It was late. I was very drunk and driving home happy as a clam. I knew I shouldn’t but the city had long gone to sleep. I couldn’t tell if the window was steaming up because of the heater or if I was taking a nap at the wheel but my head twitched and I had a startling moment of clarity. Leave the car in town. I found an underground car park beneath a 1960′s apartment block. It’s not easy finding somewhere to park at night. I put my travel bag in the boot and the rest I can’t remember.
I slept most of the next day and woke at home on the sofa in the dark. It all flooded back. The Car. Where’s my car? I returned to the city and searched Manchester’s Northern Quarter until I reached Whitworth St. Like a loading Google map the memory appeared. The Car park. Found it! The boot was wide open and my packed Mulberry travel bag was gone. But everything was in that bag – my wallet, my computer…. Someone must have watched me. I looked around. The car park was silent. A shadow drifted by the stairwell. I heard a tick ticking from the engine.
All of it, the drink driving the car the stolen bag was a dream. I’m not one to tell a story and say it was a dream, but this really happened – the dream – and it was the kind that felt so real it was difficult to disbelieve on waking. And it’s not the story. This is, becasue the the ticking now tapping continued. tick tick tick. tap tap tap. I tried to get back to sleep. The tapping continued. Tap tap. It was coming from outside the bedroom. Finally I trudged into the hallway. The front door was wide open and in the gap my neighbour on her way to work. I thanked her and closed the door. I must have left the door op…. I walked into the kitchen still half asleep….. and there it was, my beloved Apple computer with all the poems, plays, pictures, ideas and memories and the records – gone.