It's long this street and washed with rain, the streetlamps shining flowers of light in the puddles by the gutter. The sky stretched between the two rows of buildings is narrow and dark, like a canal - the waters of which are misty and flecked ever so lightly with stars.
This street in town runs between Victoria Square and New Street Station. People are rushing, plodding, marching, sauntering, moving from one place to the other, passing by the shops as they do.
All these people.
And then there's me.
Yes, I'm here. I'm standing halfway down the street beside a cafe, the door is open and emitting warm smells. I'm standing under a large red n white neon sign. Nobody looks at me, the people walking by or coming out of the cafe. It doesn't bother me, I'm here and blessed: I know that the stars are looking down at me, the rain is washing me, and the space around me is flaring out as I leave the cafe and move along, my guitar on my back and boots splashing in the wet. The cosmos recognises my presence, even if none of the people around me do.
I'm part of this night. The night recognises that and welcomes me. But though I'm here, part of this night, I know that I am not of this place. Not this long rainy street and these busy people; I belong somewhere else.
I stop again and wonder at this thought.
People passing by are giving me looks now. Yes, I must look odd, standing here with my guitar case on my back, going nowhere. I look out of place. Reminds me of when I was thirteen and ran away: how I walked along the roadsides, conscious of the stares I was receiving from behind the windscreens of cars - what's that boy doing, walking on his own, not safely behind a windscreen like the rest of us. I had a feeling then and it comes back now, of being alone in the world. Lost.
But I'm not lost. I'm right here.
Neither am I thirteen any more and running away. I'm older now, and I'm going to return; I'm going to meet her and we will both leave here and go back - away from this place, this city, these lights and this rain, back to home and the sea, where you can hear the waves and see the stars.
All I need to do now is walk further down, towards the station: stand on the corner of the street, and wait for her to come.