Maaan I’m a bad writer. Not in the sense that what I write is bad – no. What I write is glowing brilliant amazing, fuck you. I’m a bad writer in the sense that I just don’t… do it. I spend my time thinking about writing and getting excited about it, and then I simply do not do any writing. But whatever, I’m here now. Hello.
Things got off to a dumb start. I arrived in London on the afternoon of Thursday the 25th of August, and I had an arseload of things to do before we flew out to Morocco the next day. Firstly, I had to go and get my travel vaccinations – two jabs at two different clinics. Yellow fever and typhoid. The typhoid was fine, but the doctor warned me that I might feel a little bit achy and woozy and fluey for the next few days after my yellow fever vaccine, as it is in fact a living version of the virus they inject into you.
I spent a few nights in Belgrade doing not much of anything – I had a decent amount of work to catch up on, so while Jack went out exploring, I stayed in the air-conditioned hostel common room and tapped away at my laptop. Or at least… I tried to. It’s hard to tap away at your laptop when you’re in a hostel: my attention span is hot garbage when I’m in a silent, empty room, let alone a busy dining space with backpackers cooking noodles and comparing accents.
Annie kissed my cheek as our hug broke apart, and with a sad smile she climbed into the taxi. In a moment she would be carried on into the night, to Manchester Airport, then on to California and home. I didn’t watch the car as it reversed and straightened up; I didn’t trust myself. I turned my back, upset, and lit my last idiot cigarette. I heard the wheels roll and the engine hum, and at the last second I changed my mind, turning just in time to see the taxi round the corner and disappear. And then the street was empty – no cars, just traffic lights changing from green to amber to red in the silence – and now I won’t see my best friend again for a year, or maybe more.
And as the taxi vanished I felt something leave me, rising from my shoulders and neck and head like smoke into the sky. It was 3:30 in the morning and there was nobody around to sigh to, so I went inside, and I looked at the two empty wineglasses on the dresser, and I went to bed.
Everything moves in great, long cycles. You live and live and live and then – pop – in the midst of all that living, you find yourself right back where you started. I am in Manchester Airport. I am always in Manchester Airport.
I’m back in Bristol, waiting out my two-week quarantine after arriving back from France. Jeanne is still in France for now; she’ll arrive here in a few days’ time. Then, in just over two weeks, we will leave our lovely little room in Bristol for the last time. Continue reading →
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking ‘Eh? Eh!? Dan only writes once a month these days, and even then it’s usually half-arsed’. Yes, friend, you are right. But I feel a smidgeon bit inspired today, and lo: words. Continue reading →