Looking glass eyes.
I had England on my mind, obviously the Beatles. I was on a train, Metro Line 9 coming home from the American Cathedral this afternoon.
I had climbed in over a man sprawled out in the front seat.
I thought at first he was passed out drunk.
He was nodding out.
I leaned against the door on the other side as the push of passengers grew.
I noticed the girl out of the corner of my eye, she reminded me of my sister, the hair style, a crazy comb over, home done dye job, and the slash marks of a cutter running up her arm.
She was well-groomed, if cheaply, and I could not pin what was wrong with her, but there was something wrong. I tried to not stare, but her visage kept snagging my attention.
The man nodding out had a phone that would not stop ringing and a bag of bags, I could not tell if there was actually something of worth in the sacks, he did not strike me as homeless.
Homeless, not so much.
The girl to my right vibrated.
She adjusted the volume on her headphones and looked up.
She had on some space alien contacts.
That’s what was off.
Her eyes were the color of robin’s egg blue, but there was not reflection in them, there was no gloss, it was a flat color, like paint chips laying across her eyes.
I could not get the image out of my head.
Later when I was doing a little writing I heard a line, then another line, I scrambled for my notebook and jilted out a little sonnet.
Sitting, staring, blank face, in the front car,
wearing plasticine porters over her eyes, arms
cut ripe fruit seasons of pain mar
soft crescent white skin. He lays, charms
fled, nodding in/out, blank sprung, phone
trilling in his pocket, shopping bags spread
about his trainers. He runs, to have
space, wide open under cowboy dreams, maul
at his mind–the skies blue, her eyes hid
brown behind fake lenses, she stares
thrum, thrum, thrumming like a bent slid,
a broke slide into home base. January flares
cold bright sores of living encapsulated
cringe cuckold on the train soon evaporated.
I suppose I have train travel on the brain.
I will be on the EuroStar tomorrow afternoon slipping below the waves and headed to London.
I will not be taking much, my passport, please to stamp me in and out, yes, thank you.
A change of clothes.
My lap top.
My camera–charging up the batteries now as I write.
Barnaby asked me if I was excited this morning.
I was not.
I am sort of getting there.
Downloading an app for London metro transit actually helped, seeing the names and the Tube and the words all in English.
That lit a little flame of excitement.
Truth be told, I am more nervous than anything else. Falling out of my routine, having to find my way about another new city. I have also, not, um, the best memories of the last time I was in London.
No, not really.
I hit my bottom there.
I drug along for another few days, pun totally intended. I was in London January 2nd 2005-January 9th 2005. I drank like a crazy person, always in the pubs, with my mom, smoking fags like there was no tomorrow.
And for me, there felt like there was no tomorrow.
I had whipped through my resources so fast, splurging (if you can call taking out a cash advance on a very strapped credit card, splurging) on a room in a nice hotel for my mom and I.
A week with ones mum in a hotel room.
Detoxifying from cocaine.
That is a sexy bottom.
I detoxed via martinis in the hotel bar and pints across the way at the pub.
I figured as long as I was not using cocaine I was safe.
I was wrong.
Three days later, back in San Francisco, having got my mom off to Wisconsin on the 10th, eight grams of cocaine, more margaritas than I want to remember, a strip poker game with my dealer at a girl friends house on Polk Street, with some one who had a Polaroid camera (fuck me), a six-pack of beer, sex with a guy I had picked up at Blondie’s on Valencia Street, a bottle of vodka, numerous packs of cigarettes, the last of my money, and voila!
Please, God, help me.
I cannot say exactly what happened.
However, I will say this.
Standing in the front car of the Metro today with my book to shield my eyes drifting between the junky and the speed freak, I thought, I am beyond lucky.
Graced is what I like to call it.
Yeah, I am not excited to go back to London and be reminded of that ugliness, but I get to go. I get to go with a fresh perspective and I get to go and re-live it with fresh eyes.
Not eyes glazed over or ever turned inward in self-hate, anger, and self-pity.
Eyes turned outward, lamps of blazing love to saturate the London skyline with.
I will go and really see the city.
I am going on a budget, but I am going solvent.
I paid the rest of my January rent to Barnaby today. I paid for the EuroStar ticket in cash. I made arrangements so that people know I am coming in. I have researched where I will be going.
It will not be to the pub.
It won’t be to the hotel bar.
It won’t be to the dealers.
It will be somewhere much more free.
Happy, and joyous like.