enough space

I WAS IN ENGLAND or maybe Scotland. Some larger UK city with Georgian architecture, but nothing recognizable. I was looking for a cash machine, but there were none around. There was a café toward the ends of one wing, but nothing else there. Just some city folks drinking lousy coffee and an old man selling Cornish pasties. While I was searching, I encountered a young family with two sons who recognized me. They were fans of my work, and I was happy to sign autographs, but they would not quit pestering me. I lost my temper. We were by the main door and I sprinted across the street to get away, into another gold-bricked mansion. This, as I found out later, was the main building of the regional NHS Trust. I did find an ATM and withdrew some crisp banknotes. They had not yet replaced the queen with the new king. Vesta was there waiting. Vesta’s had a hard time of it. She always does. She is a firestorm woman of uncertain circumstances. We began to leave the center together, and I was surprised when she wanted to do it right there at an intersection. There’s a kind of desperation with her that is so satisfying. Many long for comfort, for security. They want to be held and never let go of, preferably by someone with a good-paying job and of sufficient emotional fortitude. Not Vesta. She’s a monsoon, and that only makes it doubly satisfying. “No, no, no,” I told her, “Everyone will see us! Let’s go back to my place.” At my place, we climbed the stairs and went into a closet. There were people downstairs having some lunch. I could hear them eating, but we felt safe and there was just enough space.

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