Perhaps we are drawn to people, places, objects for a reason. In order to locate ourselves we continually make connections.

Thursday, 31 December 2009

Going Backwards

Its funny how you can look at the same situation on two consecutive days and see it completely differently. Perhaps everything just depends on the way you face it?

It wasn’t that nobody was there to give me the answer, it was that nobody had the answer. My friend and I often discussed this. If only we had a crystal ball. But would we really want to know? I mean thats half the fun isn’t it, not knowing. But not knowing can leave you in a state of hesitancy. Of inaction. Of isolation even. I found myself hoping for something definitive, something clear cut.

“I hope my case doesn’t fall on your head” she said as I sat in the seat next to her. We lurched forwards. I could imagine the referral form - “Cause of injury: Hit on the head by a purple antler”. I wondered if it was a polite disclaimer she was giving? Or a warning? I knew it was up to me.

So I changed seats. And went backwards.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Alien dwellings

The double doors slid open and a group of ruddy faced men with blood shot eyes got on. The smell of stale cigarettes and alcohol made me feel sick. I kept my head down, I didn't want to get into any kind of conversation. One of them invited the blonde tram attendant to the Philippines but was unable to answer, when she asked what was there. He didn't seem to care. To start with she humoured them, but she soon tired of their warped perception. I watched them for a while, from a distance. It was as if they were living in a world of their own. Surrounded by people but dislocated from everything. Reminiscent of a childhood impression that motorway service stations were the most peculiar of places; believing they were miles from anywhere, a kind of alien land. I used to wonder why people would want to work in such places and how they got to them without travelling for hours on end?

Before long a feeling of irritation washed over me; all this endless talking. I was tired and my bags were heavy. I was ready to be on my own.

Obscured patterns

I'd watched a couple walk through some double doors together. Beneath their overcoats they were wearing matching jumpers, hand knitted in pillarbox red wool. They were patterned but I couldn't see them in full. I wondered what drove them to act in this way? Admittedly they were in their 70's - maybe by that time you're past caring? This was before Christmas so they'd either opened their presents early or made them especially for the occasion.

I could feel myself going off piste. Perhaps it was fear of ending up wearing knitted jumpers? I was 25 years old when I convinced myself I wouldn't do that. I distinctly remember having the conversation with myself.
It was a big gamble. And I was known to be cautious.

I decided to throw caution to the wind.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Overheard silence

We were all stood still when someone pointed out that the clock on the wall had taken ownership of time. Time was fast forwarding of its own accord. We all stood and watched in amazement. It just kept going and going. Until it got to 4 o'clock and then stopped abruptly, before continuing in a more normal fashion.

It seemed to me that I needed to keep moving - nothing of any fathomable use came to me when I was still. Perhaps that was why I was always on the go; on the lookout for answers to questions I hadn't even thought of. Maybe I was missing something that had been right in front of me all along. Or maybe I was ahead of myself? I was so busy focusing on my northbound expeditions that I had been forgetting to look in all directions.

For a long time nothing happened. I was beginning to think nothing would. Then all of a sudden I looked up and saw him walk past the window. My heart pounded. It was meant to be. Surely this was a sign? I thought of an excuse to follow him. I walked quickly and then slowed right down.

What was I going to say? I hadn't rehearsed anything. I decided to just go with it and see what happened. He appeared to be talking on his mobile phone, thinking he was alone. And it wasn't the first time this had occurred. I inched closer. I overheard him say "Just make it up - sound convincing, they'll never know." He laughed.

I tried to decide what was better - truth that hurt or untruths that didn't?

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Clocking up the mileage

It was a very bumpy ride and it was beginning to annoy me. This was far from what I had hoped for. We'd been going some time and were clocking up the mileage. I couldn't help but wonder where we would end up?

Suddenly there was a sea of red looming ahead of us and everything came to a stand still. Now we were crawling along at an all too familiar pace. I was impatient; I had to get out, but when and where?

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Timed fate

I couldn't help it, I'd always been a romantic at heart and the idea of getting a taxi across the city seemed fitting - as if it was going to take me on an exciting journey where at the end the man of my dreams would be waiting for me. It must've been the snow that was making me think in this way. But what if fate had a part to play? What if my very own Vincent Cassel missed me at the train station by a fraction of a second? I felt the need to act on impulsion. I leant forward and asked the driver to change direction and go northbound - it didn't matter where, I just needed to test my theory.


I saw her again today, though only fleetingly. I hadn't realised how close to home she was. She was alone this time and was different. She had a spark in her eye and looked lighter. It was cold, very cold, though she didn't seem to mind. She was wrapped up warm from head to toe but hadn't lost her elegance.

It was at this point that I suddenly realised all the significant things had happened on northbound journeys, never southbound, well not yet anyway.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Parallel lives

They got on together but spent most of the time apart. She wore a wedding ring; he didn't. I watched her closely and was struck by her serene beauty and natural elegance. She appeared to be deep in thought. I wondered how often their paths crossed? They were travelling in the same direction but heading for different destinations.

It reminded me of a conversation I had years ago. And then I realised that's exactly what I'd done - just got on with it. Maybe that's all you can do?

Monday, 14 December 2009


Wherever I go I seem to carry a lot of baggage, I can't help it. I've noticed lately that my bags have become so prominent its getting unattractive - I've been told as much. (There's no escaping it - after a tiring day I have just looked up the word 'getting' in the on-line thesaurus and what word should appear but 'bag*'. The asterisk meaning 'informal/non-formal usage'. At least that appears to be a light-weight bag). How nice it would be to frolic along freely - to have freedom in the bag.

Maybe I've always had a lot of baggage? The best way to deal with this is to make a feature of it. Perhaps I can become a walking installation?

Sunday, 13 December 2009

A for Acorn or Avenue?

The road ahead was bendy, the road behind had been so, but where he walked now was straight. He was purposeful.

We'd arranged to meet there. We both knew what it meant. I had tried to prepare him on the phone - "you know this isn't going to be nice, don't you?". We met on the platform. It was cold - the sort of day where you can see people breathing into the air. We set off together to find the place where we would stay the night. When we got there he broke down - "I just can't do this anymore". But it was me who was in control; I mean I'd arranged the whole thing. It seems funny now that we did it on Remembrance Sunday. But it was significant. And to think now I can't remember which one it was. I went back - I walked up and down outside to see if anything triggered a memory, a feeling. Nothing. All that came to me was the letter A and a man with a case. It seemed as if I'd gone full circle, though I'd only walked in straight lines.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Clockwise or anticlockwise?

I could hear this noise behind me. It was monotonous and just kept going on and on. I was trying to decide whether to respond to it or ignore it. I gave in and turned my head to glance. He was walking round and round in circles dragging a suitcase behind him. But something wasn't right. Something didn't fit. It wasn't his clothing. It was the words leaving his mouth - "Congratulations" he said, "that's great news". There was a pause - but only in his talking, not his walking. I'm trying to recall whether he was going clockwise or anticlockwise. He continued - "well if you're happy, then..." he petered out. But was he happy? I didn't know - how was I to tell?