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some old bullshit

TIN MAN PALLY

“Oh,” I said. I was looking in the carrier bag Enrique had handed me, the one that contained tins. Enrique, who for the second time in a week, had knocked on my door. I hoped he wasn’t going to make a habit of it. He’d knocked on the door and I opened it and he wordlessly thrust a carrier bag towards me. For a split second I thought he was thrusting a headless goose at me. It wasn’t, it was a plastic bag and I looked in it and said, “oh.”
“You’re welcome,” he replied.
“Yeah,” I said. I guess I was. I continued to look into the bag. I could see one tin contained macedoine (chopped vegetables)
Enrique looked around, lent towards me, looked around again and then announced, “chu look after me and I… after look…”
“…”
Enrique had another go. “Chu look after me,” he said. He pointed to himself on the ‘me’. “And then… me? No. I look. No. I look after. No, chu look after I? No. I look…”
That was enough. “I look after you,” I said, “and you look after me,” I told him, patting my chest, but that didn’t sound right either. Better than gobshite’s effort though. 
“Si, I look after…”
“Me.”
“Me look after chu and chu… no.”
“No. you, you,” I said pointing at him. “You look after me,” I pointed at me and… I’d forgotten where I was. “What did I just say then?”
“Chu look after me.”
“That’s right, you look after me and I, I look after you.”
“Si, I look after chu and…”
“You.”
“Chu look after me.”
“Yeah.”
“I look after chu, chu look after me.”
“That’s it.”
“I look after chu, chu look after me,” he said, faster this time.
“You’ve got it!” I watched as he repeated the phrase in his head. I’d given Enrique a load of medication. Stuff I’d found at the dump, and this was payback. Enrique stood straight and again looked around, then, instead of leaving he rubbed his nose.
“Well, cool,” I said nodding into the bag and then at Enrique. I’d found the handle holes of the carrier bag and was holding it that way although Enrique hadn’t been carrying the bag like that. He’d carried it like it was a goose and he’d been holding its neck. Like a hobo would carry a carrier bag. Or a goose.
“Der’s fish. S’not cheap, man!” said Enrique, nodding slowly and leaning on my door frame.
“Is there? fish?” I asked, my eyebrows raised, opening the bag and having a polite look in, I couldn’t see any fish but I nodded. “Sweet,” I told him.
“I get dem from work.”
“Oh, where do you work?”
“Spar Limited.” He pronounced limited, ‘lee-mee-teed.’
“The one by the hospital?”
“No, no, all of dem.”
“Cool,” I said.
“Heh, they bit dented.” said Enrique.
“Bah, who cares, eh? Still good.”
“We like, er, friends, eh?”
“Yeah, we are a bit,” I said.
“Chu Joey,” said Enrique, nodding at me.
“You’re Chandler then,” I said and smiled. He wasn’t fucking Chandler. I was Chandler. And Joey.
“Could I BE any more…” said Enrique. He’d been smiling when he started saying that. He wasn’t when he finished mid sentence. He was sort of wincing. It was painful. Once again I stepped in to save the day.
“Hey, I’m-a-Joey, Imma eat alla these tins a food!” I said, wagging my head. Enrique laughed and nodded. 
“Joey,” he said pointing at me. “Could I BE anymore…” Oh for fuck’s sake. I’d given him an out but he didn’t take it. He was like an animal you’d rescue from a tree only for it to run straight back up the tree.
“Could you be anymore… in a white suit!” I said in an American accent.
“Could I BE anymore in a whi’ suit?” asked Enrique.
“No, you couldn’t.” I confirmed and Enrique cracked up laughing. When he’d stopped we stood there, smiling at each other.  “Hey, which one, chu kn-“
“Rachel.”
“Si, si.”
“Thanks for the this!” I said, lifting up the bag whose handles were beginning to cut into my hand. “The tins,” I said. 
“Hey, chu look after-“
“Yeah alright,” I said cutting him off. I was missing Masterchef Australia. I’d paused it but the longer I didn’t watch it the worse the knock-on effect to the rest of my evening’s TV viewing was going to be. I could make up some time by fast-forwarding advertisements, perhaps all the time, but still. “Cheers, eh?” I said and went inside as Enrique went up the stairs, two at a time. I put the tins in the cupboard and true to his word there was a tin of red salmon among them. They looked pretty good in the cupboard, the tins, sort of made the flat more of a home. I put the fish on its own side of the cupboard. The fish side.