it had to come out. this dramatic entry into a story was written down by a young man from bolton, bath or leatherhead. he sat for a while and contemplated, thought about the meaning of this sentence, the first in a succession of many more that would form a novel rather than a story, he knew that much, couldn’t reach a conclusion, went for a drink with friends, nightclub afterwards, met a girl, drunken sex, awkward conversation at the breakfast table, dry toast, no butter, jam. what had been intended to be a one night stand turned out to be a longer affair, marriage eventually, children, job, mortgage, the template order of things. when, after year the man look at this very first sentence of an otherwise unwritten novel he wrote: it was out. when it was out it was over.
the man was from darlington.