II: False Starts

I’m still in Edinburgh, but just for an hour & a half. It is the most gorgeous day, so the length-long journey through Britain should be pleasing on the eye. My last weekend has been cool enough, a nice jam with the band around a piano to the roar of a blazing country fire last Friday, then Charlie buggared off down Brixton on ‘business’ to raise more funds for the trip. That gave me a little psychological breather to gather in some notes for my writing abroad. I mean, Charlie deals ketamine to half of south london normally, & on running out the other day he took a train to Leeds to get 30 more grams. Seeing as I knew a handful of folk who’d buy some, meant he had 25g to himself. As we were living in each other’s pockets this meant I found myself in his k-hole bubble all the time – & there’s only so many stories a guy can take about Elvis Presley & Jerry Lee Lewis b4 I guy goes in sane.

I also had the delight of a little farewell fling with an art-history graduate. I told her she was something of a champagne bottle that smashes against a ship’s hull as it sets off on its maiden sailing – with better curves.  She’s gorgeous, actually, with really curly blond hair & delectable lips. I’d met her at a hairdresser friend of mine’s house. She was trying to get a 60’s style bouffant, but I said it looked more like a volcano – this brutal honesty endeared her to me & we took it from there.

With the launch champagne flowing a little too heavily, however, I slept through yesterdays alarm, waking up at 4.55 AM. My bus was leaving at 5.10. Quickly gathering my things I thought I could flag it down on London Road on its way to the A1. I guess it took a different route, cos it didn’t come. In a way this was lucky, because I’d left a load of stuff behind in my rush to leave the house.

I had to buy another ticket, so yesterday I sent m’lady a text saying I’d had such a good time I thought I’d stay on an extra night if she’d have me. ‘You missed your bus didnt you’ she replied, but admiring my attempts at romance she saw me anyway. After a night of wine & her fine efforts at cooking a steak, I woke up at hers this morning, & hit Ferry Road in Edinburgh, with a golden glow swarming over the city panorama like something out of fortress Rajasthan.

I got to Victoria at 8.30, & with our flight in the morning, & the expected heavy time-wasting security after last week’s terrorist threat, we’re gonna go straight to the airport. From there we won’t be going to Mumbai, as I thought, but Chennai. I guess in the desperation to get the cheapest flight, not really minding where we ended up, I got myself muddled up. Luckily, though, Chennai is the capital of Tamil Nadu, the state I spent a few months in last time round translating its Thirukkural. So that will be Friday’s mission, distributing manuscripts round the publishers of that mega-city.


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