SKIPPED THE COUNTRY:
There was a crisp bronze light at 5:30am, black shadow detail
beneath the concrete overhang of a multi-story across the road.
I peeled back the nets, pointed my phone, stabbed the screen
with a stupefied finger until the soul of another brutal
masterpiece was ensnared. Showering couldn’t stop the shakes,
neither could the ten quid tea & croissant as I sat alone in a
sea of white linen, shielding my eyes from the glare off the
cutlery. The beauty of a night in an airport hotel is the ease
of stumble from bed to check-in, where I imagined I was normal
& smiled at the stern lady in uniform.
“May I take ‘both’ bags on?”, smiling costs nothing, gains
everything. She even fast-tracked me up the side-chute, away from
the dazed herd, giving me time to turn a stumble into a graceful
fall, strip off my bits, slip through the metal detector & stock up
on water & mints.
The in-flight croissant was squashed around a thin slab of ‘yellow’,
a sad thing, reminiscent of cheese. Violent sweet orange liquid
in a plastic tub, accompanied by leaden muesli, salvaged by the
second hit of tea,
“Black, no sugar please”
“Enjoy”, said the tiny paper cup
“I’ll try”, I grunted.