Rich at the bus stop - meeting over, done, and the committee bastards, shame on them, why should they cut the staff. Sure, lucky this time, but what about next year? Lecturers are waiting to go outside, hands on head, gun-prodded he felt, selfish dick, me, monetary nightmares are everywhere. Soggy books under arm, the weight and expectation a cricket bat it could have been, the bristles on Rich's forearm wet and unmannish, like a boy coming out of the sea. At least a woman is in the life, right now, a woman, and them really together. The little house, stay with the little house. Long drag, ash careful it doesn't wreck the lady's handbag. Try and think up some cute stuff and not the bills or in-laws. Already darkening, danker by the sec. And when he makes it through the front door tonight will it smell familiar? Washing powder; in some rooms and on gloves from that Boxing Day fixture, stale beer? No she loved her cleaning, sure thing, ambitious but. Incendiary as he could be - no - she wanted him for keeps all the same that was for sure. Have a coke now. Drop of sweat or rain ran off tip of Rich's nose, dripped one drip onto the burning cig Rich had finished smoking - the flame orangey in the gutter - put it out, there there it was okay, rewarding inhale, testy headrush, and you could get on with the day if you were Rich now. If it was so easy to write all that stream-of-consciousness babble, why the Booker? Why not just pack it in, Kelman and co? No it. No: what more was there? Fuck, didn't open the can properly, metal pricking finger for a sec, coke all over unsteady hands. Anxious man, anxious man, anxious anxious man, Rich. Smart man in a suit looks exhausted, looks at Rich thinking all the spiteful and ungrateful things public transport and waiting and prejudice exhale. Not his fault, job sure, but not a good man on first impression. Rich knew a thing or two about not being a good man: from books, and from letting lovely persons down.
Standing up all straight and that, Rich thought fuck the bastards, the committee lot, intimidating, and the boring bus stop rivals, and if it was raining he didn't notice because the whole time there was the thought of her.