fringe diary iv

Edinburgh's quiet before 8 on a Tuesday. It's sunny but chilly and there's still a bit of morning grey filtering the world. I'm wearing yesterday's t-shirt and yesterday's boxers, which have served me as pyjamas. The rattier of my Sox hats sits on my head. My bleary eyes try to focus through my glasses. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Albert King jam through my headphones. My flip-flops snap along the cobblestones and make my walk something like a zombie's. My hands warm themselves in the belly pocket of my hoodie. From time to time my eyes drift down to my feet, to the frayed edges of my jeans and I'm struck by the oddness of toes.

I didn't sleep much last night.

I'm sure I look the part. The part of the hungover - though I'm not - and the sleep deprived - guilty as charged. I look like I've not been home yet, though that's an illusion.

The streets are still. I pass one of the local pubs and blink at the size of the padlock on the front door. They'll be open again soon - festival hours and all that.

The Apple store isn't open but the supermarket is. I cross the street without danger. There are no cars. I expect tumbleweed, but there's none of that either. The odd shopper looks far more awake than I. They seem to be shopping as though it is normal to do so at this hour of the morning. I wander the aisles and my mind wanders to last night, our best performance yet. I think about dinner and fine wines.

I blink and see a giant packet of toilet roll. 16 for the price of 12. I grab it and head to the check out, pausing briefly by the magazine rack to find something else to by, oddly self-conscious of my singularity of purpose. All the magazines are shite. And so I head to the check out bearing only my bogroll. The exit confuses me and I try in vain to open a locked door, until the bemused security guard points me in the right direction.

Flip-flops snap again on the cobbles and I return to the sleeping flat, no more awake than when I left. Mission accomplished.