11/15/1989 8:00pm

So here sits the Post Warrior, alone, in the crazy aeroport, alone, naked and vulnerable. Let’s Go, cheap Walkman, Dawn’s tape, two packs of Camels, and that is it. Loneliness starts and I cannot wait to see Maura in London and sanity will return. Trapped in this reality, waiting, and all the nuts and crazies walk past me without a look. Hundreds and thousands trickle past.

One man, waiting for his oil rig worker friend who is four hours late, starts laughing because that is all he can do. He tries talking to me but soon stops.

On the ride down to this crazy place, NY, that once was my home, I saw a mad throwback to Lowell, MA. A white, blank billboard on the side of I-95 South with the one word, not even on the space for the ad, “MURPHY”, the name of the crazy, big, old beatnik, and I smile as I just finished reading in the van “Dharma Bums”, stolen from Kerouac’s grave by your small little sneaky author. But Jack said it was OK and so it was.

After a half hour delay and a Beck’s Dark, the New Way of the adventurous Post Warrior begins. Talking smiling laughing with two Irish cyclist nuts and some Irish now New Yorker lady, I realize that all I can do for the world is make it better. Better by being in a good mood 24hrs a day and all the rest.

There is a stewardess that looks very new and very young 21ish and from a distance resembles Megen back in Mystic who promises to wait for me. I could talk to her, the stewardess, and ask her why she looks like she is so lost and confused and hope to find out thru her what makes Megen look the same. But I don’t because she is working. So sad she looks but must smile and be humble because it is her job, but she knows Truth and Sadness.

Fog caused the half hour delay and when we finally broke out of it and stars and moon were out I realized that what I was doing is going to be amazing and the Post Warrior has gotten out of basic training and is ready to be alone and make do.

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Something like the 16th

Sleeping on the plane, I had a weird dream. All the regulars were there, but lots of us, kindda like party “Group”, we were all trying to chill out at different people’s houses and drink and talk. Tarbox and Alex were going off. We were poor. There were turkeys and sheep and large-headed mules in the backyards. We kept getting yelled at and kicked out by parents, moms mostly. We were drunks.

(Letter to Dolph)
I saw this chick in the terminal at JFK. Pretty good looking. Saw her next morning after sleeping on the plane. Pretty bad. I had to piss, the sign read “VACANT”, I turned the knob and there she was! I closed the door. When she was done (which she was anyway, as she was standing), she flung the door open and stomped back to her seat.

Shannon Aeroport to Limerick:
Standing at a bus stop, a nice, young, mid-aged woman asks me when the next bus is. I don’t know. She goes and finds out it isn’t for two more hours and asks if I want to share a cab to Limerick, as the bus will go there anyway. OK and she goes to call for one. I, putting on a warm shirt, catch her in the aeroport and she has hooked a rent-a-car business American who will drive us to Limerick for free. Cool, as 100 bucks is 66 and change pounds.

Now in Limerick, and I just missed my bus. Guess I’ll go to the pub.

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11/17/1989

Yesterday, after I missed the bus, I went into a small pub near the station and had my first pint of Guinness on this adventure. Then I walk Limerick with pack on my back. This is a dead city.

On the bus, finally, to Galway, I played a small game of pass the ashtray with this crazy Irish kid and slept. It was raining, but not hard, as we pulled into the Galway station and I immediately found the B&B Terry and I stayed in two years ago. This place is getting run down. The woman is very unsocial and was unimpressed when I told her that I had stayed here before.

Off into the night. Pizza at Super Mac’s is still really good, and the place was full of beautiful Irish girls, one in particular. There was a shrew-faced male, young, eating alone, like me, wearing a crazy looking suit and tie. I was going to talk to him, but he seemed distraught about something.

Off to the bar. This is a nice place, classy like, in a hotel. There was the shrew, with friends, hundreds of them! Graduation at some university. I figured it would be cool to hang out and meet people, but they weren’t into it. There was some old, 45ish, drunk next to me and he would talk and told me about how nice “hippies” are and about two hostels. He had a small bag of writing paper that he claimed the contents were 145 pounds. It was a gift from the missus. But he soon left. Pint of Guinness and a pint of Bud and I hit the street. I actually got lost. Wrong turn out of Mickey Dee’s or something and I was on the fringes of town. Nice place. Rivers and some crazy big cathedral.

I went back into the same pub and was received even less than before. Single pint of Guinness poured to say “Get out fast”. 100’s of these kids all over the place.

By 8PM, I was asleep at the B&B.

I woke once in the night, at 5 to midnight, from a dream about Megen and Matt McLaughlin.

Woke this morning and 8:45. No shower, because it didn’t work. I haven’t bathe since America! Now, after a pork breakfast, I must find a hostel.

There was no real challenge, but I am spending money much too fast. 10 pounds for the B&B, 4 for the hostel, my headphones broke so there is another 4 and change, food. I’m spending way too much money. I had to even buy a towel for 4 pounds on sale, but this I needed because I just had a lame shower but still feel great. The Post Warrior still is a spoiled American, but not for much longer. If I can learn not to spend so much cash, I’ll make it.

The bar (pub) I frequent, I just learned is a yuppie bar. Oh well. It is nice, but the people suck. After a long walk down to the fucking Oasis disco, which was closed when I finally got there After pissing in a combination Texaco/funeral parlor, it was closed! I couldn’t believe it.

(Letter to Terry)
Oasis is a hike.

I went back to the hostel, where everyone was making dinner. Sorry, I like being out. And I couldn’t eat even if I tried…no microwave or nukeable food! I met one of the two guys that I started out with in JFK, in some travel agency, as I walked the streets of Galway. Digging the people and sights. Holy shit, I’m in Ireland. So far from family and friends and Mystic. I’m in a pub now, which came highly recommended by one of the few people in that other pub. Yup, this is better. Called “Quays” (“Keys” as I looked for it). This is probably the nicest pub I will ever be in! It is beautiful and old with brick arch doorways and two bars. If anyone ever reads this and gets to Galway, Ireland, come here!

(Letter to Dawn)
Any Irish in you? I’ve seen you coming up the street several times now.

By the way, it is only about 7PM and clocks are hard to find in this really old country with walls older than God being just now knocked down to put up more pubs and butcher shops. Ireland, in any pissant little town, blows the Mystic Mile away. I saw those two young punk girls, that I saw yesterday in the center of town, daring all in the yup pub. Yesterday I felt actually threatened by the two probably 17 year old girls, but tonight, as they walked by, I wanted to talk to them but could not get my coward’s nerves up to say “Excuse me, please let me hang out with you.”

Loneliness hits hard. I am so lonely I am answering my own questions, but this is where Truth is found.

(Letter to Michael)
“Yah, Boy!” Listened to your tape in Limerick and Galway. “How low can you go?” That’s correct. Big into J. B. I’ve got names and addresses. Let’s go international, man!

On the walk down to Oasis, I gave a very drunken bum a Camel. I lit it at his request and asked him if he wanted me to smoke it for him, too (a line I learned as a janitor). He tasted it, expecting a Major, and said “What is this?!!?”

The busboy/barback wears a Talking Heads shirt. Very cool place, this Ireland. Tomorrow I think I’ll get on with it and get my ass planted on a bar stool in Castletownroche. Ireland, no matter how hard you fight, is a pub crawl. Soon, I’ll visit New Order’s disco in Manchester, and then on to see Maura in London.

Ireland is like a strange state in America. US news, music, cars, etc are here. But Bud is an import and you pay import prices for it!

The trip is worth whatever and whoever. I’ve hooked up with the potheads. Yeah, too cool. Drunk and kicked out of one pub and into another and into another. Take-away beers and smoking spliffs all the way back. Expensive and weak, but cool to sit around the circle; an artist with everyone’s voice ever, two English majors, and a worker. One of the English majors is by God too funny. Drinking beers by a canal by a river and people passing by and pot and Bud and drugs and all kinds we keep going and it isn’t even 10 o’clock and one wears a Jimi H. shirt. And they know Public Enemy and I Am happy smoking, now listening to a sound painting by the artist whose name I cannot remember, but god they are cool.

(Letter to Tarbox)
Get out of your house, boy! Your sounds have a way to go, as I listen to “just some tape.”

(Letter to Rich F)
Pixies are BIG in Ireland.

My beret has gone missing. These guys smoke resin, dance to Hip-Hop and Funk from the ‘70s. I gave them my address.

(PS to Michael)
Use wooden matches to pack jibbers!

{A separate page tucked into my notebook}
Quays 111789
Lovers sit quiet talking hand holding.
Please, please someone talk to me!
I’ll sit and smile and laugh and talk.
Just please talk with me, to me, but not about me.
Megen look-a-like sits ten feet away.
Much older, like old when the ring is around her finger
and I am long long long forgotten.
Hunger and loneliness and Guinness and Murphy’s
envelope me with fear and Death.
Help me, please.

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11/18/1989

Hungover as all Hell in a hostel lies the Post Spoiled American Warrior, missing his friends and girlly and ready to kill for even a warm glass of Tropicana Pure Premium OJ.

The law says that in order to be a nightclub, a meal must be served. To do this most cheaply, the place we were last night charges a £3 cover and gives you some good drinking and dancing, slop & rice. Pretty good idea.

I am in the Select Bar, for pub grub, on Shop Street. Good food, great soup and pretty good prices. It looks really la-dee-dah, but isn’t. Full of regulars, they took me in with no problems.

Back in Quays, waiting for the artist, from last night, to arrive at 3. 2:30 now and so bored. Body still in pain from last night. I crave no beer or cigarette, just a hot bath, some good OJ, and my friends. Megen’s crazy depressed tape plays on shitty $15 Walkman with even shittier £4 earphones. Little ones, that go in earholes, attached to headband. What is she doing to me? She knows I will listen to her tape the most and it is even more depressing than Tarbox’s! Black Death on magmatic media.

Coke bottle empty and 10 more minutes until artist arrives. He has to make it on time, because my bus leaves for Mallow at 3:15.

* Quays on Quay Street, visit it, very nice.

3:02 – where is the bastard?!? I NEED my beret, muthafucka!

The kid didn’t show so all I have is a drug helmet, with my growing longer dirty hair sticking out the back. And I saw my bus, the Cork bus, cruising down the street from the station as I take the diagonal path across the park in the middle of Galway City and I have to stay here now until 6 and will only get as far as Limerick tonight. Limerick sucks. It is dead.

I started reading “Lonesome Traveler” while sitting out in the cold in front of the station, but it got too cold so I finished my reading session in the pub/lounge. Not drinking or smoking and listening to everyone and some old drunks can’t remember who ordered the last pint. All want to drink it, none want to pay for it.

Long, dark bus ride to Limerick finds me thinking sleeping hearing smelling seeing my friends. Megen’s Death tape plays on and on and on. Midway through trip, bus stop, five girls get on. One sits next to me and we say nothing. At bus stop in Limerick, she gets off and says “Thank you. Nice to see you.” The Irish are really truly nice people.

* The best cure for loneliness is to keep on moving.

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11/19/1989

Up with a jump after 12 hours sleep, as that is the cheapest way to do things, and into the station for an hour’s wait for a train to Mallow. I’m starting to look and feel like real road scum, but I’ve never felt better.

Old bum knows Truth. Not bottled Truth, but spiritual. And he also knows on this Sunday morning that Truth cannot be found in the church but is out in the street with the people. And that Truth is found within himself.

As I entered the station, I saw a pigeon walking around eating up bits of whatever. Enter the Railway Man, with his mop to clean up bits of whatever from under the roost that the pigeons keep.

Two girls sit to my left. I brush my teeth in the railway bathroom. Soon but not soon enough the ticket window has a figure behind it. Ticket to Mallow via Limerick Junction by bus to train. Outside now, near bus slots, a bus pulls in. “I will miss no more buses! “, the Post Warrior vows. And he asks the driver. “No.” Back to the outside station wall and the girls come up behind me, saying “We are following you.” I must really look like a traveler! Pride and I am happy. They are from South Shore Long Island en route to London to meet friends.

Limerick Junction Station is small and cold and blue. This is one hell of an adventure. I looked at my black & white photo of Megen and I miss her. But I cannot bring myself to listen to her Death tape, as I must keep my spirits high.

My god! Some how, I got on the nutty weirdo circus car express to some crazy hell or worse. A fat, queer in the American sense strange-o sits to my front right, listening to a radio bigger than his already very large head, or gets up and runs up and down the aisle. The nut in back of me sits listening to the songs playing in his head and rocks his head back and forth as if to say “No”, but to a beat. Every time the conductor comes by he asks for a ticket “if you don’t mind” to someplace else and upon hearing the cost says “What if I said I know Pat?” and the conductor says “That is the same price I would pay. That’s fair (fare?).”

Fat tourist American executive and his wife sit three seats up and to the right. I think of my own parents traveling Europe and laugh. A crazy nut and his wife sit right in front of me. Testament to Irish inbreeding. What great fun! All look at me with drug helmet concealing three or two day old unwashed hair and terrorist jacket and crazy beard and all think that I am the nut!

The countryside is beautiful green hilly with cows and small trees growing against oldoldold walls of fence and farm. Late November and the grass and trees are still green! Thousands of millions of hundreds of cows everywhere in every plot and field, but where is the sun? Even the crows have a brogue and the black and white Heckle and Jeckle birds tell me that what I am doing is right. Soon to Castletownroche and the crazy John Seamus Pat cousins and Mum.

The walk into Mallow was escorted by a swearing mad Londoner who was roped into moving to this “primitive country, more primitive than the Wild West ever was” by his wife. Man, was he pissed.

Walking the back road to Castletownroche with a car every 5 minutes and no one stopping no matter what I did, save one crazy young 30ish man in a bomb like my ‘Bird back home. He was going to Castletownroche anyway, so no biggy and off we went at 50MPH around this skinny turny curvy back road, balling it up and down hill until we were in the town.

Into the pub straight away, greeted by John who looked at me and my big rucksack mess and I guess they don’t get much road suck Post Warriors in this tiny town. He failed to recognize me even when I told him I was here two years ago, but Pat knew me after he removed my beard in his head and I gave them the picture of their “Auntie Eilly” (my father’s mother) and the rest of the family, thus ending my Irish quest. But they still didn’t seem too hospitable until I ate some chicken and potatoes in three flavors and went for a five mile walk at a blistering pace with Max the Dog chasing sticks and Anne the nurse who travels the world and now I shall have a shower and feel much better as the sweat rolls down my sweat stained back, and I will feel better.

Cold, cold, colder the shower of ice washes over me slowly.

(Letter to Rich)
10:30 pub in Castletownroche. Band playing slow, mellow jams of Eagles and other American bands, and Irish covers, and their own. The drummer is playing some pretty good riffs. You bastards should be practicing, as the stone you gave me tells me that you are in the “studio rehearsal hall”. Pints run free, stouts of Guinness and a Cork Murphy’s, which is good and should go international intercontinental. “You guys suck” is all I can think, knowing the opposite. Sadness comes into my head via the speakers and a crowd grows.

Drunk and back only two drinks, one full pint I have paid and tomorrow I leave Castletownroche, rain or shine, and probably rain. The last 15 minutes of some old Laurence Olivier movie plays in the house parlor, after the pub closed. All I can think is that it is an American training film for greed, sex and cocktails.

In bed, under seven layers, SEVEN, of sheets, blankets, comforters, lays the cold Knight Post for a cold Post night!

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11/20/1989

The night’s dream: The whole Board, plus people from my past, all traveling around metropolitain Groton/New London in a huge van/cube van/camper van thing, drinking, doing drugs, having sex, and fighting cops.

My god! On the train to Dublin after flooding night morning rain sitting reading thinking lonling the Sun Almighty Sun busts out and the clouds grow white and blue sky and to my right is an Irish pot o’gold rainbow. I have seen the sun! I know that the world still lives on but the further north I roll the darker and greyer and uglier it gets. But that few scant moments of light sky blue sun rainbow lift me up up up and beyond these storm clouds from Hell!

(Letter to Megen, 1:40PM)
M-
God fucking damn I’m lonely and bored on this train to Dublin. I’m bored of reading and logging my thoughts and writing and the batteries in my piece of shit Walkman just died, like my soul. She’s lost controooolll. Before I slip into obliv-Ian, I would kill to give you one more long, deep kiss. I miss you and see you everywhere.
I just left my relatives in this tiny backwards pissant backroad not even on the map town. One of my “cousins” owns a pub and they got me hammered. I look like shit and feel it, too, so no one will even ever talk to me unless it is travel questions, like the latest “Is this the Dublin train?” because I guess I look like a traveler.
I wrote this poem, if you will, in a pub in Galway, alone. {Reader, see Quays poem on 11/17/1989, if you want. I am not writing it here again.} Murphy’s is another kind of stout.
Everything is so green here and I finally caught glimpse of blue sky and sun, as it is always grey.
When my relatives started getting drunk, they talked much faster and it did not sound like English and I could not understand them, so they stopped talking.
I dream of home and can see everyone. I am about three days ahead of where I should be because I have to see my friend Maura in London real soon or I’ll go fuckin’ to pieces.
Rich gave me some crazy stone and his crystal neck-hanger-holder-whammyshamalammy to hold it in and it keeps me relatively sane. I am 5 hours ahead of you guys so I have to wait to figure out where people are and then I grab the stone thru my shirts and layers and just hold on a picture them and I can actually see them, like I saw Relics in the basement last night.
Come get me.
In Galway, I hooked up with some potheads and they got me baked on hash. I thought it was resin at the time. They roll jibbers that are like three papers long and pretty thick because the shit is so shitty it takes that much to get you high.
I eat once a day, dinner, and that usually is not much.
By the time this reaches you, I should be in Manchester, England.
See you soon.
PS…Dublin sucks. I’m already waiting for a bus to a ferry to Liverpool, putting me six days ahead of schedule.

Dublin could not be any lamer if it tried. Changed cheque into cash and straightaway to the ferry people. Two pints in The Harp and small talk with some normal-type young guy. I actually saw a mirror. Oh man, I’m looking pretty sick.

Into the ferry bus train station and a pumped up postcard to Dolph. In walks a 19 year old girl with a white kindda bridal wedding type hat on. Not a veil, but, a strangely formal hat. Compliment the hat and we are instant friends, sharing smokes and complaints about the Republic. Crystal blue perfectly rounds eyes and short hair, overalls and Doc Martins. She lives in Belfast and compares the two cities. No comparison. Smokers cough of Hell passed off as pneumonia, she reads poetry and listens to Cocteau Twins and Pink Floyd. Smoke head? I don’t dare ask. Brown leather jacket, beat to shit and old is all she has to keep her warm and she reads poetry and buys my last stamps from e to mail postcards to her friends back home, where she is bound.

What seems like days and weeks and years is only two and a half hours and I am on the top layer of 2x layer bus, front left seat and the adventure continues. Man and son sit very rear. Son is having a lesson on money. “90 and a half.” But soon Pops grows bored and asks if the kid wants to go to sleep but like all kids, no.

This is so sick! 40’ in the air on roads of city design! Every bump is exaggerated. I hope the boat isn’t like this.

All the crazy professional traveling youngsters are here. They search kicks and I search Truth. The difference.

From what I have seen, these boats are no Cross Island Sound Cape Henlopen toys. These things mean business. Aircraft carrier size!

Trendy fuckers. “Daddy, send more cash. We make friends everywhere”, said with dizzy smile and eyes slightly out of focus and head swaying back and forth.

Luxury Liner comfort barge. Not Love, but Stranger Boat. This thing is incredible and for only £20! Large safety zone buffer areas surround each person or clique. Walkmen breakout and books amongst the singles and I am the only one writing. Pub rug, comfortable seats and couches around the walls and tables and a pleasant lighting, and warm! Hanging like loop-de-loop curtains mark the outside wall and pleasant voiced lady calling “Tommy Such and So, telephone call. Please report to the information desk.” Shiny like mirror metal stainless on ceiling for décor.

Holy shit! Jack just walked by! I am getting closer by the day to finding it, smoking butt like JK on way to just opened ship bar.

Irish women come in three flavors: Beautiful, cute, and stone ugly.

Meeting older people is easier than meeting the Youth because age brings Truth.

Watching the Irish-French 4-year old cute little spoiled girl go nuts on sugar and the already tired parents drinking pints grow even more tired but by god they keep giving her more sugar and wonder why they can’t control her.

The Youth safety margins filled in with older folks as time passed and we are under way.

Mother daughter and her son speak of dead relatives and eldest goes off when she hears I’m from CT. Long drawn out story of other daughter in Fairfield County w/ husband landscaping for Paul Newman and the Irish mother of the young sugar daughter visited Uncasville. All from spreading joy in the form of 20 free smokes to the daughter of the elder mother and even as far as matches to a cigar smoking horny father groping the mother while the son tries to remain blind to it. Oh, what that must be doing to his young head. Elder mother just gave me a sandwich and, joy! Truth and all comes full circle.

The boat begins to reel and I can’t wait to see the drunk’s reaction!

Bitter. What is this bitter feeling I have for people involved in living their own lives? Where did it come from and why? Loneliness? Spend spend spend on beer and things they can’t afford and video games even worse and more violent than those in America and drawn to the telly and food if it is available but why? £2.50 on a cheeseburger for a stuffed 10 year old, who, by the way, took two bites and threw it out! He told me he’s been smoking since he was 5 but changed his story and said that he had a cigarette which he showed me and said it was for a 17 year old friend who was stowed away upstairs. Bad, bad kids.

3:40AM and JK and party just got fresh pints of lager. I, eating a sandwich, realize that I do not need sleep. Christ, if Kerouac was Irish I would swear that this guy in front of me was him! Slumped over on couch and you would swear Ginsberg was sitting next to him, but isn’t.

In Wales, en route to Liverpool! 4AM. Bus driver is very skinny youngerish guy drinking tea. How did I with drug helmet get thru customs without a glance and innocent old man gets stopped? Kerouac and Ginsbergette are on this bus. All other backpacker trendies are going to London. Fuckers. Lame-os.

The Moon! I can see stars!! My god, am I happy.

Holyhead is the same as Ireland.

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11/21/1989

This, my friends, is where the real adventure starts. One minute I’m on a bus looking around and the next I’m walking around downtown Liverpool at 6AM, dropped off on the side of the road. No map and nothing is open. Irish money in my pocket. Boy oh boy am I lost!

Everything is really BIG and serious, like the biggest, oldest inner-city university you can think of, only bigger and, for all I know, it stretches forever.

Now I have to wait for a cop and ask him what’s going on. It’s so cool. And chilly, too.

OK, Toto, I’m not in Kansas anymore. While looking at a beautiful Jaguar, an even better Lotus drives by.

Walking the streets and whatever Captain’s Walk walking mall type deal looking for tourist info center, whose signs just stop passersby look at me once in shock, twice in fear that I am maybe a mugger, and third in shock again.

The sky grows bluer and lighter and I have already seen a couple of things I want to do. But as it gets lighter, the temperature gets colder.

Imagine falling into the back of a twenty dollar bill with the people walking the streets in front of the White House. Imagine that happening and the colors stayed the same fake green and “white”. That is Liverpool with statues on top of pillar 300 feet up. It seems that their only two claims to fame are Pirates and The Beatles.

Oh my god, only thirty minutes ‘til nine! Then the tourist place and the money exchangers will be open. For now, tho, I’ll sit in this mall on this bench enjoying the warmth for as long as the security guard will allow me. In this waking period, I have done a lot and there will be more as I plan on being in Manchester tonight. I am so tired and hungry and there is a little dive coffee place with cheap breakfasts not 50 yards away, but I’m sure they don’t take Irish pounds or US dollars.

English pounds suck even worse than Irish ones. $100 = £62.25. Ten of this went straightaway to a “hotel”’s B&B plan. This should prove to be real nice.

I’ve been dying for pancakes or waffles so I went into Mickey Dee’s for some hot cakes and sausage – but they don’t have them! What kindda place…

In Ireland, you have to pay for a book of matches at a bar. In England, you have to pay for a packet of ketchup! What kindda place…

A seven hour “nap” and my first hot, powerful shower since leaving the US! Amazing how a hot shower can make you feel so great and alive. Some how I keep falling into La-de-da places, this a pizza place but unlike any pizza place I have ever been in before. Dimly lit, really nice décor, etc. (Rich, Grolsch is the only good beer.) Woman next to me ordered a half-rack of ribs and could not believe the size, and neither could I, with corn cob and salad and enough food for three people on one plate. The radio or whathaveyou plays a bit too loud and every song is by an American band! Let’s hear some English or even European or maybe Australian bands!

The best part of traveling alone is alcohol. How do I know when I am drunk if I can’t bounce it off of someone? How do I know that I’m not just wrapped up in thought because no one talks to a lonely traveler who looks as I do, with crazy just combed with a towel hair and a big, black army coat and a devil beard. That’s why on the second night of The Cure at Great Woods I did so much of even harder if you will drugs pot and shrooms just without end for the whole lonely amazing show. Because I was alone and did not realize how gone I was until I got with friends again.

Finally! A song by The Police! But after they were big.

Space capsule church high on a hill looms in front of me walking night university streets of Liverpool Dump Beatle-home. Pound coin as good to me as penny spent given to young artistic-looking beggar who knew Boston and the Truth of heartache. Yound black-haired girl leather jacketed tells me all of “Nutin’” when asked what to do in this Northern Hole.

Oh, sleepless night, leave me to myself. Lead me to my friends in dreams and Truths.

I can’t believe that I am in England, alone, posing as Post Warrior and suffering from all kinds of withdrawals. Liverpool is such a lovely town when you’re the only one in it at 6 in the morning.

I believe that if you search hard enough, Truth can be found in England. They are very critical and tell exactly bluntly what they think of a subject. An ad for a recently opened art gallery asks just Joe Fuck Shopper to come by and criticize! It is a confusing place, tho. Four, count them, four different types of stamps! I don’t even want to know about pay phones yet.

Older women walking in and shopping on streets model themselves after the Queen or Thatcher. Older men are very serious and stern faced with backs so straight that they almost lean backwards. After their generation, no one gives a shit and is just living life or going thru the motions of it.

The Irish and the English are, obviously of course, two different gene pools, but that comes as a shock when you see how different they are. Irish older men have very definite signs of alcohol abuse in their worn out faces , which sag and hang and look like they’ve been thru years of worry. English older men have plump faces with very few wrinkles. In general, English women are ugly. But occasionally you see a beauty. And there is nothing in between. Of course, tho, the beauties are probably Irish. Facial structure is opposite. That is where the Irish have concave noses, the English have convex. Very strange.

This picture is roughly the veins and walls of my Liverpool room. It is actually much smaller than this, with yellow walls and flesh-colored pipes, which really do look like veins staring at me from the other wall. This is the view from laying in bed. The whole room is about 10’ by 6’ and actually has the classic view of brick wall outside the little window next to (but not shown in the picture as I ran out of paper but really did want people to see it) the sink. I guess I have to work on my 3D!

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11/22/1989

Up at 8:30 for a “continental breakfast” (eggs sunnyside up, toast, coffee, cornflakes, OJ and bacon) and out to find world famous Mathew Street, home of the Cavern Club and a lot of crazy Beatles rip-off stores. Mathew Street is like a back alley. On the site of the Cavern is a mall. Where the Cavern eventually moved to is its replacement, The R@volution Club, and it looks to be a real dive. I went into the official Beatles store and bought cards for the two Mikes, my brother and my other brother, back home. Mike’s is a postcard of The Beatle Store, as I already got him another card. Michael’s is a real card with something The Beatles did, called Trippy the Bear. I wonder who ripped off who?

On the train to Manchester, here we go, boyo! Finally, I’ll see some England in daylight countryside. In the same day, I will see the beginnings of The Beatles and the end of Joy Division, Ian’s grave. Tarbox New Order/Joy Division tape playing and tape player acting up. Fuck off, Ian! This is my adventure.

Blue and white sky, Sun shining hot through train window, trees still green-leaved, smoke stacks vomiting forth white and seven reactor nuke plant (what a strange thing to see here). Houses everywhere. England is overpopulated.

Ticket to get OUT of the station, unpack, dismount, rummage. It is raining lightly or snowing and I start walking to the town hall tourist info place to ask not where can I sleep, but where is the Hacienda (New Order’s dance club) and to my surprise they know exactly where it is. Five blocks and I am there, but it is closed, even the pub. “FAC51 The Hacienda” reads a tiny plaque stone block in the wall and the big blacked out windows. I take a rubbing of the plaque with this very pen but I’m going to find a pencil or some charcoal and do it properly and twice for Tarbox and myself.

Very nice city, friendly and helpful, old and new meet and the result is quite nice. “Manchester: A Nuclear Free City” and a dove on signs around all over the city. Very nice and much nicer than any place I’ve been yet. I’ve decided to stay up all night, as there are not many B&Bs in the area and the hotels are all posh. I guess I won’t get drunk tonight either!

All checked in safe and sound at YMCA after drawing a rough rough sketch of Hacienda for Boxtar. All around Hacienda signs of Joy Division are found. Large flyer poster reads “Heart and Soul, small green flyer has a big bold Joy and Digital Underground in quotes and still big. But how the fuck do you get inside?

Nice bar lady giving help with money explanations and change and info and laughing with the boys: a Rasta with English accent and four white friends. Seventeen fags for £1.50 with Benson & Hedges as the strongest. Passing train shakes whole building and I am glad I did not get a room here, City Road Inn. Picture of map of Ireland with metallic blue ocean surrounding and I wonder why there are still bombings and killings and six month old babies being murdered, for what does a baby know of politics? And if you could explain politics to a baby, it would probably laugh. Or maybe even cry.

Out in the streets is a TV/stereo store advertising satellite dishes. Eight more channels! A whole eight. What? And the Government owns the air waves. TVs have only six buttons, so I guess they have to buy a new telly with the dish. And more deaths. Eleven English Marines are dead in another IRA bombing, just came over the BBC1 News at 6. Why? No need for death. I am really losing respect for the Irish and my own ancestors. There are actually songs about some of my long dead murdering relations.

Drunks and I am glad to have found this pub, as there are not even a third of the number of pubs here in the secondary capital as in any small city in Ireland Eire Death.

(Letter to Tarbox)
Manchester is a really friendly city. Big and happening and beautiful and the best place I’ve been yet. Come, definitely. I can’t figure out why Joy Division was so angry and depressed if they really lived here, but that was years ago. There are wonderful pieces of art in the parks and they love to laugh and poke fun at, but no harm is meant. Come see. Be. You’ll love it. Take a daytrip to Liverpool, but that is all it will take.

Oh, this crazy nut Scotsman, into music and knows loves Joy Division waiting for Hacienda to open across the street, talking of the new way of music, electronics. He carries a basic studio with him at all times, in a case that looks like it could fit a guitar, and talking about women and boy oh boy he is a blast. 35 and knows all, including life “don’t mean a thing” because, as Jack just told me last night, God is everything and I am nothing.

Back at his Holiday Inn £90 room a night room. If they only knew what they let in! Reading some December issue of a music magazine and he is listening thru headphones to disks, and note the “k” and not “c”, of sampling and shit he has done. And the TV is on and a bar stocked with beer and harder stuff and pool played, two games, let’s go to that club. Carrying about twenty pounds of paper and all all all all and now in shower after playing me some bassy stuff he put together this afternoon, god knows where, with Nazi and Jew movie on and talking as he showers, and he will look even more nuts without his stubbly beard. And soon to the long-awaited club and he paid for a cab to carry us two blocks with his gear as this is the first pub he fell into as if fate for this night had nothing to do with bringing us together; two music lovers. He has traveled the world and is into drugs and has acid but claims he is an atheist, but how can he be? And I have told him that he is going beyond, but his one drawback is all he wants to do is fuck, despite his wife and kids and shaves now, as I write, in the £90 room. We will dream the same dreams even tho his bed is the same as mine but bigger and nicer and the room smells better than mine in the YMCA across the street.

Empty hollow dark Truth lies or waits by The Hacienda on a Tuesday night. Five video screens. Beautiful sex girls pop to overdone bass and even I at 21 feel old. Death swings twice, armor and bong of aliens in the wind of electric fan and Death is —- {edited: was bumped and strongly warned by big bouncer that writing was not allowed}

Thirty-five year old Scotsman wondering what we paid for, got in and he the payer! All I want is a 33 Old Latrobe. And the young girls smell oh so sweet. New Order under tunes of all music. Beat Bip de Bop. There she is. Standing next to me. Her long red hair and traveled all they British and note British {edit: unreadable} within 5 mins to go to Nottingham with her in the morning and me already piss drunk. Gone is the 35 year old and hello 22 and all night we hang together just talking and her trying to get me even more drunk with evil death wine and shot/slammers. Off we go, she now friends with the bouncer, STONE, who stopped me from writing and gone with me and another lad to THE underground Rasta lounge of the North and we go, dime bag bought in under 5 mins from 50 year old Ratsa English and spliff a mile long. I can still feel. And so god damn drunk. What time is breakfast and 12:30 really 11:30 to bus station to meet Nottingham girl. Too drunk and high even to kiss. Burning sensation of fresh pot, good and off we go. Praise all to Jah.

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11/23/1989

Scotsman lost, probably still in the Hacienda on the second tier looking for “pussy”. I now hungover in sloppy OK place waiting for breakfast and the bus station across the street where bum was sitting next to me shaking too much from whatever bums shake from to even light a cigarette.

11:30 and the adventure continues. Very ugly punk girl wearing complete “I want to get fucked” outfit but butt-fucking ugly and a tooth out in front and even handcuffs hanging from skinny black belt.

I could dig being a bum with only worry being to stay alive, but too much violence and alcohol and man I do not want those shakes.

Nottingham girl did not show up and I waited for her until 1:00. Lesson: trust no one. On train to London Maura and this must be the bumpiest train ever built and 3:30 sunset first sunset I’ve seen since America. The sky is amazingly trippy. Three distinct layers of white clouds on blue with big like quarter sized orange ball of flame now under the bottom layer of clouds. Plane trails crossing and growing wider. England is beautiful. It isn’t flat, but it isn’t hilly. It’s kindda lumpy. Sky around sun now going pink and Jane’s Addiction blasting my brains out on way to London. Whoever came up with this sky is a genius. Even tho the sun is only about an inch from the horizon the rest of the sky is still daytime blue. Large cloud bank, dark and threatens not rain but to actually fall out of the sky and crush everything, looking very much like snowcapped mountains. Land growing hilly, trees bare and grazing sheep all blocking my sunset.

I signed a petition today for the ambulance staff. I guess there is some problem with the Govt.

Sun’s back and deep orange on bottom going to yellow on top. Bottom starting to no longer be round, but breaking up into little pieces like that logo I saw somewhere. Bahamas?

Into London and the Tube Underground whatever subway conquered because if you can kill a NY subway system, you can take anything else. Interviewed upon exiting and soon to Maura’s flat, but she wasn’t home. No one was. Into The Ashe’s Pub after phone call to make sure and I’m going to work my way down the bar on this large amount of change coins in my pocket. Three mates call me over and invite me to sit down with them. The further I go, the more friendly the people get, and one tells me of a hotel to be ripped down that I can stay in for free. Sounds really cool. Right, second left and the name I can’t remember and I think that they are going to tear it down. Mary Gross sits drinking to my right with her bunch of “yuppie” friends, the collegiate type of fucks and another bunch to the left. Chinese man at the casino machine ever since I got here and probably will be for a while. And maybe I’ll get a job out of staying at this derelict hotel. Maybe. And “It must be your lucky day.” And actually it has been pretty good. What would have happened if the Nottingham girl and her long red hair and ultra red lips had shown up? That would just have been kicks. Truth is found in derelict hotels.

America is Western Civilization. Everything else looks and smells and sounds just like it.

Back in Ashes talking to 36 year old long-haired weirdo before writing letters and all to the folks back home, blown out in two pints. Two letters, 45 mins and going and I cannot believe I am in London! Where?!? 36 year old tells me of smoke and his habit and drinking and gone and soon enough I am paying so off we go to see London pub scene. Next pub down, he with long hair and stubble, me with pack on back and all, just walk thru as this is like some kind of living hell for road scum and street smackster. And they playing chess and sipping sherry! Out into the street free pint partially done, but up it comes in his hand, as Jah really does love and off we go, he talking more and more of smack and hookers. Into another pub to talk of LSD acid, and me still buying, as he has all of 50p and talking of hooker friends so out we go and he saying that if I don’t find Maura, I will smoke some with him. Nerves on end in me as fear grows and I must try one more call to Maura to save my life, and he looking for hooker friends with smack, and the phone rings rings rings and is finally answered. Me pleading and begging to be saved to some girl in the building, which has all of one phone, but an agreement “ring on 2”. I am saved and say good-bye and even now he is still on pavement street or arrested once more.

{historical note for context: November 23, 1989 was Thanksgiving Day in the US}

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11/27/1989

London is a boring and expensive place as Maura and all of her friends have a paper due on Keats and all of them are going nuts. We went one night to pub crawl Soho. Many many yuppie pubs, most with signs like “No soiled clothes or shoes”, so that leaves me out. Drinking pints as fast as they, Maura and Samantha, can drink half glasses. Into this one crazy place, they go first, and I get frisked by some goon, and he getting pissed off and me also. Winds up he taking my Swiss Army knife and, man, did I kill my pint. And theirs, also, as Motorhead blasting and punks everywhere. Out into the street and to another, the last, and we actually got seats. And they with their half glasses soon getting hit on by two “rugby players”. So, I like the gentleman bum I am get up and get half glass of Guinness, as my head is swimming by now. Come back to table and kill it in one hit. And rugby boys getting even closer, so I go to the gents and come back ready to go, so we go and howling thru the streets, just totally going off.

Next night, I slept most of the day and did the dishes.

Sunday night they still doing papers. I bummed £10 from Maura to go get drunk for everyone in the flat building. I meet a Moroccan, who tells me for no apparent reason about how his wife fooled around/fucked his buddy, an American Viet Nam vet, and all all all all, and his Saudi friend, who hates Saudis. Fun night, as I started the musical entertainment off with depressing Cure.

Today sleeping past noon and actually saw the sun come up as I couldn’t fall asleep. Listening to Michael’s tape and posting 12 postcards and 4 letters. In Ashe’s, drinking a pint and eating some kind of crazy Arabic food. Catching up on my journal. My hair is starting to dread. Ever notice that baby cries do not have an accent? They all sound exactly the same.

Samantha and I visited the Tate Gallery a few days back and I saw the honest to god original of “Metamorphosis of Narcissus” by Dali. So smoothly the shapes and colors blended together, and it was much better than any print of it that I have ever seen.
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We also talked of the lame style of black lines on a white background with blue or red squares, and how Warhol knew that this was shit art and his soup cans are just a big joke to make fun of that abstract style {edit: see Mondrian}, and about how art was being led down hill because of architecture, and we made fun of modern sculptures by saying that the temperature/humidity meter was far more interesting, and saw several great works of art and just about all of Tuner’s shit because she has to do a paper on it. Heading back, the Tube station has copies of famous paintings on the walls and one was “Metamorphosis of Narcissus” and we laughed.

Tonight saw me going to an underground show, a secret show, for a band called Loop. Man, they sucked. Picture a long haired Robin Hood looking guy singing and playing lead guitar while Frank Zappa plays bass beside him. The drummer bit, as did the rhythm guitar. And the average age of this “secret” show was about 18. I stayed for 3 1/2 songs and had to leave. In the Tube, a bum called me over and we started singing “We all live in a yellow submarine” and I am getting very good at causing people to check their wallets by walking just too close.

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