My mum has come to look after the kids so that I can have some writing time, but oh how I have been blathering about. It took me about half an hour to leave the flat. I dither over coffee places. The ‘S’ place down the road is too noisy. The hotel (beds! sleep!) seems posh and intimidating, but I go for it. Then I flibber-flabber over the two coffee shops in the hotel. The first place is too vibey and the second place too dark. Like the sleep-seeking missile that I am, I go for dark.
Now I am sitting incognito at the local hotel in the piano bar that looks like a faux-velvet-swathed brothel. No one is playing the piano; rather, music of the Euro-pop variety is being played too loudly through the speakers. The lights are dim, which is helpful, because I am too, for all the usual reasons (mini-folk keeping me up all night with teething problems and requests for the loo mummy.) A waiter who resembles a Flamenco dancer has just served me an expensive espresso coffee. Having not been alone for so long, I hardly know myself and am concerned I may start jabbering in silly voices as I do with my usual small companions. On the way here, I was hooted at by a bloke in a car. His eyes swept over me several times like windscreen wipers, while I smiled dumbly at him, convinced I must know him or that I had done something unwittingly, before I realized that he was simply perving.
Sitting on this ornate chair, like a maiden aunt at a ball, I am observing the men and women coming in and meeting each other. Are they all having affairs? In the middle of the day? I can’t help catching snatches of the conversation instead of working. A man, presumably some kind of life coach, is saying this to a client on the other end of the phone: “Even though you are drier than a cactus, you have the ability to access your own wise self and find the water. The water that you saw in your dream is the life. There are many people inside of you who you are yet to meet.” (Crikey, how many people? And the person is paying for this?) "One you have not met is the one who sabotages your life. But don’t worry, you will meet him soon.” Deux actes de sabotage? And then there are two men across the way, whispering to each other. The one man is recording the conversation of the other on his phone. They are speaking pointedly and cryptically. “I will shackle Nick,” the one man is saying. “Well David will help as well,” the other responds helpfully. Are they plotting a murder? Gosh, I really must get out more, this is awfully exciting. Perhaps I’ll write a thriller instead of the deep and meaningful yarn I am supposed to be writing. Darn, time is up, I need to get back to the little folk.