I finish my now cold tea.
Tear the little sticker from the side of the cup and stick it on the loyalty card.
Toss the paper cup in a bin.
Head back down to the Strand.
Its busy, but not that busy.
Its Saturday night.
Drizzly and the breeze chilly.
I’ve got my backpack with a shirt and toothepaste and a tooth brush and a couple pairs of socks and one spare pair of boxers.
And I’ve got my black computer bag with my green folder of certificates.
My Birth Cert.
I left some valuable certificates at a local pawnbrokers in Phnom Penh with my New Testament Greek diploma from Birkbeck, my degree transcript and my CELTA from Cambridge.
I borrowed $100 against my passport.
Then I gave my certificates as collateral when I had to renew my VISA and needed my passport back.
They probably think they can kiss that 100 bucks goodbye but I will repay them.
Besides the moral value of paying debts, those certificates are hard to replace.
I like these light blue jeans they gave me at the prison.
And I thank God for my Iceman Cometh O’Neill.
I must be a 28 waist right now.
The positive side effect of Crystal Meth.
I get to The Strand.
The N9 pulls up.
I get on after half a dozen other people.
No cash, says the driver.
What? How do I…
You need an Oyster card.
WTF? I’m homeless.
He nods me on.
I go upstairs and take my first out of many night bus trips to Heathrow.
Heathrow that will become my home.
And my muse.