. . . And Still The Moon
Part 08: Tripping

Andrew Cannon

I'm excited.

I'm going on a day trip to London today.

I can hardly contain myself. I dance around on the Railway Station platform and wave my arms in random, hypnotic patterns.

All the middle class commuters suddenly find their shoes very interesting and develop an overwhelming urge to be at the opposite end of the platform.

The train arrives and razor sharp umbrellas are unsheathed in preparation for the coming battle for the seats.

Noone comes near me as I step onto the train. Three pin-strip suited civil servants leap for the toilet as I sit down. Maybe it was the beans ?

I amuse myself by pointing out of the window and shouting incoherently.

Fifteen minutes later I've got the carriage to myself.......


I jump from the stationary train with a cry of pleasure. London, where rags can be turned to riches overnight and the roads are paved with gold.

"Spare change ?" comes the cry from the pile of human wreckage crouched on the platform.

I walk past him and flip him a coin. Its a forged Australian 6 dollar bit with Dame Edna Everages' face on one side and a can of Fosters on the other.

I walk to Trafalgar Square, it does'nt take long. On the way I meet several people of indeterminate age and sex huddled in shop doorways. They shout at me in an unknown language. I amuse myself by flicking peanuts at a couple of them.

The Square is packed, as always, by the cream of the tourist profession. I look around and see Americans with state of the art cam-corders; Japanese with very small state of the art cam-corders; French; Germans; Italians; Spaniards and a token group of very drunk Australians.

Everyone of them is being covered in pigeon s--- and everyone of them thinks its a wonderful experience.

And people say I'm weird ?

A group of Japanese tourists rushes past me, the flash guns on their cameras flashing like strobe lights in an attempt to capture everything the see on film.

Another group pushes past me. I hear one of the group exclaim

"Wow, Is'nt everything just so quaint ! "

Americans.... They always think things are quaint. I think its the novelty of walking around a city without being shoot at or mugged every few hundred yards. What can you expect of a nation whose height of culture is Disney World.

I walk down past the lions. One of them winks at me. Time for a drink I think.

I hot foot it up to Soho and hit the first bar I find. Its a weird kind of place A sleazy looking man demands five pounds entrance fee. I know London is expensive and I want to look chic so I pay up without a fight.

Its dark in here. I've found the bar though so I don't care. I screw my eyes closed and begin to see stars.

Suddenly the room is filled with exotic music and soft, pulsating lights. A couple of people, all lone men, are seated around the room. I take another drink and search my memory for the hidden connection.

All the pieces of my self-conscious jigsaw fall together when the girl steps into the room. She'll catch her death of cold dressed like that.

She dances around the room shedding clothes like a snake sheds its skin. The men sitting in the room seem transfixed by the girl. They have the same vacant, mesmerized expression that rabbits get just before they get hit by a car.

The girl see's me. Our eyes meet. She dances closer, her skin shines in the dim light like a silk gown. I finish my drink to cover my embarrassment. (I've never been very stable around women. I always feel I have to protect them. Bystanders usually get hurt)

"Do you know the moon ?" she whispers seductively, her eyes pleading with me.

She knows. She knows why. And now I know.

She grasps my hand and we run out of the sleazy strip club and into the light.

A tramp shuffles towards us, his hands held in the age old sign of the needy. We push past him and dive into an alleyway. I can feel the fetid breath of the beast on my neck, but I've raced with the devil before and I always win. I see people rushing towards us, but they cannot stop us. I hit out and they drop back like frightened children.

The girls throws back her head and howls at the moon. She knows. She knows what 'MoonStruck' is about. I know with my heart that she does'nt think of the film with Cher in it !

Minutes (or is it hours) pass. We both run naked and free in the long grass. A deep down, long forgotten thought tells me that what I'm experiencing cannot happen, but I know different. I have looked into the eyes of the moon and seen myself.....

I blink myself awake. I cough a little and smell stale urine and disinfectant. I open my eyes fully and look at my surroundings.

Steel bars block the only window in the room and a heavy door blocks the only exit. The soft, padded wallpaper is stained with an undefinable substance. I've been here before, many, many times before. I wonder when they are going to bring those nice little blue pills and the long sleeved, canvas jacket.

I'm Home.

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Submitted By: Anonymous

This joke is rated: PG