I took the sleeper out of Glasgow, and as the smelly old train bumped out of Central Station and across the Jamaica Street Bridge, I stared out at the orange halogen streetlamps reflected in the black water of the river Clyde. I gazed at the crumbling Victorian buildings that would soon be sandblasted and renovated into yuppie hutches. I watched the revelers and rascals traverse the shiny wet streets. I thought of the thrill and danger of my youth and the fear and frustration of my adult life thus far. I thought of the failure of my marriage and my failures as a man. I saw all this through my reflection in the nighttime window. Down the tracks I went, hardly aware that I was going further south with every passing second.
Those unexpected morality lessons provided by the trip had jolted me into some kind of action. It was time to jettison the past before the present jettisoned me. This was my first veiled attempt at recovery. Although perhaps I was just running away again. I returned to Glasgow, planning to say a final goodbye to Anne and get out of her life, but ended up drinking with buddies in the Chip Bar and never seeing her. I called her instead to say I was moving to London and told her she could have the house and everything else we owned, which wasn't much. I think she was as relieved as I was that I was leaving town for good.