Read: today’s made-up word


Harry Man


n. one of the hundreds of people who look like Sue from far away, but are in fact strangers.


Cottoning on too late, the Herne Hill train sparking slow, away into the sleet, that you are not you, but a telesue coming in from the wings of the platform to play a cameo and I remember the background buzz of a fancy dress shop as past tense as your maiden name, the pop and slup of trying on fancy dress masks of cow heads, stormtroopers and elven faces, shrieks as the elastics stripped our hair, stooped almost kissing as I freed you and you freed me, and lost touch.

Now you’re just a Yahoo email address and a year, a smudge of a photo from that Halloween party, you and your Carlsberg leaning focusless into the frame, and here in the sleet the telesue lips a favourite-coloured scarf against the wind, but Sue, real Sue there are days I don’t believe in doubles or daydreams, when you’re behind every windscreen of every car coming the other way.




This piece of writing is featured in PEN’s e-book, “The Dictionary of Made-Up Words”, made in partnership with the European Commission Representation in the United Kingdom. Read the whole book!



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