Seattle. Full of wide fridges and parking lots; lacking decent tea and rain. I wander down 34th avenue, not daring to cross. I still don't get this rule about jaywalking, or how come everybody in this city seems so well-adjusted. The waitress tells me her life story. I cross my arms and feel my upper lip stiffen. I guess I'm a true Brit, after all. I love the tall wooden houses, painted grey and white. I imagine Norman Bates lurking in attic windows.
I'm waiting for Jo to finish in the beauty salon. Today she's dressed in a grey vest that makes her hair stand out like silver. She is beautiful. She's nervous as hell about Thursday, lists flapping about her brain, wedding spreadsheets coming out of her ears. It's pointless me telling her all will be well. We've left William to get his hair cut and then we're off Downtown to watch men chuck huge fish across wet tables at Pike market and mooch about the waterfront. I feel clueless about Seattle, and my bearings are vague at best.
Correction. I am vague at best. I'm doing okay with the jetlag, despite having been up since 4.45am this morning. However, I do keep doing things like knocking my water over and spilling my cereal, and earlier I screamed at the top of my lungs when Jo disturbed me listening to music on my headphones. For several seconds I hadn't a clue who she was, or indeed, where the hell I was. I'm in an unfamiliar land, and yet, Brighton now feels unfamiliar. Crossing over, I still haven't arrived.
Oh Brighton, you can't help being what you are, can you? I blame you for a multitude of sins, mainly my own. You crystallise all that I do right in my life and all that I fuck up. I want to kick your pebbles into the sea and squash ice cream into your beaches.
I crave the green of the trees that line every avenue in Freemont. I want that green trickling down the back of my throat, flooding my veins, refreshing every tired, cracked bone inside me until I am new again.