Monday, July 30, 2007

Walk - a short story

He had begun to like this English weather. Though he missed lying in the scorching sun back home in India, there was something exotic about walking in this weather. He enjoyed strolling in the drizzle in his rather over sized Barbour and his favourite handled umbrella. Though it was the middle of the noon, it appeared more like the late evenings in Kochi.

Today he felt like visiting his old mate, Matt who sold burgers by the dock. Without the bike, it was going to take him around an hour to get there. Perhaps a quick drop at the local on the way back; he smiled at the thought of it. Nothing better to complement the weather than a warm Guinness at the old bell inn.

Though there was an air of uneasiness about the lonely pathways, he had got accustomed to this. Predictably, Jim was the first guy he came across by the docks since he started from his small apartment at the quaint stokebridge maltings; an 18th century maltings converted into flats. Jim was always around feeding the pigeons at the dock bridge on a good weather. With no pigeons out in the wet, Jim had settled in his humble shed by the river Orwell. A bit too much of the Ale on Jim, as he could see.

Time appeared to stand still when he walked through these paths; there stood Wolsey gate with a great story to tell. History stays still; he thought. Back by the calm Orwell and no sign on Matt, he headed towards the boats. Chris should be on his boat; has been a a while since he met Chris. Chris should be back from his round the Island trip now that trawling has been banned for the season. Yup. There was his boat and he could see his shadow by the mast. Chris always had a story to tell; some about his family back in London whom he dearly missed and sometimes a bit of history. Always interesting. Especially after a shot of whisky. Perhaps someday he too would travel round the world in a boat with all the time to himself like Chris.

With enough time spent he decided it was best to leave Chris on his own. For the quick walk back, he took the unpaved paths now all sludgy by the rain. At this moment, the only thoughts were the caskets of beer at Old Bell Inn.

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