Sunday, January 18, 2009


I'm sitting in the bus station, late, waiting for a bus, reading a book of poetry by someone or other, and this bloke spills off the nearest bus. He's older than me, maybe mid-to-late fifties, wearing a leather jacket, jeans, trainers, has a little white goatee, and he's obviously blasted; you can see it by the way he walks--he's staggering like a guy on an old sailing ship riding through a storm. He catches my eye. Here we go, I think, the drunk in the bus station, just what I need at this time of night when I'm tired and tetchy and all I wanna do is sleep. Then he yells "FAIRPORT CONVENTION!"

But drunks don't normally yell Fairport Convention at you,and they're one of my favourite bands, so I'm intrigued, I think that's what I heard him say but I want to make sure. It'll be so funny if he actually did. So I lean foward and shout back, "WHAT?" (Pardon just doesn't seem the right word in the bus station in the middle of the night.) He ambles over with a kind and kind of satisfied smile on his face and puts his hand out for me to shake. The alcohol on his breath is so intense it would kill a field full of daffodils instantly, but I like it, I need a drink anyway. "Fairport Convention," he says, simply, as if it's the most obvious thing in the world. I shake his hand, he's an agreeable old fuck and like I say,I really really like Fairport Convention. "I just got a really strong psychic vibe off you," he says.

"That's pretty spooky," I say, impressed, feeling a bit of a weird chill actually, like someone's just been walking around inside my head. He smiles, apparently satisfied, and turns to walk away. That was obviously all he wanted to say, Fairport Convention, now he's off to do whatever other business he has in Northampton in the middle off the night. But before he walks out of sight he turns and shows me the Peace sign, "You have a good night, eh brother?" he says. I show him the sign back, a bunch of trackie-wearing kids looking on scornfully. "Peace, matey, you too," I say. And then he disappears.

And I go home in a really good mood and get a decent night's sleep for a change.

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