The Couch

A home 3,000 miles away.

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OxygenJunkie
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Location: Somewhere kissing the sky.

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Posted 05/27/06 - 10:43 PM:
Subject: A home 3,000 miles away.
"I'm finally here..."

I don't like flying. It's so unnatural unless weed was involved and it's not life threatening to come down from that. But frankly, I've yet to figure out a way to drive from North America to Europe without eliminating the risk of drowning, and I've see the Titanic, so what are my options? At least, we shouldn't crash into an iceberg up here. Somehow though, I manage to consider the distinct possibility of a cloud freezing up to cause a collision of the same kind. Did I mention I don't like flying? I'm reality impaired too, but frankly, with clouds passing by, I think you'll understand I don't feel too grounded right about now.

A patch of green finally appears in the distance. A large island from what I can make of it. Still too high to make much of it out, I'm guessing people live there, or animals, or people and animals. I can more or less make out what appear to be cities. We've been flying for six hours now, it's a seven hour flight or so. Might be Ireland... I feel like a beer and a sad song right about now...

My doc told me to quit the booze. I'll settle for some Lucky Charms.

I guess I had an encounter with sleep. I feel a hand against my shoulder, pushing gently and a voice tells me to wake up. Man, she looked so sexy before that initial blurry feeling went off.

Let's make a long story short: Got off the plane, found my bags, went through customs, got on the subway, got lost on the subway, spit out a few words I shall refrain from reproducing here, went back into the subway, asked for directions, found my way downtown, stumbled upon an aggressive beggar as I exited the subway to make my way onto the street, thought up a few more colourful expressions, and eventually stepped onto the sidewalk and...

"I'm finally here." (the use of the preceding flashback was brought to you courtesy of LSD).

"So this is Europe." Frankly, I thought it would be bigger. So right, maybe I need to stop focusing on that billboard and look beyond it to find some more open space.

It's so magnificient. The architecture, the buildings, the houses, there's so much history here. There's so much wealth in the culture, the traditions, and I'm so hungry. The time has come for me to sample the local cuisine. Literally, a first taste of my temporary home. I don't mean eating a brick. And so I decide to make my way into the first restaurent I would come across...

... Burger King. Why is this not feeling even remotely exotic for some reason?

I'll need some local currency too. A friend advised to get it exhanged over there, better rates from what I was told, so I really don't have much of it on me. A short walk eventually lead me in front of a small business of sorts, with a sign that read "Bureau de Change." A board with neat miniature flags and numbers with signs of dollars or euroes or pounds next to them lead me to conclude this would be a place as good as any to make the necessary conversion. From what the nice employee there tells me, I have a sexy accent. I'd normally skip a detail like that, but it makes me look good, well, sound good, so I'll make you suffer through it.

"Where next? Phil's only meeting up with me in 4 hours from now. He tells me the rendez-vous location is filled with activities and tourists at this time of year. Sounds like that could be fun." And so I made my way to 'Le Square' and I knew right away why Phil would want to meet-up there. A large infrastructure which serves as a backdrop to the area adorns a series of 10 large flags, with an 11th, and much larger one, floats above the others. Red, white, and a maple leaf. "The Canadian ambassy." Phil was always a no-nonsense type, I guess he didn't want me to feel too uprooted too quickly.

Here, I feel so at peace, actually. The atmoshpere is joyful, but orderly. There is a presentation at the other end of this block, in front of a large church, it must be some sort of re-enactment. Tourists taking pictures of the amazing scultpures, or having a cartoonist draw-up one of their humourous pictures where your better assets will only be slightly exaggerated. And so rich in history. My eyes are bombarded with images, sights, and all of it holds so much more of a legacy than even the oldest roads and homes I can find back in my native home. And yet, phone and e-mail boths are a reminder that the modern life has also been embraced, and this mix of mostly ancient and entirely recent makes for a perfect marriage somehow. I do not need to mingle with others yet, simply allow myself to be fully immersed in the wonder of it all. The New World feels like such a distant memory in this instant.

My quiet moment is interrupted gently by what I conclude is a young couple. They wonder if I would be so kind as to take a snapshot of them as they lean against this massive lion made of stone that proudly stands as a guardian at the nearest corner. The young lady initiates conversation when my duty is fullfilled. "C'est votre premier voyage en Europe?" My accent had betrayed me, and this charming Frenchwoman had obviously concluded I was North American, and of course she's right. She was right in that I am not European and that this was indeed my first trip to Europe, which is what I answered. We discussed sweet nothings, she made a few suggestions for hotels and restaurents. I eventually asked her why her boyfriend kept a bit of a distance and remained quiet. "Il est Anglais, il ne parle pas un mot de fran├žais." Ah, a Frenchwoman and an Englishman, this should better relations between the two nations. Now informed that he "did not speak a single word of french" I of course did the honourable thing: "Well mate, don't just bloody stand there! I can speak your language as well as hers! I'm Canadian, I speak both official languages."

(insert threeway conversation in this space - and please - make me sound good)

"Only two more hours before Phil makes it here."

A few youngsters are playing their guitars a few feet away from me. How I wish I could play. One of them notices my focus is very much on them and our eyes meet. "Komme Hier!" he spoke loudly. It is quite a good thing that 'Come here' and 'Komme Hier' sound the same and mean the same, because my grasp of german isn't all that good. "Allo. Mein Name ist Frank. Kann Ich Gitarre spielen?" He smiles. "Not bad, not bad at all, but I think we'll use english if you don't mind?" I more than happilly agree. "You play then?" he asked.
"I've been known to strike a chord or two."
He hands me his guitar. "I've been playing for hours, my fingers are going dead. Here, play something you came up with."
My first request to play an original. Well, it is in Europe.
"A happy song?"
"No" he replied with the stereotypical german authority. "A sad song. Happy, that is fake."
And so I went for one of my more sombre titles, a simple melody built around those inverted D/F minor and G/Bb minor chords.

"Her eyes bleed of sorrow,
This pain that she can't disguise,
The demon always finds her,
No matter where she tries to hide,
Her arms are covered,
With the tatooes of addiction,
A path she never wanted,
Became her private prison.

I tried to be a soothing voice,
Bring peace to her nightmare,
Tried to make myself a savior,
To walk her out of despair,
But as the flame dances,
Underneath the spoon,
I'll fade from her consciousness,
Just a moment... too soon...

And so she flies away
An illusion to chase
She hides away
In her own sacred place
She's after a dream
But the dream is a lie
So she fades to where
Where the angels die..."

I can tell, the reaction on his face, he is absolutely... unimpressed.
(let's rewrite this part)
I can feel it, the way he's looking at me... he wishes he had my talent.
(much better)

Time goes by, we keep playing and jamming, this is loads of fun. I like it here, differnt passer-bys take a moment to stop and enjoy the music, prove complimentary.

"Phil will be here any minute now..."

I shake hands with my german fellow musicians, and make my way back on the steps of the Canadian ambassy. Knowing Phil, that's where he'll look for me. I told him 'look for that green spring jacket.' Amazingly enough, I am the only person around actually wearing green.

I'm again left to contemplate the mesmerizing beauty of my immediate environment.

"You must be Frank." a voice spoke behind me.
There stood a very tall and massive red haired man I had only chatted with over the internet.
"Phil?"
"Who else?
"Nice spot you picked."
"I knew you'd like it. So how does it feel to be here?"
And that's when it struck me.. the atmosphere, the history, the marriage of old and new, how it all seemed so wonderful to my eyes, how I felt so at peace. I feel something, I've never felt this before... not even on these streets I had walked thousands of times...
It occured to me.
"It feels like home."
He smiled.
"Welcome to England Frank."





smokinpristiformis
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Posted 05/28/06 - 2:10 AM:

what a wonderful read smiling face

welcome to the old world, oxy.. should you put your feet in this direction, let me know smiling face
OxygenJunkie
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Location: Somewhere kissing the sky.

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Posted 05/28/06 - 2:08 PM:

It relates how I felt on my first trip to England, but I don't reside there right now. I would like to, for some time. I think I'd be very comfortable there. The place in question, as any english person will know, is Trafalgur Square.

It's a piece of automatic writing, I didn't think any of this through (except for the excert of the song 'Where angels die") which is a completed song, actually.

Here is the full lyric:

Her eyes bleed of sorrow,
This pain that she can't disguise,
The demon always finds her,
No matter where she tries to hide,
Her arms are covered,
With the tatooes of addiction,
A path she never wanted,
Became her private prison.

I tried to be a soothing voice,
Bring peace in her nightmare,
Tried to make myself a savior,
To walk her out of despair,
But as the flame dances,
Underneath the spoon,
I'll fade from her consciousness,
Just a moment... too soon...

And so she flies away
An illusion to chase
She hides away
In her own sacred place
She's after a dream
But the dream is a lie
So she fades to where
Where the angels die...


I can only witness the misery
Victim of her own desire,
And though she's in my arms,
I can't feel one with her,
When she regains her senses,
After this deep escape,
All that will be left to do,
Is to sing her softly to sleep.

Still she lets the snake bite her,
Inject the remedy in her veins,
So many words come to mind,
Though for now I shall refrain,
Does she know how this leaves me,
Trembling with great fear?
I know one day she might not return,
And I'll lose someone so dear...

And so she flies away
An illusion to chase
She hides away
In her own sacred place
She's after a dream
But the dream is a lie
So she fades to where
Where the angels die...





I'm glad you liked it, willem.



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