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‘You’re late,’ the new book says.

It is seated at my desk, sleeves rolled up, a mug of steaming coffee before it.

‘I didn’t know we were beginning already,’ I say. ‘And anyway, I’m not ready.’

‘How many times?’ the new book says. ‘You’ll never be ready. The old book was right: you do always say that.’ The new book pushes its sleeves even further up its arms. ‘So, what’s it to be, me talk, you type, or you talk, me type?’

‘Please don’t start sentences with ‘so’,’ I say.

‘That’s the least of your worries,’ the new book says.

‘What do you mean?’

‘I mean, time is moving on and soon you will be dead. Which is it: talk or type?’

‘Talk,’ I say quietly.

‘I didn’t hear you,’ the new book says.

‘Talk,’ I say again.

‘Talk it is,’ the new book grins.

‘But I’ve got nothing to say.’

‘Brilliant,’ the new book says. ‘We’ll start with that.’