Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Near Neighbours by Gordon Legge (Jonathan Cape 1998)

Adam switched off the motor.

'Oh,' said Geordie, 'you're back again.'

'Back to listen to you and your blethers, aye.'

'By God, see if I was a younger man - I'd take my hand off your face before you could say Gazza. I've battered bigger than you, mind. Plenty bigger.'

Aye, I think I mind you telling me - hundreds of times.'

Geordie was the type as would probably be quite happy if Adam were to headbutt. He'd live off it for years. 'Aye,' he'd tell folk, 'just right in front of my face. What a mess it was and all. Blood and brains all over the shop. Never get that cleaned. That's what the polis said. Said to me, "Geordie," they said, "long as you live, and as hard as you try, you'll never get that cleaned."'

Adam replaced the seat. 'Well, want to give it a go, auld yin?'

Geordie made to get up. He adjusted his legs. He adjusted his legs like they were artificial. To all intents and purposes, they were.

(From the short story, 'Past Masters'.)

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