26 April 2008

reunion pint.

We sat in the bar, drinking beer and talking rubbish. He was drunker than I. I wasn't drunk. I was tired, my legs hurt and I needed my bed. Our glasses clinked during the pauses, toasting the reunion. Every few minutes one of us would say 'decade', or 'ten years', or 'so young' and then shake the head and look into the middle distance of nowhere. We talked about an ex we shared, late nights, drink and drugs and where the hell everyone was now. We talked about where the hell we were now. 

It was talk to start. The words and the stories merely vocabulary and grammar. It took time. The memories returned slowly. Vague, incomplete, more emotion, instinct and hunch than recall, than seeing what was. But they came back to the surface, one leading to another, connected, and all the feelings that were returned. Some were alien, encased in an amber of youth, petrified and strange.

We laughed and ordered another round, incredulous at our lives. That with a beer and words we realised we lived, that it was full life, that none of it could have been predicted. And that there was so much. One memory leading to another, to another; twenty years of living in ten. 

The rest of the pub needn't have been there. It was irrelevant. Talk of sports and gossip lingered in the air around us. 

He switched to coke. I stayed with beer. He grabbed a cab. Home to his wife and child. 

I shook my head and wandered home to an empty bed. 

I didn't go for a run this morning.

24 April 2008


I like sleeping with the window open, even if there's a bit of a chill. Especially when the rain falls. The breeze gives the rain drops a pleasing hiss, like a needle on good vinyl. A proper acoustic crackle. It helps me sleep. It's pleasing to wake up to. The hush of the wind in the window reminds me of the sea, or holding a shell to my ear. 

The current Belfry is an attic room. The ceiling slopes on all sides and it's easy to feel removed from the world. This can be a good thing, from time to time, but the noise from outside provides an anchor to the world without distracting me or drawing me to it. The gardens below don't generate much noise. There isn't much to spy or eavesdrop on. 

I woke up at about 3... it felt like 7. I didn't even notice how dark the room was. It could have been dawn. 3:04 on my phone. I battered my pillows and tucked my duvet a bit. Couldn't check the Sox score. Sleep drifted back now and then and then it was 4 and my eyes shot open. It felt like 7 again. More pillow battering and more fiddling with the duvet... considered briefly stapling my eyes shut. Can't remember if I actually slept or drifted or dreamed. 

Five rolled on and I got up. And I listened. I listened and finally worked out what I was hearing. Like an image coming into focus, white noise becoming music. Birdsong, actually. The light out the window was pale, the haar thick, and through the sea fog came an orchestra of birdsong. I wiped my eyes but there was no sleep in them. They sang in force, heralding the coming Spring. I smiled. 

Then I shut the window. The needle slipped from the vinyl and I slipped back to bed. 

I woke at seven, not at six. 

23 April 2008

Every once in awhile, get drunk and watch The Goonies

A few beers with old friends in the old local, the one where the bar staff are rude, downright grumpy, but the beer tastes good and slips down without effort. Then wine with dinner and banter about the past, silver-lined memories and the ghosts of great times. The wine tastes amazing, more-ish. It's not expensive, just good, honest and makes the food taste even better. Nostalgic reminiscing brings The Goonies to the DVD player. The Goonies brings chat of treasure maps, and adventure. 

Another bottle of wine gets opened and the guidebooks come out. Our own treasure maps. Tracing lines across the highlands; there are castles, snow-capped mountains, lochs and ruins on the doorstep. Another coast to explore. It's decided. 

The next morning sees an early start, fuzzy-headed but hearts clear. A whirlwind tour of the highlands - tiny daft roads barely big enough for a skateboard, camera and notebooks in tow, Rob's on the music, Sarah's got the map.

Adventure calls all the time; you just have to answer it.

I started thinking about my next cup of coffee before I took a sip of the one in front of me... I was quite tired. I'll tell you all about it sometime. One of those mornings where your brain doesn't know why your body's so awake. Still... wasn't this bad. Made me chuckle.