The Comedian turns up on my doorstep just as my cold is finally going.
"Hello," he says.
"It's been a year," I say.
"There's never been anyone else," he says.
We both laugh.
The Comedian is fun. He's from the north, but studying theatre in Brighton. He's a stand-up comic, is about eight foot tall, and just seems to potter around amiably. His Dad lives somewhere in London, so every now and then he drops by.
He has a student flatshare in Brighton which has an internal stalker. "It was creepy originally, but now it's kind of reassuring. You know - if I ever fall over in the bath, I know there'll be someone on the other side of the door to call the ambulance. And, if I ever forget my keys, I know he'll be sat in the kichen in the dark, just waiting."
I once dated someone at uni who had a stalker. It was his ex, Piers (it was Oxford, so everyone had an ex called Piers). I remember after a house party. Mark had taken a lot of drugs, so we cleaned the flat until 5am, and then crawled into bed.
"Can you... smell cigar smoke?" I asked.
"Oh," said Mark.
Sat in a chair at the end of the bed was Mark's ex. Watching us. While smoking a cigar. "Please, don't mind me boys," said Piers, "Just carry on." PUFF.
It's creepy realising that stuff like this feels like it was just the other summer, but actually happened two decades ago. Almost before the Comedian was born. That's not funny.