I was in a strange city recently, got lost, felt overwhelmed momentarily, & needed comfort. Ducked inside a Guitar Shop to touch all the guitars. You pluck one string and wait for it slowly to come into stillness. At the back a man in a fisherman’s cap was playing a song of his own, I think, for the politely-smiling Guitar Shop man… they sat on matching, facing stools and one leaned in and one leaned back. Leaving the shop I felt just that bit more tuned in to sounds and to music, the traffic seemed rhythmic and spare, I kept hearing in the street the repeated curve-notes of a wolf whistle from somewhere high, or far away. Five times, six times, seven times, eight: was it a nerdy, somewhat serious guy who having gotten up the courage to catcall was now determined the object of his passing affection would not walk by without learning how beautiful he found her? Actually it was two college girls, leaning out of a fifth-storey window wolf-whistling their friend who was unlocking her bike oblivious in a stand of bikes downstairs, her hair wrapping itself around her in the wind. Wit-wheel! Wit-wheel! is how my ex used to spell it (and say it): Wit-wheel!
I went into a crowded little food boutique that had a whole wall of small-brew beers. They had beautiful, grotesque, weird, colourful labels. They were honey-coloured, molasses-coloured, golden, greenish, dark. I bought a chocolate wrapped in sardine-printed foil for a friend who is overcoming a phobia of fish. I went to the back of the store and picked up the brown-paper packages of whole coffee beans and held them to my face and breathed in.