Trying to hitch out of Uxbridge nobody would stop. Frustration? Then remembering that I was free now, not when I got there. If I didn’t get a lift I could camp in the park and I’d still be free, even when it rains. I don’t have to worry about collecting glasses, what the housemates think of me or feeling guilty for choosing my laptop over my girlfriend. I changed spots.
A taxi driver picked me up. He drove taxis because he had no-one to answer to and could come and go as he pleased. I exclaimed. I’m petrified of not coming and going. I’d rather be beaten than employed. He said I’d made the right decision because London is a toilet. I told him about my girlfriend and how she has this special power where she actually forgives people. He said, I was better off without her and gave me five quid and his number.
I was at a complex intersection. Iron railings all around and tunnels underneath, nowhere to stand, peak hour traffic dark and raining in Birmingham. I considered breaking into the boarded up Ruxtin hall to sleep but tried a little longer. I was close to pitching my tent in the park when someone held up traffic calling out to me.
They say they can only take me a short way and laugh at everything I say. I seemed to start impersonating myself to entertain them, realising they probably weren’t used to picking up Australian hitch hikers and I had an edge because I was different. I could do no wrong, keep it simple and smile while they offer me jerky and cigarettes. You could say be myself whoever that is. I ended up at a Welsh hotel and they shouted me a room.
Kev reminded me of my dad. His voice whined like a Scouse’s and he used fast anecdotes that I didn’t understand. He valued wit in men and cackled like the intro in that Feel Good song in the Gorillaz. His teeth twisted and pointed straight out like a beaver.
He used to hitch hike 20 years ago and told a story of being picked up by a man in Dagenham. ‘He seemed alright to begin with and suggested I stay at his place. I soon realised he was a fookin gay and said nah I’ll be right. He kept insisting and luckily he pulled over to have a cup of tea, so I had one with him then went to the toilet and fooked off.” We all laughed.
I sat with Kev and his 2 sons at The Stanton Hotel in Chirk. They had about 3 pints each and for a moment I considered joining them. Kev chain smoked and repeatedly offered to buy me food and drink while getting money of his sons for the next round. All I had was £50 in the whole world but I still felt guilty for accepting the hotel.
I went upstairs to write, and Kev knocked on the door. “Aren’t you Australians meant to play guitar or something?” He kept shaking my hand and repeating himself, I thought he must be drunk.
He said goodnight and that his son would pick me up in the morning to take me to Manchester. “It’s been a pleasure,” I said. “I bet it fookin has!” he said nodding with a high brow.
I could hear the doors playing through the wall in his room and he called me 10 minutes later. “Do you have an alarm clock you drongo?”
Mitch picked me up out the front, I didn’t get a chance to look at him much but he had small brown eyes. It was a struggle to talk but I dug deep. He was kind and unsure. I don’t think his old man shouts him hotel rooms.
I got into a posh part of South Manchester and found myself ravaging a tray of McDonalds. I don’t look after myself anymore and I haven’t been meditating. I’m also having dreams about being Lou Reed.
I’m staying with someone I met in Mexico. He’s living at his uncles for nothing and gave me a top floor room overlooking a jungle where a fox lives.
I will over stay my welcome and think about it for years.
Flo is not happy but I’ve run out of sorrys.