Sunday, October 16, 2005

What aint no country i ever heard of. Do they speak English in what?

I'm not trying to emulate here, but I did drink two bottles of wine before this. I promised the truth of my day to day existance, and yes faithful readers, I am going to give you the blood and gutz truth.

I sat in the shadow of the Tower Bridge today, reflecting on my day and the way I'ved lived my life thus far that has led me into situations where I can drink all afternoon along the banks of the Thames. Amidst my thoughts was a question that has been asked to me over and over again and manages to plaugue my waking days: "with all of the good universities in America, why give up your life and come here?" I usually respond with something along the lines that the there are key personel within the University of London system that will allow me to pursue my research aspirations within geography...but anyone who really knows me knows that I'm in it for the story. Yes, with no arrogance, I can say that I earned the opportunity to come here, and no, I will not say that I completely slacked and lucked out with my chances (I will say there are a lot of people who have worked way harder the I have...etc), but the fact of the matter is, I moved to London becausue it sounded so fucking cool. Therein lies the root of my entire world view: as a critical realist (google it, I'm tired of doing your research), I do not have an inate sense of complacency, nor do I have the faith that leads me to believe that there is more than one shot to life. If there is, kick ass, but I'll hedge my bets that you only go around once. Therefore, if you're a given a chance to do something, take it, and if no chance presents itself to you, make one.

My collegues have asked me about the personal sacrifice I made, and I will not lie. It was/is tremendous. I question this decision every day a new hassel presents itself, and I miss each and everyone of you a great deal. At about 4pm, I longed for nothing else than for someone I know to have shown up and gotten drunk with me. At the same time, I would not have traded my chair for anywhere else. WIth the cold wind comming up the river turning the collar of my coat up into my neck, and in the depths of my culture-shock onset depression (they make all international post-grads speak to a counsler sort of person), I actually felt very happy to be precisely where I was at that moment. And that is what it's all about. You only go around once.

I have been working a lot, tons of writing really: some for this website where I do put a lot of thought into the words I choose to expose for the public; more for work, about 2000 words a day--most of which gets discarded on Fridays as rubbish, and also quite a bit for my own journal/notes...thoughts and words that no-one will ever read unless I become famous, and they publish "my letters" post-humously--at which point I could care less. Last night, though, someone asked me about that, why do I write so much? To which I responded by stating it's my way of coping. If I didnt write each day, either work related or blog related or in my secret file, I would crack...loose it on the subway and be carted off to Bermondsey Prison. We all have a breaking point and one or two holes in the armour.

But, I ramble. My life's not all drinking alone and quiete contemplation. Last night was quite a different experience, one that rattles me to the very core.

Who would have thought that when a little more than ten years ago when I first pushed a pedal in anger I'd be initated into a cult that makes scientology look like the Salvation Army. As a young lad of 14 who only wanted to become a stronger downhill skier, I unwittingly made the decision to ride bikes and become marked and cursed to always be a convict of the roads (also in that process, I've spent many years of my life with too little oxygen to my brain and too much time on my hands). That is why, last night, I found myself at the John Peel (a famous BBC deejay who among others first launched the Beatles) benifit show, hosted by, none-other than bicycle couriers, a sub-breed of mutant humanoid who among other things has a pension for pills and a crazed sense of community. They also like hip-hop. I really don't know how I got there really, but next thing I new I was listening to some house/trance and hearing some out rageous chemical induced lies about riding bikes. It was like the Blue Moose, but with cheaper beer--and when beer is cheaper than the 'Moose, especially in London, it's danger.

To top it all off, I was in a pleasant part of London called Hackney. I taked to my roommate on the phone about midnight because he spins records and was interested in showing up, but when I told him I where I was, he got real quiet. To put it in perspective, Whitechapel, where I live, is very similar to KCK, same vibe, not quite safe, but not quite dangerous. Hackney on the other hand makes KCK look like Boulder, and Albuquerque look like 90210. In fact, those who invited me to this party were amazed that I actually managed to find the bar, burried in a post-industrial wasteland, let alone use public transport to get there. Ignorance is sometimes bliss. Needless to say, I was forbidden to walk, or bus home, and even a Taxi was discouraged, and I ended up, once again on the West End and in one of the famous London nightclubs, getting jiggy with it.

Goes to show you never know where the day takes you. I guess that's about it for now. I'm in culture shock, like I should be. I question my own existence, like most of us do from time to time, and I'm boldly trashed, something we should all achieve from time to time (this style of writing is called paralellism; Tolstoy uses it alot in War and Peace, of which I'm about 45 pages into and something like 1750 away from finishing...did I mention the quews?).

until next time, and always thanks for reading,



Anonymous Anonymous said...

We miss getting drunk with you too ...

2:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Man,
Don't worry Ben, I've been doing my fair share to drink your allotment of wine in Lawrence. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it.

2:53 AM  

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