I was next to him on the bus. He asked me where the fish market was.
I’m buying a box of red snappers and a kilo of hake, he said.
Oh, I said, that’s nice. What are snappers?
No idea, he said. I’m actually a painter and decorator.
And I’m a nurse, I said, but I’m not buying red snappers and a kilo of hake.
Well, this woman whose house I’m painting, wants the snappers for tonight and she’s laid up.
Lucky she’s got you then, I said.
I also paint properly – you know, and draw. I draw for my grandson.
He scrabbled in his pocket for a piece of paper and drew a passable representation of a fish.
But is this a red snapper? I asked.
Species unknown, he said. Could be a hake of course.
Not bad, I said.
I used to be a car mechanic, he said.
Oh, I said. What did you buy when you were a car mechanic?
Funny you should ask that, he said...