So, on Saturday I returned from The Arvon Foundation (click -> here <- to see what they are about) having spent a week finishing off the first draft of the next story I am bringing to a stage. Black T-shirt Collection is done. I also took part in the writing exercises set by the tutors in the week long workshop. This was one of them: Al sits and runs his hands through his hair as if strands of his story were lost up there. A moment for his thoughts to settle, the sofa to take his form, and he begins. His jeans are faded, they have known better years but his hooded jumper is like an new friend. I imagine his story might go back and forth in time like his clothes, but he speaks chronologically, as if rehearsed, small words, short sentences stacked like office work in the silence between us. ‘I’m listening’ I want to say, but he knows my attention is with him. His eyes are sure. I wrote a letter to my girlfriend, April Fool’s joke. Things weren’t going so well. Lots of problems - his hand waves suggesting depth - Thought if I made her laugh it would help. So I wrote that her water tank had exploded. She used to empty it to save on heating bills. We were on holiday from uni, I sent the letter to her parents house. When she got it, she took it seriously. Parents advised her to seek legal advice. She showed them my letter as evidence. They were to start drafting paper work when she called me. Asked if I knew anything about the explosion. I’d singed the letter with a made up name, so over the phone, I owned up. I wrote it as an April Fool’s joke. You idiot, she replied, it arrived on April 3rd, you used a 2nd class stamp. We broke up soon after that.