July 7th, 2005

Mask

NON-FICTION: From the Colonies

The cab driver that drove me home had never been to New York, so when I told him London was clean by comparison, he probably had his reasons not to believe me. He had been to Disney World, where they scrub the streets at night with citrus water so his vision of America was a little shaded. Drunkenly, I insisted that, though Disney did have streets you could eat off of, most American cities were much filthier than London. He may not have believed me. My words were slurred.

I was going back to the hotel; I had been drinking alone in Soho. My cousins were with me on the trip but they had sore feet and little taste for adventure, so I had been alone. Most of London I remember alone. That night I got asked several times if I wanted company, but a woman alone remembers that horror stories can start on dark streets with a drink in hand. After I got my ass slapped, I decided it was time to go back to the hotel.

I went to the Globe twice, once with my cousins and once alone. Same show, but the actors so brilliant I couldn’t resist them. I made my cousins eat Indian food at the restaurants built over Jacks murders. Even they, who usually only desired hamburger and hotdog fare, had to admit that the food was fantastic.

Alone, I felt cradled by the city. Alone in the stacks of books near the circus I felt safe, alone near the fountains where the punks sat I was at home. In Chinatown I went to a restaurant with my last few pounds and I met a millionaire who was also alone in London. We talked, and he took out a wad of bills and bought me dinner.

London fed and cared for me.

All my love to the Union Jack.
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