Comings and Goings

The Air bnb guests – Louis and his brother and girlfriend – left me two gifts.

The first tangible, was a book Henry’s Demons: Living with Schizophrenia by Patrick Cockburn, which had come knocking on my door before but I had not taken it up. We’d exchanged sadly similar stories of dreadful experiences in mental health treatment in the UK (‘At least the Victorian’s funded their asylums!’ he said). His brothers girl friend, a colourful woman – probably my age who knows these days – asked if she could buy my old Norwegian reindeer skin. I said she could have it and with such pleasure, she packed the moulting skin in a black plastic sack. I’d been wondering what to do with it, from Norway over 10 years ago.

Their second gift was leaving out the Beetles White Album. The complete re-mastered collection was a gift from Bob (after he’d copied them all) i’d never opened it. But they had. So I played it all day long as I changed and washed sheets, swept and washed floors. Blackbird is on it, the song Bryan taught me to sing, and which I sang in front of Ramesh, my first and last time of public singing. Released in 1968, it came out of their visit to the Rishikesh, and TM and Maharishi Yogi. Back to Bob again, and yet again I turned and wanted to thank him and listen with him. I never knew how interwoven his life was with mine. I liked Bungalow Bill – never heard this one before – as here I am in my unexpected bungalow. Bungalow Bill is after a bungalow bill in India, and I’m pretty sure the name bungalow is Indian, from Bengali of the Bengali style home.

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