Hi Katia. Yes, I got your email. Jesus, Kat, that wasn't what I meant, not even slightly. My fifty-second lover? Did you really believe I meant that? Only you could love (could have loved) me. Jeez, Kat, I do use a mirror to shave. I know what I look like. That was just me, trying to be funny and shooting myself in the foot. So now I look like Gerard Depardieu in drag AND I limp.
It started raining when you left. It's still raining. I've picked up some kind of bug, too and I can't stop coughing. Yes, I've had my aspirins and some whisky, but I really feel like shit. You didn't poison me, did you? Really, I was only joking.
Oh, before I forget, if you haven't cashed that cheque, you need to do it ASAP. I haven't been out of the house since so there can't be an awful lot in the bank.
Since you left I keep waking up really early in the morning, and trust me the world is pretty shitty at 4AM. Then there are the dreams. Three nights ago you were on the rim of a volcano, balancing there, looking down into the fires of Hell, and then over, across at me and shouting," Fifty-TWO? Fifty-fucking-TWO? You bastard!"
The other one is you and me at Barry Island (remember Barry, Kat, that hotel?) We are walking along the esplanade and all these seagulls start attacking us and you say it's my fault. There are all these birds screaming, screeching and everywhere is cold and stinks of fish and chips.
But it's the dream I had this morning that is really getting me. I woke again at 4 A.M. panicking as if I was desperate to remember something very important. Then I felt a pain in my chest and I looked down and there was a silver door there. It was locked and I didn't have a key. How could I check I had a heart if I had no key?
I was sitting up. I started scrabbling around, looking for this key and then you were there, grinning, waving the key and you said, "You can stop looking now, Sherlock!"
The trouble is, Kat, I'm awake now and the door to my heart is still there but it's all seized up. I can move on, Kat; I will move on. I'm going to go to China and the US. (I shall play my harp in Times Square, read Proust to stray cats in Beijing.) but as long as this door is here and locked, I'm really buggered.
So, cash that cheque, yes? Soonest, and please, bring the key round?
I think I could do anything, once I've been checked out. Maybe I'll go to the moon. Did you know they are looking for volunteers to settle on Mars? It's a one-way trip, something to do with too long in space and weightlessness and stuff.
Kat', I'm sorry, it was just a bad joke. Not fifty-two, just the one other, but we were never that close