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Visitation

Archie's boss Al came round to visit on Thursday, and got the full 'house' treatment. Hopefully this won't effect Archie's employment future. Hell, Al knows a whole bunch of our peer-group, so dysfunctional relationships can't be a closed book to him. This began when Archie mailed me at work just before I left, begging me to come home soon and invite some other people over as well, as Al had been there since lunchtime and Archie was running out of small-talk. I called Neal, Jeremy and Damian who know Al from when he lived in Oxford, and we distracted him while they were on their way with a heady mix of chit-chat, sarcasm and the psychological torture of Lorna. He seemed to rather enjoy himself. Tanaqui, too, turned up in a fairly good mood, though she buggered off when we went to the pub for food.

The evening culminated in the living room back home, as we drank wine or tea and chatted. I was gratified by Jeremy's comment that my hair and perpetually unlaced boots made me look like a cartoon character, though this fed an unnerving fear that I suffer from occasionally (at work, where my understimulated brain scrabbles frantically for any distraction) that I wouldn't necessarily know if I was two dimensional (which I now think may be me trying to alert myself to the fact that I am actually more than 3D). The evening looked set to conclude in this pleasant, rambling vein, but this was not to be...

The tone changed dramtically when Lorna announced her intention of going to bed, and I took this as a cue to finally explain to her that, thanks to Archie, I knew where my missing tea towel had gone i.e. into a hole in her wall to stop slugs from coming into her room. Picture, if you will, Lorna's sudden, guilt-ridden expression, her muttering of "shit" over and over again, her attempts to cower into the limited cover afford by her erstwhile torturer Archie, and the non-plussed faces of our poor guests as they realised that they had come for a harmless reunion with an old friend, but were now witnessing the culmination of a campaign of psychological warfare, pursued solely for want of anything better to do by two emotionally-stunted sadists against their helpless, spindly, mentally-ill housemate over a slightly manky tea towel. I think that the three of us, with a little help from the others, managed to sustain an admirably fraught emotional pitch for a good few minutes before Lorna retired, broken, to lick her wounds in her room; leaving Archie and I to wind the evening down and see our guests off. I wonder if any of them will visit again?

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oxfordhacker
Drifting in and out of consciousness

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