It is 4.10 am. A young woman stands outside The Academy, a coat by her feet on the pavement. She is shouting. I cannot see what it is that is alarming her. Her voice is sharp, grating, insistent. Suddenly she lunges forward, her shouts are louder now. Gordon, she shouts, fucking leave it. Fucking leave it, she repeats. Gordon, fucking leave it. She is standing over two young men who are rolling in the street outside Starbucks. Hands grasp at tee-shirt sleeves, legs kick. They are a tumble of limbs. Fucking leave it, Gordon, shouts the girl, yanking at his shirt. Another man lies slightly apart from them. He is roaring. Roaring like a wounded beast. He holds aloft a half-empty bottle of beer in his right hand. A line of blood seeps from his left bicep.
Peace is shattered. I watch as a taxi pulls up, waiting, his engine thrumming. I pass an ambulance. Its windows are open and the lights are on but it is empty. The shouting has stopped. The smell of bread from Slater’s Bakery helps. A comfort.
Even in the dark the sounds are large, perhaps larger for that fact that one sense is hindered. The clamour of starlings under the pier, readying for murmuration. The long drawn out screeching of the seagulls, though tonight they were silent. Then there is the constant humming of generators down by the harbour. The silence is heightened by them. A purring, a meditative om. Then later, almost home on the Llanbadarn Road the birds. Tree-dwelling birds. Not song. No this is aggressive, a kind of clicking, husting noise, a spitting kind of chirruping. Not twee, not gentle, this is about territory.
A clear sky this morning. Cold but clear. I’m not well in myself. Off colour. Peaky. I will take it steady today. Gentle. Breathing in and out stuff. No more demanding than that. Sleepy now. My eyes are heavy with it. Post-massage. It was beautiful. A gift. I went so deeply under. The couch was heated, my bones were thankful. So heavy, so relaxed. I snorted a few times. Did she hear? I touched her arm and apologised. She is discreet. You needed it, she said, I can always tell the ones who need it.
Every week, I could do with it every week.