It was a soft mellow evening in late June, the sort of evening that made people feel like sitting outside with a glass of wine, perhaps waxing nostalgic about something or other, not that any of that sensitive stuff cut any ice with Gregor. Ma Blackstock would have said, in one of her less sympathetic moods, that Gregor had the thick skin of a pig and the mind of a cow. Being from farming stock, she often thought of people in terms of farm animals. Still she didn’t believe in cruelty to animals so she let Gregor hang around, totally useless though he was.
Gregor drank greedily from a can of lager before crushing the empty can in his fist and throwing it at the wizened laurel bush, one of the few things that survived in the wilderness which was once a garden. He then unzipped his trousers and peed unashamedly against that same ancient tree.