‘I saw this documentary once,’ Jimmy was saying, his eyes still on the far horizon. ‘About a bloke who had the front bit of his brain removed. The hippo … hippa … something. Anyway, meant he had no short-term memory. Fascinating it was. To him, every day was like a new day, like the previous day hadn’t –’
‘Is this going anywhere, Jimmy?’
Tommy lifted his elbow, but Jimmy gave him the “hold fire” stare. As they swapped facial tics, I peeked at my watch. It was nearly quarter to six. Time and tide wait for no man, and my plan was already underwater.
‘If you were to shut the fuck up now and then, Eddie’ said Jimmy, ‘you might learn something.’
‘About your condition. You’ve got the same affliction as that bloke.’
‘I don’t think so. It’s more likely to be all these blows to my head. Not that I’m name calling.’ I risked a glance at Tommy, but there was no reaction. Unless I actually mentioned him by name I guessed he’d be none the wiser.
‘No,’ said Jimmy. He tilted his forehead and tapped a finger against his front lobe. ‘It’s this that’s missing.’
‘Now you’re confusing me with Tommy.’
Jimmy laughed. Tommy ground his elbow into my rib cage.
‘Leave him, Tom,’ commanded Jimmy. ‘He’s just havin’ a bit of sport, the tinker.’ He fiddled with his quiff in the mirror. ‘Let him play his little games, it’ll be our turn soon. Difference being we like extreme sports, don’t we, Tom?’
Tommy lifted his chin and smiled.
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