walked with me at the Forum. She's some tart,
but polished, inoffensive. And our chat
was all about Bithynia and that
mostly about whether I'd made a mint
out there. And so I had to say I'm skint.
It's a poor province; I did not get on
with my commander, nor did anyone.
He's just a fuckhead, hates all of his staff.
But Varus and his woman ignored half
of what I said.' You've clearly done quite well
for all you say you haven't.We can tell.
Eight sturdy bearers, that is not so bad.'
I wanted to show off, although I'd had
No luck. I wanted to impress her, chose
to lie a bit. Looked round, and said 'Oh those.
I bought a job lot of eight men.' I lied
- I didn't have a litter I could ride.
I didn't even have a broken chair,
some slave could push. Nor anyone to wear
its struts around his neck. She caught me out
'Catullus, dear,' she said. 'I'm here without
a litter. I would be so very pleased
if you'd lend yours. It is Serapis' feast
down at the temple.'And I thought,'oh no'
I damned her cheek, but said 'you have to go
but those aren't mine, they're Cinna's. He's a friend
What's his is mine to use. But please do send
them back.' I'd told a stupid fib in which
she'd caught me, made me blush. 'You thoughtless bitch
I muttered - If I'd thought, I could have had
a lift back home. You've nabbed it first. Too bad.'