I go back to the life-drawing workshop the following Saturday because this is allowed as part-payment for a day’s modelling, but I go to make notes for poems, not to draw. I want to observe the dynamic between artists and model from the outside instead of being part of it.
So I get to meet and exchange mobile numbers with another model, a man, who turns out (and I don’t know this until I have given him my number) not to be a model but a plumber, who doesn’t really have any other contacts so will not be able to help me get more bookings.
But maybe I can get a poem out of him.
At break-time the plumber is reading The Sun. I comment on the Chinese characters tattooed at the base of his back:
‘Dragon. I worked in China for a couple of years. I’m a dragon. It’s my year.’
‘Are you? I am as well!’
It comes round every twelfth year. So he’s either twelve or twenty-four years younger than me. Either thirty-five or twenty-three. He looks about halfway between. Maybe he’s got the year wrong. Like he’s got the characters upside down.
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