Monday, September 10, 2007

en vacance

Dirty old river, must you keep rolling
Flowing into the night

Amazing. The impishness of your mind, the stuff it comes up with…

People so busy,
makes me feel dizzy
Taxi light shines so bright

Cramped, stiff and huddled in the corner. And cold. My god, it was a hundred and four degrees earlier. 104 !!!

But I don't need no friends

Shoes, I need shoes…ruby slippers, I wish, I wish, I wish I were in Camden. Is there actually any loo roll in here, ironically, I mean can I use the toilet if I have to?

As long as I gaze on waterloo sunset
I am in paradise

Yes, paradise. Chocolate bars locked in the car. I have the ubiquitous bottle of wine though, and a torch, and a good book…..a beach towel, a completely redundant mobile phone, a pillow made up of rolled up t shirts and….this stupid bloody song revolving in my head.

It’s going to be a long night I think.

And why not, I am after all….on holiday.

Still, on the bright side this is by far the most salubrious, well kempt public lavatory that I have ever slept in. (Maybe by dint of the fact that they won’t allow you to sleep in the loos in the Ritz or the Café de Paris, unless of course you are very posh or terribly rich). I did once wake up in a windmill on a crazy golf course, but that was just impaired judgment.

I have had to sit and listen to numerous friends and acquaintances prattle on about the “adventure holiday” that they’re about to embark on, that they’ve described with such gusto and awe that Livingstone or Hilary would have been impressed – only to discover that they are taking an organised scuba diving course in the Red Sea. Or to Mexico to see the temples…but they will be staying in Cancun.

You see there is a real skill to this. Adventure, at least in my eyes is born of an utter disregard for basic research or forward planning. Consequently my ‘holidays’ often resemble huge, complex practical jokes that I seem to be playing on…myself.

Oregon is a dream. An ancient, rugged coastline of bays and jagged, broken rock spines, sea spray mingling with salt mists and sudden chills on a summers day. A haunted coast of lighthouses and children’s laughter and solitary red kites fluttering in pale blue late summer skies.

I will never forget falling asleep to the sound of the Ocean’s swell just 50 yards away over the sand and the salt tang smell of woodsmoke from the embers of a beach fire – or the way that the great boles of sea scraped giant redwoods lay like the bones of Leviathan scorched by the stars – or indeed walking out to the balcony, naked, to stand under the moon with a glass of wine – to feed my soul – straight through the screen door. (We don’t have them at home you see, as I was trying to explain the shattered remains to the maid the next day).

When I was a boy we’d play “if I ruled the world”. And if I ruled the world I would live in Oregon, in a boat moored to the jetty of a small working port, and I would want for nothing, no ambrosia this morning thank you.
But unfortunately some bloody idiot invented maps, and they sell them to bloody idiots to me.
People like me have no sense of scale, no sense of consequence, no common sense.

Every day I look at the world from my window
But chilly, chilly is the evening time
Waterloo sunsets fine

Maps are full of exotica, erotica, evotica to the travelling spirit, cartographic pornography... San Francisco ( I could tell you about San Francisco meets Fish, but I’m rambling enough as it is), the Sierra Nevada, Yosemite.

Did you know that there are only 5 motel rooms in the whole of Yosemite, and apparently on Labour Day weekend they fill rather quickly? Me neither.

Fortunately by now I have become accustomed to my lack of foresight, nay stupidity – such that the boot of my car resembles a fridge stocked for a party of alcoholic 5 year olds. Even in the tiny boot of this two seater rag top I managed to secrete away enough wine (that’s what the Napa valley is there for?) and chocolate biscuits to keep a small army of diabetic drunks on the move for a week.

And a toilet roll.
And now I’m vaguely comfortable. That is my arse is completely numb. It’s only 10 pm and the light of my torch is beginning to turn a vapid wee wee yellow, and I know for sure that I shan’t want to go out in the night.
I couldn’t park the car any closer than 50 yards from the tiny log cabin rest room, and I haven’t heard the grumble of a single RV for at least a half hour now. I expect they are all corralled and picnicking mightily in some snug park somewhere, hooked up to electricity and comparing sanitary cassette.

I tried to bring everything I would need in one go.

So, the usual presleep routine, check that the door is locked (rather bizarrely I have left my shoes outside the door in case, perchance a stranger should want to avail themselves of this ‘convenience’ during the night), fluff up my t shirt pillow and adjust my blanket….there, that’s nice…..a sip of wine……nighty night……

Terry meets Julie, waterloo station
Every Friday night…..


patti_cake said...

Glad you are having a wonderful time and finding the Orgeon coast to be enchanting. I'd love to visit the pacwest sometime.
Camping in a loo... only you, Fish, only you! :) Be Well!

Daisy said...

So glad to know you are enjoying yourself in Oregon. I have never been to Oregon, but I was in the state of Washington. Lovely, lovely part of the country. And the people are delightful. Have fun.

Jules said...

How does that happen? I sit at my desk, procrastinating with my quantum physics degree and 'surf' the dashing waves of the web and find this....

A man who sits on his balcony, with a dog called Charie and a dog called coffee?

Had to drop a line to say lovely writing. Not seen you for a while, my friend. Hope the penguin table is still around.

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

I know exactly what you mean when you say "Maps are full of exotica, erotica, evotica to the travelling spirit".

I want to travel so bad it almost's almost a physical pain, I swear to God it is.

I'm happy you DO travel...maybe I can live vicariously thru your adventures? Please??? ;)

Wendy said...

Someday, I hope to venture up that side of the country. I want to see the Redwood Forest too.

As for sleeping in the loo ... eww!

irishmerlina said...

I mean Toffee - not coffee!

Al said...

Too bad our timing is a little off. I will be going down the Oregon Coast next week, and could have promised you much better accommodations than the loo.

As always, brilliant writing.

Amy said...

in my next life, I wish, to be, Fish.