Songs of Bliss
for the comfort delivered b y a familiar voice. The receiving phone rings ten or eleven times
before someone pick ups and a woolly voice answers.
Alex gets down to the gist of it without delay. "Xhev, it's London. Meet me as soon
as you can. I'm going to be travelling for a couple o f days so call me with the details. Oh,
I'll need a hire car and the proper equipment. Make the arrangements, Okay?"
Why Was I Born?
Three men sit in silence. No conversation. The Lexus hums quietly. The only other
audible sound is the rumble of rubber o n tarmac. Ken McCoist, driving, manoeuvres the car
to avoid potholes and sunken drain covers. White lining. Jock Cascarino sits in the back.
They pass a mock Gothic bus stop at Fairy Cross, heading out towards Hartland
peninsular. Jock stares straight ahead, letting the soft digital glow from the dashboard wash
through his thoughts. There's nothing worth looking at through the side windows. The
North Devon Expressway is, for the most part, unlit. Trees line the road. The ghostly
shapes of cream rendered ho uses flash by. Devon is a rural county, spread wide and thin.
Jock hates the great outdoors.
The car speeds along the winding road, dipping down into a hard right at The Hoops
Inn and on through Bucks Cross, ignoring the speed limit, lurching slightly on a tight left-
hand bend. On the right, lit up and festooned in banners, Bideford Bay Holiday Park
announces yet another sale of chalets and static caravans. Jock's meditation is broken.
"Have you phoned ahead?" he asks.
"Aye, he's ready", replies Davie from the front passenger seat.
"Good. Did you make the deliveries like he asked?"
"O h, aye, picked up three on Friday night. They should be tucked up safely by
Jock moves to the centre of the rear bench seat, sitting forward so that he can look
through the windscreen. The car takes a series of sharp curves. Ahead the lights of Clovelly
Cross stand out in the darkness. A couple of miles to go.
"The good doctor seems to be settling in," he says, and chuckles. The brothers
McCoist chuckle too.
Jock considers the workings of providence and finds that all is well with the world.
The good Lord is in his heaven and the good doctor is on the farm. A perfect combination.
Jock runs through the story again, scarcely able to believe his luck.
The good doctor is a refugee, but not of the political kind. True, thinks Jock, he'd
qualify. There?s every likelihood he?d be tortured and killed by his own government, but
then again he's as likely to be tortured and killed by his old friends. And now he's mine,
and, for the moment, I choose life.
Arbnor Jasari is on the run. Arbnor Jasari is valuable. Arbnor Jasari is known
locally as the good Doctor Albania.