I sip my hot chocolate.
“Our work has natural cooling methods,” OldHousemate says, “which I think just means windows.”
“Ah,” I say, and laugh. “You’ll need fans in the summer.”
We pause. “Fan don’t actually blow air though, do they?” I say. If I were in a cartoon there would be a lightbulb above my head.
“No,” I say. “They move air.”
“Oh,” OldHousemate says, and I should point out she is the housemate with whom I struggled to count to one million. “Why do they make us cold then?”
“I spose they move the air around…”
“But so do windows.”
“Good point,” I say, uncrossing my legs and eating the cream off my hot chocolate with a wooden stick like the imbecile that I am.”Maybe faster air is more cooling?”
“Who knows?” OldHousemate says. “Is a mystery.”
We stare ponderously out of the window.
“Please help,” I say to MindReader.
He looks up. “Just put the cheesecake on a plate.”
“I have tried to cut a slice and it won’t work. The base isn’t set. I have made a crumble.” I hang my head. MindReader follows me to the kitchen where he flops a lump of lemon-flavoured mascarpone onto a plate and adds the “base” onto the top of it. His mouth twitches at the sorry site of my cheesecake crumble.
“Can we call it a deconstructed cheesecake?”
“We can,” he says. “In your restaurant.” He eats a spoonful of the creamy topping.
“If you were served that in my restaurant and it looked better but tasted the same – would you send it back?”
“No,” he says, licking the spoon, “but there is absolutely no way I would order food at your restaurant.”