Well well well, look who it is – back for more words of mine, you greedy grub you.
You are in luck, friend, because Friday it is, and bored I am, and honestly I’ve spent all day editing very dry dull sandy coarse copy for- aahhh… money. And it kills me that I can’t write the way I want to write, it hurts, aha, ow.
Bristol is cool, life is nice – that’s the long and short of it. Stopping travelling has been a big jarring fuck, which I knew it would be. It’s mad how quickly you settle back into your old ways though – job, stability, one place, money, la la la. I am no longer gobbling up steady roster of new faces, sucking stories and experience enough to turn their juicy bones dry. I have turned to books instead, and regular exercise, and audiobooks about s p a a a a c e, and video games, and even (what the fuuuck) week-long sobriety. Who am I?
One funny thing that occurred to me last week is that my inner romantic – who I stomped happily to death in Australia because that soppy bitch has got me into more trouble than I care to think about – has reanimated. He was dead and gone while I was on the orchard. I couldn’t take myself seriously – anything seriously. Politics seemed far removed and pointless, poetry and art was a piss take, even writing this blog seemed dumb and egotistical. Which it is. But yeah.
It took me a week and a half of sitting behind a desk to realise that sitting behind a desk is potent fertiliser for the imagination – for mad ideas for books that I don’t have time to write anymore because DESK, for places I wanna visit but can’t because DESK, for interesting things I wanna spend hours reading about online but can’t because HEY DESK.
I suppose I didn’t crave adventure in Tasmania because I was in the middle of one. You don’t catch wanderlust while you’re wandering. You don’t get horny mid-shag. You get horny sitting at a desk. Horny for adventure, dammit.
It’s hard working at a travel tour operator because I spend 9 hours a day reading and talking and writing about travel, and amazing adventures that other people are having – other people who are decidedly not me. It’s been three months back in the UK now and I’m getting itchy already. What is wrong with me.
Spending increasing amounts of time watching clips of old punk bands on Youtube. Re-reading Beat passages. Researching obscure historical events. Looking up the meaning of lyrics. It’s been TWO WEEKS what am I doing. I guess it’s just part of decompression after a big trip.
I remember talking to my grandad once about his time in the army. After 17 years he left, and took a job as a postman. I asked him if the transition was difficult, as I tried to imagine a dyed-in-the-wool soldier, with two decades of do-or-die coursing through his veins, delivering letters. “Yes. Very difficult,” was his reply.
I know the army isn’t the same thing at all, and 17 years is far longer than the 2.5 I’ve been away, but that sentiment, and the way he looked at me as he said it, bounces around my head sometimes. I’ve seen so much stuff. Stuff that I now know is out there, buzzing and humming and drumming so loud I can HEAR it, all over the world.
Kids are playing cricket right this second in Varanasi, as the smoke from funeral pyres drifts overhead. The masses are pouring into the Golden Temple of Amritsar for the Langar. A thousand wasted businessmen are staggering through Shibuya with bellies full of sake, and over in Osaka the kids are gathering by the riverside to watch the city lights. Annapurna looms high, terrifying the hikers down in cursed Chhomrong, and two days up the track there’s Fish Tail, needling the clouds and threatens the heavens. Over in Havana sheet lightning blooms above the malecon, and the jinetaros and grinning girls sit and smoke and pass around cheap bottles of rum – and simultaneously there’s Berlin, it’s cobbled streets and the lampposts the width of tree trunks, heavy with ancient posters from wild parties past, mayhem in every direction.
There are haloed beaches on Australia’s east coast, and low cloud nodding over the Grand Canyon, and five million bats zipping noiselessly from the mouth of Carlsbad Cavern. Bourbon Street is cranking into life for another heavy weekend in New Orleans, and the spinning fizz of Manhattan Island shoots into the sky a thousand miles away. The swish of Venetian boats, the clink of red Parisian cafés on every corner, the giddy night-heat of Bangkok, and the evening call to prayer ringing out over Jaipur.
We are so fucking finite, and the world is so explosively majestic and endless, there wouldn’t be enough time in a life spent free, nevermind sitting in one room for nine hours a day, five days a week, dreaming of it all. I know it’s stupid – my privilege and luck, I know it, and I know that life doesn’t function that way, and I know that 80% of people to read this will think I’m a thick hippy brat who doesn’t know the first thing about hard graft (fuck you), but ah – it’s fun to dream, right?
For now, I am a bee in a bottle. I am a bumblebee who just wants to be bumble freeeeee.