Sunday, March 21st, 2010
On Friday, April 3rd, 2009, at around midnight, I landed at Stanstead Airport and got on the train to Liverpool Street Station. I had woken up at 6am that day to pack my bags, then worked the whole day, just had time to swing by my apartment in Sant Gervasi to grab my backpack and guitar, then headed off to El Prat, Barcelona’s main airport. Flying in commercial jetliners has never ceased to completely freak me out (I’m totally fine until I’m actually in the air, but every bump, every mechanical noise, has me grabbing the armrests in a vice grip), so I ate a couple of Xanax in the airport and ended up sleeping for nearly the whole two-hour flight. It was fantastic… I highly recommend that stuff, if you don’t like planes. Needless to say, however, I was more than a little groggy on the train into central London. Prior to my trip, I had uploaded an audiobook version of The Odyssey onto my mp3 player (I needed some inspiration for my own journey, and Homer never fails me), so I sat back on the train and listened as the scene was layed out: the suitors have invaded Odysseus’ household, Telemachus is still a frustrated and passive adolescent, Athena presents herself in the guise of Mentor. I zoned in and out while gazing at the strangers packed around me. I thought about my first guitar (a used Ovation with giant cracks in the top that I bought for $70 at a shop in Red Hook, New Jersey) and wondered where it was. I thought about the time Brian and I had bused it from Granada to Lagos, Portugal with a couple of girls from the Instituto Don Quijote. We spent the weekend jumping off cliffs and wandering around the surreal, rocky beach-scapes with bottles of vinho verde.
When I arrived at Liverpool Street, I texted him and he came out to meet me. There was a small party in full swing at his place… a very small party, in fact, but there was an energetic vibe flowing. I met Thea, Brian’s roommate, his friends Toby Slade-Baker and Alex Lodge, who work together at Felt Music. Toby makes some serious underground house and techno music, DJs and has a production company (http://www.living-city.co.uk). Alex, upon finding out I was a librarian by trade, expressed a devout passion for books and opened a discussion about some of our favorite authors.
Tags: Alex Lodge, Brian Leininger, El Prat, Instituto Don Quijote, Lagos, Liverpool Street Station, London, Odyssey, Ovation, Portugal, Red Hook New Jersey, Toby Slade-Baker
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