1. Coffee breath, stale farts, floor cleaner, unwashed human bodies dispersed across a cold floor, exhausted workers on minimum wage, tannoy addresses in various languages, names of lost children and possibly dead/deceased passengers not yet declared to airlines, books being bought to merely line publisher’s pockets and soak up pool water and sun cream, e-readers stacked with classics that will never be read, belches of empty stomachs, stunted conversations of relationships long dead, lines of trolleys that are never used in the age of the hand luggage, stark dead lighting keeping a dead space alive, the general dread of aviation fearing passengers wrapped in the excitement of travel and discovery; all wrapped neatly in the shiny mechanisations of post-modern bureaucracy. Would you mind just coming this way Sir? Inspection Room B. Do not clench.
2. Dan’s sole political beliefs were disco, dysentery and deceit, in no particular order. It often occurred to him that his core was a metaphysical symbiosis of both the acclaimed and the occult. Murder on the dancefloor, perhaps. Dan had seen me through my worst time and my best; a current of cider and regret, the only constant of my early life. Dan the unchanging kernel of an adolescent perished in the pursuit of nicotine and narcissism.
The river flows from the sea. Doesn’t it? At this very moment it gushes from the sea around Ulcinj and through the undulations of the feet on which I walk this world. 80 (maybe) years of standing and looking at things, perhaps (aha!), but with Dan I always felt the pursuit of a greater ideal. Banal, maybe. Moronic, often. Beautiful, possibly. And well intentioned? From time to time. It culminated (it being all those years of wandering through the maze of suburbia wearing smoking gloves), in the Kitty.
3. Late Capitalism i.e. the last period of a particular form of greed; has attempted to draw us into a mongrel form of pre-enlightenment individualism. An individualism based on the need to define ourselves in the void of an overarching ideal, deity or pursuit, and based solely on the ability to accumulate the correct amount of cultural commodities to hint at a life of meaning and success. What the Kitty did was to challenge this very notion in the most flagrant manner. By its very existence it stood against the seemingly relentless pursuit of the Ego- the pursuit of the ultimate goldrush.
If anything, the Kitty was a reminder of our quite tragic mortality and the need for a multi-faceted dependence. We sneer at piles of bodies, be it a playground bundle or a pile of dead bodies in some tragic accident; but there is much to be said for a stack of souls.
4. The mosquito repellant burns in infinite coils, delaying natures eventual engulfing of our mortal bodies. The coil is still hot this morning as we consider the demise and ultimate death of the Kitty. Perhaps it too was a coil, burning brightly in a hypnotic pattern, but with the inevitable decay. It felt like the Kitty had been snatched from us before we had even enjoyed its brightness.
The night that resides behind us was hectic and hedonistic and as we presume, the site of the Kitty’s withering and departure. Perhaps that is more comforting- to not see it as a death or even a murder, but instead, see it as an exit; exit stage left. At least then the credibility of the ideals that the Kitty embodied are still salient, and it was only our human limitations that resulted in its exit.
5. Freddie fruitlessly tries to start the boat to distract himself from the emptiness the Kitty left behind. His shoes are AWOL and his right side is peppered with unexplained scratches, hinting at a rendezvous he can’t quite remember. Eventually the boat is left and we all search for another task or undertaking to divert ourselves from the Kitty’s ghost.
6. I often wonder if people were meant to be surprised by the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Surely, if what is, is what has been foretold, we should not be taken aback. But we had no one to tell us in such prophetic terms that we should expect the Kitty’s return, and in hindsight, perhaps we should have seen the signs that the Kitty would return in token form.
Late Capitalism has surely taught us that meaning is constantly shield or displaced- like your shoes from Vietnam, your coffee from Ethiopia, the minerals in your phone from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Value becomes sign language and gesture, much like the human interaction of the shopping transaction displaced into the self-service checkout.
7. We have all awaken from simultaneously disturbed sleeps, unison unison unison, each of us becoming alert to the morning by the sign of infinity circulating the nipples adorned on our chests (who adorned them there?). In the pursuit of losing our shit we have written letters to confidants dragged from parallel realities, considered crossing the border into Albania and discussing local transport links and lack thereof like it is a new form of apartheid. What to do next feels metaphysically inconceivable so we sit in a fidgety limbo, broken only by suggestions of what chaps would do in this quandary.
8. The idea of opening a pub emerged from the depths of our despair and rapidly sprouted legs. It dryly humped us all in rest and in activity, its claws flexing and sinking into our burnt and blistered skin. We had divided our closest friends into areas of responsibility and expertise, dragging them all into a future fiscal downwards spiral, but we know that its out of love and compassion. Or more likely, an attempt to sustain and build the ranks and silos of the Kitty.
9. We spent the last night of our trip sleeping under the stands of the stadium in Podgorica, sleeping amongst the goal nets, weed killer and a family of cats.