Travel journal from a working holiday

I woke up in such pain. My arms could barely move and walking wasn’t good either. Zond-7 massaged my neck and shoulder and right arm, I had coffee, stretched a lot, waited for anti-inflammatories to kick in, and now I can make a fist and can type and behave normally.

That’s always a scary feeling!

All the curb-hopping is taking its toll.

useful apology sign

Consider that even to go the 3 blocks to Old Street which seem so trivial on paper or on legs, I must curb-hop about 20 times. Each driveway or alleyway has its difficulties. I’ll count today, and take some photos.

Yesterday I tagged along and worked from the ORG office which is itself embedded in Venda’s offices. Had a drink with a bunch of them and talked sf and cyberpunk and hardware & mass production with G. We had unexciting dinner in Hoxton Square (could not get in to the nice place recommended by A.’s giant FAQ of the neighborhood) and on the way back passed a super fancy barbershop. Perhaps Zond-7 will become Highly Groomed today. We have discussed the way that there is a Hoxton Haircut much as there is a Mission Hipster beard-groomed-look, and their finer points of difference.

I’d like to work somewhat minimal hours and go to the British Museum, and play catch-up tomorrow. tonight is a comedy show which has a bunch of Zond-7′s friends. Will I last out the day without collapsing or resorting to Vicodin and booze?

We haven’t really had any “holiday” yet – aside from a day or two of sleeping for 12 hours. It’s really ridiculous! But my work doesn’t end, and then I have to do at least minimal blogging of my life or I feel perturbingly out of control of reality. Zond-7 is also working and has to write and practice and give like 20 gajillion talks and on top of that just like I have to lie down a lot he has to sleep extra or he just stops functioning after a few days. We have similiar patterns in that we can work like dogs and push ourselves for about a 3-4 day limit and get an insane amount of things done and feel really good about ourselves and then we just fall over half-dead. Anyway, I feel a slight pang of regret that I won’t do at least a few touristy things while I’m over here.

As long as I hit the British Museum for half a day… though I could happily spend a week in there… and I’d like to spend another afternoon in the library with my feminist newspapers and Cuban poets… and I’d like to go work out of C.’s office and scan his bookshelves for my Bookshelf Analysis of Projected Contents of Brain.

Meanwhile I continue to enjoy the hell out of living in someone else’s house instead of a hotel.

Every time I walk up the stairs (UGH STAIRS but good for me) I see a new painting or poster on the wall. I try to see them all every time, but each time there’s one I haven’t noticed before!

I also really love the feeling of getting familiar with the immediate neighborhood. I know where the big cracks in the sidewalk are, and how the men yell at each other macho-ly on the tennis court in the little square, the sounds of the trucks and people going by with the wheels of their wheely suitcase things bumping along, where to buy juice and coffee, the different routes to walk to different places… A week is nearly long enough to develop pleasant habits.

The other night coming back rather late we were walking behind an older couple who were hand in hand, and somewhat hunched over. I thought touchingly of how sweet they were and wondered if I would someday be old and lovingly supported by and supporting someone as we wandered homeward late at night. I was trying to make up bits of their lives as we continued down the block in the dark. As we both turned around the corner of Ashe Square (Ashe Garden? something like that) my illusion was partially destroyed as the hunched-over woman burst into a sort of rollicking song, boozily slurring, like some total cockney-movie cliche, swaying on her little high heels, straightening up from under her old-lady sweater. “Lips like cherries….” the song got louder and louder in rude defiant enjoyment of life & drunkenness. The man threw her arm down and began to cuss her out loudly – walking ahead – also drunk as hell. I think he might have said something even more amazing than the song along the lines of “Awww, shurrup, ya ol’ bat!” From hilarity to being slightly appalled and madly curious about what if anything would happen I moved back to feeling sentimental about the old couple, trying not to outpace them so that i could hear the words to the song. Zond-7 said he knew the song but has forgotten what it was.

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