Thursday 23 August 2018


A man read my book about me and wrote

‘Sometimes there’s too much detail in this

book and sometimes there isn’t enough’ and

I thought about the things in my life that are

very detailed, which I had mentioned like the

fact that I liked the sound of a blues harmonica,

being played over an electric guitar, so

maybe that was too detailed for him, or was it

the fact that a man called Jimmy looked out

at the lights in Hatch End station when he was

talking to me? That was also very detailed. And

then I thought about things where it wasn’t

detailed. Would that have been that I hadn’t

mentioned the colour of my brother’s hair? Or

was it that I didn’t describe the windows in my

secondary school? The more I thought about

these things, the more confused and worried

I got, thinking of the man reading my book,

saying as each page went by, ‘Too detalied!’

and ‘Not detailed enough!’ and I imagined him

with a lover and the lover saying, ‘Really? Oh

dear. How annoying. That is poor’ because

lovers can be very supportive like that, particularly

when you’re reading a book, though if you had

just had a row, you can imagine that a lover

might just act contrary and whenever he said,

‘Oh god, not enough detail’ the lover said, ‘Well

isn’t that you? Never satisfied with what you’ve

got. What do you want him to tell you, where he

was on the night of April 3rd 1954?’

And he would say, ‘Why don’t you respect my

judgement on things? Whenever I express an

opinion you jump down my throat like I don’t

know what I’m talking about...’ and it could all

get quite nasty very quickly.