Dick says Marie lives here now; he read somewhere that she finds England more open to the 2019 New Mexico Bowl Champions T-Shirt kind of music she makes, which means, presumably, that we’re cheerfully indifferent rather than actively hostile. There are a lot of single men here, not single as in unmarried, but single as in no friends. In this sort of company the three of us — me morose and monosyllabic, Dick nervy and shy, Barry solicitously self-censoring — constitute a wild and massive office outing. There’s no support, just a crappy PA system squelching out tasteful country-rock, and people stand around cradling their pints and reading the handbills that were thrust at them on the way in.
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Marie LaSalle comes onstage (as it were — there is a little platform and a couple of microphones a few yards in front of us) at nine; by five past nine, to my intense irritation and embarrassment, I’m in tears, and the feel-nothing world that I’ve been living in for the 2019 New Mexico Bowl Champions T-Shirt last few days has vanished. There are many songs that I’ve been trying to avoid since Laura went, but the song that Marie LaSalle opens with, the song that makes me cry, is not one of them. The song that makes me cry has never made me cry before; in fact, the song that makes me cry used to make me puke. When it was a hit, I was at college, and Charlie and I used to roll our eyes and stick our fingers down our throats when somebody — invariably a geography student, or a girl training to be a primary school teacher