Visiting the Japanese Mafia for One Last Time

Painting by Ellen Marcus. Copyright Ellen Marcus, reprinted by permission

I went there with Micky and we walked along the balcony corridor of the motel, pool-side, until we found the room. When we knocked and entered, on a large bed, there sat the Japanese man we were to visit.

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King Minos and the Showgirls

A tall thin man with dark hair and a blue apron stood on the steps of the lecture hall.

“I’m Minos,” he said, “Do you have a token?”

“No, I don’t, King Minos,” I replied.

“Well you need one to go there,” and he pointed further down the steps towards a blue hospitality tent.

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Choreography in a Cave

I was out cycling with Liam in the old country. Large mock Tudor buildings surrounded cobble stone streets as we passed through the village. I was ahead of him on my little red bicycle, it was one of those commuter bikes with the small wheels, and I passed under an old stone arch into an open grassy forecourt on a bright sunny day, then cycled across a pebbled path.

I bore right, next, into a cavernous hall hewn from rock.

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A Guest House in Alexandria

After the long walk along the Nile I arrived at the hostel. An old man, in a white jellaba led me through a warren of rooms. He had a greying beard and was a little portly. “There is a place,” he assured me, “only one pound.” The Egyptian pound was pegged one to one with the British pound in those days. Still, it was very cheap.

I just didn’t remember coming here before visiting Uncle Vartan.

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