Do not talk too much. Wear the same suit all the time. Make sure it’s a good suit. Wear the same shirt all the time. Make sure it’s a good shirt. Wear the same shoes all the time. Make sure these are good shoes. Wear a tie. Shave every day and make sure your fringe is always slightly elevated. Do not come to the office too often – simply work from home. Make sure you create an impression that you need peace to focus on the really important stuff. Keep your personal assistant in the office to manage your calendar.
A Spanish painter got in touch with me. I don’t remember how. She asked me three questions; two of which were trivial but the last one was about her brain scan. I looked at it and saw changes which could indicate she had cancer. I never told her that because I was in the hospital myself. I need to advise her to see an oncologist ASAP. Can you show me a map of Spain? Yes! From Santander. Her last name was rare and consisted of two words. Can you find her? Does she exist? Or is it just my fantasy?
All the newspapers were shouting that Karl Lagerfeld died. We started the day with a quick breakfast – some porridge with fruit and honey. My two years old daughter had chickenpox so we took her to see the doctor. Then we went for a walk on a boulevard full of shops and restaurants along the beach. I could hear Maria Magdalena by Sandra. It always surprises me that people visit this kind of shops selling Chinese versions of branded clothes and massively overpriced rubbish NOT needed for the beach. I wonder if Karl ever thought about that?
I’ll see you by the fountain – I hear her speaking on the phone as I enter Bushy Park. Got the message – I think and go straight to the fountain. On my way, I read about it. It’s named after a Roman goddess of the hunt, the Moon and nature – Diana. She’s also associated with wild animals and woodland. It suddenly makes sense. I get to the fountain. A bird sits on Diana’s head. It’s a heron. Then there’s a white swan in the water just in front of me. I’ve made it. It’s a clear message that I’ve made it.
Born from rape. Never acknowledged by father. Brought up by a mentally unstable mother. Regularly abused by an uncle. Started working at farms at the age of eight. Worked for food. Slept in stables. Run away from home at twelve. First suicide attempt at fifteen. Dealt with by uncle with more violence. Kept a diary of physical abuse. It was burned by an aunt. Got married and had three kids – all with special needs. Went abroad and worked as a kitchen porter for ten years to support the family. Wife divorced him without explanation. Got unwell. Got diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease.
Lanzarote. Puerto Del Carmen. Hotel La Geria. Room 121. Flying with a child with chickenpox – I search for some answers on my phone. 13 results. The first three are adverts of private medical clinics. The rest are search engine optimised blog posts. No information. Just commercial noise. I’m tired. My eyes are heavy. I fall asleep. Someone is banging at the door. Police! You are a risk to public safety. They force open the door. You are under arrest! I’m handcuffed on the floor. My daughter is looking at me. No, no, no daddy! Very naughty! – she says.
The flight and accommodation was a present from her children. She and her late husband used to take them to the island when they were little. She’s now drinking tea on her own in one of the bars by the main road. She stopped drinking alcohol a decade ago. Even African boys selling bags and toys do not approach her anymore. She has a big badge screaming ‘70 TODAY’ attached to her top. No one cares. The waiter brought her the bill for her tea. There’s no such thing as free tea for your 70th birthday in Puerto del Carmen.