They gave him a nickname once. Secretly chuffed he was by that. He'd never show it. Never let on.
Brush it off with a mischievous smile, knowing laugh and a lively wink. Never dismiss it entirely though.
Here he comes...Buster Davis. Suited him, with his barrel chest bursting out from the tweed waistcoat as if it had a story to tell and couldn't wait any longer.
Half the regulars didn't know his real name. For all they knew, that was his real name.
It might as well have been.
Sometimes, he can feel himself back there again. Not just as a fantasy, but really back there. In the carriage, on the red, high-back upholstered seat, quaffing champers, reveling in the high squeals of laughter from the well bred as he watched on, charming the blue fragrant plume of smoke from his Caribbean cigar.
Taking turns to sit beside him as the eleven o'clock Brighton Belle shimmied it's way back to London. The curtain drawn, the punter's applause inhaled, as sex and hunger and want ripened in the blood.
The robin landed three feet away. Outside. In the garden. There had been some light rain earlier.
Buster watched as it's tiny, perfect head tilted from side to side, regarding the scene.
He shifted an inch in his chair. A hard chair, but it suited his purposes. He wondered if he should really ask for a new one, but it never came up in conversation.
Funny how I've never seen that bird before, he thought...for the first time today.
It looked like the flame haired actress who went on to star in that northern TV soap. She had been eager. Whats-her-name. Her.
Funny how I can't remember her name, her thought. I think I loved her. Should have told her. Did I tell her?
Where's the tea?