I enjoyed my trip down the mountain, it was almost the only time I had been alone for days. I wanted a bit, no a lot, of boring normality, so I stopped off for a while in town, sat in the park and looked at the ducks. I got myself a take away tea and watched the world go by.
Some time during that hour it hit me just how different I felt from a few days ago, when I had wearily got on a plane to come home and lick my wounds. Carrie was rapidly becoming my past, I hadn’t given her a thought in days, but what about my own future.
I wasn’t the same person, hell I wasn’t even the same species that I thought I was a week ago. I wondered how many more there were out there like me.
I treated myself to something mundane, a haircut and a proper wet shave in the barbers Dad and Marc always go to. I’ve never been there before, but It was nearby, Bernie went there too. It’s where they used to drag a certain herbalist for the quarterly punch up and slanging match known as Hugh’s haircut! Funny little place up an alley, with a traditional stripey pole outside.
I sat in the chair waiting for my shave, they seemed quite busy. The guy next to me smiled and said something to the barber, I had heard enough recently to know that it was Elvish. I was astonished, he winked at me and said quietly ‘it’s ok to let the ears go son, you are among friends.’ So I did and it felt really good.
We got chatting, turns out this is a little cultural centre for ‘our’ kind. You can even watch the news from the other place in a room out the back, where Elvish or Pixie is generally spoken and they play Quat.
Bernie was a regular visitor and they were all shocked to hear the news. Every single person in there had been at the wake and had seen it happen. Like us they all assumed he would come bouncing back, and no one could quite believe that the light inside the irrepressible little man had finally gone out. Condolences were sent to Molly and to Dad and Marc.
I stayed for a while enjoying this new world where I seemed to be fitting in. I even played a couple of games of Quat and had a woodland coffee, they do it in cappuccino and latte which was pretty funky of them.
I knew I was lucky, everyone knows my family, it was easy for me to step into this life. I wondered how difficult it was for those less fortunate than myself and it set me thinking.