We each put our hands in, and without looking, touch and feel. Coconut elephant, blazing crystal, sea-worn splinter. Marble egg, half a candle. This is something we seem to have lost, the power of simple touch, without the theories leaping out and spoiling it all. As if, left behind in the evolutionary zeal towards pure nerve, our bodies grope about in the dark, unable to function without the Broadcast propaganda from Head Office. Ok. There could be a crazed lion in the Sainsbury’s bag – florid orange, flaking – but more likely it is as it feels; a fistful of ginger – bulbous nose warts – or an earthy carrot – a soft dirty animal proboscis. Nothing to fear. Poor body, a rabbit in the headlights of the brain’s missile shower.
He says, ‘They’ve upped my pills,’ and his eyes circle in the head like fish in a whirlpool. As he says, it’s never easy. Even on holiday, the boat sinks, the hotel falls. Next door, Zumba hammerheads pulse against rap; weight-loss class.

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