Tottenham Court Road Ain’t What it Used to Be

Tottenham Court Road

We had been on a plane to London with two flight attendants, blonde ladies with beige Hubert coats and a confident swagger. And when we got out of the terminal it was already night and there was a light drizzle. It must have been two or three in the morning.

A black cab pulled up and one of attendants turned back to us and said “I feel we know you already, seeing as we’ve spent the last four hours together. More, if you count the hours before the plane.”

Then they got into the cab and were whisked away.

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Duck is Nearly Run Over by a Bus

Duck is nearly run over by a bus

We found a duck.

He stood on our bench in the corner of the diner and looked eye level directly at me. He had small round bead eyes, a white semicircular bill and he stood tall on wide webbed feet.

The duck was very cute, was covered in what looked more like white fur than feathers. I wanted to pet him but I was afraid he might bite.

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Venturing Out From a Hotel in Afghanistan

Venturing out from a hotel in Afghanistan

Fabulous vignettes in Afghanistan. I am in a bland western hotel in the desert, white tiles, travelers milling about but I am bored, so I leave to walk around outside.

The landscape opens up with fantastic open spaces, green brush, Native American like cave dwellings below, inset in rock formations. The walls are carved with Arabic tooling, like the decorations seen on the window treatments of an ornate vizier’s home; an arch outlined with five half circles. Black and white dots fill the space between the outlines; each arch small with respect to the caves, but repeated horizontally, in sets of three, along light brown walls at floor level.

Miniature entrances to another world.

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Lost in a Bus Station in Hong Kong

A Chinese bus station

We have just gotten off the island. It is bright and sunny. The car ferry docks at Yung Shue Wan pier and our bus drives off the ferry and pulls into the bus station. We still have to switch buses.

The four of us are trying to get out but we are at the back, and there are more people doing the same. And when it is our turn, others are already getting on.

Liam, Lizzie, Siobhan finally leave when I see a shopping bag left behind. I pick the bag up but a black woman says to me, No, that is mine!

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Alice in Wonderland

I. Pig

When the woman I was making love to turned into a pig I knew that I had become too cynical. I watched her face fill out, her cheeks lose their definition and her nose turn up at me to form a perfectly cylindrical snout. Her skin became rough. It became pockmarked and covered in fine grey hairs and then her mouth widened and opened up to reveal a coarse and unclean set of teeth. Then her ears retreated, grew longer into sharp points that flopped over like a dog’s ears. And her eyes too lost their shine and their beauty. They contracted and sunk into the skin and they became red and as fired as a madman’s. I watched her and I laughed and cried for atop of this perverse metamorphosis was her hair, untouched by the transformation and spread loosely across the pillow: a wig on the head of a pig… It was the one hope for my salvation.

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