Saturday, September 10, 2011

as they drove it away

We were turning round the corner around Plaza Catia when they caught up with us, handgun showing. Pull over. Leave that iPod there, mister. Just leave the car quietly and nobody gets hurt. So we did … as I was getting out of the car the very old Oriental gentleman made a ‘sshh’ sign and I handed him the iPad I was carrying, without the hijackers realising. Shame about my guitar in the boot. And the long long walk home. Where were my companions now? The car was speeding away round the corner of Plaza Catia, without me. I started to walk, down those streets whose names and shapes I had so long forgotten. Up Calle El Cristo towards Calle Bolivar; puddles on the pavement, old cars parked by the kerb, furtive people scuttling by. It was dark, the middle of the night, not the best time to arrive at a house when you had no keys and you didn’t know who would be there. Walk across people who move away from me or give way on the pavement. I thought I probably looked scared, but didn’t think I looked scary. Still, a stranger in the middle of the night in the streets of Catia…

Then it dawned on me. I had nowhere to go. It was well over twenty five years since I’d sold my house in Catia. I would only find strangers there, not refuge. Nowhere to go but to hope that it was a dream and try and force myself to wake up..


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