Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Paperback on a bus

On a drowsy double-decker bus, beyond the dramatic heights of Seven Sisters and on the way to lively London via sleepy Brighton, Moab Is My Washpot served up another gem: “Past is a foreign country where everything is done differently”. Which is painfully true, and yet what if you can still understand that language and feel like the consulate is out of work and you are not getting the visa any time soon? And the past is still the present and refuses to let go? To let you go, and it still holds you by the lapel or the collar or the fuzzy locks of your hair? And what if they speak the same language and do things in exactly the same way? And what if a familiar face makes you go numb with vaguely recognizable joy? And those are the very same eyes that don’t even have the look of the past and instead have that same expressive wonder and you love them for it?..  

Bus driver never sleeps, but what about you. To the sound of drizzling rain and the dark, unreadable pages of the paperback, you are crouched in the corner by the front window and you press your face against the glass. Dimly beautiful, gently snoring countryside floats by. “Queen Of Eyes” by the Soft Boys starts playing in your headphones, but no, please no, that is way too loud. You need silence. You switch it off and slowly, slowly drift from past to present. And then back again. Until you wake up – in a foreign country.