lost again

by uzwi

I was supposed to do a gig with a celebrity, a moderated conversation at their place, which lay deep in a set of large brick buildings, interconnected run-down old agricultual spaces, Victorian and showing it. Dark, high-contrast values to the light, as if some sort of filter had been over-applied. Someone asked me to go and buy something. I was reluctant because I didn’t understand the currency, and we were about to start the conversation, and anyway I wasn’t sure how I would find the shop. When I found it, it was like some very old-fashioned chemist’s. People were queuing without giving each other space, so I left. After that I became progressively lost. The neighbourhoods were unfamiliar–except in their layout, which was structurally that of London—with an architecture that might have been genuinely exotic or postmodern and inauthentic. There were open vistas with wooded hills, shoulders of land with houses scattered along the sides. At the same time, it was all traffic lights and tube stations the names of which I couldn’t make out, rain. First I was late for the interview, then very late. Every time I chose a new direction in the belief that I recognised a feature—an intersection of streets, the corner of a building—the landscape became a bit more bizarre. All around were the dark, saturated, varnished colours of the filter. I heard the police talking on my phone! I tried to ask for help, they couldn’t hear me. When I stumbled back into the place I’d left, the moderator had had to go back to Indonesia. I was in tears because I had spoilt the interview. The celebrity and organisers were disappointed and angry. Then I realised they were smiling and teasing. They were amused by me and the whole episode. But I still felt guilty, ashamed and awful.