THE SEA BENEATH

I spent my first five years in a Legoland suburb of London at the end of the Piccadilly Line. I was born at home, 2am on a Tuesday morning, I believe, with a transparent membrane covering my head — a ‘cowl’, the midwife called it, explaining to my mother the traditional belief that a baby born like this could never drown, and should therefore spend his life at sea.

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