The rush through customs, the excitement of landing, out into the damp air... and London stinks today. Of old and damp rain. Off at Russell Sq, the familiar comfort of the Piccadilly line, the Leslie Green red-brick station, through colorless UCL to the hotel... as the jet lag sets in and I collapse in my closet for a few hours - waking too late for the British Museum, wandering down Tottenham Court Road, a bit bored in staid Bloomsbury, to Boots and out for a sandwich and Gormenghast.
It's 7:30 - what am I doing inside?!
Down to Oxford Circus to the H&M and to watch things close. Living in the suburbs has never felt so priceless. To the Apple Store - will I never escape? - staring up at the lights and the first memory moment sets in, the desire for just a few more minutes here - but it is Monday and life is shutting down, so back to Goodge St. I go, stop at a pub to buy a rum and coke from a teenager, down it too quickly and stumble back to my room to wait for the dawn.
Still on American time I wake at 2, at 4, at 5 and amuse myself with the peculiarities of British digital cable - and the sinking feeling this old dream will never be home. I am at once ready and dreading my return...