This time I alight a boat - in the full summer heat. The water reflects a jetty made from lacquered timber and all the people populating the waterfront: families and pets, babies in strollers and mothers in summer hats.
This boat feels small, and I am the only passenger. I can't see the driver, he (or she?) is piloting from down below. We set off, plunging into the lapping waves. The bow dips under the water and I feel unsteady; I am a nodding ornament on a car dashboard, rocking about with feet firmly planted.
I have a satchel, tied around my body from shoulder to thigh. The books are heavy and I realise - a moment too late - that my half read copy of 'The End of The Affair' is insecure and it falls out, dropping like a stone. Blue cover hitting blue water.
I try to perform a rescue, but I am too inadequate, unable to reach beyond this unreal body.
As I arrive over to the other side, maybe ten metres away at most, I mention to my friend, in panicked tones, the woe of my loss. He has nothing to say.
I watch the book floating, undamaged and unreachable, bobbing in the reflected light of the water. Light brighter than a bare lightbulb, and as white as blindness.
I realise that I used my Oyster card as a bookmark, and that I will have to get a new one. All I can think of is lost money.