Hello, London

25 12 2014

London's Heathrow Airport.

London’s Heathrow Airport.

I arrived in London with a lot to prove.

American. Southern Democrat with a love for nature and history and rebuilding confidence despite a poor showing during the midterm elections in the U.S. The President’s men and women cannot always win, so it seems.

David insisted I carry a bag that was too heavy for me. He describes it as a Toumi folding suit bag. I hauled it out of the airplane into Heathrow and onto the underground tube. It took up a lot space on the train and yet people did not complain despite tripping over it which, no doubt, inflicted a few cramps. I was so embarrassed. The shoulderpad was practicially deteriorating on my shirt, leaving black marks on a fine fabric. But I was glad to be here.

At the Russell Square station, I had one more uncomfortable surprise awaiting as the masses unloaded and filed toward the exit. There was a lift to the street and a lot of people waiting for just two cars. Tired of being in the herd, I opted instead to climb stairs. One hundred and seventy-five of them — Toumi folding suit bag, laptop briefcase and all. Signs warned to not attempt this unless one was in tip-top condition. I considered myself just that.

Russell Square Underground Tile.

Russell Square Underground Tile.

I beat the crowd upstairs. One of the taller, younger lads, who had opted to wait with his family and take the elevator instead, shot me a contemptuous glare as I proceeded in the opposite direction. From the station, I headed into the Bloomsbury district where JB was housed in a charming building on Gordon’s Square. Bloomsbury is an intellectual zone, full of thinkers, young people and sophisticates It was quite different from our previous rendezvous in Walthamstow.

London already has an air about it. It is cold but not damp. I arrive at the Gordon Square House to JB’s warm greeting. He immediately offers to help me with my luggage. I was relived as we climbed the stairs, another five flights, into the attic. JB has come a long way since our first meeting in Houston. And so have I.

We chat briefly before he must leave for the college and I need some rest. I slept little on the plane, watching two movies and eating everything they offered. Food, for the next two weeks, would not be a priority. I had trained and fed all summer for this moment.

JB was in great shape and just a few years my senior. I was glad to see him again. He is the only soul from Houston I have remained in contact with. That was such a dark year.

Things would go much better in England. This I was sure of.

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