I am absolutely convinced that some people will only ever view the urge to travel as wanting to escape or run away from reality. I sit here with flutters in my chest, blood pumping, that familiar restlessness that has hit me over the last couple of days – come sooner than I expected, this time. I don’t want to go away because of hating my life – I love vast swathes of my life and many of the tiniest moments that make them up, I’m very happy, in fact – I’m not in search of anything, unless you count being in search of experience. I always want that – to know how everything feels. I think I want to greet or acknowledge my other possible selves. It is a strange thing to feel that you are made of so many components, and that you have scattered those components around the globe. There are parts of this planet that I genuinely feel I have stayed in; that to drop in to a particular country or revisit a recent place would be akin to catching up with myself; I see myself still in these places, getting on with things, living differently and looking up in a garden, casually, upon my arrival, face to face with myself, saying – oh, look at these flowers I planted; look how I started a band. It is these possibilities I chase or want to revisit.
It’s not just about myself though; it’s about this enormous, preposterous thing we live on; this earth. Continue reading
We were backpacking. Always backpacking – or often. We had no bags with us but were in transit; I know this. Sometimes I wake up remembering how we were, him sitting behind me in a bus, not quite there, not quite not there; me unwinding earphones. This time, we were moving through some station or other, bagless again, not noticeably so, just factually so; except the station wasn’t making much sense – there were trains, I was certain, but also planes and buses and, perhaps, boats. And the central part of it was sunken like the centre of an amphitheatre, its low, vast base a stage, covered with bright green lawn and families picnic-ing. It was some kind of open-air stadium; some foreign, metropolitan quirk; amusing to us that that a station would be so multi-purpose like this; so shaped like a giant amphitheatre; like some great festival we were swinging our way around in this country I don’t know what. We were in the thick of the space, wandering, moving, winding between, wasting time in the midst of dotted groups and families. He was behind me, dawdling, pointing things out and I turned to smile, to say something, or to hear him say something, perhaps wondering if we should find which train or a boat or a plane to catch; perhaps about to suggest we go up the steps to the real part of the station, when, 100 metres behind his shoulders I saw a thing (some temporary thing; maybe a food van) explode. Bang, and the world was a heady, cosmic mess. Continue reading
I wrote a whole world, once. Then I wrote another. Then another.
What is there to do with these worlds, afterwards? They sort of linger, lolling about in your head.
It’s a funny thing to finish a world; it’s a sudden decision to stop; simply to stop putting down the lifeline of its words or thought pattern. You walk along and hear a character’s voice, remarking on something which has amused him; speaking words which he is certain, by the way, is the kind of thing he’d say; he’s become quite witty – quite worldly, even stuck in that fertile ring of performance you formed with your sentences, that belt you put around him, that supposed perimeter defining him, a sort of spritz put about the sense of him. Continue reading