The bar smells sour; the stairs are cramped and lead sharply downward into a room that opens up unexpectedly into an interesting underground space. Some boy strums a guitar with his eyes closed and at the bar I have to lean forward to make the bartender understand me. He pours me a tiny glass of Glenfiddich that I somehow manage to make last a full two hours.
Earlier, I had walked around and up to Edinburgh Castle; I had taken a photograph of myself looking into a funhouse mirror; I had paused at the apex of a great hill and tried to form some analogy that seemed uncooperative, inflexible. It was inside me, somewhere, this idea of climbing upwards and upwards and finally reaching somewhere beautiful, of having the blue skies stretching out overhead like a blanket, but it was too literal and not exactly true. I’m still climbing and sometimes falling backwards but always in motion. Perpetually putting one foot in front of the other.
Later this week I found myself on top of Calton Hill. An Asian tourist stood apart from the crowd and nearer to the edge than I might have dared. When she saw me, she handed me her camera without saying anything. I took her picture. She smiled widely.
I find myself thinking about the world as an actual thing, as an actual globe with a specific diameter, a certain size. Somewhere there is someone on the other side of it. They send me a song. It is their nighttime; it is my morning. When I listen to the song, they are sleeping.
Something about a hill; something about loneliness. Something I don’t understand but that I am slowly, slowly crawling towards.
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