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I wrote the text (in bold) below on Monday after travelling home from Leeds and posted it up on social media.

The rain was pouring down as I progressed slowly along the M62/A18. I could feel the irritation of the Audi drivers as I travelled at 50 mph. I can’t understand how some people can drive into such heavy rain without flying across the carriageway.

I needed an excuse to pull over…on a Tuesday afternoon when I’m usually at work…I needed another excuse to be nowhere, even though it would always, always, always be underwhelming…but I can still dream.

I was also thinking about how I invented a narrative that my alter ego X has floated from The Europarc Business Park at the end of April and became stranded at The Doncaster Services. I took a load of poor quality photo’s with my camera.

How does one search for something that is a story? An invention? I guess I’m looking for possibilities. Perhaps like the time when I went to Douglas Borough Cemetery and sat in a shelter in the rain, in the hope of hearing the voice of my nan or being given some sort of sign.

I think it was in 1992 (she passed away in 1986).

After arriving home, I scanned through all the images in the hope of finding X. Perhaps a blur at the edge of the image, a bit of rust on a bin, a bird? A CCTV camera? A feeling lingering over the lake at the back of the Travelodge? I don’t know.

I’m still waiting at the M180 services in search my almost alter ego. The clock still has invisible hands…A vague smell of tobacco wafts past me…Gregg’s…. Travelodge…4 lads outside Burger King keeping up pretences…Bloke with regulation hipsteure beard plugs in white earplugs…Credit card 3.87…a gentle melancholia
…Sip tea…Rain…Cough… Costa frostino…Lucky coin…This isn’t 1985 or 1992 or…1996… Cheering from the TV screen… Wimbledon…venus…Tweed jacket guy…Beeping…etc


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A 15 minute journey into Europe.

Stand 1 and 2 Grimsby Town opposite the library.

10.35ish…

The bus twists and turns around the town centre.

Crosses Corporation Bridge.

The bus empties as we progress…

Turn left along Boulevard…

Sun.

I think of being timeless.

Travel along the A180. The engine groans.

I feel sad because I can’t halt time.

I crane my neck rightwards and gaze across Europarc flickering through the bus window.

The Europarc sign has faded some more since my 2014 explorations.

Eurobus exits left and rise upwards on the tarmac ramp of The Stallingborough Interchange.

Bus driver turns right around the first roundabout.

I look across the A180. I think of Europarc’s former resident X lost at the M180 Services as a dirty white plastic sheet flaps on a dead tree.

I still feel hope – for something.

Pass Beechwood Farm pub to the left.

Press bell.

Bus stops outside The Centre of Eternal Innovation.

‘Cheers mate.’

I get off and progress along Innovation Way…

 


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…and we walked along Lakeside on Europarc…

X3 magpies were singing.

The fountain was still in operation.

The fisherman scrambled. A golden fish leaping from his hands.

‘Ye just missed that…look…’

 


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