It is the day after we arrive back from holiday,
The start of the transition,
From agenda free,
To agenda full,
From being free to call someone to fix something,
To having to fix it yourself,
Because that will probably be better,
And quicker,
If you can organise yourself,
Which I cant at any speed,
So we wait for someone else,
To gift us with their presence,
At least that is how it feels.

I digress.

It feels like it has been a busy day,
But I can’t think what I did,
So I suspect it is,
Getting used to the anxiety,
And responsibility of home again,
We drive towards Glasgow,
Anxious about the roads,
Because last night,
We had a rather a long detour,
Off and back onto the motorway,
Which included driving back to a previous junction,
Leaving all of us wonder where to next,
Back the road is clear,
The problem was finding the venue,
Opposite the underground station,
But we couldn’t find that either,
But seemingly random numbering,
Allowed us to circle around the place,
Until we got there,
And noticed the underground station opposite.

It is a small café,
And it contains lots of people,
My daughter tells me,
There were concerns,
There were too many people,
There are definitely,
Too many people for me,
And I know it is going to be noisy,
Because these are people that,
Love to talk,
I take a mental deep breath,
And go in,
Waiting for my turn to wish “Happy Birthday”,
And hug.

I find space at the back,
In a relatively quiet bit,
I am on edge,
Literally and emotionally,
Flight is calling to me,
But for the moment I am okay,
Talking to my daughter about our days,
It is time for food,
So more people join us,
Sitting down,
I am hemmed in but safe,
With my back to a corner,
Conversations start,
Three in my cluster,
And I try to concentrate,
And join in,
This is deep meaningful conversation territory,
Within minutes we are weaving,
Politics, religion and abortion,
With a sprinkle of Brexit on the side,
All past students,
Late at night,
Putting the world to rights,
Well venting our frustrations nowadays,
Age seeing complexities that youth denied.

Time for entertainment,
And we have to move,
Because we are sitting in the wrong place,
I don’t like the way we are told,
I know it is supposed to be funny,
But in my anxiety,
To give up my safe space,
I need directness and compassion,
Not smiling accusations of awkwardness,
So flight takes over,
I head outside the venue,
And stand studying the scene,
Of Glasgow flowing,
In theory I can hear the music from out there,
In practice closing the door stops that.

Across the road,
I see an obese man eating,
Getting into a car,
Arms full of takeaway,
From a fusion restaurant,
And wonder if he will eat all that himself.

There is a flower shop opposite on the corner,
And in its door glass reflection,
I can see the lights of the traffic,
Coming up and down the road,
It would make an interesting photo,
But my phone cannot manage it.

A couple reacting differently to the rain,
She in short white, gold,
And black dress with hills,
Black jacket over her head,
Out in front,
Hurrying to get somewhere,
Him with immaculate hair,
Hands in pockets of tight jeans,
And padded jacket,
Casually strolling behind,
Perhaps they are heading for the underground.

This contrast with a young couple,
Walking past on the pavement I stand on,
Pushing a covered buggy with a hidden child within,
Wearing green waterproof jackets,
And other appropriate clothing,
The need to impress others,
No longer a concern on a Saturday night.

Queues come and go at the bus stop,
It’s mainly older people,
Utilising their free passes,
Wearing colourful water shedding jackets,
Heading west on the number 3 Simplicity.

A young woman appears from next door,
Straightened black hair and tanned skin,
Wearing dark clothing,
She stands and quickly inhales smoke alone,
Sheltering under the café’s overhang,
I wonder who she is going back to when she leaves.

And Glasgow continues to pass by,
Solo students from many countries,
Using umbrellas and rushing somewhere,
Cyclists wearing shorts and t-shirts,
Some on mountain bikes,
Some on racers,
Some ride on the pavements,
Some carrying boxes on their backs,
Some carrying nothing,
All seem to be heading west.

An older man with grey hair,
Padded jacket soaked with rain on the shoulders,
No longer able to wait for the bus,
Hails down a black cab,
Jumps in and heads west.

A man with a large black and white golfing umbrella,
Stops in front of me,
And calls out “hold on”,
To his friend in a light blue jacket,
He peers through the window,
To see what is going on after hours,
Sees birthday entertainment,
And smiles before walking on,
Heading east.

The weather is starting to seep into me,
I decide to head to the car,
And text my partner to say,
Call me when it is finished,
I settle down,
A little self-conscious,
It isn’t long before the call comes in,
I’ve finished my book,
And am now listening to jazz,
Moving the car,
I pick up the group,
And head to our homes.

It was never going to be an easy party for me,
But I feel,
I have done the best I can.