park and knew he’d regret it when he dashed out of the house in the morning, late for work again and having to walk down to town, wheezing as he inhales the damp morning air.

Before he left work this evening he’d told himself new year, new start, go to the supermarket and get some proper food, but here he is again, buying dinner from a takeaway. Can’t remember the last time the fridge was full. Can’t remember the last time he cooked anything. Can’t remember the last time there was anyone but him in that drab old house at the top of that bloody road. There’s the cat, obviously, but a cat’s no sort of dinner companion.

As the lass behind the counter hands him his fish and chips and – small pot, separately wrapped – curry sauce, he tells himself that this is going to be the year that he meets someone new. Doesn’t know where, doesn’t know how. That’s by-the-by. It’s about time, after all.

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