Seagulls and company

This is the summer. When you can stand atop a building in a vintage kimono surrounded by seagull poo and and point at the sea.

I love this item of clothing. It has just come into my possession and it fits me brilliantly, just stopping on top of my feet. Perfect for all my past life feelings of being an ancient Japanese warmonger and so forth. It was originally purchased by a dear friend of Lou’s for a man who turned out to be a wrong’un. His wrong is my right. Apparently all the symbols have meaning and it’s reasonably old, so I’ll have to find out more, but eventually I’ll be able to sit in front of my gorgeous antique butsudan and chant to the gohonzon in a tidy flat while wearing my kimono – and all of these things came to me by chance and circumstance. I’ve never even been to Japan. It seems it’s calling to me from across the broken world. One day soon… Perhaps I should go be Bill Murray, or make that movie on Sado Island.

Post seagull crap, I put on some less interesting clothes and we went for a quick walk on the beach before a speedy schlep back to London to check on the cat. He met me halfway down the stairs and then got lavished with attention. Maybe it’s the sea air, maybe I just synchronised with the cat, because I had only been lavishing him for about twenty minutes before I collapsed into a happy warm afternoon nap with him. I woke up as it was shifting to evening, and drove across London to meet five other people in the beer garden of an actual pub in Hampstead. We had a late roast dinner at about 5pm in North London. I had a little happy lambykins. We talked and laughed and remembered how easy it is to have a conversation dominated by the loudest voice, and when I left I was full of endorphins that are unfamiliar to me after all this time. The buzz of having been in human company, in proximity, in a social exchange. And the words were not the subject. There was a dominant voice, but the communication was happening in tiny movements of the head and glances, shared amusements and noticings. A lot of the time we could have been saying anything at all. The only subject was that people were together. It was like a sensory overload. A gluttony of contact. Something once commonplace has been new-forged in the fire of Covid. I won’t be taking human company for granted so much going forward. It took decades for people to start shaking hands again after the Spanish flu. Everything goes round and round and round. I’m glad we did it – that such a thing was finally possible.

Full of the joys of it, I’m now back in my bed. Mao is curled up at my feet occasionally peeking to make sure I’m still here. I feel deeply rested after a varied and happy weekend. The next week has nothing once more – this recovery process is slow. But something is coming to make sense of all the disappointments and knocks. I’m not yet sure what it will be, but I’m looking forward to it.

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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