Mr Lush, sporting a mid-grey double-breasted flannel suit, looking rested, freshly showered, and accurately shaven, sits down at the desk to work. He takes a sheet of paper, and fills his grandfather’s fountain pen with royal blue ink. It is not a sense of wrath or righteousness that takes hold of him as he writes down his thoughts; this is catharsis, plain and simple. The page is slowly filled with names ubiquitous in his youth and his present life. After the list is complete – one never knows what the future might hold, so he does take the precaution of attaching an extra sheet with a stapler – he walks over to the ocelot who has put on reading glasses and is engrossed in his favourite broadsheet newspaper. As Lush starts to speak, the ocelot marks the location of the sentence that has just been interrupted – a wonderfully astute and sarcastic review of the pompous new exhibition at the Fuctoria & Prince Albert Museum – with its manicured claw:
I think the list is ready, says our well-groomed hero.
How nice! The root has been recognized. Do you intend to weed it out or let it thrive without your involvement?, the animal asks through – as Mr Lush has just noticed – his great-grandfather’s grotesque semi-circular gold frames.
I’m afraid I do not possess the strength to remove them completely.
The pen is mightier than the sword! Write a short letter to your most important contacts. For the time being, I am unreachable. I am staying somewhere else in the city!, explains the spirit of pure wit and takes off the glasses.
But how do you intend to finance this project? I have no money.
I am a well-loved companion of the owner of the Catoy hotel. She has a thing for exotics, to put it bluntly – a gentleman doesn’t kiss and tell. I will have to sing again tonight. Alright, that’s it! You, pack your things! You move tomorrow and tonight you go to the address on the business card on the table. I must excuse myself”, says the ocelot having jumped up in the meantime (the writer’s humour was growing tiresome anyway). As he walks down the hall, he clears his throat and starts to sing in a charming counter-tenor.
Not a sound from the pavement
Has the moon lost her memory
She is smiling alone
In the lamplight
The withered leaves collect at my feet
And the wind begins to mo …
Grateful, Mr Lush chuckles, and beings to pack only his most precious belongings: seven suits – including two dinner suits -, and, wishing to be modest, places only 20 shirts, around 40 ties, and eight pairs of shoes in his great uncle’s leather trunk and sends out five letters (of which three will likely go unread).
A glance at the business card made of Japanese mulberry paper reveals that he is to meet with a tailor at his shop in 30 minutes. He checks the dimple of his tie in his grandmother’s Victorian wall mirror, tugs at the cuffs of his white Egyptian poplin shirt, and passes his hand through his mostly dearly departed, parted hair.
After a boring tube ride, and a short pit stop at the kiosk, he meets with the tailor.
You must be the one who…. I hope you’ve at least brought cigarettes with you, he sings as he hands Lush a tumbler of whiskey.
I have, answers Mr. Lush full of excitement at this dawn of a new era. MM