Three days before delivery, the review should look like a roast chicken carcass on a plate. It’s stuck there with congealed fat, the carving knife and fork abandoned one each side. Everyone’s had a go at it, hot and cold. The knife has sliced. Fingers have plucked and tugged. It’s at the end of its run, this bird, but there are still a few drying shreds stuck to the bones and one or two detached bits scattered about. (That, for instance, was definitely a wing. At some stage.) But the skeleton is otherwise sound: viewed from close up, it has a keel, it resembles something reliable, something structural, something from a shipyard. My job is to put the chicken back on the bones, make it into a chicken again. If I have to I will counterfeit the missing items. There will be a point soon when it looks whole and glazed and steaming from the oven, as if it actually exists as a thing and is now ready to be used; as if it’s at the beginning of its journey rather than the end. That point will come soon, if I know what I’m doing.