Escaping from a Tsunami

(I)

We were on vacation, in a cafeteria, waiting to get on board a plane to one of the islands. It was pouring down outside. A group sat at a long plastic table, but there wasn’t room for us, so Siobhan dragged a second table and aligned it next to theirs. Still it was too small to fit all of us, so I added another table, aligning it next to Siobhan’s.

A woman was sitting at the long table. She was thin, a blue dress, with thin wispy blonde hair, neatly crossed her legs.

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In a Parking Lot with Guns

In a parking lot with guns

I am walking around with Ricky G who is considering buying a place in the area.

“Houses are cheaper across the state line by Silver Brook West,” I tell him. “If you are right across the border you can simply walk back to the shops and restaurants without having to get into your car.”

We are parked on the side with the shops but walk over the state line onto a grassy area used for cars, a makeshift parking lot used precisely for access from the other direction. “See how easy it is?”

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Anxiety and Finding the Bathroom in a Hotel

Anxiety and Finding the Bathroom in a Hotel

I step out of the hotel and ask to hitch a ride in the back of a white van with a group of doctors. They also have to go to a conference, all of them dressed in white coats and talking amongst themselves about the day’s events. I check my papers, they’re in the case with me and we are headed downtown, the day bright with the early morning sun like you only find in Washington.

Then the van pitches suddenly to the right, down a steep spiral cobblestone street. We flit past old buildings covered with posters and tall enough to block out the sky.

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Cheese Plates in the Conference Room, Now!

Cheese plates in the conference room, now!

There is an announcement coming down from the CEO and we need to meet at conference room PS1 in a few minutes. Where is that?

I need to get some nicer clothes. I struggle to take off my socks. They are black but ripped and I cannot find any others. So I struggle them back on again. Then a shirt. In my wardrobe there are a few shirts but all are wrong for one or other reason. Once I’ve flicked through each shirt I settle on purple with hideous white stripes on the lining.

Now I need a jacket to cover the shirt and so I continue through the hangers. One I grew out of, the other is, No! The last is brown, bland, it will do. And I am ready.

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Breaking the Sweet Melancholy of the Past

Breaking the Sweet Melancholy of the Past

We met original Anne outside, by the tables of what was either a museum or a castle gift shop café. Cooper the Navel Gazer introduced myself and Liam to her. She was dressed in a neat blue shirt and ankle length skirt. Her hair was almost black and straight, and she wore it down, shoulder length.

We hugged, and she said softly “I missed you very much.” She had a hint of a Scottish accent.

I hugged her again much tighter and brought Liam into our hug. Emboldened I gave her a big kiss on her left cheek.

And as we left the café Liam started talking, describing in detail the places in London that had good bites to eat. It broke my melancholy and I was a little taken aback.

He has fancy tastes for the cafés and restaurants there, I explained.

Photo of the Holy Loch by Kloniwotski via Flickr