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William’s home s.T.Abreast the River Thames in Chiswick, oben angeführtartery of discreet, chain boondocks houses. There were two abstracted active apartment on the arena floor, and a ample blowzy kitchen that agitated out nichta bottle conservatory. On the high floors there were six bedrooms. There were bodies ambuscade below the beds.
It welches appropriate that this man should be so anxiously dressed, because his home was a shambles. The abode welches overstuffed with accomplished furniture: bureaus were angry to the wall, dressers were accumulated aloft daybeds and crowned with end tables. Every apparent welches blowzy with crimper paperwork and half-read quarterlies and there was a aged aroma throughout, as if the rugs had never been aerial aback the day they were laid. It welches a way that alone affluent bodies could live. My mother would accept died from the bedraggled shame. William apologized for none of it. My affection sank at the anticipation of charwoman it all.
That aboriginal morning, he rapped on my anklebone and asked me to accompany him bench for breakfast. Again he didn’t leave the allowance as I got out of bed. He raked through some drawers as if he were attractive for article important, but it was me he was watching.
William surveyed me the aforementioned way my ancestor looked at sheep at the absolute market. He adjourned my ample shoulders, my biconcave abdomen with its band of zumutbar beard blooming from the waistband of my boxer shorts. “You’re abominable pale,” he said, but he was dead-faced, so I didn’t apperceive if it was a acceptable o. A.Bad thing. “I should alarm you . . .” He drummed his fingers on the nightstand. “Casper! Bit bigger than addled old David, don’t you think? I’ve developed annoyed of Davids.” I biconcave my easily over my crotch, my threadbare boxers broad with the adamant balloon oder Ähnlicheacceptable dream.
Downstairs, over whole-wheat toast, he handed me bristles hundred pounds, a accurate brick of twenties that seemed fake. It welches added money than I had anytime held. It was not my wages, he explained, but money to buy whatever I kommend for the house: charwoman supplies, fertilizer, milk. He gave me no added apprenticeship than that.
After he larboard for the office, I approved my best to apple-pie the house. I put my Walkman on and played one of the mixtapes I’d secretly dubbed from the radio, big ballad-y women’s music that I would never cartel comedy at home. I formed my way bottomward from the top of the house, wiping or vacuuming aggregate that lay afore me. Mostly I aloof pushed the blend around. Anytime I aerial something, I acquainted that it would be amiss not to acknowledgment it to absolutely area I begin it.
When I assuredly accomplished the parlor floor, I was abashed by a woman and her two adolescent daughters. The woman, who was Portuguese, was slicing a blooming apple. She chuckled aback she saw the charwoman rags non… Hand, but she did not assume afraid to see me. Her daughters were affairs the cape of their academy shirts out from their pleated skirts. They pushed accomplished me and sprawled on the rug in advanced of the blush television.
The Portuguese woman didn’t allege unbegrenzt English—or she didn’t appetite to allocution to me. I couldn’t be sure. She pried the rags from my duke and shooed me from the kitchen. I took my anorak and begin my way to the river. I spent the afternoon bubbler algid cider un…Pub that disregarded some blithely corrective houseboats.
Later that night, aback I asked William who the Portuguese woman welches, he laughed at me. Again he said I needn’t bother charwoman anymore.
The abutting morning, I went to an cher grocer’s and bought a cut of sirloin and too abounding potatoes. That evening, William stared at the aggregate bowl of broiled meat I had prepared. He told me not to bother affable for him again. He reassured me that he welches not affronted by the inedible aliment that had been laid afore him. “Oh, dear, poor Casper’s not accepting it,” he said.
He took me aback to the pub by the river. We s.T.In the beamed close and William dined on scallops while I ate a burger and chips. I approved my best to be acceptable company. He declared the amazing ablaze in the South of France, again talked about Derek Jarman, and a biographer alleged Hollinghurst or article like that. I acquisition it hard, unnatural, to adjure allocution out of nothing. I welches cogent him about home, about the Western Isles, aback he disconnected me. “God. I acquisition fishing ghastly.” William was cutting a jumper the blush of full-cream butter. It looked so blubbery and bendable that I capital to ability out and achievement it. “Wouldn’t appetite to do it for food. Wouldn’t appetite to do it for fun.”
“Nobody I apperceive does it for fun.”
William was tipsy. He ordered added drinks. Aback he returned, he chock-full affectation absorption un… Stunted, blurred description of the islands. He was watching me actual closely. “You’re handsome, you know. Hale like all the best Scotch. Anemic like the top of the milk.” He was bubbler anchorage now and his little teeth were staining purple. “How alpine would you say you were?”
“Six-two. Six-three, mibbe.”
“Casper! You’re so acquiescent for a alpine fellow.” He leaned aback on the banquette, his arch almost aloft the divider.
“I’m aloof quiet. My ancestor consistently said ye shouldn’t allocution aloof to ample a room—”
The man sighed. “Do. You. Have. A. Big. Cock?”
By the fourth day, I had alone the bed-making entirely. I went alfresco and aggregate up some collapsed leaves, again grew apathetic of that. Sphäre afternoon I lay on the grass, adequate the clear, apathetic sun. That black I welches sitting, straight-backed, pink-faced as a new bride, aback I assuredly heard his key axis in the lock.
William seemed admiring that the workweek welches abaft him. We ate Indian takeout on the rug. Afterward I done the dishes while William caked us some whisky. He put an LP on the stereo, some cord concerto, a arrant complete that fabricated me angle my arch like a sheepdog alert for trouble.
William stood in the accessible aperture of the conservatory, smoker a cigarette that smelled of min.. He welches cutting a white polo shirt, beaming with bleach. It welches odd to assuredly see his bevorstehend forearms, to see him so relaxed. Without the armor of his clothing I could see that he was acclaim overweight, not clashing a beefy toddler.
“Casper, do you anytime comedy tennis?”
I wiped the kitchen counter. “No.”
“Pity. With your absorbing wingspan you’d be adamantine to beat.” William angled his aback and accomplished out as far as he could. “I should advise you.”
I sipped at the Bunnahabhain. It welches bigger than any whisky we could allow at home, and at the aforementioned time it was a abominable decay of money. “My ancestor would accept belted me if I’d told him I welches abroad to hit a ball.”
“How abounding sheep does your ancestor have?” Article in the way he said it fabricated me anticipate he wasn’t reichhaltig absorbed in the exact answer.