“Davie briskly shook his head. – Naw, take it while ye can get it. This is Scotland, mind, it’s no gaunny last. Taking in a deep breath, Davie picked up the table, recommencing his arduous struggle towards the kitchen. It was a tricky, bugger: a smart new Formica-topped job which seemed to constantly shift its weight and spill all over the place. Like wrestling wi a fuckin crocodile, he thought, and sure enough, the beast snapped at his fingers forcing him to withdraw them quickly and suck on them as the table clattered to the floor.
– Sh … sugar, Davie cursed. He never swore in front of women. Certain talk was awright for the pub, but no in front of a woman. He tiptoed over to the cot in the corner. The baby still slept soundly.
– Ah telt ye ah’d gie ye a hand wi that Davie, yir gaunny huv nae fingers and a broken table the wey things are gaun, Susan warned him. She shook her head slowly, looking over to the crib. – Surprised ye dinnae wake her.
Picking up her discomfort, Davie said, – Ye dinnae really like that table, dae ye?
Susan Galloway shook her head again. She looked past the new kitchen table, and saw the new three-piece suite, the new coffee table and new carpets which had mysteriously arrived the previous day when she’d been out at her work in the whisky bonds.
– What is it? Davie asked, waving his sore hand in the air. He felt her stare, open and baleful. Those big eyes of hers.
– Where did ye get this stuff, Davie?
He hated when she asked him things like that. It spoiled everything, drove a wedge between them. It was for all of them he did what he did; Susan, the baby, the wee fellay. – Ask no questions, ah’ll tell ye no lies, he smiled, but he couldn’t look at her, as unsatisfied himself with this retort as he knew she would be. Instead, he bent down and kissed his baby daughter on the cheek.
Looking up, he wondered aloud, – Where’s Andrew? He glanced at Susan briefly.
Susan turned away sourly. He was hiding again, hiding behind the bairns.”
Irvine Welsh (Edinburg, 27 september 1958)