Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Day 03, onward to York

More Prilosec, more pills, the sunrise comes late in London on a Tuesday. The morning shows boggle me once again... down the stairs for breakfast, missing my habit of midnight wandering the streets.... oh don't feel bad, I just don't like a heavy breakfast, and no guests seem to like conversation... and now off in the drizzle to King's Cross to watch the displays and pay to pee. The 9:30 to Newcastle, another whispered conversation with a stranger as the countryside rolls by.

Cold as hell up north, gloves and taxi and Alexander House for tea and my huge room, my first kingsize bed and an American's worst nightmare - the English bath.

Waste most of my day wandering the streets and city walls and walking out of crowded cafes. Shopping for a black dress and a new life - I am a UK size 12 I fear - and watching the sky go dark at God. 4:30. Crash at 5:30, wake up cursingly at 8:30, 20 minute walk to the nearest restaurant, where the manager talks to me for an hour. Oh! A surprise American! and a free drink, and a queasy walk to the hotel to text and wake and sleep.

Not so lonely?

Day 02, Hotel Arosfa, Bloomsbury

The rush through customs, the excitement of landing, out into the damp air... and London stinks today. Of old and damp rain. Off at Russell Sq, the familiar comfort of the Piccadilly line, the Leslie Green red-brick station, through colorless UCL to the hotel... as the jet lag sets in and I collapse in my closet for a few hours - waking too late for the British Museum, wandering down Tottenham Court Road, a bit bored in staid Bloomsbury, to Boots and out for a sandwich and Gormenghast.

It's 7:30 - what am I doing inside?!

Down to Oxford Circus to the H&M and to watch things close. Living in the suburbs has never felt so priceless. To the Apple Store - will I never escape? - staring up at the lights and the first memory moment sets in, the desire for just a few more minutes here - but it is Monday and life is shutting down, so back to Goodge St. I go, stop at a pub to buy a rum and coke from a teenager, down it too quickly and stumble back to my room to wait for the dawn.

Still on American time I wake at 2, at 4, at 5 and amuse myself with the peculiarities of British digital cable - and the sinking feeling this old dream will never be home. I am at once ready and dreading my return...

Monday, November 24, 2008

National Express London King's Cross to York 11/18/08

Time away helps you realise who you are, who you love, and what you must do. It is harder than you think to clear your mind of those at home, your inner monologue chatting away incessantly, in the hopes of brief human interaction in which you have no future and no past, no personal investment, and a face you will not remember.

I no longer truly belong here - if I ever did - but I am afraid to come home and find my life and future in shambles, destroyed, and my strength fading away as I set foot in my house, the desperation of escape and loss returning. The strength I will need to hold tight, hold still, and keep faith. That he has not left me - whom I have given up these five years for, the loss of one dream traded for another, traded for my heart...... I am so tactile, I must touch everything with my calloused fingertips (the sacrifice of a musician, twisted fingers)--

4 am does not seem so hopeless here. Lost in the sea of accents, of the fashionable things I do not truly care for, in the hopes of returning a New Woman, a cleaner soul, to steal back a man from the invisible challenger. I know I must leave [home] again, to recapture the insomnia of being alone. I wonder if I do not enjoy life like normal people, that the solitude of being in a new place is almost as comforting at this hour. When I fear you are not waking up alone..... Dear Heart, I would have stayed to save you, you but you never gave me the chance. Within three weeks from my best friend, to my love, to someone I no longer believe nor trust. The polite fascination of someone spilling their soul to a stranger --- I would never do this in America, where public transportation holds an undercurrent of menace.