The sea’s evaporating
Though it comes as no surprise
These clouds we’re seeing
They’re explosions in the sky
Dry your eyes
Soulmate dry your eyes
Cause soulmates never die
Placebo – Sleeping with Ghosts – 1st April 2003
I stare at my reflection in the window as the train pulls out of its station. With my face broken up by artificial lighting and forward motion, I look like an incomplete memory of a person.
The last time I rode a long distance train at night was when I was visiting you. 15 whole years ago, can you believe it? Electric nights in a small dark flat in North London. It wasn’t much to look at, but it was where our souls became one; where cuts and bruised egos evaporated, and nothing but the moment was relevant.
Continue reading “Mixtape: Sleeping With Ghosts”
Apoptygma Berzerk – Something I Should Know – 1st November 2002
Got a feeling deep inside
That you know something I should know
I know that something isn’t right
Coz I hold secrets too and you know
I’m on a bus ride home. It is dark, rainy and windy outside.
An hours’ journey ahead when I’d rather just be home.
The usual crowd get on the bus after a day at work. I recognise many but speak to none: there is an unconscious code for commuters by which we never speak. We all look equally as miserable and desperate. Dishevelled. There’s a man about my age who has a familiarity to him. He looks smart in his suit, yet somehow dwarfed like the world of business is eating him right up. I sometimes think I would like to talk to him – I can hear from his earphones that he has alternative music taste like me. He keeps his eyes down, playing snake on his Nokia. I wonder if we could have been friends or maybe more if we had met under circumstances other than the shared rat-race transporter. Then there is the woman with the Armani handbag, which is either a fake or she has spent all her money on one item and has to make do with supermarket basics for the rest. There is the woman with the perm – she looks pretty drenched and is out of breath today – and the man who only gets the bus on a Friday, and calls his wife as we set off to let her know he will be on time or late. Continue reading “Mixtape: Something I Should Know”
Some of my deepest thoughts have occurred while travelling. Perhaps not the most meaningful, but the deepest in the sense that they literally felt like they were slicing right through me. All those people sitting opposite me on a train or bus, who have seen my blank stern face say ‘please don’t bother me’; they could never know that inside I was floating upon the most raw emotions and experiencing the most rich thoughts that would go on to make permanent connections in my mind.
Memories of such times I recall with a mixtape playing in my earbuds. (ok so it’s a playlist these days, but doesn’t mixtape have a lovely nostalgic feel to it? Besides, there’s no skipping tracks on a mixtape and that’s important. Unless you are armed with a pencil, patience and a good sense for guesswork). Music was an ever present travel companion. And now every track is its own portal, which when entered, reactivates the particular dimension of emotion and depth that first experienced it.
In the original times of which I speak, I wasn’t in a position to create symbolic artworks. I was too busy being the symbols. I was fastened into my seat with little room to move, or I was being regarded by other passengers, or I was busy digging deeper into the metaphysical elixir-mine for Future Me to come back to and reap the treasure years later…