Consciousness has plagued us and we cannot shake it – 8th September 1994

The hum of life, the sweet vibrations, constant flow, liquid movement, the tension, the stress.

In brief, 14 tea chests packed, left on Monday, me waiting patiently outside reading Jack in the sunshine and waiting past deadline time, til little sprinkles of rain start descending earthward, teachestward, but it soon passes and eventually a lorry and it’s drivers come and take away all my precious belongings, safe journey, see you on the other side!

And day later we send more stuff via the Postal Service which costs us a ton of money but hell, it’s got to be done.

So now we have about four suitcases full of things to live with for the next three weeks, and in fact for eight more after that, as the chests won’t arrive till mid November somewhen. It’s like a relief now they are gone, we have no control over their destiny so we absolve ourselves from any worry, not that we worry much in the household anyway. Good fortune follows our good outlooks, only good things can happen to us.

Broni cracks a little, had enough of repeating the same lines to everyone we meet about our plans, she wants to be alone. With me. But we can’t get away from the people living in this house and all the appointments we’ve made, I’ve accepted that but it is somewhat easier for me to digest as I am on my lonesome during the day. I brighten her up with some love and affection.

Later, Lisa comes round with her new man friend, Jonathan, and they take us to the Bermuda Triangle Bar and we feed up on gossip and Budweiser on draft (lordy!), time rattling by we leave drunk as skunks, happy to see friends and be in their company, not sad yet to be leaving them. I feel like I’m gonna be hit when I’m there, homesick like but I’ll handle it with love and help from my angel sweetheart.

Back home, Kerry has broken her promise to herself to not drink on her own or during the week, she is very sad, missing her love in Tokyo, I feel for her but don’t feel right making her stick to her original plan knowing what she’s going through. Difficult cos I know that demon drink will spiral you downward if not handled well and proper, what can I say?

The next night our appointment is with family, Broni arrives home asleep on her feet, lies down on the couch next to me and falls away without a whisper of a word of thought. I wrap myself around her and hold her with deep love, rocking her gently to stop her snoring getting any louder, about 20 minutes later. Twenty more and she’s awake again, at least her eyes are open, I run her a lavender strawberry bath and leave her to it, fighting real rough tonsillitis and headaches.

Mother has come to pick us up, with her sister Shirley also, and we head off to cousin Sharon and Ken’s with son Mungo, their radical 18-year-old, whom they practically disowned when rejecting public school and trying out the drugs of life instead. But hell, what a nice kid he seemed to me, reminding of Steve in politeness and good looks.

A feast of English food was prepared and devoured, with the best white or red wine your choice, and port at the end, is that how one does these things properly Jeeves? I make light of their well-to-do attitude, while not offensive, is slightly off-putting to my more down to earth approach to life, but nice people to go to all that trouble for us anyway, me who they haven’t seen for probably five years or more.

I drop Broni in it when I see the piano and she plays some for us, sounding absolutely beautiful and much more proficient under this pressure which I’m guilty of putting on her but interesting to see as she rarely plays for more than five seconds at a time on Kerry’s piano.

I love her, what a magician she is, we curl ourselves up, night, JimBob.

Cafe

(Sickly aroma of coffee, strong and white,
invades my earth damaged nostrils
tuck into great chunks of cheese and tomato
watch and observe, chew slow on that bread)

Green tiles, green lines, calm the nerves
of old ladies with grandchildren in tow
watch them and wonder, how they came
and later, how they go

The suited young men pontificate and gesture
to juniors, cigarettes in either hand
the sporting gay lovers imitating each other
before playing games earlier planned

Couples, lovers, single parent mothers
the beautiful hairdressers, all stop by and eat
to put their old feet up, sit for a second
before heading back down to the lonely street.

Shock brown brick clashes into the sky, grey and steely behind. Old building, sash windows, regular rectangles ‘cept the end. White, brown dirtied drainpipes slide down at intervals sucking out waste from the depths inside, like alien suckers shattering skin slurp! slurp! Blinds open, half open, half up or shut behind each window a story or a hundred stories, all personal, not to be disclosed – secret doctor like. Pitiful short trees fail to brighten up the crowded car park, absent of leaves in the youth of autumn, but for one silver skinned birch still magnificent in it’s dark green plumage, branches thrashing wildly, like mad bongo voodoo drummers, in the greasy wind.

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