Cherrypicked stories

Cherry

River of fur

someone going another direction
Cherry

Two Fascinations

I. Leather suits you, fag smoke becomes you, haloes in a strange way. Other than that, you don't seem bound to much; your seasonal image wax-wains,...
Cherry

Lurve Thoughts

Snail Lurve Poetry
Cherry

In Remembrance of Things Past

A man from the past gives a woman a difficult choice to make.
Cherry

Why Men Marry Younger Women

And How it Benefits Society
Cherry

You will find me

You will find me. In the cold grey halls, Down the broken stairs, Through the empty rooms Full of deserted desks. This is your prison. This is your...
Cherry

F) Germany v Cameroon... from Cologne

I departed Belgium with a head feeling full of left over beer, leaving from the very same station that had caused me much anguish just two days before. Again, being a unilingual ignoramus proved to be a great problem as I skipped between platforms, just making my train. I hope to make all my remaining journeys by train and it is at this juncture that I should be extending gratitude and platitudes to Rail Europe for sponsoring me. Except that they didn't sponsor me. A short-sited Marketing Manager rejected my pleas and I was forced to purchase an Inter-Rail ticket for the month. So, while I could rave about the efficiency, cleanliness and comfort of trains and Rail Europe's professional, helpful and well-informed staff, I will not. Instead, I have mastered their uninspired brochures, all gloss, and will wager that never will another Inter-Railer screw so many journeys out of a month. And, in order to make up for the added cost to my venture, I will implement the oft-used traveller's strategy of simply not eating. Should I wither and die, may it be on Rail Europe's head and my body found rotting somewhere on a train. After passing from the gorgeous greenery of Belgium into that which is Germany, my train pulled into Koln where I would wait again for a train. The station was crowded. Almost too crowded I felt. Then, I noticed one spot where hundreds stood staring up at a screen. Could it be? Surely not. It was! Germany v Cameroon! The match had just begun and my wait at the station allowed me to watch! If I ever had any doubts, they were now completely dispelled.... I am the luckiest man alive. The score was nil all with only twenty minutes passed. The locals' faces were focussed. Serious. Germanic? Those sitting at the front fidgeted and sprawled. Those at the back stood upright and tall. Tins and bottles of beer were being drained all around. The sun streamed into the great hall revealing smoke filling the place to its ceiling, some thirty feet tall. There was a sort of festivity, yet solemnity, in the crowd full of frowns. I was not yet in touch with the game, but Germany seemed to be doing quite well. A near miss at goal inspired some burley youths, wearing 'German Pit Bull' jackets, to stand and lead the throng in an abrupt German chant. A great many joined in. Leathers and black dominated the dress and the same sense of darkness was fired up at the screen. The crowd barked at the injured to get up or stay down, depending, of course, on who lay on the ground. There was some international blood present to give the crowd a little colour. A few Corats, an Italian, some Japanese happy snapping and the bravest of all, a woman who removed her jacket to reveal a union jacked bosom. I admired her gall. A weak Cameroon corner brought a round of applause and the first half to a close. The group reshuffled. The media swooped in. The Pit Bulls played to the camera like the thugs that they were. Half time and I needed every minute. I had business to deal with. I needed to change money, find some food and tend to a newfound priority. I wanted a beer. I chose to stretch my luck a little further and left the station for a quick look around. There had to be a pub nearby. I walked into 'Alt Koln' where there was no football being shown. I hit 'The Post' and was pointed to a screen in the corner where sat one lonely old gent. 'The Ice Bar', I was tempted, but was scared off by the nuts on the bar. Surely, an indicator of prohibitive pricing which I judged the nearby 'Bier Bar' to share. I decided I had started in the very best place and headed back to the station in a clumsy, loping, backpackered jog. I was thinking that I would kick myself if I missed any goals and just as I rounded the corner there was an earth shattering roar. I fought my way through the great wall of sound to rejoin the now rejoicing crowd. A German goal had been scored! The Pit Bullshitheads stood before the screen so proud of their country (would it be so of them?) waving their flags. Fists in the air and smiles all around. Possibly the first I had seen in my hour in Germany, save for one from the coy corn girl who had just sold me my lunch. The celebrations dissipated and normality returned. The mood had not really lightened and again all were transfixed and playing their part in the group solemn stare. Something was missing. Of course, silly me. I left for a moment, making a move for my beer. My whistle now whetted, I returned to the crowd. I wanted to see them win, but after some quick calculations, I was worried whether my luck would stretch quite that far. I bring it all on myself, there can be little doubt, but I wear a time-pressure-albatross. One I am never without. My train was leaving in about twenty two minutes. About the same amount of time that remained in the half. To miss the end result and reaction would give a slight bitter end to this moment of, thus far, most miraculous luck. 'Let's keep the game clean', I implored the big screen as I nervously swigged away at 'Dom Kolsch'. I decided to move a little closer to my platform where I had noticed a smaller screen stood. It was surrounded by punters. I joined some hefty security in craning for a view. It eluded us all, so I bought and ate a banana and moved back to the big screen. It took me back a little further away from my platform and potentially a whole lot further way from Munich and my connecting train to Slovenia. One more risk, just to spice up the game. It was getting terribly late in the match. I held such hope for the end that it seemed impossible, but, suddenly, there was another German goal! Another round of cheers. Emphatic this time. Not as fever pitched as the last. The game seemed to be dead. Germany, winning, two goals ahead. I stood watching, fidgeting, checking and rechecking my tickets, the departure board and my planned path for exit. There were six minutes to go. Until my train departed, that is. Finish! Damned game! Finish! The sentiment was shared. There were no more nerves in the crowd. Rather, all were hungrily awaiting the end, the great moment of celebration, though none in more desperation than me. Then, with not even two minutes to spare, it finally came... Whistle! Cheer! Run like hell! As I stood on the platform (for just a minute mind you), I heard the shouts from below. Overwhelmed and exhausted, I boarded my train. I was soaking with sweat, but had a broad smile all the same. As we pulled away from the station, the driver announced the result to the delighted passengers who, until then, had all remained ignorant. All, of course, but one. Now, back on my way to Slovenia...
Cherry

Like Montgomery Clift

It's building this angst thick black bile a heavy weather avenues empty paths harden this heat haze can be grabbed i sit in profile staple clopping...
Cherry

Them and Us

A letter to the one that got away.
Cherry

E) Belgium v Tunisia... from Brussels

The game was beginning in less than twenty four hours. I sat waiting obediently for what was proving to be a most disagreeable means of transport. I'm comfortable enough sitting in a plane. I don't mind flying. What really bothers me is sitting in a plane and not flying. Or, even worse, neither sitting in a plane nor flying, but lounging in a departure lounge from where no one departs. It seems to be the biggest part of flying. Not flying. I suppose some unexpected delays are to be expected. We eventually took off and after our host, Pierre, worked his camp continental charm, I sat back, relaxed and enjoyed the flight. I quietly contemplated that which awaited. I had arranged to stay with the parents of an old work mate, now friend. (Thank you so much Emily Roche.) It seemed fitting to be staying with people I did not know in a country I knew nothing about. I must confess that all I heard of Belgium was that it was terribly boring, but had very good beer. Incongruous though the two notions seem. I had come to Belgium to watch their team play Tunisia. It was not supposed to be much of a match, with Belgium so strong and the press describing Tunisia as, well, boring. Feeling desperate for distraction from imagined boredom ahead, I buzzed for Pierre, just to watch the man mince. Touch down in Brussels. I could feel that the challenge was truly set to begin. Bumbling my way onto the coach to Midi Station had seemed hard enough, but was nothing compared with the challenges that awaited. I had greatly underestimated barriers de linguistic. I had arranged to call my hosts from the station to come pick me up. Making a phone call. It is something so fundamental, I would have never thought it a hurdle. But in Belgium, it was. For about an hour or more, I fed coins into phones. While they sat chirping in French, I punched numbers and groaned. I fought so hard to master them, those bastardised versions Bell's great invention. I felt beaten by nothing. Slumped in frustration, I felt so very small, begging and cursing that damned box on the wall. Then, an elderly gent staggered over and adopted my pose. He eyed up a phone and loosening his trousers gave it a well aimed splashing and me a satisfied smile. I felt so tempted to join him, but no. Instead, I queued for information and, feeling the full schmuck that I was, sought detailed instructions on how to make one measly call. They took pity on me and finally the ordeal was over and I was in my new temporary home. I was spectacularly wined and dined by my fine hosts, retiring late and feeling almost too full of hospitality to face the game that lay ahead. I awoke early the next morning and headed to central Brussels. 'The Grand Place' was said to be where the action was. The area was crawling was tourists. I'd been told to expect little passion from the Belgians and I felt I might need the visitors to give me a show. As I weaved through the narrow streets, my nervousness grew. Did I have the schedule wrong, or was I the only one for whom the game mattered? I had been led to expect 'boring', but did not expect 'nothing' and yet nothing presented. I picked up my stride, now in my usual pre-match jog. I tightened my gaze, searching for some love of the game. Then, I saw them. Viking horns in black, red and gold! They cared! They really did care! Perhaps I would find a game after all. I followed the Viking past the enticingly named 'Drug Opera'. It was a gruesome venue which looked like a tripped over Trump had spilt glitz through the room. 'Christian's Bar' gave the same presentation, though without all the patrons. I was moving away, when suddenly a flag caught my eye. 'Tavern Jupiter' said the sign. I ducked through the flag that hung from the door and was greeted by about a dozen locals all grinning and crammed with backs to the wall. A necessity, as the tavern was no bigger than a caravan with a bar barely six feet in length. We eyed each other with mutual amusement. The laughs rose up as I ambled into the room. I smiled with deep satisfaction, dropped my bag, ordered a pint and took my place against the wall. The television was perched atop an old wood finished pinball machine. Faded photos competed with stapled butterflies for space on the wall which also displayed a picture of Belgium's national team. From 1992. I felt a little conspicuous scribbling at the back of the room (mere metres from the front), but the Belgians cared not. The game was soon to start. Kick off and all was quiet. They watched the game in silent appreciation. As did I them. The game made me nervous. I had not worked out which team was which and did not want to risk the faux par of supporting Tunisia. The room was good-natured, but its low profile and size made it feel the sort of place that could in an instant disappear with me along with it. This was possibly the fate of more than a few lost butterflies who merely stopped for directions only to find themselves stuck up to the wall. At this juncture, I was offered a snack from a plate of sausage which I was sadly forced to decline by my dietary dictations. The kind gentleman merely sighed and stared up at the wall, looking straight at a butterfly which I could have sworn gave a twitch. Perhaps vegetarianism is a policy I may have to reconsider. The silence was broken by an early Belgian goal! The room burst into a cheer and all tried to stand, restricted by tiny tables and no space in the room. There was shared joy in the moment. There was not the rapturous hysteria of a room of unknowns, but the warmth of good friends sharing in a success. All smiled and joked and though I understood naught, the mood was infectious and I coyly giggled and laughed. Sadly, shortly thereafter, Tunisia scored causing the room a deep pain. It slowly subsided and when another foreigner walked into the room only to immediately turn back out, we all shared a laugh and a butterfly twitched. The mood was subdued and casual, but surely not boring. Rather, it was warm and relaxed. The tavern had nothing but time. Nothing could move these folks away from their pews or rush them through their half-pints of Belgian's best brews. Sadly, the clock stood not still. As the half drew to a close and a Tunisian was stretchered off to not even a cheer, the barmaid took orders for more food and more beer. I drained my pint knowing that I would soon move on, much as it pained me to do so. I had to see how other Belgians were enjoying the match, but I knew that none could be so&;#8230; so&;#8230; perfect. I jogged lightly to 'Lop Lop', an international pub, with a mixed crowd to match. There were finely groomed 'suits' whom looked like they could have owned all of London. There were face painted fanatics, with drinks by the jug. I saw a number of students and I think a few foreigners. We all gathered together to wait for the match to resume. An air horn announced the start of the half. The multi-accented waitresses toted great trays of beers negotiating the bodies strewn on the staircase - my own included. The place provided some action and with some close Belgian goals, the locals released their crossed arms to give a good cheer. Indeed, Belgium dominated the half. The room was aroused, though only semi so it seemed. There was a certain flaccidity. A flatness. A droop. I mean, these boys knew how to drink and tie a half-windsor, but the ruckus was restrained and the cheers intermittent. There was never a chant, yet so much that deserved it. I really wanted a goal, just to see what they could do. It was never to be. The game petered out and ended in a flat draw. I missed out on the opportunity of seeing the Belgians at their best. As they downed their drinks and all filed out, 'I Will Survive' blasted from the stereo and indeed Belgium would. The locals were nonplussed, but their team had made it through. Their campaign would continue. I might be in Belgium again and I knew where I would drink. 'Tavern Jupiter'. It is probably one of a hundred, but still one of a kind and that's exactly where I headed to while away the day until it was time to move on. On to Slovenia&;#8230;
Cherry

Blue skies

Blue skies. (my thoughts crowded) Under the largest sky I had ever seen, my thoughts crowded. Sifting the sand through my fingers in a continual...
Cherry

Spinebending

Spine-bending. The room was beginning to fill with shadows but neither of us seemed to mind. A cool, wintry light lay where it pushed back the gloom...
Cherry

V) The Gnome

Nobody knew where he came from the odd little man just appeared in the pub one night.
Cherry

R)Psychometry

The house was ransacked, she sunk to her knees in the wreakage.
Cherry

Q) Who Is Tulovski&;#063;

He was the man of her fantasies.
Cherry

Post impressions

The Aftermath.
Cherry

O) Swimming With Goldfish

The therapist felt herself being analysed under the steady glare of her client
Cherry

I) Dead Loss

A simple game of strategy, but for two twisted minds it wasn't enough.
Cherry

H) Your Lucky Night.

Time can't be messed with, what will be will be.
Cherry

Melancholy

"You're folds of fat! There's mirth if you need it!" Thanks but no thanks. I'm too old and blue. The eyes went all sideways as soon as they sensed me...

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