Wednesday, 10 September 2014

He was rather scruffy

A 30-year old man gets off the bus in Liverpool and is simply awed at the grand buildings there, built with giant yellow stones, blackened with age. Statues perched on tall columns greet him with a symbolic gesture. The streets are larger than the claustrophobic Manchester and are lined with small cafes. A visit to legendary band The Beatles museum, not immortalised in statue but rather in music. A short stop in a tiny book store filed to the brim and tended by a grey, aged man, locked in conversation with his friend, about the fact that apparently people in California pay a ridiculous amount of money for old books.

The next morning, the traveler exits the hostel he was staying in at quite an earlier hour, for a symphony of snorers kept him up all night. He roams the waterfront and finds a quiet spot nearby where a piano sits outside, unattended. The passersby are not too interested in the object and stay the course, intended on getting to work on time. Calmly, a man that looks in his early 70s, sharply dressed in dark blue suit, sits down and warms up his fingers.

He proceeds to play what must be his whole repertoire, an impromptu concert lasting close to half an hour. When done, he gets up calmly, with a smile on his face, and walks away slowly. Startled by the stranger standing up and clapping, this scruffy traveler that silently watched, he turns around and with a wave of the hand accepts the ovation.

The traveler starts roaming once more until his tired feet bring him to a museum where he spends some time, half learning, half dreaming up medieval stories of his own.

The man, days later, feels himself becoming a boy once more, as him and his friends walk in ancient castles, visit rooms where kings and knights once walked and dined. He feels a deep sentiment of satisfaction, as if an urge that gnawed at him his whole life finally let go. The boy within the man drinks and eats with his friends, trying to remember every moment of this rare time, for his friends come from a land far away and their meetings are sparse and short.

Enjoying beers and laughter over the Tymes river, he smiles.

A day later, the boy within the man discovers that it is possible to fall in love at first sight, he who has over the years built himself a castle to defend against such assaults of the heart. He falls in love not with a woman, but with a city called Edinburgh.

He spends time with her, drinking in her beauty, listening to her story. After a day away to neighboring Glasgow, he is infinitely happy to be reunited with her and despite his battered legs he walks uphill to the royal street to gaze longingly at her.

The boy, arched over his tablet, writes these words sullenly, for he knows that tomorrow he must leave her for a long time, maybe forever.

The lady called Edinburgh does not pretend to be moved or even touched. Many are her suitors.

The boy feels tired, and the grizzled traveler picks him up, brings him up high for him to see the horizon and all they have left to see.

The boy nods, and smiles.