1. Wandering

Journal Entry – November(?) 1998

I broke my journey today. Not because of any whim, simply that the train we were on was late, and I figured I might be able to catch a faster one from Bradford.

People seemed lost, or panicked. I hadn’t seen them like this before, and I wondered what would happen if the trains just stopped for good. how would they cope? For that matter how would I cope? There seemed to be some kind of togetherness breaking out, but it was kind of with a sense of irony…

…I don’t believe this is only a matter of months since all that happened, and nothing yet seems to have settled…

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2. Passengers

Journal Entry – 25/11/1998

Is this what you want from an autobiographical passage? Anecdotes and blood, history and soil? Well, my tracks are not to be found here, in the earth of lineage. The chances of there being a bench left with my name on it are limited. Such, as they say, is life.

I knew you. I thought I did. But maybe all that was there was a mirage – a fear that beneath all of the love and (worse) sadness, there was simply a hollowness. A nothing. I thought I knew you, but maybe all I knew was my own attachment to indifference.

3. Reflections

Journal Entry – 20/11/1998

Appropriation takes up the task… will fail to understand and misuse… as in detail… there can be no understanding in literature. Appropriation is an inevitability, neither positive, not negative in itself… take, reuse and re-apply. Run the risk of misapplication… it is possible… inevitable.

I say to myself I understand the One Way Street. But life has its other… its motives are opaque.

4. There is (No Like)

Journal Entry – 23/11/1998

I am remembering a moment.

Time is ours and space was ours and neither belong or were. We had just been to the bank to pay in a cheque. The weather was dull and we decided to have lunch at one of our usual cafes. It was a typical lunch break. After the usual coffee and cake we stopped off at the gallery on The Mound. In there we saw the paintings: a Grünewald and a Cranach. The Cranach was his version of Melancholia. I never saw you in the same light again. The beauty of your rapture was something I remember now, on a train going in the wrong direction on a dull November. You never did take me with you, and the memory is still not enough.

5. Between Stations

Journal Entry – 15/11/1998

The train is quiet on the morning. In the evening it is noisier – full off chatter. I wish I didn’t know the reason for this.

The fields are full of birds today… rooks, a few magpies, starlings in gangs. The starlings are gathering for the winter. They will probably head off into one of those enormous roosts sometime soon. The fight out there will soon become deadly serious. We are all aware of it.

I’m not sure what music I would listen to today – if I could. For once in my life, music would not make a difference. It’s not going to change things.

6. Train Leaving

Journal Entry (24/11/1998)

The rain is falling heavily today. We’ve had days of frost in the mornings, but today it’s grey and a little misty. The people are mainly huddled under the covers in the station. Even the ones who prefer to be on their own first thing. There is such a loneliness about the place today. I’m writing and my breath is steaming up the window so I can’t see out. Everything seems still (even on the train). I think things might be about to change in some way.

7. Flight

Journal Entry – 23/11/1998

The privacy of my writing is becoming of greatest importance to me. I contort myself into all kinds of shapes so that people cannot read. It is not that I am ashamed of the words I write, nor that I am particularly bothered by people reading. It is simply that I cannot be sure what I am about to write. You see the words come to me, not me to them. I am not in control, am merely a receiver. From where they come I’m not overly sure. For certain it is not this place, this time. They simply pass through me and on to the page. This subject is, of course, circular here. Like this journey. It will – all things being equal – be a return.

I find all the greatest points in life follow this pattern. And they are not for me to question, merely to receive.