Karaoke Machine – £10
I send him out to buy the food for Sunday lunch and he comes back with a karaoke machine. It was only £10 he says. A bargain he says. It was £10 because it only plays cassettes. I’ll dig out my old cassingles he says. A real bargain he says. Then he disappears up the loft. I can hear him moving boxes; sifting through his clutter while I try to make Sunday lunch for his mother with some dried pasta and the limp remnants of the salad drawer.
He emerges covered in dust and with wisps of fibreglass clinging to his donkey jacket. The large box he is carrying clunks and clicks as the tapes in it shuffle about. I open the box and take two off the top. The Key, The Secret by Urban Cookie Collective and Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good) by Rozalla. Christ I say. Haven’t you got anything that isn’t shit? I say. He just shrugs and grins like a constipated bonobo. Because I’m not sure your mum is a big fan of 90’s dance music I say.
His mother practically chokes on my pasta bake. I’d never have thought of using lettuce as a vegetable she says. She flicks through a copy of Closer as she eats. I can’t stay long she says. Lewis is on at eight she says. She waits for me to offer to put the TV on. I’ll drop dead first. I pour myself a large glass of wine. Well, this is nice she says. The karaoke machine sits untouched in the corner of the room, its price tag still hanging from a piece of string tied to the inside of the tape mechanism.