May 10th 2018
On Monday I stopped in Glastonbury. Couldn’t not, I love Glastonbury. Possibly my favourite place. If there was a beach and mountains, it would be.
It was a sticky, hot, wet-at-the-top-of-the-thighs kind of day. Perfect for a beer at The King Arthur, I thought. But it was shut so I mooched to The George and Pilgrim’s Hotel.
At the bar, I ordered a fizzy-whizzy soda water and, failing to spot Coors, a Peroni – prefer light-tasting lager – and a bloke asked if I’d been out for a walk. Must have spotted the shabby boots.
‘No,’ I said. ‘I just drove up from Woolacombe.’
‘Nice.’ Or words to that effect.
We engaged in a little conversation and it felt good that a stranger thought I might have something interesting to say although I wondered briefly if he wanted to fuck me – that’s how women are usually sized up, aren’t they? But he seemed nice. Said he’d been for a walk and I clocked his thick calves. He had a square head and cropped white hair like a no-messing-with-this-dad type.
After downing the soda water, I took my lovely cold green Peroni bottle outside, wondering whether they sell it on tap in Italy. They must do: I should go there.
Slouched (must stop slouching) at a tiny table on the pavement, next to the pub window where a couple sat at a table on the inside and I thought, looking at the sun-bathed road how good life is when you’re alone in some place no-one knows you without the shit that comes with attachment and conflicting values. Selfish, maybe.
Incense, tobacco and car fumes twisted the air next to shuffling feet, buskers and cafes throwing crockery beyond open doors and as it got hotter the smell of coconut sun lotion transported me to past holidays; Spain, Turkey, Greece. The warmth cradled me, close. Sweat dripped down my spine and a short swift breeze blew underneath my shirt. Sweet breath.
Over my new notebook, I noticed a bloke selling wands; I grabbed mine and started to write, hoping for miracles, always. Spent the weekend in Woolacombe working on plot – not my forte, but felt good for making a start.
Writing in the sun with a beer, watching the world go by; could life have felt more perfect?
But I judged myself against those at the cafes drinking coffee while I sat glowing and overheated from beer outside the archaic pub where I rested my elbow on the window ledge considering how many drunks had held onto it since the fifteenth century and eavesdropped on passing conversations:
‘This is a beautiful day. I think I needed those chips, Kerry.’ She was skinny with greasy hair.
I wished for more Peroni. The bottle was empty and I didn’t want to lose my fine spot. Within the same moment, thick fingers appeared and rested a bottle in front of me.
‘To keep you going,’ said the man with the square head and white cropped hair who had chatted with me at the bar. He walked off with no ulterior motive before I barely had a chance to shout, ‘Thanks, how kind,’ thinking, ‘Just when you thought life couldn’t get more perfect.’
At home that night, I finished drafting ideas for a new plot and sent to my agent. Now I await feedback. Will be back to the drawing board, or diving into the new manuscript. Either is exciting; this is the world of a writer.