YGN – SNG – LCY

can’t stand for longer than a minute
food poisoning
in queue to check in
can’t see straight, feverish,
everything one sound blur
almost out-of-body, high, hallucinating
the pain is alien
thinking,
‘will travel insurance cover a new ticket’
‘maybe if i collapse i’ll be someone else’s problem
they’ll carry me on to the plane,
carry me to singapore’
talking to my stomach
“i love you
we’ll get through this together
we’ll figure it out”
still laughing at
“i’ve always kept you close to my heart”
find myself in the mens room trying to think happy thoughts
it’s a weird corporeal rorschach;
‘cows are peaceful?’ – images of gastric acids, stomachs within stomachs
‘cold ice cream?’ – images of cheese, mould, curdling, rot
‘trees, think of trees’ – images of woodrot, hollow husks
‘rocks’ – …
i think of rocks, smooth, rounded rocks, and feel more stable
i think of kind old people i have known, and feel more stable
i stand up, make it back to check in.
thick sweat, mouth panting, eyes hung, must look insane
need water
‘how much?’
‘2000 kyat [about $2]’
‘are you serious?’
i fall through the air to singapore, to neil’s house, and sleep for maybe 14 hours?

——

next day, sleeper plane back to england.
feeling better (thank you stomach, you will always be close to my heart). packed. got the new radiohead album on my ipod ready.
clocked ‘true love waits’ at the end. know about him and rachel. start listening to the album as the plane is taxi-ing. get delayed. on the run way for ages. dark, wet, stormy outside.
think ‘wouldn’t it be amazing if true love waits starts just as the engines thrust full on for take off’
then ‘that would be such a superficial melding of two disparate events, ultimately meaningless’
then ‘but it would be something’
i’m wilfully ignorant of where i am in the tracklist, of what’s coming next.
the engines hit, i feel the mass of my shoulders, head, stomach, against my seat. the plane takes an age to hit its stride, singapore lights blurring by through raindrops, hundreds of tons impossibly heavy, almost slow, then a little tilt of the wings and we lose the ground and we’re weightless
and
piano chords
and
“i’ll drown my beliefs
to have your babies”
and all that meant 10 years ago
and all that means now
and i start crying and thinking
to thom
you horrible bastard
you horrible bastard
too beautiful and sad

and there’s all these platforms in the darkness around singapore
blinking lights, which fit the music
and the song finishes
and because of the way my ipod is
Airbag starts playing
which is jarring
and I think i fall asleep as a fifteen year old

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