Friday, February 04, 2005

The sun has risen five times and set four times, and I find myself having to imagine my life completely differently.

Exercise in Imaginary Life #1:

Could I go back to London after Jo moves there in October? Could I? Could I put together my October Client Bride's album and be Kelly's Maid of Honor and then go back before the end of the Carling Cup Premiership Finals, when Finsbury Park is teeming with Arsenal fans and vendors at the end of November when it's dark at 3 p.m.?

Could I work at Jessop's, selling film and ink jet cartridges and camera bags and talking to people about megapixels? Could I assist my old professor by giving portfolio critiques, staying late at the lab to talk about color correction, sharing advice about internships and trying explain how you find an apartment with no lease across the country for a 3-month stay?

Could I buy a Vespa and driving goggles to tool around Camdentown? Could I take the train to Scotland for my host sister's wedding? Would Jo let me bring Bella and Fred, and would Fred become even more deranged by the flight and the quarantine period? Could I pay Jo rent to hold her over between acting jobs? Could I go back to eating English cucumbers and HobNobs and cranberry juice?

Could Luka still cut my hair at the salon in Shorts Gardens? Could I eat at the long, blond noodle bar tables in Wagamama with Luke when he's in town assisting portrait photographers, holding light meters next to Eric Clapton's left eye? Could I run a doggy day-care in a storefront across from King's Cross? Could I be that sunny Yank who looks after Tiberius and makes sure he has his de-worming pill while his mummy clacks off to the Square Mile to wheel and deal?

Could I shoot spot news British-news style, where the phrase "if it bleeds, it leads" is a commandment? Could I do the picture story Doc always wanted us to tackle, about the de-Londonization of London, because the red phone boxes are disappearing and the conductors on the double-decker buses are being replaced by coin slots, unless those things have completely disappeared in the last five years...? Could I do a picture story about producing an edition of the Big Issue, following the homeless writers back to the underground footpath under Marble Arch where they sleep and off to the Food and Wine where they sell the paper for a pound a piece to the middle classes, the hurried, the students, the guilty?

Could Marble Arch just be a stop on the Central line, or would I always believe that some 20-year-old version of Stephen and his roommates are living up there, repeating the same actions limited to the things they did in 1999, like an old VHS tape from an early season of Friends?

Could I go down to Speaker's Corner on Sundays to rant and rave with the other nutjobs? Could I stand out there next to the Prophets of Doom and shout "How could you DO this?" over and over again while the tourists and the bemused assume I'm addressing Tony Blair for his involvement in Iraq? Well, could I?

2 comments:

Cindy W said...

To all of the above: Yes, you can, if it's what you want. I was miserable and living in New England about 3 1/2 years ago. I had an opportunity to move clear across the country to Seattle, where I knew absolutely no one, and I jumped on it. I've never once regretted it. My sister did the same thing when she turned 30, she moved to Italy for a year. It's very rare that we get a chance to reinvent our lives - if you aren't happy with the one you currently have, you should take advantage of it. [End of speech.]

Btw, I think the animal quarantine laws have gotten somewhat more relaxed in the UK. If that's any encouragement at all.

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