BACK AGAIN TO SALISBURY
If at Naná's house, Bruce had not awakened any great interest (folkloric), the same was not the case with Terry’s entrance into said house. I think I already mentioned Janie Booth's amazement when she came face to face with all Terry's tattoos, of when she was startled by his mobile denture, of Terry’s (passing) passion for Janie Booth, of Naná's annoyance, of the dread that Benjamin (the cat) had in Terry's presence (Terry turned Benjamin round and round, threw him up in the air, went "Grrrstziu" at him and didn’t leave him in peace, all of this in front of the angry and speechless Naná, the owner of the plaything, that is, the owner of Benjamin). One day Janie Booth and I went to visit Peticov and Pam (a beautiful American ex-groupie, who had already been through dozens of pop superstars and now lived with Peticov). Pety had rented a large four-room apartment in front of ‘Seed‘, the macrobiotic restaurant where we often used to go. Pety intended to make the rented apartment a big centre of cultural activities of ‘braziliance’ in London. The apartment was on the roof of a five floor building with a broken lift. I needed to get to know the ‘secret' of getting to Pety's apartment, which was behind the stairs, beyond secret doors, in hidden places. He had painted all the walls of every room, so that the walls themselves were an extension of the green valleys and parks of England. The lower parts of the walls were green, representing lawns, but above that the trees stretched out and behind the trees, blue sky with white psychedelic clouds. Janie Booth made several "oohs!" of exclamation and admiration for Peticov’s pastoralist paintings. He was half in love, half amused by Janie Booth (it was he himself who whispered this to me). But Janie was an independent American (from New York), and was free from any sentimental commitment. Pam was also leaving, shortly, for an unknown destination (as yet). Peticov was more or less inflexible and people did not collaborate with his dream of setting up a company, an agency, and getting everyone working, doing something to get out of that apathy of ‘sweet and softly’ that was everyone's life, in general. But one day the owner of the apartment came to collect the rent and she saw that painting all over the walls. She was furious and asked, or rather ordered, that Peticov remove it within one week.
Janie and I, inside Peticov's apartment, felt like we missed Terry and we were anxious about having left him abandoned and alone, at Naná's house (at that time in the afternoon she would soon be finishing another day of working at the BBC). We said cheerio to Peticov and we went back to Naná's. When we opened the door and went into the house, where was Terry? Naná's house was like an earring, a jewel of cleanliness. Terry had cleaned it all. And on the living room table, the same table where Barbara used to play patience whilst waiting for Jody to wake up, on that same table there was a note from Terry to us all. In the note he thanked us for our hospitality, our love and our friendship. But the time had come for him to get back to Salisbury. After we read Terry’s note, Janie and I looked each other in the face and let out several “oohs!" of disappointment, regret, etcetera. And we went to the kitchen. In the kitchen our “oohs!" were of disappointment and comic surprise. Terry hadn't even touched the kitchen, which had the sink stacked with dirty dishes, dirty pots, forks and cutlery, garbage and everything, left from the last few days. Everything to wash and clean. And it was we who did it, me and Janie, like in those films of … Doris Day, if I'm not mistaken. When Naná got back that night, the house was in such good order that she couldn’t remember it being like that for a long time. We talked about Terry and we wondered if we had done anything to upset him. And suddenly we agreed to go to Salisbury the next day, a Saturday, especially to visit Terry.
When all this was happening, the painter Luis Jasmim had just succeeded in convincing the soccer player, Rivelino, to let him (Jasmim) shave his moustache, otherwise Luis Jasmin wouldn’t paint Rivelino's portrait. But when that happened, Zelinda Lee hadn't opened her boutique yet, ‘Obvious’. But on the other hand, Tereza de Souza Campos had already been included in the definitive list of the ten most elegant women, and she calmed down (thanks to that). Whilst all this was happening or was about to happen in Rio, in São Paulo my friend Joãozinho Boa Foda was arrested for selling marijuana and was condemned to be a Boa Foda at the house of detention for many, many years, ‘comme il faut’. But the ‘top of the gossips’, even, was Trans Amazônia, in Brazil and in the world.
It was a beautiful, clear morning, nearly the end of winter. The month was March and the day was Saturday. Naná, very early, had come into my room and woken me up. Janie Booth was already up. We were going to Salisbury. I had a good bath and got dressed with three shirts, a pullover, my Lee jacket and the pellerine cape that Naná had given to me as a gift, months ago. The pellerine was long, black and round and under it I always felt like one of those nasty characters in a play, the kind that enters and leaves the scene, complaining about the times and about life. We took our sleeping bags and we went to the station to take the train to Salisbury.
The night before that Saturday, Naná, Janie and I had gone to sleep relatively early, around one o'clock in the morning. Zé Vicente, at that time the fourth guest in the house (including Naná herself) hadn't yet arrived back from the Electric Cinema. I still hadn't managed to get to sleep when I heard the door open and lots of feet walking on the creaky floor of Naná’s house. It was Zé Vicente and a bunch of strangers he had met at the Electric Cinema. Strangers, no, not really. In the middle of the pack was Liz, an American who we had met just after she had arrived from the States, still grimacing. Now she was living in a heavy community on the outskirts of London, in Wood Green, if I'm not mistaken. And those strangers that Zé Vicente had brought to enjoy some sounds at Naná's house were some of the members of Liz’s community. I stayed in my room and in my bed, in the dark, pretending to be asleep, but listening from my room. Suddenly I heard Naná's voice asking Zé Vicente to tell the gang not to talk too loud, because she (Naná), Janie and I had to be up early to take the train to Salisbury. About five minutes later the whole gang left, withdrew, retired, and Zé Vicente went to sleep in a bad mood and with a slight hatred of Naná, of everything and everyone. Soon after, sleep would catch me by surprise and I surrendered, fatally, to the arms of Morpheus, the Greek god of sleep. In the morning we went to Salisbury. Naná, Janie and me.
When we got off at the station in Salisbury, and went down from the train station to the street that goes to the city centre, I was happy to see the way they both admired that magical city and its architecture right to its surroundings. Janie kept making delighted “oohs!" of surprise, amazement and admiration. On the main street of the city, which leads to the Cathedral, we met Roger Elliot, the wizard who held the keys to the city and who once had opened many of its doors for me. We hugged and I naively embraced Roger with such enthusiasm that he didn't know what to make of it, except that Naná and Janie could see that Roger and I were close and great friends. But Roger got it and responded enthusiastically to my enthusiasm, leaving me also surprised and slightly confused. And the four of us went walking to our house in Saint Anne Street. There, everyone also welcomed me with the enthusiasm appropriate for the season of spring rather than the ‘downs’ of winter. Terry was very pleased and totally lost control when he came face to face with me, Naná and Janie. "I was just talking about you, you nutters!" he said, really happy to see us. Maria Luisa, Terry's portuguese partner, was working at the hospital where she was a nurse. Terry was unemployed and just wanted to have fun. But he had already promised Maria Luisa that he would go to London in search of better conditions for working and employment, that in the calm and eternal Salisbury nothing else attracted him. Terry was Irish and a ‘wanderer' by nature, and since he’d left for the outside world he’d never spent a long time here or there. Like me, Terry was looking for something (bigger) in this life (smaller). And this thing he was looking for wasn’t in Salisbury. Maybe it was in London. That was why he wanted to go to London. Terry told us that Maria Luisa was apprehensive about his quick decision to go away again. But Terry had promised Maria Luisa that as soon as things got sorted out in London he would come and pick her up from Salisbury. Maria Luisa accepted it all with a look somewhere between sceptical and hopeful. Like all Portuguese, she was also fateful. Before joining Terry, many years ago, she had been married in Portugal. But the marriage had not worked out and one day she had left her homeland for England, leaving in Portugal the two children (twins) from her marriage. One day she had shown me pictures of the children and her eyes had filled with tears. She would like to send for the children. But for her family, and for her ex-husband’s family, she was just a little grandmother. Maria Luisa was thirty years old and the oldest in the house at 63 Saint Anne Street in Salisbury. From Terry she knew she couldn't expect anything because he was a bit of a buffoon, childish and irresponsible. Terry was only twenty-two years old and had not yet checked out all the fruits that his vigorous palate craved.
It was a Saturday afternoon, a beautiful, sunny afternoon at the end of winter. It wasn't so cold and the clean air came in through our noses, into our lungs, filling us with happiness and joy to be alive. And we went for a walk around the Cathedral and its surroundings. Naná (Uruguayan) and Janie (from a New York suburb) were amazed by the unreality of Salisbury. And the boys in the community treated the two women with noble and fraternal manners and they were delighted with that new type (for them) of human treatment. The Cathedral was filled with other hippies and magicians and almost turned into a lovely kind of party. It was as if Naná, Janie and I, we were cousins and prodigal children returning to the bosom of the family and home, whose garden was the Cathedral. Then we separated into couples and small groups, and we lost ourselves here and there. I went with Bruce Garrard through the streets and he took me to a bookshop and showed me Tolkien’s book ('The Lord of the Rings’), that someone in the community had pointed out to me as the most beautiful book ever written. I had some money in my pocket and I bought the book. When we got back to the house, Naná saw the book in my hand and immediately pulled it out, saying: "I was crazy to read that book." Then she sat on the floor in the corner of the room and she was avidly reading, reading, reading, the 1077 pages of hobbits, elves, dwarves, trolls, rings, good forests and forests full of hostile trees, trees that move and plant themselves in places they choose, Gandalf; pure, simple and total magic. From time to time Naná raised her eyes from the book and told me (when I passed by), "But this book is just like this house, how crazy!"
It was Saturday afternoon and like every Saturday, the house filled up. There were always more people than would fit inside. It was a divine squeeze. At some time I went up to Bruce's (and the others’) room to talk a little with my friend Bruce, when Terry arrived with a whole bunch of people and proposed to me in front of everyone,"Oh, marry me, Bivar!” I was a little embarrassed, I took one of my curls and started to chew my hair, shy and not knowing how to answer. Then Bruce looked into my eyes, smiled and said: "Bivar is married to all of us.” Bruce always knew how to draw tears from my eyes. "You are humble, Bivar". Until then I didn't know what ‘humble’ meant, but thank God I’d brought an English-Portuguese dictionary with me in my pocket, a mini-dictionary, and I consulted it in front of everyone in the room. ‘Humble?’ It means ‘humilde’ – ‘modest’, ‘simple’. Immediately I had a more or less contrary reaction with my face. Bruce laughed: “You're a rainbow, Bivar!” Me? A rainbow? I was so embarrassed that I had to go downstairs and lose myself amongst the dozens of characters from the fantastic fairy tale who were playing, scattered on the living room floor of 63 Saint Anne Street. Janie was confused by being so pestered by the boys, who told her incredible tales and showed her such unexpected and surprising things. Simple things, drawings, magic stones, candles, signs, magic games, little surprises. And Janie didn’t stop exclaiming with her “Really!" and "ooh!" She was taken from here to there, from one corner to the other. And she spoke at ten to the dozen. Janie's American accent contrasted shockingly with the Salisbury accent of the people in the house. Meanwhile Naná was reading ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and every now and again she would close the book to compare what she was reading with what was actually going on at those moments.
Maureen had been caught pinching some greens, vegetables and cereals in a grocery shop nearby. Maureen was the one who took care of food for everyone, and many were the mouths to be fed, but she was not held for more than a couple of hours. Everyone laughed when she got back to the house with a bag full of all the food that she had stolen. That time she was forgiven (by the police and the grocer). She cooked us some food, a delicious and hearty dinner.
John Malston also appeared that night. And amused everyone with his long monologues, happy and sad, about the joys and sadness of everyday life, in a season that didn't give much chance for life in the open air, a prolonged stay outside, or aimless wanderings under the sun, the sky or the moon and the stars, the radio, thunder and rain, storms and lulls, and so on. He played with Naná and asked her which of the characters from the Tolkien book he, John Malston, looked like. Naná was taken by surprise and didn’t know how to respond just like that.
Naná stopped reading for a while and spoke to those who were more or less close by. Nobody in that room, humble and poor, spoke at the same time. In each little group, here and there, conversation was relished. While one spoke the others listened and each thing that was said was like a revelation, a surprise, and everyone agreed (laughing) that there was nothing new under the sun. Everything was new and "ancient", sad and happy. One of the elves said '' No, you have to leave home to see the world". Janie asked him “Really?!" She wanted more explanation. I was surprised to know what it was that the Elf (his name was Rodney) was talking about, and also surprised to notice Janie's doubt and thirst for knowledge (American and avid like all Americans). It was a gathering that was more or less international. I represented Brazil; Naná spoke for Uruguay; Janie for the States; Terry for Ireland (whether independent or from the north); Maria Luisa spoke for Portugal; all the others (dozens of them) were English and most were from Salisbury or its surroundings. There were several places from which they came. One came from Bowerchalke, another came from Portland Road, another came from Highgate West Hill; Pete came from Seth Ward Drive; Roger came from Hillcroft, Godley Road; Tony (the Elf) lived on Bellevue road or at Charlton-All-Saints, David was from Brown Street; they came from many houses, many streets, many families of father-mother-brothers-uncles-aunts-cousins-relatives-friends.
Fanny, beautiful and dark-haired, something of a ‘femme fatale’, didn’t let go of her beloved Talby, the lame little one-legged dwarf. He said, "When it comes to women I like virgins; I don't want a second hand woman." Fanny laughed and blinked one of her enormous eyes with eyelashes like five legs of lacquered spiders. And when she smiled, she openly showed her perfect teeth, without any fillings. Fanny smiled up at the ceiling, as if she had the moon (on the other side of the roof) as her accomplice. And she smiled with her mouth open, a full smile, a perfect laugh, like an advert for toothpaste. And everyone responded to Fanny's laughter and a vibration of joy and celebration passed through the air. The elves with luminous faces sang their cheerful songs, perfect songs for perfect moments. Some danced to the sound of the elves' music. Music for dinner, music for Naná’s reading, music for lighting Tony Chivers’ candles, music for Roger Elliot’s sweets, music for Bruce's enigmas, music for David Hayward, music for Maureen in prison, music for Maria Luisa’s fate, music for Terry's illusions, music for Janie Booth’s New York accent, music for my ‘bull's eyes’, music for Brazil, music for the Universe, music for the river waters, songs of spring, summer, autumn and winter. Songs from when the world was young. Music from yesterday, today and forever. The way the world was, is and will be. Music, divine music, Amen.
I was in love with all of them, with absolutely all of them. I was delighted with the youngest of them, the wholesome ‘baby face’ John Ingleson, who once did my portrait, lying down, and said that my face was sad. I said this smiling, ‘cynical & naïve’, like everyone else and like no-one, like himself and only himself, John Ingleson, who worked as an assistant to the Salisbury window cleaner.
The room was full. They all sat with their legs crossed. The light that illuminated us was the magic candle lights of the elf Tony Chivers. Groups gathered around Tony’s candles, and Tony drew fantastic figures (of ourselves) in the air. Roger Elliot came with a bowl full of pieces of stained glass. Little shards of all different colours: pink and blue, red and vermilion, rose and violet, lilac and purple, brown and beige, lapis lázuli and aquamarine, crimson and green, light and dark, yellow and orange, black and white, grey, bright amber, etcetera, colours, colours & colours. Roger Elliot handed me the bowl full of coloured glass and said, smiling: "have a look at these". I thought that Roger was trying to play another trick on me and I replied, also smiling: "No, Thanks!" After my negative answer, the others reached into the bowl and took out lots of coloured pieces of glass and put handfuls in their mouths. They weren't broken glass. There was another surprise amongst the pieces, Roger Elliot’s sweets. Then I also stuck my hand in and filled my mouth with those delicious little coloured pieces of glass.
Tony Chivers gave me a baby goose, that same night. I was confused by the gift whilst everyone else laughed. The goblins laughed maliciously, like all goblins. I placed the baby goose, already quite big, on my right knee and I kept disguising my confusion, playing at balancing it (the baby goose). So the elves improvised another song for the occasion, a song about “Bivar and his baby goose", and they danced around me and my new companion. In the end, I was setting the pace by rattling Roger Elliot’s bowl of glass sweets, and with that, the elves’ music ended and became a magical samba with the whole house of 63, Saint Anne Street falling into a samba. A samba that was danced most of the night until Terry invited me to have a little chat with him. He was euphoric and with a new look in his face. Terry’s chin was up high and he spoke with me from top to bottom, as if he knew everything about life and I was his fellow apprentice. He spoke to me of good vibes, of OM, of the beginning, the middle and the end, walking with long light strides through the already cold streets of this and that Saturday night in Salisbury, on the way to Woodstock Road, where there was another community house where Jim and other magicians lived. The girl who came to open the door was the one who one day I’d met on Glastonbury Tor, she and another girl, both carrying a wooden cross in the misty, foggy morning, when Ken and I had been staying overnight with Andrew Kerr at Worthy Farm, a community farm on the outskirts of Camelot, where King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table had prepared a thousand and one (?), with Merlin making monoliths fly from Ireland to here in the absence of Morgan Le Fay. Life was strange, it was beautiful, it was fantastic, it was LIFE. It was full of surprises and unforeseen events. And the people at Woodstock Road danced for me a calm, elegant dance, fine and tranquil, holding wands of sandalwood incense in their hands with long, thin, delicate fingers. And cool. I offered some of the sweets that I had brought from New York to the girls of the house and delighted, they (the Woodstock Road girls) said "Hmmmmm!" We stayed there; I was the sign of Taurus, my surname was Lima, ordinary and natural things if it hadn't been for the fact that Jim thought of bull and Lima before I set foot in that house full of delicate dogs and languorous cats. So we stayed for a good long time, for hours in conversation at the house in Woodstock Road, talking about things that might have seemed absurd if certain grimacing ears were present with the opportunity to say so. But they were things that absurdly related to us, us freaks and pirates, children of the night and night owls of this crazy and insane world, artists and madmen, fantastic and simple people, common and crazy, mad and insane, insane and mundane, futile and superficial within that spinning world where only the faces have a certain kind of time.
Tea and cakes were served. Nuts and chestnuts appeared here and there inside this wonderful cake where there was no shortage of dried plums and raisins, a date here, a Tamara Lees, a Tamara Taunanova, a Hedy Lamarr and a Dalila to cut the long and powerful hair of Samson, the force that broke down columns and walls, temples of false gods, divine and frightening madness, love and hate, revenge and leave things as they are to see what will come of it, since the way it is you can't stay, just because you want, since society condemns and the world does not allow because the inconsequential can have serious consequences, since it has become combined like this and it will be for all centuries & centuries, Amen.
It was more or less like one of John Malston's monologues. But everything is lost in translation – the original meaning, the original intention, the original grace, the charm of the moment, the performance of the individual. The individual is lost in the whole but still retains a certain individualism. Nothing matters much as long as this world is a play, a game, and we are the joyful and happy players, players of the fool, happy and sad like the elves. Old people and children like the elves. Musicals like the elves. Alive like the elves, eternal like the elves.
Then Terry called me and said, "Shall we go out for a bit, Bivar?" And I replied yes, of course, why not?! We said our farewells at the Woodstock Road house and we went, Jim and the woman with the crucifix hanging from her left ear invited me to come back to their community house when I wanted and that I could also stay there if I wanted to, that the house was mine, that their friendship was mine and mine was theirs, in a very cool way, full of openness, understanding and universal love.
"Nice people, huh?!" said Terry, to which I agreed entirely, while trying to keep up with his long paces on the way to house number 63, Saint Anne Street, my home in Salisbury, where I had left baby-face John Ingleson looking after my baby goose, the gift from the elf Tony Chivers. I got there and found dozens of freaks in new positions still spread out in groups here and there, in the corners and occupying the entire surface of the house. Naná had closed ‘The Lord of the Rings’ once again to hear another monologue by John Malston.
Janie was confused. She’d never seen so many people with so much energy and so much health to spend the night sitting on the floor in talks, talks, talks & talks, games, music and other innocent and cynical little pastimes on such a long night where time does not exist and time does not pass. Maria Luisa was confused and said, or rather, she exclaimed, "I am so confused, holy God!” speaking English with a Portuguese accent, a great and cheap tanner (?) in the middle of the great saturnine madness.
People gradually tumbled down on the floor, when they felt overcome by the strength of the strongest force that is called Sleep. I stuffed myself into my sleeping bag there on the living room floor, a little near Naná’s feet, a little near John Ingleson’s arms, a little below the sweet and gentle voice of the minstrel Tony Legolas, who sang a song that went "It’s Saturday night, but sometimes it feels like it's Sunday”, sad girl, take your book, read your story, dream of angels, the world is yours, you have no love but the world is yours because today is Saturday even though in some ways it might look a lot like a Sunday.
Suddenly another surprise in the night: Bruce and a bunch of people had been out for a walk around Churchill Gardens, where the River Avon flows slowly, crystal clear and calm, and they met Harry, a more or less cursed drunk. Harry must have been about forty years old and was in a bad state, on the banks of the River Avon, knowing that sooner or later the elves would appear there and take him out of his pit. And that's what Bruce and the gang had done. They brought Harry, until then a stranger, back to the house in Saint Anne Street. But Harry wasn’t in any state to chat and was soon picking up a sleeping bag that had been thrown in a corner. ‘Thrown’ is one way of putting it. The sleeping bag was Naná’s, and she was still devouring pages and more pages of ‘The Lord of the Rings’.
I watched everything as if in a Miltinho daydream, between being awake and sleeping, in a real dream and in an unreal dream. And the whole night went on like this: Naná reading nonstop, John Malston monologising nonstop, the elves coming and going and singing together with the leprechauns and Tony Legolas, Roger Elliot would go out and come back bringing sweets and cigarettes that were consumed one after the other, filling the house with smoke and the smell of tobacco mixed with the smell of incense and the flames of the magic candles from Tony Chittender or Chivers, I can’t remember any longer. Steve laughed and laughed. Fanny smiled and laughed, glued to the dwarf's arms Tolby, who was lame in one leg, which leg I also already couldn’t remember, maybe both. Terry made me come out from my sleeping bag so he could show me, at the other end of the city, the medieval Old Sarum, that is, the foundations of Old Sarum, together with Maria Luisa, when the three of us went walking, with long strides, at a time when the night was more wintry than the whole of winter put together. We went and we came back, and by now I didn't know how to feel colder than I was feeling then. I was literally purple (from cold), but still it was excellent and ‘chin up’.
When the night had passed beyond the darkest time before dawn, the police arrived, the guard of the night watch, doing what they were in the habit of doing on all those holy nights, that is, to call at the house at number 63, Saint Anne Street to have some coffee in the midst of the friendly people there. The guard were very friendly themselves, and liked to sit in the middle of that infinity of people and listen to the conversations and to John Malston's monologues in particular.
The way that I've been writing about it gives the impression that the house was in a state of confusion. And it was, I don't doubt it, but it was organised confusion, if I can express myself that way. That is, no one spoke at the same time as anyone else, although that may seem impossible. But as I have said, and I repeat, in that house a life without time was being lived, a ‘timeless life’, and so there was time for everything and there was no rush. There was never any hurry even though when they went out for a walk, people's steps were generally long strides.
When I could no longer resist the force of Sleep and I took my last look around, everyone there within my sight were beloved presences, and therefore my dreams would be carefree even if disturbed slightly here and there by songs that I heard even while sleeping, pleasant voices that created delightful tickles on the walls of my eardrums, like a delicate tambourine.
If on that Saturday/Sunday night I was one of the first to go to sleep, the next morning I was one of the last to wake up. And I woke up with people passing by where I was sleeping, carrying mattresses, sleeping bags, pillows and cushions, hurrying up and down the stairs. Wow! What’s going on?! that's what I asked myself at the time.
I got out of my sleeping bag and went – before doing anything else – to wash my face and brush my teeth (and to have a pee, a poo, those things that everybody, even the ethereal ones do. Morning physiological needs). (Zé Vicente and Rogério Sganzerla use the expression 'spill the clay' a lot, which I – particularly – find very gross and vulgar, as well as ugly and horrible, although often funny, depending on the 'accent').
But why that rush, that Sunday work of shaking out the mattresses, sleeping bags, pillows and cushion in the backyard of house number 63, in Saint Anne Street? The morning – thank God – was a sunny and joyful morning and many of the people in the house were working in the yard, shaking everything. They were sweeping the rooms upstairs, wiping all the floors with gasoline or some other insecticide. 'What madness!' I exclaimed to myself. What was this urgent cleaning all about?
Later on Janie Booth told me. She said Tony Legolas' long hair was full of 'bugs', and that several of these boring little bugs were found walking about on the mattresses in the bedrooms. They had asked Tony Legolas why he didn’t wash his hair with insecticidal shampoo so as to kill them, to which Tony replied "Let them stay in my hair, these little creatures are also children of God”, and he didn't care. Janie Booth, like all Americans, is positively antiseptic and was totally preoccupied with the bugs, and not only her but also Naná and – surprisingly – even Terry. The three of them decided to leave for London in a few hours’ time. Terry said he didn't want to stay there in that house any more (he said this, in particular, to Naná and Janie, and later they told me), that he wanted to live in a clean place ... in London.
We collected up all the bed clothes, dozens of them, and we went, Tony Legolas and me, to wash them in the launderette that was on the city's main street. We left the machine washing the bed clothes (it took more than half an hour to wash them) and we went to the Wimpy Bar where we found Julie sitting at a table with a group of gorgeous and sophisticated young women. Julie spluttered a greeting and introduced me to the other girls at the table; she asked, perhaps a little dubious, if I was still writing postcards to my mother. I replied that I was, that I was still doing that, and she told me that I should never stop writing to my mum. She also told me that she still had the alpaca wool jersey that I'd given her. At another table nearer the back of the Wimpy Bar was the delicate young Sue, with another bunch of girls less sophisticated than those at Julie’s table, but no less friendly. I went there and kissed Sue on both cheeks – her skin was sweet and familiar. She introduced me to the girls at the table and they invited us, Tony Legolas and me, to come and sit in between them. We sat down. But then up came a rather sour-faced lady who asked Tony to leave the bar, she had already warned him that she didn’t want ‘hippies’ in the bar. That ‘hippies’ upset the respectable customers. Tony Legolas responded to the woman's aggression with some pleasantries and we left the bar, and the girls. Julie said something, some cynical comment about the old waitress. We went back to the launderette. When the blankets were washed we put them to dry, in the automatic dryer, and we waited another hour until they were completely dry and free from any bugs.
In two weeks’ time, Tony Legolas and also a folk group called ‘Decameron’ would be giving a concert at the Cathedral, at 11 o’clock at night.
When we left the launderette we met Naná, Janie and the sad young Ross, coming out of a snack bar. In less than half an hour Naná, Terry and Janie would be catching the train to London. I would be staying for one more day in Salisbury ...