Dear John

I have just been with my mother to play Bingo.  In the middle of the day, in this dismal place, with a small number of old women sitting about with nothing better to do.  It’s a different world, a horrible desolate last resort for the bored and lonely.

I knew I would hate it but it was to keep her company.  You have to be so fast and concentrate, the numbers are called so quickly.  Her mind must be in good order to keep up with it.

I don’t think you would have enjoyed it or been good at it.  I know you were very quick and clever, but somehow it’s disconcerting and confusing, and I think, like me, you’d have got flustered if you couldn’t keep up.

Also I felt so uncertain about calling out – in case I’d got it wrong – I hesitated (longer than the fraction of a second you are allowed to speak out) and so the only time I got a line and could have won ten pounds, I missed it, which made me feel useless and like I’d let her down.

She’s keen to distract me and tell me to move on – she’s not patient about my tears and my grief.

But I feel like the world is so dull and lacklustre without you in it, no amount of pseudo-entertainment like that is going to help my mood.

As for gambling – a sore point.  You’ve drawn the short straw, John.  You’ve already lost everything there is to lose, so I’m hardly interested in winning ten pounds.

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