At US customs you have to take all your books out of your bag and put them in the tray. My bag goes from completely full to nothing but a floppy bit of canvas. It had nothing in it but books. They send the trays through the X-ray. When it’s too late it occurs to me that I have a small bottle of sandalwood beard oil in my jacket pocket, in the X-ray machine. I mentally say goodbye to the beard oil, but amazingly they don’t spot it. They’re after the books. I had about 8 books in my hand luggage. Books are too heavy for checking and I haven’t converted to kindle yet. Even though I write on my iPad. I just don’t like a book that can run out of battery.

The attendant evidently has to go through the books. She flicks through the pages to check for fake pockets, but then she reads the title of each one carefully. Is she making sure my books aren’t dangerous material? That’s an uncomfortable prospect. What if I had a book called “The genesis of extreme Islam”? My desire to be educated would probably mean I missed my flight. “Red Alert! The tanned guy with the big beard is carrying the first book in the bible of extreme Islam! Shoot him!” Joking aside it’s strangely invasive that they read the titles. What are they looking for? The Catcher in the Rye? The Koran? The Art of War? Or was she just curious?

I drugged myself with melatonin all the way home. It was the strongest I could find so I bounced up every three hours like a slo-mo yoyo. Now I am back in my flat and it’s still in my system coupled with alcohol. It’s really good to be home. Friends old and new are here, and we are about to have Sunday lunchdinnerbreakfastWHAT. I’m not used to the cold, and my brain is not working very well. Its morning in LA, afternoon in London, evmortoon in my body. I’ll eat it if it’s put in front of me – I’ve had a fair amount of Buck’s Fizz. My discernment is as shoddy as my conversation. I’d eat rat and think it was pork. These sentences are probably complete, but that’s more to do with habit. I’m very aware of the word count with my 500 self imposed minimum.
It’s great to have friends who are willing to come over like this. My friend Tanya is on the sofa next to me as I write. She’s hungover to all hell, but she jumped in an uber because she knows my flat is a place of rest and food. I’m wrapped up in multiple layers as if it were midwinter. I’m glad my place is a place of relaxation and recuperation. Its my home, I’ve missed it, and it wouldn’t be home if it didn’t involve an enthusiastic bunch of beautiful misfits.

It’s going to be unusual blogging every day in London, simply because I never did it before. Which is why I must. Occasionally though, they’ll be splintered ramblings. As I expect this is. I’m so confused about who I am and what is going on. I asked everyone to express that in a photo.

Pork time. Omnomnom

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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