Tolerance is a counterweight against political discussion or genuine cultural contact. It maintains the polite, banal civil order and ensures that the business of de-politicised globalization forges on unimpeded.
‘Dump this. Ladies: Hands, and mouths, until I can order some replacements.’
The girls walked off in unison.
‘Assholes too, if you can find a weirdo who doesn’t mind the gap where your gap used to be.’
It night the insects. In the morning the birds. The shrill cries, their colonising shrieks. The darkness squeezed in between. Twelve years they’ve been in this place. They left everything to come here – now it’s hard to imagine having been anywhere else. It’s far too big for just the two of them, but look at this balcony that frames the tempers of the sea, the old wooden staircase that leads down to the rocks, the dense rows of pines that climb the mountainside behind them.
My lungs were grime and the clock darted between one and two in my soot-smeared vision, waiting for the last of them to arrive. There were moths, plenty of them, or were they crickets? I can’t say for sure. Whichever ones make noise. My thought counter clicked over once again. I was now in the high hundreds, three hours into my shift. I know what men want, they want real pussy.
She sat her desk and tried to write her love column but she couldn’t focus; she’d put a whole chicken – along with some sliced celery, carrots, sage, and thyme – in her broth pot a few hours earlier and it made the house smell of wintry, cosy goodness. She wanted a glass of wine. It was three in the afternoon, on a bright, cold January day.