Just a word, and yet the mind boggles. Whenever my mind thinks of that great continent, it begins to close down, as if it can’t process all the associated information. Sometimes, when I step outside of my small and mostly self-absorbed brain, I visualise the different places I’ve been to in my life. I visualise other places. The first locations to pop into my mind are Liverpool and Manchester. I think of the main high street in Liverpool, pause it in my mind like a photo, then shoot across 30 or so miles to Manchester, and do the same. I know for certain that there will be people in both. Men, woman, some children. Talking into mobile phones, texting messages, listening to earphone music, eating, drinking, so on.
Then I spread out to Birmingham, south, in the middle of England, and further down to London, near the bottom. Each one has many streets and many people, so I can hazard a guess at what might be happening, and focus in.
Doing this reminds me of my old media studies teacher from high school, who had a breakdown. I remember him drilling it into us once that there were “other things going on on the other side of our classroom windows”.
I cross the ocean in a moment, because that is just too vast, dark, cold and terrifying to contemplate. Then I arrive on your shore, and am almost paralysed by possibilities. It is just like England, but bigger and better by god knows how many noughts to the power of ten. There are so many different races, all fused together, in gorgeous and lustrous veins (especially the women!). And the chunky, blocky sprawls of skyscraping chrome and glass which form your cities......wow. Not to mention the vast deserts and lakes and everything else.
As a schoolboy from a very early age I decided I wanted to marry Sandra Bullock. Why was it that every adult I knew always married someone from their own country, and most of the time from their same town, city, or job etc, when there was a whole world to choose from? I knew for sure that my future wife would probably come from America. A child’s consciousness strays there.
(To be continued after haircut and gym)
Back now. No gym yet. Popped into the dentist instead......and battered him. Now where was I? Oh yeah, meditating. I’m thinking of Texas and Vegas and Maine, Ohio and Delaware and Atlanta. Not forgetting San Francisco. Not forgetting L.A.
But most of all, when my mind goes out there, and tags along my heart, it resides with the many thousands locked up in penitentiaries, gone and being forgotten, with brains as lively-wired as mine, but with no pen or keyboard to express them.
Who, I wonder, in America, is most like me? Which one of you out there is very much like me?