Over Benito’s

She didn’t like his new hair, or absence of it.  He had an ugly skull.  They began to compare head shapes.  He couldn’t win.

“You are descended from the Normans.  Cold, brutish.  The Normans themselves were Vikings.  That slender, tapering skull is distinctly Norman.”

He said nothing.  She wouldn’t let him feel her head shape.

That evening they ate chicken.  It wasn’t a particularly good chicken.  It was a battery chicken and skinny.  She had cooked roast potatoes but they were feeble, soggy and dripping with fat.

He said nothing.

“I am going to have a tattoo tomorrow,” she said.  “I’m meeting Paula at ten outside The Lamb.”

“Is she having one?”  He wiped some fat from his cheek.

“Is she having one?  No. Two.  She’s having a hammer and sickle.  I’m having a star.”

“Where?”

“At a place over Benito’s.”

“No, I meant where on your body?”

“You’ll see,” she said.

The next evening he did the cooking.

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