Smallhours Saturday. Back to the flat. Third date and both of us knowing exactly what it meant. Don't remember the cab ride... must've been one, somewhere along the line.
I leave her in the front room, watching Have I Got News For You from the disk. In the kitchen, two gin and tonics become suddenly, wildly, algorithmically complicated. How wasted I am. Both are.
Steadying the lemon with my left hand. In the other, my only expensive knife, the only one that's sharp. Concentrating hard, yellow slices: One, two, three, fou-
And neatly, completely, slice off the tip of my left thumb.
A perfect little dome of flesh, about 4mm deep and 12mm round, flush to the chopping board. After a minutes dithering I wander back into the front room, armdown and redgushing on a white shirt, numb-sting through the alcohaze.
"Umm... Think I've... Cut off the end of my thumb, yeah?"
She was quite good, in all, coping with the blood and bandages. We sat on the sofa for an hour waiting for the bleeding to stop. Me thumb in the air the whole time, like some over-positive idiot. Then, gingerly, to bed.
Well - if a relationship can survive something like that so early on, maybe it holds some hope.
Oh, and for you connoisseurs, it was Tanqueray Export.