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Clamouring to Touch My Fingertips

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"You'll all be fucking sorry when we're famous!" Paul shouts.

This has the effect Tim would've predicted if Paul had asked. Shoppers circle a little wider around them; old ladies clutch their handbags tight.

"You'll read that we used to be buskers!" Paul's braid whirls as he gestures. "And you'll wish you'd seen us! You'll wonder how you missed so much fucking talent, fucking genius, right here on the street for free!"

"Genius and beauty!" Tim pipes up, feeding Paul a cue for several crowd-pleasing jokes. But it's too late. Paul's shoved his way off the pavement and into the street, hands up like he can stop the cars by pure mad bastardry, and why the hell can't Tim remember the name of the saint who looks after idiots?

Tim shuts his eyes, opens them to honks and swerves and Paul, who's started singing "Krishna" with his face full of light like he really has found godhead. Tim more or less dances Paul back to the pavement, holds him there, arm around his waist and bugger the choreography.

When you're famous you'll still walk into traffic, Tim thinks. No amount of attention will ever be enough. No amount of love.