Stokie

A haze settled over my area seemingly coming from somewhere moving imperceptibly. From the time my eyes opened digesting the scenes from the night before chewing on a breakfast if sausage. This might be the cause of some indigestion but I can’t let it go to waste. 


Figuring that what is going to happen this weekend became an excercise of free flowing intuition. One moment to the next building upon earlier thoughts and inclinations. Following my nose so to speak. “It’s still so early” a voice said as I peered at the time. “Maybe I should do something productive” came the next line followed by a vision of laundry and the necessity of fresh clean pants. “While that’s going through its cycle I’ll go to the shop” might not have time to do that tomorrow. Maybe that’s still some beer talking maybe that herb is starting to kick in. 


The town centre is alive as always on a Saturday morning. It seems someone else has the square allowed to them every weekend. The kids were promoting some thirties play and the sound of old jazz filled the air. Branding has a lot of importance to the people of this island and earlier in the week a high street staple finally shut its doors taking with it thousands of jobs and a lot of questions still remaining to be answered. Here today the volunteers all wore matching purple tee shirts with the logos of the sponsors proudly embedded on them. I don’t mean to imply anything by juxtaposing these two things together it was just a thought that passed through me head as I recalled the scene. The bankruptcy stirred questions about liability as the former owner a billionaire sold the company for a pound to a consortium headed by someone of dubious qualifications. This story has been brewing in the news. 


Speaking of news Muhammad Ali passed away. This news spread like fire all over the place. Seemingly everyone knew at once as the story was amplified by the various sources one might encounter in the modern world. His words and actions in the face of opposition both in the ring and throughout his life spoke of the type of person that he was. He was almost universally loved and admired. His opposition to the draft that sidelined his career in the prime of his career spoke to the high standard he held both for himself and for others. His actions added fuel to the civil rights movement as well as exposing (with the passage of time) the futility of the Vietnam War. There was lots of talk about how important he was and what he did just by living according to his principles. He was an ambassador to humanity even though he achieved fame by fighting with his fists. What he achieved was greatness and that is what he set out to prove in his childhood. To me his achievements seem a lot more admirable as I think about them now. To think that after winning a gold medal in the Olympics he was denied service at a cafe somewhere in the American south. At 22 when he beat Liston he was a huge underdog. His speeches and his bravery in the face of strong opposition and shaming was admirable. Those were different times and what we have today socially was influenced by his actions and words. 


That’s the conclusion I got to after a whole day of various different media exposures. As my laundry was cycling in the machine I sat at a cafe and finding a different seat I could still hear the auto groans of that developmentally challenged man in some flat nearby. This location is perfect except for those sounds that sometimes interfere with the normal flow of words as they sometimes increase in volume and repetitive speed. I was going to visit a shop that sells brand names stuff at discount prices. It’s an effective reseller for things that are out of season and at the end of the line. Maybe I’ll find something. I found a bag. 


I’ve been carrying a backpack since getting here. There was a bag that I found on the interwebs but there is no retailer that has it in stock. I’d order it but I don’t have a reliable mailing address and frankly my apprehension results from both the price and styling. The bag that I saw and examined had all the features that I was seeking in an attractive package. The construction of this accessory appears to be durable. I need to see and feel something in my hands before buying it. Call me old fashioned. I don’t feel like dealing with the hassle of sending something back. After purchasing the bag I went home as I had decided to make a day trip to Stoke to check out some more of the city. I didn’t feel like being cooped up inside for the rest of the day. 


The River Trent that gives Stoke on Trent its name runs for a portion of it parallel to the train tracks as well as the A500 that is often jammed with cars during the weekday. The need to walk and enjoy the scenes of a different environment was strong. I also wanted to chat with Ba(r)be from a new location for a change. There was some promitive and sloppy street art in the various locations that I passed along the way. It spoke a little about the town and I figured out that “Trail and Error” is part of a promotion for some kind of a short film produced at the local university. It explains some of the stencils dotted around the city but not all of them. 


Even though there wasn’t any blue sky the sun still felt bright upon my skin. The next day was going to be brighter and I had hopes of getting to another town. I said so to Ba(r)be as we spoke from this exotic location. I found a hip coffee shop to sit at while we spoke. It closed midway through our conversation evoking a surprise. It shouldn’t be closing down at such an early hour. This is a small town after all and things don’t stay open as late as they do in London let alone Vancouver where the coffee shops stay open much later some even overnight. 


Not to worry the Potteries Museum was across the street and due to the sloping topography had a sitting area conveniently built into the surrounding grounds. We talked for a long time as one does with someone who holds so much fascination. This time spent here would have looked a lot different if we didn’t have this commitment to each other. Although we are so far apart the conversations fill a void and the prospect of reuniting gives my time here a purpose that otherwise would have been directed at the daunting task of finding someone to bed with. This task is always a hit and miss. For a while my goal has been to find a hit and stick. This separation between us is a sort of analysis of the glue that keeps us together. I keep reminding her of the countdown. Only eight weeks left. 


Remember when you had to be at a particular place in order to have a chat? Yeah those times are a fog for me too. Bernie and I had a long one as we chatted about our experiences lately. He told me about the fun times he had with his kids on his recent outing to some cottage/funpark. He said that he has hit a breakthrough in his quest for musical expression. He has been tinkering in his studio adjusting to the evermore sophisticated software that allows him to translate the sounds in his mind to physical? Digital? Auditory form able to be played for anyone. I understand that. It’s like finding your voice and being able to express precisely what’s on your mind. That ability is sought after by so many and it’s not as easy as just snapping your fingers. If that were the case we would all be artistic geniuses. Computers would interact with us naturally but again these things are not as simple as that. 


I had a big feast when I got home. Part of a big night in prominently promoted at the super shop. I had walked a lot further than I expected and it was time to sleep afterwards. It was a busier and longer day than I had expected but that’s what happens when it is a free form day. 

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