We sat in the kitchen for our writerly discussion. He held a sheaf of A4 paper, covered in typescript while I was armed with my favourite pen and my kitchen reading glasses. I slid them onto my nose, squinting around the scratches and food smudges. Two mugs of tea and a plate of just baked flapjacks sat on the table between us. They were still warm and a faint smell of golden syrup rose comfortingly. He took one and crunched it enthusiastically.
'Life is like a flapjack', he mused through a mouthful of damply moulded oats. 'Sweet, often sticky, surprisingly difficult to swallow...' He paused and coughed slightly. 'And if you take too big a slice, it can choke you.'
I nodded and sipped my tea, mentally preparing myself for the kind of discussion which tends to give me indigestion. I silently congratulated myself on choosing peppermint tea - good for soothing troubled intestines.
'My point is,' he continued, 'that in the end, everything comes down to sustenance.' He got up and sauntered over to the worktop. He prised open the tin containing banana bread. I watched as, not bothering with knife or plate, he broke off a chunk and popped it in his mouth.
'It's very moist,' he commented, returning to his chair. 'Now, about my writing.' He pushed the papers towards me and I set down my mug of tea, in order to give it my full attention. Five minutes later I was still reading and he was over by the fruit bowl. He came back munching on a crisp apple and slid into his seat again. 'Good for cleaning the teeth,' he explained between mouthfuls. But I barely heard him. Beautiful writing had wrapped itself around me. Words entwining seductively with my consciousness, phrases embracing my thoughts.
If I was an agent or a publisher, I thought, I'd sign him up on the spot. I finished the piece and looked at him over the top of my glasses.
'It's very good,' I said. 'Really good.' Tears threatened and I cleared my throat, feeling ridiculous, knowing I should say something else.
He threw his apple core in the bin.
'Glad you like it,' he said. 'Mind if I make some toast?' I shook my head, glancing back at his work, feeling the delicious pull of creative talent. I smiled at him as he sliced bread and found butter and Marmite. He smiled back.
Then he sniffed appreciatively and gestured in the direction of the oven.
'What's for dinner?' he asked.
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