There was a Cockney in the pub for the England vs Sweden game.
‘Kah-mon Sweden!’ he kept shouting. Then ‘Kah-mon Ikea!’ and ‘Kah-mon Volvo!’ He tried singing Knowing Me Knowing You but they were the only words he knew.
When two old ladies came in, the Cockney moved people out of the way, found a path for them through the crowd and called each one ‘darlin’’.
The Cockney stereotype: loud and obnoxious but respectful to old ladies.
When the women were out of earshot, he turned to his mates and said ‘Don’t fancy yours much, she fackin’ lavs it!’
As I walked down the steps, I was on my phone saying something witty and charming like: ‘Well, he’s just a gormless twat, isn’t he?’
There was a lad sitting on the bottom step with his arm in a sling. As I got level with him, his girlfriend turned up. The lad took out a little bouquet of flowers from his sling and gave it to her.
‘That’s it then, he can fuck off,’ I said into the phone.
The girl smiled at the flowers but the romance of the gesture was marred by an inconsiderate loudmouth on a mobile.
A conversation between my polite friend and a drunk. My friend mentioned he was a writer.
‘What do you write then?’
‘But non-fiction is still fiction.’
’Not really. It’s kind of the exact opposite.’
‘It’s still fictitious though, right?’
‘No, the clue’s in the title. Non-fiction covers a vast array of genres and the only thing that links them is the fact that they are not fictitious. Non-fiction is defined by the absolute, categorical certainty that the one thing it isn’t, is fiction.’
‘So, it’s like a latin thing then, yeah? What’s your novel about?’
The train station’s ticket desk was hopelessly understaffed but the man serving me didn’t feel under pressure. He told me that his name was Dave, he was fifty-two and from Leeds and it was nearly time for his afternoon coffee. I’m happy to chat but not with a queue of 20 people behind me all wishing me dead. Dave was muffled behind plexi-glass, it looked like I’d initiated the conversation.
‘Got to go,’ I said, as he was midway through telling me about the benefits of a northern accent when trying to plead ignorance of London’s zoning system to an inspector.