At the bathhouse, I smile at a man in the changing area. I’ve come out of the sauna to get a cup of water. He’s sitting on a small white towel, on the bench next to the fan. We start to talk. He’s sixty-two. He tells me that he has found love recently. ‘It came into my life, just like that,’ he says. He asks me about my love life, whether I am with a partner or not. I tell him, but what I say isn’t quite the truth: ‘Yes, I’m with someone,’ and then he asks me how long … Continue reading Bathhouse

The Ministry Man (excerpt)

Of course, I was just holding out for adventure. I had a filmic view of the world, taken from watching movies on television with my mother. I tended to leave the room before the endings—I dreaded the sudden shift from film-world to reality. So I learned to love the snatches more than the whole. To my mother’s ‘don’t you want to know the ending?’ one evening, the answer was a definite no. I drew cigarette smoke deep into my lungs, felt it surge and lift, and watched the man make his way across the car park towards where I stood. … Continue reading The Ministry Man (excerpt)