Creative Writing in Canada

Short Story Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Flash Fiction, Essays and samples to assist in your literary endeavours.

The Writer Must Take Himself Wherever He Goes

Creative Journal Writing by Wayne Ray


No matter how much we share with all mankind each of us is bitterly alone. Our true distance from our neighbors begins to yawn when we at length discover the unexplained darkness within ourselves and begin to understand that he who travels farthest and fastest into the darkness must travel alone and that the ultimate destination of every traveler is always himself. 
									John Keats 

EUROPE July 1990 

Caught the train at King's Cross Station for Peterborough to change for Edinburgh, Scotland. The grey planked platform is practically empty save for a few overdressed tourists and some hungry, grey pigeons walking along the endless tracks. I met a woman my age leaning against the wall who was wearing the same slacks as I was and had the exact same knapsack as I. She had large breasts. Can't recall her face though? 

3:00 
I am about 150 miles from Edinburgh and will it never end. Thought I'd have gotten used to the 
clacking of steel wheels on rail by now. Small towns, large people, factories, fields, ghosts of Vikings, breath of Caesar, vini vidi vici. Sometimes, death is just a change of armor.

3:20 
Newcastle. Closely crowded buildings. Brick walls between each brick house. Big churches. River Tyne is cleaner than river Thames. Slept some of the way. Plan to get to Dunfermline and then to Inverness if I can. Going over the Royal Border Bridge at Berwick. Crossed border between England and Scotland where the Ottadini ruled the whole line of the coast from the River Tyne to the Firth of Forth just before the building of the old Roman fort at Berwick in 69 ad. Got into Edinburgh at 6:30. Raining like full scale tears after the death of a parent so I went 
around town for about three hours. Fog. Caught the crowded bus for Manchester.

July 5 

I am over at Susan Morris's. Old section of town. When my high school pen pal came to the door and I told her who I was, she fainted. Caught her as she fell. Picked her up and carried her into the living room. Held she in my arms caressed her skin. Later we went to see her sister for about an hour. Reminded her of all the suggestions she had put in her letters during an earlier period in our lives when all that mattered was the search and not the love. Wet dreams don't come true, she said, but if the mind could rectify mistakes before they are made then life would be without despair for despair has engulfed me washing away my desire for life. Life has given me a distasteful feeling with few glimpses of laughter and hope. Hope is lost and I must suffer  throughout my life in the relentless search for love. 

July 6 

Got up at 8:00.Am on my way through Wales. Kicked out of the First Class section of the train.Went to Bangor and hitched a ride to Carnarvon Castle. Bought a Welsh flag in Bangor. Looked out over the valley of Elfinrune. Found a perfectly good pair of binoculars to help with a favorite Night pastime, ft's 8:15 and 1 am waiting for the 9:00 train. Birmingham at 10:30 p.m. London about 6:00. Found a place to stay with the large breasted girl with the enigmatic face from King's Cross Station and her two girlfriends. Arose early and went to catch the train for Dover. The pubs are only open until 11:00pm. Developed a tendency to drink for thirst and not to get drunk. 

July 9 

Got to the station and caught the train to Dover. Walked up the cliffs to catch the sea breeze in my hair. Got on the Hovercraft and glided over the seemingly vast sea channel to Boulogne France. Train to Calais. Met three tiny girls from New Brunswick and rode with them to Brussels. Talked French most of the time. Checked into a room at a hotel. Large double bed and 
all four of us managed to fit into it quite comfortably and into each other dreams and secret unfulfilled wishes. Not having known love I dreamed of going to your empty house or apartment 
or lodging on a steamy dark night under a blue moon where we drank and talked and laughed while you stripped me naked with your eyes phantom fingers up and down my thighs your tongue on my breasts and having never known love I dreamt. 





Continued

	  July 11 

The first day of work and I cut the grass around the place. Joe from Niagara College came over on Thursday night at 12:00 midnight. Joe and 1 went to Haarlem to find him a place to stay. On Saturday we went to Amsterdam to look around the red light district and the porno and sex shops 
as well as the art museum. Xaviera Hollander would retire here and open a B&B. We met a Jewish girl from Brooklyn. Joe and her hit it off well. We went to the theater that night and she pulled up her skirt for him, hungry for affection. Joe wrote her a few times when he got back to college but she never wrote back. They never did go dancing where glaciers melt and angels lightly tread, where eagle wings separate clouds from the rising sun. They never did go dancing where tulips stain the air and lakes are crystal clear, where a babies feather breath touches on human skin. If they had gone dancing, they would have missed the silence between them and the first laughter in their smiles. 

July 12 

We go through life hanging onto friendships, time passes by and only once together do friendship's lie, that brief fleeting moment of stillness when two faces meet and never again seen 
yet always remembered and yet the second meeting of the days comes with parting of the ways. 
Time and place and happiness coexist for a brief span of time when we, for the first time meet and say we will come together again . . . and the raven quoth . . . never more. 

July 15 

Joe and I and Phyllis the Jewess went from Amsterdam to Loostrecht de Placens to look at the sail boats and resort area. Hardly any tourists. Got back to Amsterdam at 7:30 p.m. and went to a 
movie called Stamping Ground. I left her and Joe at 10:00 and went home to Heemstede at 11:00. 1 talked gibberish to pass the time, wrote poetry and avoided the rhyme. The lights grow dim and the sun sets on my desire not to have desires. 

July 17 

Tomorrow I go to Ghent to see Eddy and Rita. Went to the beach at Zanvoort about 8 km from here, the biggest beach I've ever seen, it stretches for miles and miles and across the ocean there 
is a beach where my girl waits on the sand for me. I saw her at the beach as I lay on the warm sand and as she walked by she cast no shadow. She should have though, the way the sun reflected off her golden hair and fair skin. After she had gone, I found her shadow, it had left a sunburn on my heart. 

	July 18 

Left at 5:30 for Ghent in the pouring rain. Hair matted from brushing away the water and thoughts of actually buying a hat entered my mind. Got to Eddies at 11:30. He is 25 and she is 23. A beautiful collection of fossils from all over northern Europe and Rita showed me around Ghent and we visited some friends of hers. I'm glad they are all around my age or else it wouldn't 
have been so interesting. So come to me my lady white, kiss me in the morning light, come and sing and come and play with you beside me shall I lay, bring my pipe and bring me home, far from this place where you're alone you'll go to be alone again to dream your dreams of invisible 
men. 

July 20 

Went for coffee at Rita's parents and sister and I left at 3:00 for Brussels and caught the 6:38 train with a young couple from North Carolina. Switched trains in Rotterdam to Haarlem and then I caught the bus to Heemstede. 

	July 25 

Woke up early and worked overtime this week. Went uptown last night. It has a long main street 
with lots of stories. Watched a film clip of the Berlin Wall being torn down on T.V. End of an era, end of peace and the world as we know it. My uncle went to Germany last year to find those 
poets and politicians who had shaped his childhood, but he could not find that lunatic fringe you 
see, for they smoked their last cigarette in 1943. 

August 01 

Today one of the boys at work, Jim Pijpers and I are going to Leiden. This Friday I am leaving for Cologne Germany for Sat and Sun. Jim and I left for Leiden at 11:30 a.m.. We got back to Haarlem at 5:30 and we met his girlfriend and his (twin) sister. We all went to Noordrecht and then to Haarlem for a dance. Sat around in a coffee shop afterwards. Ah napkin where have you been, below the nose or on the chin, are you full of coffee, cream or tea, is there space enough left for me for I've dropped some goop on my legs and I think it smells of eggs and after I wipe I'll leave it again, so someone else can say  . . .  ah napkin where have you been? 

August 03 

Went to Amsterdam at 11:00 and saw the flea market and met Jim and Jose and Leni and we went to a dance at the Toy Joy in Haarlem where we met some kids from France. Today I am resting. I worked with Leni and another girl at the Harte Kamp, we washed clothes and put to bed 18 retarded children from 6:00 to 9:30. The Harte Kamp is actually Linneaushoff, the home of the world famous botanist, Linnaeus. Several of the retarded children were masturbating in the open and Leni told me that sometimes they masturbate them to relax them so that they will get to sleep easier. I will miss her when I leave this place. This country. In ten or twenty years though, would I take the plane back to you? Could the next one carry me, my baggage and all my love? If I were to take the next plane and it landed right in front of your house, would your dreams be fulfilled? Should I take the Concorde and be there in an hour, or catch a Lear jet and see the country before joining you for dessert? When I knock at your door with my suitcase in one hand and my heart in the other, would my dreams, your expectations and our memories recognize each other? 

August 10 

Last Saturday Jim (and Leni) took me to the Hook of Holland and I arrived in London at 9:00 p.m. and checked into the St. Christopher Hostel till Thursday. On Thursday the plane was seven hours late. I had stayed up all night Wed. and Thur. We got into Toronto at 9:00 and was picked up by a friend of dad's, I got home at 11:00. Sometimes you can go home, arms around the past, 
unchanged imprints on mirrors stare through you, to you, from you. Sometimes you can go along the asphalt life way where place memories are real again to see, touch, smell, to remind. Sometimes you can forget the binds that tie the wounds that heal the loss of love, of youth, of you. Sometimes you haven't left home. That's when you can't go home again.