Antoine had a fight with his girlfriend, left the house in his slippers, walked round to his friend Terry’s house. They smoked a bit, had a few cans, played Call of Duty, until he reckoned things had calmed down enough for him to go back. It was three a.m.
Almost outside the front door, Antoine trod on a broken bottle. A fragment of glass pushed up through the sole of his threadbare slipper into his left heel. He hopped inside and banged on the flat door. Siobhan opened it long enough to throw him a towel to staunch the bleeding, then slammed the door again.
He called 999.
Antoine sits on chair with his bandaged foot up on the trolley.
‘I can’t believe this,’ he says, wiggling his toes and watching them work from his great, smoked-up distance. ‘Thems supposed to be mah lucky slippers.’
With his dreads spilling out of his hat, a wide, warm smile, and an ee-zee way of talking as wispy as his beard, Antoine would make Bob Marley look like a City Trader.
‘Ah don’ think Siobhan’s gonna get over this one in a hurry’ he says, taking a sip from his Evian bottle. ‘The way she threw that towel at me, man. Ah’m surprised it weren’t a knife.’
There’s not much else to be done about his injury, so we chat about places he’s been, things he’s done, this and that.
He takes another sip of Evian.
‘See this?’ he says, tapping the label. ‘Do not store next to strongly flavoured food. Why would they even say that?’
‘I don’t know. Do not keep in the cheese cupboard. You wouldn’t want cheesy water.’
‘Nah mate. Cheesy water? You can keep it.’
He laughs and turns the bottle round in his hands.
‘I love it when they give you all that shit, man. It’s a bottle of water! Drink and enjoy! Thassit!’
‘Do not drink and drive.’
‘Yeah! This is not a toy.’
‘Single use only.’
‘Stop when bottle is empty.’
‘Do not drink and swim.’
‘Do not drink and walk in slippers.’
He shakes his head, takes another sip, then screws the cap back on and relaxes back on the chair. He studies his foot again.
‘Siobhan, she’s really gonna kill me this time’ he says, wiggling his toes.