I fared better in the laser game that followed; although by no means top scorer, only taking aim 281 times in the 15 minutes the game lasted, I ended up the most accurate marksman the day's organisers had ever seen (or so they said), with a hit percentage of 64. My colleagues stood in awe (or they could have been aghast, I really couldn't tell), and I flashed back to the day my fencing master told me I had to take special care stepping on to the mat, because -in his words- I was deadly. Personally, I just tend to think that I have good reflexes.
As I had expected, it did get quite late last night, and I went to bed without sorting through the post. I overslept this morning, called in sick, had a coffee and squee-ed when I came to a thick blue envelope containing a letter from a New York friend I hadn't been in touch with for ages. In it, she told me all the things that had been happening in her life over the past year and a half; and it felt wonderful to be reading between the lines that she's now in a much happier place than she was a year or two ago. She's amazingly talented (or I've always thought so), but didn't have enough confidence in herself then to make her dreams come true - but she writes that she hasn't forgotten about them and I get the distinct impression that this time, she will succeed in bringing them to fruition.
She's also very humorous; and she writes that these days she's needling people on the bus by putting fake book covers on the books she's reading, knowing that people will always try to see what you're reading. My friend is what you call a big woman, and she's noticed that people would rather stand on a crowded bus than sit down next to her, and so she's made this shiny, gaudy-coloured book cover complete with NYPL sticker proclaiming her current read to be Fat Is Contagious. How Sitting Next to a Fat Person Can Make YOU Fat by Kimberly Cox, Ph. D. She sent me one to show me, and it's hilarious.
I've just realised: she doesn't write what people's reactions are. So if you're in New York, and you see a woman riding a bus in midtown Manhattan reading a book about how fat is catching, please observe the other passengers' reactions, then run and tell me.