Monday, January 31, 2005

Public Intoxication

I have of course heard of the term "falling down
drunk" but I am not sure I remember seeing it on the
steet before. I was walking back from the tube
station (in London a "subway" is an underground path
from one place to another, that confused me) and
feeling very tired. I noticed a very sleepy looking
young blonde woman and thought "but not as tired as
her". When her friend tried to get her on the bus, it
was immediately apparent that she was not just tired,
she was also very drunk. Her feet seemed unable to
hold her up, and she sprawled onto the pavement at my
feet. Fortunately she looked very relaxed, and I
don't think it hurt her a bit.

I felt I ought to offer to help, but somehow could not
say anything. Perhaps I was afraid she would be sick
on me, or I would get stuck on the bus. At any rate,
another fellow came along, and between him and the
first fellow, they got her up and on the bus. I don't
say they got her on her feet, because I did not see
her use them at all.

This evening, on the way back from a show, there was a
fellow on the tube who kept saying "oi" (not "oy",
that is very different) and belching. The other
passengers were either smiling at him, or moving away
from him, depending on their age and distance. I was
in the smiling category, except when my attention was
drawn to him by another in that category, and I
noticed that his shirt was off. At that moment I took
off my own hat, to cover my mouth so my laughter would
not be audible. It is possible I had been laughing
for a while, as when he got off the tube to check
which station he was at.

He got off at my stop, and asked me what the last stop
was. Thinking he meant the last stop on the line, I
told him I did not know, "I'm an American". Then
realizing he may have meant the last stop we had
passed, I told him "South Kensington, this is
Gloucester". He said nothing but walked off.

I should talk about the amazing paintings in the
National Gallery, including the grim beheaded John the
Baptist, the unconcerned though well-penetrated St.
Sebastian, and the long haired aristocrats depicted a
few years before they lost their pretty heads to the
better trimmed round heads (whence the name I

And Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, Manet, Turner, Rousseu,
Rembrandt, etc. etc.

But they are closing the cafe, so I have to go.

Plus my flight to Tel Aviv is relatively early
tomorrow, so I need some sleep.

(Posted from Tel Aviv due to continuing problems with blogger)


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