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Every morning Sarah
The other week, late at night, two boys standing on a porch threw a stone that hit the back of my skull. I wonder if that stone ended up any the wiser.


October 28, 2005

Every morning Sarah, the Nigerian woman who lives downstairs with her little boy shouts at him and wakes me up. When my washing machine leaked the other week (the man who installed it was busy asking about my contacts in the Iranian copper industry), she was perfectly polite. For three days she tolerated drips through her ceiling and all I got was a note through my door.

In the next few days her shouting seemed to intensify. The previous occupant of my apartment had invited Sarah around for tea. She said the boy – whose name one rarely hears – was barely allowed to speak. Sarah is bringing her son up the ‘strong’ way. But her method is flawed. At the very least he may go deaf.

The other week, late at night, two boys standing on a porch threw a stone that hit the back of my skull. In a film I might have executed them, but we were not so I walked on. In Persian when your head “hits a stone” sense is knocked into it. I wonder if that stone ended up any the wiser.

The other night I got off a bus in Camberwell High Street, one of London’s least glamorous, with Phil, a friend. A short, scrawny man stopped by. “You want sex?” he said. “Yes”, I wanted to reply, “but not from you”. I joked with Phil about which of us he had meant to address (surely him). I was curious to know how much he ­­charged for implanting a wart up one’s rectum. But a salesman’s a salesman, show interest and next thing you’ve bought that Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Earlier in Bar Italia, a coffee shop in London’s Soho, populated by clubbers necking an espresso and perhaps each other before moving on, a man who looked in his fifties got talking to me, close up.  He appeared to assume that my female companion was not a partner and that I was her gay friend. I have long suspected that if I were bisexual, it would only double my chances of staying single.

I tidied my new apartment up the other week. Soon I will buy a sink that works and clean the fridge, although I’ve decided not to change the string the toilet flush is attached to (a guest broke it months back). It’s a bright white piece of rope from a posh shopping bag. I guess I’m rather attached to. It’ll wear off.

Last year I lived with a friend who would buy anything the supermarket offered two for one; didn’t matter what: shampoo, frankfurters, dog food. I recently went mad myself on Charmin loo roll. I think that’s a great brand name and think of that huggy bear every time.

The washing machine eventually got fixed. I shouted at a man down the phone after he said “next week”. I rarely yell and feel someone should give me a star when I do. I didn’t even know Iran had a copper industry.

For letters section
To Peyvand Khorsandi

Peyvand Khorsandi



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