Day #8: These feet were made for walking, so that’s just what they’ll do

Today was slow to rise mostly because I was feeling very soft and doughy, which made me think perhaps it was time to workout again. I have been staying up nights to chat with my friends and write. I am sure that I should be going to bed earlier and waking up early too so I can experience more of London, but I also know that I can do that in a few days anyhow.
On this day, the only thing that gets me off of that beautiful blue sofa is a message from Michael from Seattle. We have arranged to hang out at some point since he is also in London and he asks if I want to meet for lunch. I figure it will be good to meet up with someone from Seattle even if I don’t know him well just for familiarity.
I completely underestimate the amount of time it will take to get from my location to St. Paul’s Cathedral. I leave fifteen minutes before meeting time while the trip is almost 30. Thankfully there is almost always a train arriving at the tube right when I get there. One never has to wait more than five minutes for a train usually, everything about the tube is wonderful except for the smells. Because of my tardiness I join the crowds running up and down the left side of the escalator and it feels good to use my legs for the first time this day. When I get to the station I should be at I am fully aware that out in the square I am directionally challenged. It is hard to keep my senses about me in London since the streets run sideways half the time and I’m still not sure which way is north. I never get lost in Seattle, but have found myself doing so here a few times, though I am not usually on a time schedule so it’s okay. Today, I have to remember where the millenium bridge is from the point that I’m standing. I stand in the square and locate my direction based on the sun and follow what I think is the surest way. It is! After a bit of walking, I find Michael.
He is cheerful and talkative, which is a great contrast to my haggard demeanor of the time. I am still a little damp from the evening before and attempting to change my mood. I realize when I see him that I have met him before sometime at church. He is 5’10 and white with a five o’clock shadow. He looks a bit like a surfer, but he is a tech guy. He is exactly the kind of person I need on this type of day. My mood begins to liven after a while, after a meal at yet another Italian place where I suffer through another terrible tuna salad. Actually, on the whole almost every tuna salad I’ve had has been good to great, this one is terrible. I don’t tell him that though. I eat it and remind myself that I neeeeeeed the protein, must have the protein.
After lunch we have a hard time figuring out what to do next and end up over at Tate Modern again. I could go to the Tate over and over again and not see everything I want to see. Art takes time and I want to take time with it. This city is full of things that take more time than I will ever have to see them. Once again, the problem with art is that it inspires me to want to do more and I can’t do it while actually viewing the art. Michael is not as enthusiastic about the art as I am and says he’s “not much of an art person.” I honestly don’t know what to do with that information because those words don’t make sense to me. Everything is art.
Then we walk. We walk and walk down Embankment and over to Westminster Abbey in search of a pub for beer that I can’t drink. We find a place, I accidentally order a lemonade thinking lemonade and remember only after that it’s Sprite. I am disappointed, but I drink it and then we walk some more. Eventually it comes time for awkwardly departing and I say, “thanks for hanging out, “ and he says “yeah.” We both turn in different directions and go. I’m terrible at saying goodbye to people, especially since I am still getting used to the hug/non-hug greetings and goodbyes. No hug this time, but I think that would have been too personal upon first meeting a church boy.
Where do I go? Ray’s Jazz. Yes, I’m in love with this place now or perhaps I’m just in comfort with it. I discussed with my counselor before I left, finding things that were familiar and making them a part of my routine. She said I should do this in order to maintain clarity and composure. I have obviously done this with this café. I return to it like a cat to a dead bird. Hmm… maybe not, but I do return.
I stay until I am done soaking up the scent of coffee, listening to some jazz, and having a good stare at some of the customers. I listen to them, many speaking in different languages and I become aware of my lack of worldliness. If not for the turn of events in the last year and a half I realize I would not be here. Everything has placed itself in such a way that I am here and I am listening to Italian girls go on about? I don’t know, but their accents and fluidity of speech are somewhat calming. I sip my Americano and stare into the mellow gray skies.
Back to the tube, back to Spyros’, back to the big blue couch. He makes me a cup of green tea when I get there and we laugh over the music on the radio. It is good to have someone to laugh with because quite frankly, I’m starting to look crazy laughing at myself.

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3 thoughts on “Day #8: These feet were made for walking, so that’s just what they’ll do

  1. It is so awesome you're traveling around Europe! You will have SUCH a good time and hopefully have fun experiencing new cultural things. yay! ^.^

  2. January 16, still 1945This is number 17, a journey to Dessau, near big B. I actually believe we hit the target with six 1,000 lb’ers. Time was 10 hours 30 minutes. Long one. Took off 7:10. Landed at R.A.F. base at 5:40. Altitude was 27,000 and we were on oxygen 6 hours. It was 39 ° below. Very little flak, but we were worried about bandits in the area. We flew tail end Charlie of high squad and carried a camera. We nearly ran out of gas. We had to have a gas line fixed before we left RAF.We slept in the Sergeant’s Club on a chair. Ate K-rations. Coming home we buzzed a hospital in Leeds to give our officer’s flames a look-see. Rumor is we may get to big B. yet.

  3. Thats right Nicole Lemonade is Sprite i thought you would have remembered this.. well i guess you did just not quick enough. Am i going to have to drill you harder when you get back?

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