Figure XIII

July 6, 2006

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“So what are you up to today?” Laura asks putting her things into her bag.

“I thought I might go down to the library, maybe see Richard in the afternoon.” replies Steve from over the top of his book.

“You will ring about that job?”

“Yes, of course.”

“It looks good, doesn’t it?”

“Yes–”

“Right up your street.”

“Yes, probably.”

“I think it looks great.”

He puts the book down in his lap and smiles at her. “It’s okay, I am going to ring them.”
She smiles too.

“Do you want me to drop you off some lunch in the shop when I’m done at the library?” he asks her, picking the book up again.

“If it’s not a problem.”

“It won’t be. What would you like?”

“Oh I don’t know… you pick. You always know better than me.” She laughs, it has become a running joke between them, but there is truth in it too. Sometimes she feels that Steve knows her far better than she feels she knows herself. “Right… I’m going to be late.”

She walks over to where he is sitting and kisses him on the forehead glancing down to see what he is reading, and then she is gone, out of the room leaving him alone in the quiet attic. He sits there for some minutes, having listened to her feet descend the staircase, the front door slam, the words on the page not moving, not making sense. Then he lays the book down on his lap and gets to his feet and prepares to leave the house himself.

Figure VIII

June 30, 2006

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Above the coffee cups and crumpets, between the chimes of the half hour, through the hazy scent of flowers cut from the garden; conversation is exchanged. Nancy brings the teapot through from the kitchen. Rupert, the salesman, describes a consignment of ladies wigs that has just arrived at the depot;

“Beautiful styles, they are Nancy, really tip-top–”

And the artist, Anita, awaits the arrival of an envelope of bad news as she has done all the week. It is through these vignettes of life that our story shall be told. Through the snatched glimpses of incident and waiting, through the momentary struggles and unimportant meals of tea and toast; all shall be documented, recorded, reported and sketched.

“And for the first time they’ve produced the Enchantment range in bruised apricot. I’ve always said that the Enchantment was deserving of bruised apricot.”

“Do any women really still wear wigs these days?” asks Laura, one of the students.

“Wigs never go out of fashion.” Rupert replies and is about to enter into his sales patter, ready to dive into the pool of familiar rhythms and rippling cadences, its proud boasts of how another look might be achieved in a matter of minutes, and these wigs are an investment – classic styles that will never look tired… when the attention of the room is taken from him by the sudden appearance of Ernest in the doorway.

Figure V

June 26, 2006

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…two students…