I find myself staying at Jayne L’s 3 room apartment. It is split over 3 floors. She has a black labrador that spends its time sleeping, quite happily, in the bathroom. “It stops him and the cats fighting,” she says. She has 3 cats: 2 old and mangy and fox-coloured and one, tiny black and white. It is really the cats that start on the dog.
Hester L also comes to visit and we 3 sit around the kitchen table chatting and drinking tea and reading aloud old love letters. We all wear bedclothes: t-shirts and pants and knee length socks, crumpled, old men’s shirts that have seen better days (or nights). We discuss all the between-the-lines of the love letters. I look at Hester in her horn-rimmed glasses and Jayne with her hair piled on her head and we all rub along pretty well. But the gas runs out and then the lightbulb flickers and that goes as well. There are spiders webbing the bulb.
Richard M has a pet monkey. He calls it Pyramid Witch.
Kelly H is a big film star in Germany during the late 1930s. She sunbathes on the banks of the Oder on a tartan blanket. Her little dog, Bruno, sleeps at her side. Despite large dark glasses and her brow shadowed by the vast brim of a big, floppy hat, she is unmistakeable. The tourist boats pass up and down the river and an amplified voice from one of them announces “…and here, here, if you look to the right, here is the star of the screen. Please be quiet, she is sleeping!”