An Old Fashioned Traveller on the Trade Routes

AN OLD-FASHIONED TRAVELLER ON THE TRADE ROUTES

I was sitting upstairs in a bus, cursing the waste of time, and pouring my life away on one of those insane journeys across London — while gradually the wavering motion of this precarious glass salon, that flung us about softly like trusses of wheat or Judo Lords, began its medicinal work inside the magnetic landscape of London.

The bus, with its transparent decks of people, trembled. And was as uniquely ceremonious in propelling itself as an eminent Jellyfish with an iron will, by explusions, valves, hisses, steams, and emotional respirations. A militant, elementary, caparisoned Jellyfish, of the feminine sex, systematically eating and drinking the sea.

I began to feel as battered as though I had been making love all night. My limbs distilled the same interesting wide-awake weariness.

We went forward at a swimmer’s pace, gazing through the walls that rocked the weather about like a cloudy drink from a chemist’s shop — with the depth and sting of the Baltic. The air-shocks the sulphur dioxides, the gelatin ignitions We were all of us parcelled up in mud-coloured clothes, dreaming, while the rich perishable ensemble — as stuffy and exclusive as a bag of fish and chips, or as an Eskimo’s bed in a glass drift — cautiously advanced as though on an exercise from a naval college.

The jogging was consistently idiotic, it induced a feeling of complete security. I gave up my complicated life on the spot; and lay screwed up like an old handkerchief screwed up in a pocket, suspended in time, ready to go to the ends of the earth. O trans-Siberian railways Balloons Astronauts.

Rosemary Tonks

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