It begins

Saturday, 17 April 2010


This week I was ill, but today I am well.
This week I strayed from the path, today I found it again.
This week I was lost, and today I am still lost, but I have a direction, at least.

I've spent the past week in bed with flu, getting backache and spluttering out face-muck like an old pillow being beaten with a knotted stick.

The rest of my time has been spent aimlessly looking for something to do this summer; ways to save money for the 'big trip' from Buenos Aires to San Francisco, which, as you know, I planned to begin in September. Probably.

I applied for English-teaching jobs in the UK, I tweaked the electronical abyss of dead words that is my CV, I looked at rental properties across the cosy home counties, I networked with old friends in different UK cities, I considered moving in and living with any woman who happened to glance at me kindly on the bus.
I chased every small answer until it ran down a burrow and sat out of arms reach, giggling.

And then this morning, I took a long, hot bath, and I ruminated.
I ruminated like fuck.

The sounds of Skip James, Son House, Mississippi Fred McDowell, the Delta Blues legends, they formed a trident of temptation with the sharp notes of their slide guitars, with their tales of free livin', of ridin' freight trains, of killin' women (Skip James), and they gone put me in a reckless mood.

All of those things I was considering, they represented security. The security of a relationship, of a job, of a nice clean apartment. I believe Benjamin Franklin is attributed as saying something about 'those who sacrifice their liberty for a little security deserve neither'.
So If I made the wrong decision today, blame Franklin.

After my bath I checked the prices of flights to Argentina. £480. Not bad, I thought.

I clicked on the price, to see if there were any hidden charges. No, there wasn't.
I suspected that I didn't have the funds in my bank account, though; I hadn't dared to check my balance in months; every purchase of a £10 train ticket has caused me to wince with anticipation of seeing the words 'CARD REJECTED' on the screen.

So I decided to dance with the Bluesmen. I picked a date at random (28 April), filled in my card details, and clicked on 'confirm flights'.

I wouldn't have the money, I guessed.

I would just be teasing myself, I thought.

I did have the money, apparently.

The 25 hour flight was confirmed. I now have 12 days to prepare for a trip across 2 continents.

So I went back upstairs and brushed my teeth.

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