Anneliese, Ulricke and I go into Steve’s sitting room. Steve is sitting at a table writing a letter. ‘Hi,’ he says, looking up. ‘Won’t be a second.’ He scribbles his name and seals the letter in an envelope. The three of us watch him. He stands up and turns to face us. His long hair, brushed straight back from his forehead, falls to his shoulders. Perhaps it’s something to do with the dimness of the room but, against the pale ghost of his swimming trunks, his cock seems oddly pigmented – almost brown. ‘Make yourselves at home,’ he says. ‘I’ll just go put some clothes on.’

I have a girl now – Ulricke – and so everything should be all right. And it is, I suppose, except that I want Anneliese, her twin sister. I look closely at Anneliese to see her reaction to Steve’s nakedness (Steve wants Anneliese too). She and Ulricke smile at each other. They both press their lips together with a hand, their eyes thin with delighted amusement at Steve’s eccentricity. Automatically I smile too, but in fact I am covered in a hot pelt of irritation as I recall Steve’s long-stride saunter from the room, the way his cock slapped on his thighs….

Bent comes in. He is Steve’s flatmate, a ruddy Swede, bespectacled, with a square bulging face and unfortunate frizzy hair.

Failed Saxophonist