An Oxford Adventure: A Righteous Man in the City

I had been in my little flat for too long. Everything is “little” here in Europe compared to America. I was getting sick. I need to buy some cough drops or pills or something. Yes, that will do the trick. This sore throat and runny nose will go away in no time. Is it worth it though? I mean, right now? I’ve got to write a research paper to write and this flat is in the middle of nowhere. It is going to be a twenty-minute walk to and fro, and that is not to mention the time spent in the store finding the cough drops, and that it is not to mention the time spent getting back in the zone to write this research paper. Maybe I should wait until tomorrow when I have to go out anyway. The writing is not coming along for anything anyway. This is just the break I need, maybe.

I leave the flat at 6. As I leave Venneit Close I see a man walking with his pants down yelling at his girlfriend, “To hurry her ass up!” He looks upset. He has got places to go, people to meet. She’s too pretty to care. He thinks he’s got the power, but I know the real deal. Noli me tangere. She is not as easy as to tame as she seemed. I speed on ahead of them. He is slowing his pace for her, and by the time I pass him he is at a near stop. This is just as I pass the train station. Three workers are at the back of the building smoking and laughing at a joke, but I did not see what was funny. I felt like they were laughing for the sake of it, because it was probably what they did every day together to pass the time. Maybe something was funny, but it seemed phony.

Now that I think about it, almost everybody was being phony. Like Holden Caulfield, I feel that there are too many phonies in this world. That guy trying to boss his girl around — phony. He wasn’t really mad. He knew it would happen that way. It probably always does. The girl, too, because she knew what she doing, see. She wanted to seemed rushed, to seem important. I suppose it is not causing anybody harm, and everyone ends up feeling like they have an important role to play in the scheme of things.

But back to those guys working at the train. They were probably laughing at a joke off a hackneyed television show, or laughing at how dreary the weather always is. I suppose it is really all you can do because it rains too much. You never know what to expect. Gray clouds loom over the whole city. I continue on my way to Tesco, but my stomach starts grumbling. I need food. I’ve been telling myself that I want to try how their KFC tastes in England. I get on Cornmarket Street and a man is playing “Blowin’ in the Wind” by Bob Dylan. It actually sounded really good. He had his dog lying by his side and a cup out for money. I wanna think he is sincere. I wanna think he is not doing for the money. But I mean, everyone needs money some kind of way, right? I drop nothing in the cup. I am a poor college student in a foreign country where my US dollars are quickly vanishing as they are transferred into British pounds.

Another guy sticks out a magazine in my face to buy. I have no idea what he is saying or what the magazine is, so I walk pass him trying to avoid his eyes. I finally get to KFC and try the food. It actually tasted really good.

I then go to Tesco and find the cough drops downstairs. The mission is complete. Now it is time to get back home. I take a slightly different route, to see different people, experience different things. On the way home another guy is trying to sell me a magazine. However, one person impresses me: he is offering free walking tours. What is that about, I think to myself? There must be some kind of catch. I hope not. I ask him no questions because I want to take him at his word. He simply wants to take people around the city because he is a good man. Oh, yes, now I feel better. Now I can write! Especially after I take the medicine.

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