Okay, well, so, this is the first bit to come along of... whateverthehell this is going to be, so this would be a good time to stop me if I'm not making sense...
"You're going to get salmonella," I say.
Jason cocks an eyebrow at me and continues to poke around in the chicken carcass, still munching on the giblet. "I got it at the halal butcher," he says, swallowing.
"That's beside the point." The smell of blood is... well, it's halal, so it's my imagination, but the smell of blood still whispers round my nostrils, phantom incitement to mayhem. "You're still eating raw chicken."
"They're very clean," Jason says, and pops another mouthful of organs. "And it hasn't even been dead an hour."
I give up, retreating to the telly room to let him cook in peace. There's no reasoning with some of Jason's instincts. "Did you email Jill yet?" he calls after me.
"I am not letting you set me up with someone you met on Facebook."
"She's a wendigo." Facebook. I'd rather sparkle.
"You gotta get yourself out there, Trev. Not getting any younger."
Which borders on racist, considering, but it's Jason. He's about as hard to resent, and sometimes as thick, as a golden retriever. (And now who's being racist.) "You do recall the incident with the goth girls."
"I think it could work. You both eat people."
"I do not eat people. You're at more risk of that, why aren't you already seeing her."
Well, that would be a barrier to a meaningful relationship. It's hard enough for him to find someone who doesn't mind the thought of walking him that one night a month.
I realise I've forgotten to fetch the thing I'd originally ventured into the kitchen for. Now Jason's rubbing down his chicken with some lethal-smelling jerk spices, and singing to himself, or to the bird, whichever. About priests -- "That's appalling," I say as I recognise the lyrics. "What would Gordon Ramsay say?"
"Something my mom would smack me on the nose with a newspaper for," Jason replies, unrepentant, and picks up the chicken under its armpits: "'Have charity towards the world, my pet' --"
"Bloody hell. Why would I need the wendigo when I have you."
"You and your delicate sensibilities, man," he says, drawing the vowel out into an exaggerated o. Most of the time Jason sounds like a newscaster, pure nasal Midwest, but he's not above playing at his Dad's accent. It's jarring, since for all the dreads (the shockingly, naturally blond dreads) he's the one of his siblings who looks the least likely to have any right to the Rasta hats he affects. People think he's from California, and a bit of a poser. "Don't know sometimes how you even manage to feed."
I ask. Politely. Jason knows this, he's lent me the odd tenner to further assuage the restless conscience. In this neighbourhood it goes a surprising way with those who have as many irregularities in their documentation as I do myself. I'm not sure what I would do, if I actually needed the kill.
The desire is penance enough.
This evening is going to devolve into the jokes about a nice chianti and not drinking... wine... again. It doesn't really matter, I suppose. Neither of us had anything else on. Jason has a class in the morning, so it's best he works off some of his nervous urges here on his own tea and not in front of a real sous-chef later. And then we'll settle in to watch a vid, and eat his homework, and call this some version of normal, for tonight.
My teeth itch.