far too much writing, far too many photos

[continued from previous post]

G. had initially shown signs of wanting to tag along with D., provoking a quiet sigh of relief from me, my sleep-deprived self ready for time alone. He changed his mind, though, trailing after me, forcing a fast, reluctant attitude readjustment on my part, shifting churlish displeasure to something more congenial.

This spending huge amounts of time around the same people thing: not always my idea of paradise. Depends on the people/person, in part. Depends on my fatigue level (a factor, in this case, after the previous day’s marathon migration north followed by a night of roommates’ snorish vocalizing). Depends on how easily I can find getaway space or the illusion thereof. Depends on a bunch of variables, some mysterious or not so easily wrestled with, others logical and quickly remedied. This last month’s stay in D.’s home has turned out to be wonderfully relaxed and balanced, in part because space has been built into it — me with my own room, him working days, having his own life to pursue beyond that. We’ve known each other a long time, have seen each other grow and change, have developed a solid base of mutual acceptance and appreciation. Add to that his kind, patient, easygoing nature and good sense of humor, the result is an excellent host/roommate and all-around human-type being.

The patisserie: closed, maybe out of business, leaving me to make a further readjustment. Wound up trying a small, nearby coffee joint run by two 50ish sisters. Turned out to be a find. Good brew, good food, easy-flowing conversation with the sister behind the counter, whose musical accent got and held my attention.

That set the pattern for the next few hours. Drifting leisurely from one coffee pusher to another, entertaining ourselves with food, drink, blab. When Dermot materialized, G. and I were standing on a high-pedestrian-traffic corner enjoying sunlight and the endless flow of people. (He knew where we were because he’d spied on us via the camera obscura. Sneaky bastard.)

Braveheart impersonator, Edinburgh

Two or three hours later, D. and G. were ready to get more active, more focused, wanting to walk further with more purpose. Not me — I bailed. Went back to hotel, used the gym, returned to room, cranked up laptop, pretended to be productive, enjoying the tranquility. The roommates reappeared, almost immediately fell out, all their walking around taking its toll. The TV came on at some point: soccer standings, excessive amounts of the world snooker championship (that one NOT my choice), the first episode of the brand new season of Dr. Who. (The first half: fun. The second half: er, well, not so much fun. Kind of deadly, I’m afraid.)

We came to a group consensus that we’d seen far too much of a hyper-touristy part of the city, decided to hike away from the center to a more normal area. Twenty minutes later, D. stood in front of a Moroccan restaurant watching a belly dancer do her stuff inside, strongly suggesting that we eat there. I have nothing — believe me, absolutely NOTHING — against bellydancers, but the menu didn’t grab me. Two doors down, the menu in the window of a small Indian joint did. Apparently D. and G. felt the same — we wound up there (D. glancing wistfully in the direction of the Moroccan place before stepping inside) eating the best Indian meal I’ve had the pleasure of cramming down my throat in a long, long time. Years, maybe. Killer food.

A nice walk back to the hotel, nighttime air cool. I retreated to my bed, in dire need of relief from an outrageous amount of horrible post-mealtime noises provided courtesy of one roommate, earplugs eliminating most of it. Three or four hours later, snoring shook me from sleep, the responsible party so deeply out that it took a couple of minutes to wake them, my attempts slowly escalating from whispering their name to jabbing and shaking their shoulder, the knowledge that I was dealing with a good person who would feel terrible as soon as they found out they’d been making my life miserable a buttress against the smouldering urge to shift my hands to their throat.

[to be continued]


Edinburgh, Scotland

EspaƱa, te echo de menos.

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