Aya and the Cat
Right. Let me set a few things straight.
Three in fact.
First. I am not a complicated man.
I like my steak well done. I like my coffee with milk; I don’t have any particular nuances, foibles, eccentricities that would garner an interview in a weekly magazine or an upmarket podcast.
I am a simple man. Never wanting or caring for adventure, never cawing or crying for the heavy weight of boredom to get stuffed.
…That being so, everything I just said is said in retrospect. Adventure is not so much addictive but necessary.
And what is necessary is risky.
The very act of surviving means taking risks many of which are neither palatable nor pleasant.
It’s actually quite ghastly; an offence to normalcy and sanity.
You’re not meant to enjoy yourself, dammit.
A wife, car, two and a half kids, a mortgage, pension and a golf club membership. That’s what you want? That’s what you really desire. For sure, you’ll take a sip of madness; the year or two travelling the world and exotic places; the thrill of finding yourself in ancient temples; the love in blighted and delighted ecstasy drawn from the puff of a strange mystical pipe or the allure of soft, cushioned, eastern contours.
But, like all things, your desire for home will pull you back to your native soil and, then, you will become the very thing you yearned to rebel against.
Adventure then, me thinks, is not a journey there and back again, but a journey that ends when you, frankly, end.
It has no destination.
So, in summary, I’m not a complicated man. Just complicated things happened to me.
And this is my story of them, for what it’s worth.
That was the first thing I needed to get off my chest.
Take it as a spoiler of sorts.
The second thing you should know about me is this: I loved Aya. I loved her more than I can express here in words. And I need not go further than that.
The last thing. The most important thing is this.
In answer to your likely question. No. I did not die on that cloudy day. Though in many respects, I suppose, what happened next was as good as a death of sorts.
Death was a common theme in my journey, and it is one that I shall endeavour to explain as succinctly as I can.
But be warned. What proceeded that fateful afternoon, the events I shall entail below, leads to only one conclusion, which, sadly, was not my own.