Saturday, 1 May 2004

Man of Letters

Seem him before in Starbucks at Angel on a Monday night. Beige anorak, very thick bottle-bottom tortoiseshell glasses which enlarge his eyes. In Tinderbox he reveals himself to be a man of letters.

He's carrying a document wallet filled with correspondence. Letters carefully arranged so as not to slide around, still in their envelopes. From behind he pulls out a stack of white paper and unhooks one of the green pental rollerball pens (my father used to use these at work before the invention of the Pilot Hi-tech) and starts replying to one in a large scrawling hand with big flamboyant loops under the Gs and the Ys. He's drinking espresso. He favours small white envelopes common in personal correspondence, rarely seen in offices (too many folds required), and blue second class stamps.

He writes solidly until he reaches the bottom of both his espresso and the page. Then he slips everything back into the document wallet, rehooks the pental pen onto the pocket and leaves.

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