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The story went like this...

‘And so I found myself leaning nonchalantly against a wall on Shaftesbury Ave, in Soho, just about opposite the art cinema there, next to some Chinese shops, knick knacks or medicine - anyway I’d sort of come to a standstill. I recall I was wearing some red overalls with paint splashes. This made me stand out probably. Why in overalls, why leaning? 

Anyway I think I felt fear. Vaguely uneasy and wondering what move to make next. I’d walked out from the studio in the east end, and either cycled or tubed it over to call on friends, who were out, hence the leaning.


I walked through the crowds of tourists and shoppers. Winding my way through alleys and back streets South to the river.

Crossing Hungerford Bridge I must have gravitated to the foreshore there, dropping down the steps outside the RFH and feeling vaguely more satisfied as I crossed the beach of sand and jetsam to the edge of the fast flowing river. Tossing a couple of pebbles in I then sat, back to the stone abutment  and gazed across at the lights as they came on in the west end, the blue haze of a late summer, the flotsam passing languidly, the oily slick tide, boats beautifully complementing the sonorous, heaving background buzz of the city.

Adrift again in the big city. Wrong decade.

Wrong century.

Perhaps it had been time to return to the home time...

This was becoming a habit. 

Hiding in futures past and present.

Always hiding.

From what?

You could search me for an answer and not get one.

I realised it was time to return from my holiday, and get back to business. 

All the great ideas, things I’d planned, the notebooks, the inventions.

I had a plan again. ‘


‘So you had had enough, and did you get homesick?’


B took a sip from the goblet, her grey eyes on L, and adjusted her seat on the pile of brocaded cushions.

The purple and deep azure decorated richly with gold and silver thread clashed with her Carmine garment. 


‘Proceed with your story. How did you get back?’


L rolled his eyes and stopped pacing on the carpet, throwing himself down in a comfortable looking chair in font of Bron.


He sunk low in the chair and flipped one leg over the arm letting his hands fall in his lap. 


He regarded B.


‘Well, it was tricky. 

I had to make some difficult calculations, and gather myself mentally. After all, I’d come rather unstuck, lost the path a bit and needed the rest time. I also wanted to inhabit that particular sector of time and space. 

Even though I knew it was like a clock, a clockwork and mechanical motion, my sense of myself and my reality was of free will to do as I wished. So I continued with that in mind, and trundled down this illusion happily, checking the machinery, timings, evaluations and all the other bits and pieces.


It took me a couple of days, but then I had the machine  primed and ready and sitting quietly in my studio.

I decided to leave the paintings.

So I strapped in and moved the lever.

As I’ve already mentioned it was not straightforward. I went sideways first, into other, extremely strange realities. I became a complex amoeba, or rather a vast raft of jelly fish like entities floating in a rain soaked ocean in a universe of calm. Then on to become a series of magnetic waves representing a scintillating structure at the core of all being and desire. I was a heliotrope, a gorgeous and starving divinity, diving in arcs beyond all sense as we know it. I fell through clouds of creamy rich sentient beings who solicited me with tiny pin stabs and minute caresses on my skin.

Then I fell through real clouds, albeit gorgeous, big stratocumulus in towers down the Apennines. I hurtled the craft as best I could, through the spiral tunnels of an electric storm and landed, as you know, on the front lawn.’


L’s eyebrows returned to their normal beetling composure.


‘Ha ha, well done old chap.

Good to have you back and all that. Although thou art a knave, this sojourn in Englande, your troubled months there, your breakdown, probs go towards building character. And you do feel better now no?’


‘Mmm, yeah I think so. Plenty to get on with and I’ve only been gone two days by the local clocks, so no harm done’


‘We’ve lived a few cat lives haven’t we?’


L winked and nodded assent.


A cock crowed in the distance, and a hound yelped outside in the yard.

B got up and opened the great studded oak door to let the bounding creature in.

He trotted to the chair and snuffled at Ls hand then hurled himself down, joining B on the raft of cushions, nose on forepaws and let the old eyelids droop, sighing loudly.


‘Heliotrope oceans, and beetling brutal amoeba pin prick entities sound entertaining though init?’


B stroked the hound’s ears and her eyes glittered a pale puce.

End


Ta, I’m sure.

S


Sent from my spyphone