Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dream Blog #9 :: Sequel Country Song

On Meeting Emma-Lee Moss and finding a flight home (or An Academy Werewolf in London)

I spent some time in London while i was asleep. I remember dirty earthy colours - yellow pencil shavings air, food courts and wire bins littering the entrances of souvenir shops, full of small stuffed koalas holding Australian flags(?). Starched. Frozen in an imaginary breeze. Who buys these things?

We didn't have much money back then. I was tired, i felt that my hair always looked dirty no matter how recently i'd washed it and looking down at my small shoulder bag i had probably under-packed. Like most people from Australia I had friends living in london so i hadn't planned much in the way of accommodation. With only a small shoulder bag i was quite portable. I could weave my way through the dark streets, blue letterboxes and ancient moats until i found George's house and surprised him. Under-packed and with no itinerary, this was becoming a bad habit. Would it be rude to show up unannounced? We'd not seen each other since christmas last year and it had been a good two years prior to that. Did he already know i was coming? Did he read my blog?

Sudden hunger overtook me. I guess i must have been jet lagged and it was taking a long time for my body to process even the most primal urges. I made my way out the front sliding doors of the airport, the weather was warm to my surprise, though still lit with that awful yellow/green glow. Just to my right was a small outdoor cafeteria paved with clay bricks and wooden benches, not unlike the ones found in Australian secondary schools. I stood in line and settled on a plate of chips and black filter coffee served in a styrofoam cup. low rent. The cafe was busy and i found a seat at a table with some locals, three boys and a girl, early 20's i guessed, perhaps they knew George? The green paint was coming off the table in large flakes. Someone had carved something i one of the slats but it was upside down from where i sat and i just didn't have the energy to try reading it. We spoke for a while. They were polite, perhaps a little jaded and at least one of them was hungover, but they were kind enough to share their table with me and involve me in their conversation without making a fuss. I began to relax. The sun was in my eyes when i was introduced to a friend they had been waiting for. I knew her to look at immediately though she was dressed in a black hoodie and much shorter than i had imagined.

"This is Emmy" said the guy with the greasy black hair and long fringe. she smiled underneath her hoodie, both hands in her pockets and offered back a "Hi". I stood and greeted her. i really wish i hadn't met her half way through a plate of chips. low rent. "Hi, Im a really big fan." i blurted out "Im writing a song thats a kind of response to your 'short country song' called 'sequel country song." i probably could have waited to tell her that.

Having already derived from prior conversation that i had no immediate plans they invited me along to see a friends exhibition at a local gallery. The space was small, a shop on a busy street that had been converted for the purpose. These kind of spaces seem to pop up everywhere but rarely last long in big cities. The floor was a deep blue lino imitation marble and the lighting was low. i didn't say anything. Wandering through, my head was still a mess from the flight and i struggle now to recall any of the works on display. Standing in a small room at the back of the gallery i found myself alone with Emmy, texting friends back home.

"there's a part of you thats frozen and i wish that it was warm." i turned to see she was looking at me, faint trace of a smile across her face, her hoodie pulled back to reveal big sad eyes. I slipped my phone back into a pocket. Had i even bothered to activate global roaming?
I shared a childhood memory with her of my grandparents selling their farm. Everything was being packed away. I had snuck into my Grandfathers shed to rummage through the cluttered benches in search of a pocket knife or some other souvenir as a keepsake. Along the wall was space shuttle my grandfather had purchased from the government. I asked if she remembered that mission back in the 90's where one of the astronaut had been lost. She nodded. Of course she remembered, everyone remembered, It was on television. People don't forget things like that. This was the same shuttle used on that mission i explained. What at first had seemed a triumph turned to heartbreaking failure when the pilot experienced difficulty taking off from the Mars surface. The ships engines only allowed three attempts at igniting the fuel tanks and after the second had failed and the problem was located one of the three crewmen volunteered himself to exit the shuttle and repair the damage while the remaining crew attempted re-ignition for third and final time, knowing full well that if successful he would not be left with enough time to safely re-enter the ship. The image of the shuttle finally igniting and leaving the surface one man down now burned on the retina of an entire generation.
We were silent a moment. how his family must have felt.
she said "Somewhere in my body is a hole without an end."
I said "Come and let me see if it is something i can mend."

We left the Gallery. As they made their way down the street i found myself lagging behind. The whether had taken a cool turn and i realised i was taking in the surroundings for the first time since i'd arrived. I saw a pay phone and called out to them.
I needed to call George.
I had to be back in Brisbane for a show Wednesday night.

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