March 25, 2004

Is This My Life?

Yesterday I had a meeting in a different part of London. I got up at oh-God-hundred and hauled myself off to the train station. The night before had been a bit weird-I checked in with X Partner Unit, who has been doing some cleaning out of his own. If I don't take our cats, they will be "gotten rid of". Arrangements are now being made for rabies vaccinations and testing, so that they can bypass the 3 month quarantine (the UK doesn't have rabies, and so all animals entering the UK must be aproved through a 5 month EU process or put in quarantine (aka a kennel and a cage) for 3 months to make sure they don't have the virus. I couldn't put my cats through that, so they will go the approved EU route.) My Swedish farm cats will be joining me later this year (good news, eh Stevie!) and I am so happy about that.

He's packing me out of his life and moving on, and I am glad about that for his sake, but I do miss his friendship. Mr. Y was a sweetheart about it all, and very understanding.

Mr. Y got up with me yesterday morning, even though he didn't need to. Safely secured in his flannel robe I bought him, he sleepily hugged me and provided me with a hot mug of coffee, with just the perfect amount of milk in it. We sat on the couch, sipping the coffee, and when I left I held my hand up and we linked fingers, promising to see each other soon.

Once on the train, I sat there, looking out the window, crossing and uncrossing my legs, moving sleepily on the scratchy green seats. The sun was making an appearance in the low grey sky, and I settled in, iPod earphones in place, music stretching its way through my ears.

I got into Paddington Station, and I am still just so amazed that this is my point of entry into the world of Dream Job. That several times a week I get to slide my way into the Victorian structure, so large and gaping that I could throw a stone towards the curved steel-beamed roof and never come close to hitting it. Is this my life? This new me?

I made my way down to the Underground, amongst the throngs of people. I love that moment when you stand on the tube platform and you can tell a train is coming. The air within the station gets sucked and pulled in, and then with a sudden whoosh it heads out of the tunnel, being displaced by the dogged train, and blows your hair from your face and your bad mood from your soul.

I rode the train, and then switched, and when I emerged I was at the stop you take to see Buckingham Palace. People hustled all around me-men in their business suits looking stressed. Tourists with small backpacks and good walking shoes looking tired but impressed. Double decker buses hauling their daily ware to their destinations and cab drivers menacing the lot of us.

In the building, I was stunned to find that the window behind me overlooked the London Eye and Parliament, just a bit away. The Union Jack flew high on Parliament, flapping in the wind managed by a half-sunny half-grey sky. The meeting commenced, and I dug in, taking action points and discussions, finding my way through the new world of Dream Job.

When the meeting ended, I ate a sandwich staring at the view across the way-Parliament. I work here? Is this my life? It's so amazing to me. It's so incredible that I came all the way from the pit of hell to the dizzying heights I am now. And what a distance there is to fall this time, should the fall come.

Leaving the office, school girls with pleated skirts, minty scents, bunchy-kneed tights and wayward ties danced up and down the sidewalk. My mood was high despite my stress about work, the fracture in the relationship with my family, and my heartbreak over the collapse of relationships around me. Businessmen, heading back the way they came, looked more grim than before. I smiled at each one of them, and although they were startled at first, each one of them smiled back.

And when I got to the train station, Mr. Y was there on a bench waiting for me. I walked up to him, arms flung wide, and engulfed myself in his scent. People walking past us on the platform smiled at us and continued on their way, heading towards their partners, their kitchens, their families, their dream-filled beds.

And later, when we went to bed and after a long session of lovemaking in which he gave me a number of dizzying orgasms before finishing off one for himself, Mr. Y planted a small line of kisses on the curve of my right shoulder. He turned me over on my side, slid his arm around me and hauled my bottom into the warm curve of his pelvis, picked up my breast like a small bag of warm sand and held it in his hand, falling asleep that way.

And as I fell asleep, I thought: this is my life.

Please God don't let me fuck it up somehow.


PS-exactly one week until I turn 30. Wow!

Posted by Everydaystranger at March 25, 2004 10:00 AM | TrackBack

..thanks, Gudy... I haven't been there in 5 years or so, and the noggin doesn't always hang on to the correct info.. the shop may not even still be there, but if it is, it's worth a visit... chocolate is worth the effort, Belgian, Greek, or whatever...

Posted by: Eric at March 27, 2004 12:57 PM

Eric, I think you will find that Leonidas is in fact Belgian.

Posted by: Gudy at March 26, 2004 12:45 PM

Sounds like Life 6 is starting well enough to make up for the other 5 all together.

Don't worry about the colloquialisms, it's a sign you're leaving that American ignorance behind and becoming a woman of the world.


Posted by: Simon at March 26, 2004 03:53 AM

Im so happy for you:)

Posted by: butterflies at March 26, 2004 03:45 AM

I am so very happy for you :)

Life #6 sounds wonderful!

Posted by: Laura at March 26, 2004 02:59 AM

YAY!!!! CATS!!!
Now I'm all teary eyed again. Mostly cause you're getting them back, yet also cause it's gonna take so long...sigh. least you'll have them back with you and I can already imagine how gloriously happy they're gonna be to see you!
Oh...and, in my head, I always hear a light English accent when I read you. The colloquialisms are just natural and perfect.

OOOhhh...the kitties are coming!! The kitties are coming!!! Pardon me while I go gallop around on the horse and holler that for a while...

Posted by: Stevie at March 26, 2004 02:16 AM

..good for you, Helen... sounds like you are right where you need to be right now...

..I know the area you are talking about in London... in a former life, I had to take/give seminars at the DTI headquarters... just a short walk from Parliment.. beautiful area... enjoy, babe.... oh, and there is a GREAT Greek chocolate store near there.. Leonidas, I think... treat yourself...

Posted by: Eric at March 25, 2004 11:29 PM

and you still haven't told us where to send the cards!

your life is sounding awesome, btw :)

Posted by: melanie at March 25, 2004 09:59 PM

Angel, your comments make me laugh.

I aim to please.

Posted by: angel at March 25, 2004 08:18 PM

Isn't it bizarre with the Gillions of peeps in London, within the tube and trains; nobody speax and/or loox each other in the eye? Packed like rats, they co-exist as if they are the only 1ne onboard.


Get them N2 pubs however...

Posted by: Curator at March 25, 2004 07:42 PM

Angel, your comments make me laugh.

Posted by: Helen at March 25, 2004 07:36 PM

I don't know what schoolgirls you've been seeing, but the ones around here stink to high heaven. They sure as hell don't smell like mint. God forbid if you get on a bus full of them.

Anyway, I thought you'd like this (and not just because it links to me ;) )

Posted by: angel at March 25, 2004 06:37 PM

Every once in a while we get to look down at the world we've created and think, "holy mother, this is MINE?" It's affirming and wonderful - and I hope it fills you right up!

Posted by: Kaetchen at March 25, 2004 05:05 PM


This comes from riding dirtbikes, but it applies amazingly well to just about anything in life... If you look at the rock in the road you will hit it, look at where you want to go, not where you don't. It sounds simple, even obvious, but damnit if its not true (broken bike parts, and healed bruises to prove it), riding along, if you focus on the rock you will hit it, if you see the rock and make yourself look at the clear spot next to it you will miss it everytime. Its like if we allow our brains to focus on the danger point, it ignores the other solutions. if you make it focus on a solution, while recognising, but not focusing on the danger point, it automagically avoids the danger.

So, about that directoship they all but offered you when you started, you got the clear path to that figures out yet? =)

Posted by: Dane at March 25, 2004 03:41 PM

New movie- "The Day Helen found her groove"

Posted by: Marie at March 25, 2004 03:40 PM

Thank heaven for those happy days...keeping us going for all the rest :)

Abs x

Posted by: abs at March 25, 2004 02:39 PM

in case you missed us... we're back... after a week of downtime...

Posted by: pylorns at March 25, 2004 02:15 PM

new life sounds wonderful, exciting, fascinating, dream-like, fun...

and i'm so happy to hear your kitties are coming to be with you. :-) of course...because what is life without sweet kitties in it? xoxox

Posted by: kat at March 25, 2004 01:56 PM

Helen, Jim is right. You´ve used colloquialisms, but probably from across everywhere in the world you´ve been to. And indeed does add to your mystique... Miguel.

Posted by: msd at March 25, 2004 01:55 PM

There's no Englishman inside me wanting to get out, mate. Right then. Now that we've cleared that up, shall we have some tea? Jolly good.

Nope, there's no English wannabe inside ol' Solomon. I went to England for a 10 day visit back in '87 and loved it. I'd like to go again, but the super-model Mrs. Solomon doesn't want to go. Maybe when Angel1 & Angel2 are older, I'll revisit England with them.

Posted by: Solomon at March 25, 2004 01:40 PM

H don't worry about it - inside every American there's an Englishman trying to get out ;) and I totally know what you mean about the tube wind, I'mnalways amazed that so few people comment on it.

Posted by: Rob at March 25, 2004 11:38 AM

Heck, Helen - You've used colloquialisms from across the pond since you first started writing this blog so I'm assuming they've been in place for some time. Don't fret it - it's wonderful. It adds to your mystique and alure. ;-)

Posted by: Jim at March 25, 2004 10:57 AM

Oh God-am I?

I really, really want to not integrate my language to the point of compromising! Point it out when you see it!

Posted by: Helen at March 25, 2004 10:16 AM

Aren´t you sounding/writing more English like ? ;-) Miguel.

Posted by: msd at March 25, 2004 10:12 AM
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