On attending a funeral conducted by the deceased


I write continuously: it’s like a disease that I’ve been infected with since primary school days. It doesn’t matter if no-one reads it – well, it does really but, if you’re a scribe, you just keep going. Every now and then someone says they like what you’ve done. Mostly, they ignore you. Tim Pepin, to my knowledge, never read anything I’d put on paper. Nonetheless, two offices down from me at work, he somehow discovered that I wanted to publish a book about life in Provence. I have no idea how that happened. My job had little to do with his.

My book was nearly finished but, like everything else I’d written, I thought nothing would come of it. Tim took the project in hand – I didn’t even know it was a project. He formatted my book – what does that mean? He made a cover – extended online discussions regarding the apposite shade of green. Then, unexpectedly, he sent me an email to say the book was published on Amazon.

I wanted to pay him. He didn’t want money. I insisted and he asked for a Terry’s chocolate orange. I purchased a basket full of chocolate oranges and hid ten pound notes within. He was furious, but Felix had just been born so I was able to persuade him to buy something for his son.

I don’t know who Tim was. When you talk to others, he seems like some being that’s been temporarily placed amongst us to move things on. Today, I felt as if he’d arranged his own funeral. It was disturbing but with Tim, you never knew when it was time to be serious.


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