Fiction? Yes, I think, though it’s skirting uncomfortably close to the edges of autobiography. Enjoy.
Rain is to be expected, they say. No, I’ll leave the umbrella; you can carry it, if you like – people seem to find a pleasant sort of reassurance in having one, as if canvas itself will prevent the inevitable British weather.
Let’s take a walk for a while. You asked me, after all, for a tour.
It’s approaching spring, and there are things beginning to flower even this early; the trees are showing signs of life, and it worries me as much as it makes me hopeful – snow should still be blanketing the ground; I should still be left shivering, all chattering teeth, without a coat.
This alley… Hmm. Consider us lucky that we’re here in the middle of the day, is all I’ll say, and leave it at that.
There are spices in the air, if you sniff. That hint of cardamom? Yes, I caught it too. That said, the air here is full of things – I hear a drumbeat nearby. Ever wondered how something can be alien, and yet, familiar as your own heartbeat?
Voices, too, mixing and melting together. Mostly English. Sometimes not. It’s like that round here; your ears will adjust, eventually, to the sound of cultures fighting for dominance, sometimes blending into each other.
Mine? Oh, they have. This is my neighbourhood, you see. It’s in my blood, even if that’s a curse as much as a blessing, and I know these streets like the lines on my palms.
Is this my home? Oh, that’s a different matter altogether. We’ll have to see.