Angelica ordered the pappardelle with sea urchin and cauliflower. Sebastian plumped for ballotine of duck liver with sour cherry and pistachio. He didn’t have much of an appetite. I like your new beard, said Angelica, and fluttered some eyelashes. It’s a necessity, said Sebastian. I have stress acne and it makes shaving a rather bloody affair. Yuk, grimaced Angelica, and summoned a waiter. This is ghastly, she said. Get rid of it and bring me something that’s not what they give Old MacDonald’s pigs. Okey-dokey, said the waiter, and skateboarded away to the kitchens. How’s Mona? asked Angelica. Beats me, grumped Sebastian, I haven’t seen her for several days and her telephone seems to be out of order, or her answering machine’s broken, and she must have mislaid her mobile again. It goes to voicemail all the time. The waiter returned and plonked a dish down in front of Angelica. What’s this? she asked. It’s difficult to say, said the waiter, but my guess is some kind of stew. Oh smashing, I like stew, said Angelica. Yumma-yumma. Ta ever so. Sebastian watched as she vanished the possibly some kind of stew, and it occurred to him that her lady-shape was reminiscent of a city described in a book he had read — what was the writers name? He could not remember — which to look upon reminded one of a perfect musical score where not a note can be altered or displaced. You remind me of music, he said. I melt, said Angelica, and duly slipped off her chair and formed a puddle on the floor.



Conrad Titmuss










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