Everything seems ultra-real in the early hours, smells, sounds and sights are exaggerated, blown-up, magnified. Or is it just me? Is it my initial trepidation about going out and then the relief that follows when it is alright? I come upon things. Even in this little, ordinary town, there is the unusual, the rare, the unexpected to be found. Like the open shed by the harbour, with its light spilling out onto the tarmac and the three figures standing at its threshold, one wrapped in a cape of some sort. 13 minutes to go, one of them is saying. A girl. A girl’s voice. Her legs are bare, she has trainers on and the cape is a blanket. I walk past and peer in, briefly. Its the shed they keep the gigs in. Two frames with them, one above the other. Inside are two boys on rowing machines. They look hot, pumped up with energy. Is it for Sport Relief? Is it a 24 hour thing?
The moon was out. A half-moon. Is it waning or growing larger? It is a while since I’ve seen it. The wind was wild. Such a clanking and clattering from the boats rigging. A plastic Tesco bag had got caught, wrapped around the railing along the Prom. It was flapping, rattling in the gusts. An apricot-coloured food carton was being lifted up, dancing in the air. A couple walked hand in hand ahead of me. Then they stopped. He puts his arms around her waist and pulled her towards him. In the dark I felt her reluctance. No, no, she was saying, gently, bored now. Walking towards North Road I pass two lads, their arms around each other. A girl walked behind, head bent.
My hands are still fizzing. They’ve been like that for a couple of days now. It feels like I’ve had too much tea. A nerviness. An edginess. Is something amiss?
She was lovely. So young, so earnest. My words didn’t come. I struggled to bring them forward and when I did they felt ugly in my mouth. But I did it. I conversed in Norwegian over a pot of tea and a chai latte. Out of the rain and wind, upstairs in that steamy-windowed café. She’s a farmer’s daughter from Stavanger. She was gentle, patient. I hope we can do it again. But oh, what it is not have language. I watched for the silences and willed the words to come.