Title: Sport 27

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, October 2001

Part of: Sport

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Sport 27: Spring 2001

(Biographical Sketch 3—Nicholas Weir

(Biographical Sketch 3—Nicholas Weir

At uni with me. Used to flat with Jason. Went overseas.)

‘That's me! How've y'been, mate?’

‘Good…’ I take in his suit and look back down at his reservation. It's suddenly sobering to think that a contemporary of mine is staying in this place. I can't afford to order a bean salad off the room service menu here. ‘You look like you're doing well for yourself…’

‘Ohhh…not too shabby, y'know…?’ Nick waggles his eyebrows in a conspiratorial fashion. ‘I'm based in London now, I've been sort of running a small company out there. Network design, maintenance, that sort of thing…’

‘Your own business?’ (fuck)

‘Yeah. Spent a few years slaving as a systems analyst then thought: Why the fuck not? Went into business with a few other lads. Been running along quite nicely, wouldn't say it's doing spectacularly page 10 well…but on the whole, I'm content…’

(fuck fuck) ‘So are you just visiting out here?’

‘No…’ Nick says, ‘I'm in Christchurch on…business…Look, I'd better head for my room, I'm really bushed. But we should get together some time while I'm out here…’

‘Definitely…’

‘Just give me a call sometime. I'll…’ he hesitates for an infinitesimal moment, ‘…I'll probably be out here for a while.’ Nick gives me a jaunty little two-fingered salute and heads for the lifts. I smile and vow to avoid the prick for the duration of his stay. A suit. A hotel room. A computer company. (fuck)

One Sunday, when Wall and I are sitting out on our small balcony, drinking beer from the can in the sun and listening to the best of David Bowie (1969-1974), the phone rings, I hear its shrill cries intermingle with the chords of ‘Ziggy Stardust’ and heave myself out of my deck chair to answer it. It's Helen, she who lives in the flat downstairs.

‘Hi Philip,’ she says. Helen has the most boring voice in the world. It has this nasal, droning tone which sets my teeth grinding whenever she says a word. Worse yet, she always sounds like she's bored herself—when she says ‘Hi Philip’ she says it like my name is the most boring combination of vowels and consonants to ever pass her lips, like the tedium of putting them all in order and then enunciating them has worn her out completely. Helen works in some sort of bank. Wall has a crush on her.