Clive settles back into bed with the newspaper, reaches for his coffee, just made, piping hot. There’s something floating in it, a small black thing, the size of a flea. Or a coffee ground. But which? This is life, he thinks. Not knowing, not being able to tell. You can spot the difference between sadness and euphoria, but what about the dangerous and the benign? How does he know if the pain in his back is a bit of swelling from moving furniture or cancer? Or whether the expensive Danish Blue that wasn’t put in the fridge as soon as he got back from shopping will turn out to be off or not? (So hard to say with cheese, he thinks.) Or whether his daughter’s new boyfriend is a creep or just a moron? How can he know? He can’t be bothered getting out of bed again to deal with the small black thing, so he chances it. That’s all you can do, Clive thinks, and he takes a swig of his coffee and turns the page to check the weather. There is something very comforting about a synoptic chart. Yes there is.


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