Mr Paraschou

May 14, 2007

Another letter
for Mr Alexander Paraschou
today. The debt collectors
have been writing their
debt collecting letters
ever since he left,
or it seems that way.
It’s been over a year now
since I moved in.

Dear Mr Paraschou,
We are writing with reference
to the outstanding debt of
two hundred and 83 pence,
we understand you have accrued.

Dear Mr Paraschou,
Please contact one of our advisers
on the following number,
immediately.

When I first moved in
I rang the number on the top
of the first black
letterheaded letter

Hello,
My name is LYDIA
TOWSEY…I seem to be
receiving correspondence from you?
addressed to a Mr –
ALEXANDER PARASCHOU?
I’m afraid he doesn’t live here anymore.

They made a note of my call.
but the letters carried on.

Dear Mr Paraschou.
Your outstanding debt has now been placed with
‘ScotCall’.

Failure to pay or contact us
within 7 days
of the date on this letter
will result in your account being passed
to one of our Field
Representatives.

I don’t think the company on the
letterheaded letter believed me…

I suppose it’s understandable.
For all they knew
he could have been
sitting on the sofa next to me
when I made the call-
His sister, his girlfriend,
a friend from down the hall.

Dear Mr Paraschou,
Please contact us immediately
to avoid a doorstep call

I suppose,
I should have rung them back…

Hello,
 I rang the other day…
I seem to have been geting these letters….

But for some reason,
I didn’t want to.

These letters –
they’ve been going on for months-
they come with the regularity of a
well oiled clock. They are
something to rely on…

Dear Mr Paraschou…

In my head,
Mr Alexander Paraschou
is a young man, down on his luck
forced from the comfort of his social housing
by bully boys,
hammering on the door
chasing after blood…Or else,

he’s an old man,
struggling to pay the bills,
here from Poland,
Russia,
Lithuania
and fleeing violence
or poverty.
I can see him-

pacing in my kitchen,
knocking back
long shots of vodka-
or taking furtive sips
from cups of over sweetened tea.
Mr Paraschou, who’s never been in debt
who’s trying to work out
what to do.

Mr Paraschou,
If you do fail to contact us
immediately
we will be forced to start
legal proceedings…

I can see how he planned to leave
in the middle of the night
packing a bag, moving out,
running from letters
going underground

Mr Paraschou,
It feels like I’m lying for you…
buying you time
as I hide in our kitchen,
with someone ballistic
in the corridor outside

Mr Paraschou,
I think the baliffs have arrived-
but I don’t mind-
I just won’t let them in.

Mr Paraschou-
This is a kind of war
and we are comrades
now I have entered in.

But Mr Parashou,
one thing –
I was just wondering..

How did you find the
carpet tiles in the living room?

and what about the rising damp
in the bathroom?

I try and clean it everyday
but it keeps coming back in
black bouquets,
like blood or dirt
beneath the plaster…

Mr Paraschou,
did you ever get annoyed
with the storage heater in the bedroom?

You might like to know
that I’ve moved it.

Mr Paraschou,
I’m glad that you are
kind of
here still…

glad that we can
kind of
talk like this,

Mr Paraschou…

makes the nights
less lonely…

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