I’m on my way back to Arthur’s seat. Or is it Arthur’s peak? I never could remember.
I’m walking down from Croall Place, that strange little part with black iron fencing. I waited there for someone once, though now I can’t remember whom.
Down the steps, under the bridge. It begins to rain. It’s gritty and concrete and grey. The darker part of Scotland hangs around in this place. You could find trouble if you were looking, or at least a cigarette.
Then that street, cobblestone, with lovely buildings. The sound of your shoes on ancient stone. Orange leaves rolling around. A secret empty space. Some sort of construction supply spot, a tree, and then the ruined abbey.
A big park with well-trimmed grass. Something clean before the wild. People with dogs. Kind of like those paintings of Paris. Neon balls. Kites, maybe. Children with rubber boots.
Across the road, up and up, toes hurting from the climb through the space between the hills where the city is gone from your sight.
Foxes, rabbits, massive puddles, trying to find a dry path. Thistle. The thistle! How could I not have saved a piece? Pressed into a napkin within a notebook. If I ever go back, I will save one.
More dogs. Brave joggers. Up, up, up. The ancient staircase. Vertigo and beauty. Wishing everyone else would leave, and this place could just be mine. People taking photos too close to the edge. Down the other side, more pain in my toes. The bits of a tower remaining. Home anew.
I can almost remember. One time I went with tights on under my jeans, I think. Because it was cold? Alone, to mope about a boy. One time with Aymeric, always a silent walk, his practical windbreakers snapping in the breeze. Once with Thao, her red coat and camera and little red hat.