Amuse Bouche

from The Sea by John Banville (2005). No recommendation.

At lunchtime the Colonel and I must shift for ourselves…. The  Colonel is a ruminant. He sits at the kitchen table in shirt-sleeves and an antique sleeveless pullover munching away at an ill-made sandwich - hacked lump of cheese or chunk of cold meat between two door-stoppers smeared with his slap, or a dash of Colman’s fieriest, or sometimes both if he feels in need of a jolt - and tries out feints of conversation on me, like a canny field commander searching for a bulge in the enemy’s defences.