Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The odd couple.

I am away on a research visit.

I share the office with a Russian so bent and hawk-nosed that with sufficient speed and incentive to inhale I could give the room a thorough vacuuming.

The office is not cold. I arrive early and prop the door open with the remains of a chair. The Russian arrives. There is an awkward pause while he surveys the new arrangement.

"Do you want it like that?" he asks.

"Yes, if you don't mind."

He shuffles toward the door. "We can do it like this." he says. His dry twig fingers flake and crack as he acts out his idea of compromise. He drops the latch, so the door will not lock. And then he closes it.

Two weeks of this left.

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