Are these your bags?
A tannoy announcement chimes in.
Please keep all luggage with you. Any bags left unattended will be destroyed.
You hear that?
Where are you flying from?
Didn’t we speak to you on Saturday.
That’s right we gave you a lift to Hounslow. So now you’re back.
Are you homeless?
He turns to his colleague.
This time a female.
I love seeing female security personel, like police, or security guards, or soldiers.
Not for the uniforms.
I read this book once about violence in the universe.
This book said females are less violent, overall, than men, and that if the world was led by female politicians, prime ministers, presidents, there would be less war.
Women are more likely to settle disputes by discussion.
I always support the female.
When I was a boy I always wanted to be a girl.
But that was more about saving the search for a vagina.
If I had one of my own…
The cops are heavily armed.
What’s your name please?
I tell him.
He radios through.
Date of birth?
I tell him.
We wait a second.
Classical music still plays in Nero.
His radio cackles. Some minor offences but not for a while. 1994 the last offence. Minor drugs related.
OK, Stephen. You’re all clear. Please keep your belongings with you. And Heathrow airport is not a homeless shelter.
I’m a customer, I say. I bought a coffee.
OK, so what are your plans now?
To get back to Cambodia, I say.
And how do you propose to do that?
Did I tell you I’m James Bond, I say.
You’re James Bond?
Yeh, this is a reality, live cinema James Bond. You’re in the movie, too.
Jim, I say. I prefer Jim.
But your name’s not Jim, is it, it’s Stephen.
It’s a movie, I say. Francis Ford Coppola. Set in reality. It’s a reality James Bond.
The blonde cop stares at me like I’m crazy.
The man cop does all the talking. He’s a big guy, bearded.
Heathrow is private property. Don’t let me see you here for another 24 hours. If we do see you, you may be detained.
The cops walk away, heavy with machine guns.
I’m double ‘o’ fuken 7 I say under my breath.
I grab my bags and wander out of Nero, back towards the bus station.
Time to get the N9 back into town.
Out through the rush of warm air into the biting cold.
I stop, scrounge a fag from a tourist, sit and smoke.
On the 20th Day of Christmas, my true love sent to me…