Therese, soprano from college days, fresh from an audition. Hair clipped back with diamanté treble clefs; turquoise chintz pinafore dress, six roseate scarves, fake Swarovski bangles. Ideal for that Disneyland kibbutz.
'Is that a library score?' she asked me on a top c flat.
'Yes. I'm relearning Dandini for the Hippodrome gig.' April 3rd, saved the date? 'To be accompanied by members of the Royal Marines Band!'
'Tut tut. I refuse to even belong to a library, let alone take anything out of one. The books are forever getting pissed, shit or jizzed on.'
Years ago I bought a copy of Cenerentola, for some Glyndebourne open day master classes. That there were no markings in it made me feel oddly lonely. No previous library borrower to hail as comrade for writing the instruction "Take bloody big breaths like
the stampeding horse". Pristine page after pristine page. Though
soon marked by me: “Too fucking fast”, “Much too fucking fast”, “Supersonic boomingly too fucking fast”.
Therese said, 'The books I've been buying recently have been about thirdy worldly angst. Did you know girls somewhere in Africa won’t go to school because there are no proper toilets so they have to go in the bushes on the way, and then they get attacked by snakes and spiders and the men that live specially in the bushes? And a woman lost three babies out of four because she cut the
umbilical cord with the thing she’d just been using to cut the rice down with.’
‘What about the fourth baby?’ I asked.
Looking confused, she replied, 'Oxfam showed her a film about the potential horrors of when you bring children into the world and she used the rice harvesting thing to castrate her husband.'