The secret life of veal

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  • Published 20100302
  • ISBN: 9781921520860
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

SHE STRUCK ME as attractive in a certain way, the way the head of a well-made axe can be attractive, hard angles matched to a purpose. She talked about modelling, though she never called herself a model. She said her name was Destiny, though when I finally saw her student card it said Carmel and had a picture of someone less harsh who she had once been or at least resembled. She told lies, but I knew she would, and I told plenty myself.

I met her at an art exhibition in a condemned house in New Farm, near the park. I had seen something about it on a flyer on a power pole and my run of luck had been predictably terrible, so I thought I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. I was recently single and had come to accept that I deserved every bit of it, with the exception of the irritating behaviour of my parents, who never stopped making comfort food, who kept Norah Jones on repeat and who told each other, more often than they needed to, that her music ‘transcends generations’. My mother’s phrase, and our first fight after I moved back in with them.

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FictionThe first time we were here it was just the two of us, Lindsey and me. We stayed at the Chelsea and I got my hair cut there by a hairdresser who had done Dee Dee Ramone’s that morning. Nothing unusual in that. She’d cut his hair for years, she told me. I never discovered if it was true or not. I wanted it to be true. Dee Dee’s hair was no fixed thing though.... Johnny’s was the iconic Ramones hair, so that’s the cut I got. No one at home had that. And Johnny threw his hair forward when he stabbed at his guitar, as if hair could be another weapon.

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