He tells me a story he wrote about a man who was going around with the most beautiful woman in town. How he had been looking for love in every corner, to the ends of the Earth until he found her. For many years he was happy. Then he found the bottle... and he couldn't decide which he loved best. Couldn't give them both the attention they deserved or demanded. So he slowly spiralled downwards into silence. His wife jokingly called him 'Holy Man', because he never spoke, just kept his head down, glass in hand. His head was down the day she packed her bags and threatened to leave. He rocked back and forwards trying to shape the words in his mouth. 'Will you please be quiet, please' (the title of one of his collections of short stories). His head was down the day she left. He held his whisky like it were a woman, his eyes all full of love.
He speaks to me again. 'That's the way it is when love breaks down like a hunk-o-junk Ford station wagon in a busy shopping centre car park'.
Then there is silence for quite some time and I wonder if he has gone.
'Jezus', he says. 'That's a lot of words for this early in the morning'.