The Makings of Mia Pleasure, nee Mia Brigshaw, nee (nee?) Karen Brigshaw…
The paper slips out with the softest of sounds and lies on the Formica surface, shy of the smear of tea left just moments earlier. A pouch thwacks onto the table, causing the smear to spread as the cold tea on the upwards-facing spoon is flicked as said spoon bounces and settles again. The paper lies pristine, the weed scattered along its body, before the oft-performed ritual commences. A sigh, then swift lift, roll, pause, moist tongue-tip run along the one, sticky edge, which is sealed with care, before a tiny piece of cereal packet, ripped from a corner of the box that exhibits many such scars, is inserted into the mouth end of Mr. Brigshaw’s roll-up before he sets it down, again missing the tea-smear as he does so, and picks up his blisteringly-hot mug of tea (six sugars).
Mr. Brigshaw’s heavily tobacco-scented index finger, somewhat jaundiced in its discolouration, pokes around the box hoping to find a match that has its phosphorous head in tact, as opposed to the many blackened heads that are returned to the box after use, and that now account for the large percentage of the box’s contents. Once found, it too is placed on the table to await its fate. Karen starts to feel the pressure of the first-cigarette-of-the-day building, not that Mr. Brigshaw applies any such pressure, but she knows that he won’t touch it until she’s left the table. She scrapes the last of the cereal from the bowl, tilts the bowl to gather the last of the bovine lactation in her spoon, before removing the bowl to the sink, where it will stay until Mrs. Brigshaw returns from the factory (much to her (Mrs. Brigshaw’s) annoyance).
The match strikes.