That friend whose photo is stuck up on the cupboard. Who had been dead for no more than six months. She was good-looking but everyone who knew her describes her as ‘beautiful’. Maybe it was something you had to see in person. In conversation, her name would come up, but if you ever asked a question about her, all these clichés would sally back. She lit up a room. She wasn’t afraid of anything. She was one in a million. This from poets and writers and people who really, really thought about language. Does death have a causal relationship with cliché? She looks out at you from her elevated position, blu-tacked to the cupboard door that closes over the glasses, and despite the fact you know it’s wrong, you’re just a little jealous that she was superhuman, exquisite and a kind of immortal.
The top left-hand corner of the picture curls and there’s been a flick of liquid at some point. The photo’s coating is starting to deteriorate.
But in sweeps one of her ex-boyfriends, the tails on his frock coat flying out behind him as he waltzes you out of the kitchen, into the hubbub in the courtyard.