Crudo: A Novel by Olivia Laing:
Breakfast. Three triangles of watermelon, one cup of coffee, one pot of yoghurt, one small jar of honey. That’s how it went. Other people ate strawberry crostata or wholemeal croissants or heaven forbid eggs five ways and a selection of meats. The toga people were emerging, hungover and victorious. Hello Harry, hello Lordy. I woke up and I’ve got a stye. Bloody painful. No I’ve never had one, how have I bloody well got one today. They had conducted their festivities in a tent on the terrace. It was still there now, empty and doleful, poles festooned with ivy and small pale flowers. They were talking about the tower block that had burned down. I was comin along the Westway and there it was, all blackened said the stye woman. How many people died, eighty, eighty-five. But they don’t know yet. Fire that hot you don’t get bodies. What about bones. I think they do it by the teeth. Kathy’s husband pushed several grapes into his mouth at once. He was listening to a different conversation, between a guest and an Italian lawyer. I was brought up Catholic, Opus Dei, I know what it’s like, the lawyer said. Mafia, the guest said and the lawyer shrugged hugely.