Friday, 27 November 2009
16. Elyne Road, Toumani Diabate (2008)
A cold, dark night at the end of October, the last time I would see him before heading up to the North. A glass of wine at the bar to steel nerves, a seat by his side, but the rules changing before us. No held hands, no wry glances, our bodies starting to draw themselves in different colours.
The concert, long booked, and so beautiful; our drink afterwards, the last vestiges of warmth running through my limbs, knowing what must come next. Toumani Diabate's heavenly kora still ringing like a bell as we stood by the bus stop, him returning to ours, me going back to Alex and Helen's, the warm bed in the spare room, a cup of comforting tea. It still carrying me on the train to Sheffield the next morning, through the five long days that followed, through long walks in Lancaster, stiff whiskies in Newcastle, windy wanders in Manchester. Its reverberations reminding me of the magic that we could make together, the loveliness that we were losing.