The problem was that I’d known it was coming. His face was close to mine, his mouth spitting words into my ear as I looked out over the lake. I can’t now recall a single word he said. I’m not sure I understood at the time. It wasn’t important. Perhaps I was thinking of something else, the Victorian legacy of landscape architecture perhaps, they don’t have parks like this anywhere else in the world.
The headbutt was supposed to be a surprise. It wasn’t. But what was was that I replaced my face with a stationary fist. It was unnecessary to contribute further to the blow. He put enough into it himself. I don’t believe I had the intention when I arrived, the possibility would’ve been fantastic, unreal. But there it is, it happened.
The word spread fast and afterwards, as I walked around the lake, they were all there, ranged along the benches with their entourage, dressed only in black. They’d come to pay their respects, to say goodbye to the dead man walking.