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Part 1 - Exile

N = New Entry

N - 33,000 feet and climbing. Everything is getting small. I exhale the first eighteen years and wait for a buzz just over the horizon. I can feel the boredom falling away… the unknown taking its place.

1984 is around the corner. Mainstream is in style. There seems to be no mind behind it…just a conspicuous dreamy silence. Nothing is obvious even when you start to look. A lifetime there could be lost…a blur of split second images, three second thoughts, and five second opinions.

I can't put my finger on it… no one has misled me, but everyone points in the same direction…safety. A lifetime partnership with everything safe. The wisdom of the West…safe mind, no mind…good corporate citizen, good taxpayer. No risk. It's all legislated. Hard to believe there is no price to be paid.

There was one teacher who made an impression on me. He must have been a rock n' roller once…really into words. Last week, during final exams, I saw him sitting alone behind his desk leafing through the Anthology.

I went into his room to talk about things and told him I was taking 'the trip'. He gave me that 'serious look' from behind those sixties specs, closed the book then stood up and walked around his desk.

"Take this, Nexter. Don't tell anyone I gave it to you." he said quietly.
He handed me the book of verse. "You'll find something classical and something sage in here. Don't worry. You'll pay for it someday." He grinned momentarily.

I nodded silently. He continued on in a grave tone of voice… "While you are away, take a good taste… the originals are out there…" He looked out the window and then back at me.
I waited for more.

He shook his head and said sadly, " There's more…but that's all I can say."
I was leaving when he added, "Oh and Nexter…be careful."

If there is a key to all this, I have to find it. Or some other reality, I need to feel it. Maybe there is another way to know the world. I guess it comes down to the fear of that final fatigue I see everywhere around me. When it sets in, those howling voices we hear in our head know only one word.

I don't want to be young. Acute myopia has set in…my own and theirs…"You're too serious"…I must have heard that a thousand times. I don't miss the girlfriends or the parties. I don't miss anything. And I suspect I won't miss anything.

To try to heed the warnings of those who care …not so easy! I'd have to catch the next flight home. No matter what happens, there is one thing to be sure of…the mirrored towers will be waiting, along with the glowing screen and the movie house beam.

Stuck in my head…" you take this trip now you'll never make it back..." Make it back? Friends can be such lousy critics. Everybody knows someone who knows someone who got lost. Nevertheless, I promised to write from time to time …

It is easier to write to myself. Maybe these notes will amuse me in old age. The anticipation is that I will still care.

Heading east, first stop London and then overland…ultimately to Asia.

*******

N - last two days were spent wandering around London. Lots of punks, lots of colorful hair, lots of safety pins…Saw a lot of sights. No comment, it's all good.
English beer. Very good.

After a day of walking around I almost managed to get run over…always check the mirrors before you cross the line, son. Remember…you're in a foreign land.

N - I'm done on London. Went out to the pub near the hostel and talked to these two German guys. They're on their way to Africa. They've been on the road for 3 years and have been to Kathmandu and back. Marrakech is the place to go…so they have heard. That's gotta be hot at this time of year. Anyway, they taught me how to say cheers in German…and then one of them always says, " to the fork in the road." To the fork in the road…maybe they've been travelling together too long…

Tomorrow I leave for Stonehenge. Going to try to hitch most of the way. Hope there aren't too many forks in the road. Plus everything is backwards. This could get to be a bit much.

N - It's been nearly two weeks since I opened my journal. I have a lot to write today but I'm not sure where to start…

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