Chapter Sixty Three: Jenny Takes Charge

Things appear to be, ostensibly, more or less back to normal in London today, as far as I can tell.  I felt nervous and hollow as I walked with Fliss, Jenny and Flora to Goodge Street today, only to find that we still couldn’t travel from there, and would have to walk it to Tottenham Court Road to get the Central line.  This was no hardship, as we walked much further yesterday, and at least most of the tube is back on.  You may wonder how I can seem so calm about using the tube after yesterday, but I don’t feel afraid at all.  It’s not so much that I don’t live here, and that we’ll be going home next week, it’s more a combination of defiance and nihilism that I find hard to explain or articulate.

  Jenny’s friend, Tara, met us outside Bethnal Green tube, and she and Jenny talked in subdued, low voices as we walked through the streets to her flat.  The recording session was sparse and intimate, mainly just Fliss and her guitar, with occasional percussion from Flora, Jenny, Tara and me.  The ‘home studio’ was really just an eight track, but it was what was needed for Fliss’ sparse, simple songs, and the relaxed atmosphere of the flat was less intimidating than a conventional studio is to her, so she was able to relax into the songs and, as a result, the finished session was very strong and pure.

  I could tell that Tara had been utterly disarmed by Fliss and her songs, “You are planning to go shopping for a publishing deal with this CD, aren’t you?” she said to Jenny as we paused for dinner.  Jenny didn’t say anything, but she had a wicked smile on her face.

  “But I already have a publishing deal,” said Fliss, puzzled.

  “For anything you write as Titanium Rose,” explained Jenny, “not for anything else.”  Her eyes held a look of steely determination as she explained, “What I’d like to do, before we go home on Monday, is to have got you a publishing deal of your own, for the songs you’re writing now, or at least have tried to get you a deal.”

  “Oh, you won’t have any trouble I don’t think,” said Tara confidently, “not with those songs, not with those looks either.”

  Fliss shyly looked away, self conscious and embarrassed.

  We left feeling very optimistic, and with a complete demo.  “We could do with some photos to go with it,” mused Jenny, “I’ll have to take some tonight, or over the weekend.”  It was dusty and humid on the tube as we travelled back to the West End, and at Tottenham Court Road a friendly American girl gave Fliss some chocolate as we waited for a train back to Goodge Street.  Through the gaps on the opposite platform, I heard a woman apologising to one of the London Underground staff about all the people who’d been horrible to him the day before.