Near the ladies your blood is sticky on the carpet. The paramedics have spread out their equipment on the floor of the pool room and you’re on a stretcher, complaining they haven’t given you anything for the pain. If you looked down you’d see the splintered bone jutting out in two places through the fabric of your favourite trousers, your right shoe filled with blood. I say I’m pretty sure they have. The manager of The Sly Fox, keen to point out that the bar staff had acted responsibly, asks if you’re going to take any legal action. It’s three o’clock in the morning and all I know is that drinking makes your bones break and that the baby’s name was Alice, you think, and you don’t even know if her mother kept her and you didn’t even want her to have the baby in the first place, you two having known each other for only one night, and that you tried to stay – you really did – and how long ago it all is now and don’t look down don’t look down don’t look down.
Next day before visiting hours I take the trousers to the Japanese seamstress on Enmore Road although I know it will be six weeks until you can wear anything other than track pants over the plaster cast and metal rods. She says she can fix them for twelve dollars. I’m sceptical because the fine wool is so badly frayed but I want to believe time can be turned back for only twelve bucks. First time you wear them the tear opens straight up again and I am angry with the Japanese seamstress for selling false hope so cheaply.