Posts Tagged ‘EuroStar’

Adventures in Traveling

January 13, 2013

I got to the train just fine.

I got to the Underground alright too.

I got to my friend’s house as well.

We went out to grab a bite down the corner and upon returning realized we were locked out.

Not sure how or why I was not bothered.  But I was not.  It was an adventure.

My friend made some calls and we even enlisted the help of two police man on duty in the neighborhood, quite cute they were too, one of them asked me if I had any friends in London.

“Just her,” I said pointing to K. “And you,” I added, almost winking.

You could keep me cozy tonight officer.

Now, there’s a phrase I never would have thought would come out of my mouth.

EVER.

K.  eventually got through to H.  who said come over for a spot of tea and a biscuit.

We hopped the Underground.

Underground

Underground

Mind the gap now.

And headed to Notting Hill.

I have to say it really felt like I was in  a bit of a movie scene.  Especially when I first got off the EuroStar at St. Pancras Station.

The size of the station, the overarching lights and beams.

The enormous clock and the statue of the couple embracing.

I whipped out my camera and did not mind the I feel like a tourist moment whatsoever.

I am a tourist.

St. Pancras Station

St. Pancras Station

I did not actually take out the camera much more after that, however, the focus being on getting to Notting Hill and finding K’s room-mate so we could get the keys to the flat from her.

Room mate was located whilst in transit–she was at a movie, left the keys with the box office and there you go, all we need to do is get to the theater.

On the way, stopping off at K’s friends house, who as it turns out not only lives in super posh flat in Notting Hill, but who also has the most amazing little car.

The ride

The ride

I had actually taken a photograph of it before we went into H’s flat.  Not realizing that it was her car.

We had tea.  We warmed up.  London is colder than Paris.  I saw snow on the fields the train passed through earlier in the evening.

That was something that prickled at me for a moment.

A little thing I think of now and then.

I need to see country side.

I need fields and ghostly copse.

Rivers and marshes.

I need to see nature.

It fills something up in me.  I watched the landscape slip by before the train went below the channel and drifted in and out of country dreams of simple skies and tree-lined horizons.

I would not mind a farm.

Of course the kind of farm I want is a gentleman’s farm.

Or a hobby farm.

Something rather like a big barn house that has been converted and has a wood burning stove and rocking chairs and a hearth.  A kitchen garden in the back and some apple trees.

Oh, I would love to live on some land with apple trees and a garden.

A writers desk on the second floor with sunshine that streams through the windows.

I dazed on the land as it whipped by.

I did not have a window seat so I tried to not stare too much, I know how it feels to have someone look over your shoulder, it’s not pleasant and I had a companion sitting next to me who blocked the majority of the view.

But what glimpses I caught re-lit that old dream.

So many dreams.

“That’s the nice thing, innit?”  H said as we sat in her car, the aforementioned awesome ride that I got to go on.

I did not mind K misplacing the keys, I got to meet H.  have a spot of tea in an amazing flat, and then go for a ride on a Saturday night through the theater district in London.

Not bad for my first night in.

We got the keys, got a ride back to K’s flat and now, here I am writing another blog from another corner of the globe.

London.

Paris.

?

Where will I get to write next.

Such and amazing thing being able to travel.

The passport stamp for the train is so cute.  I am actually thinking of asking Barnaby to do a  small tattoo of it for me.

Maybe for my anniversary.

Which is imminently approaching.

How nice to be in London and instead of going to a pub, I got to go to a dinner with my friend, a ride on the Underground, and a cuppa tea with a new friend.

I will remember London this time.

I will make some new London memories.

I may even come back.

H.  offered a spot to crash should I need a place to hop to.

It is amazing, life, when you say yes, it just hollers yes right back at you.  I barely know this woman, don’t know her last name, and the next thing you know I am being offered a place to crash.

I thought to myself as she whizzed us in and out of traffic in her little mobile, which I should have asked after the name, I have never seen anything quite like it before, is that I want to do this same thing for someone.

I want to say, come over, hang out, I will make you tea, and when you need a ride, yes I have a car, I will happily lend you a lift.

In fact, next time you’re in town, stay at my place.

I really want to be able to do that.

I believe, that if I keep on going this way, keep on doing what I am doing, that life is just going to get weirder and wilder and more amazing.

I will be able to say all those things, and more, soon.

I can feel it.

Like crazy 8s.

And like that, as the clock ticks forward to midnight, I am eight years today.

Thank you London.

Plasticine Porters

January 11, 2013

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.

Fucked up.

Right that.

Homeless, not so much.

The girl to my right vibrated.

She adjusted the volume on her headphones and looked up.

Holy fuck.

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.

Super spooky.

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.

Speed Ball

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.

Hard.

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.

Things changed.

Boy howdy.

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.

Beyond.

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.

 

 


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