Monday, 15 December 2008

Carry the Pipe in Your Heart

faust gong hawkwind dave brock

I boarded the 6:10 am bus out of Presteigne to Leominster every morning, five days a week, from 1969 to 1971. The bus ride took nearly an hour and I always felt sick from pipe fumes and the rocking motion on cheesy shock absorbers. I planted my face against the dirty glass and squinted at the scenery. The bus ground through its gears up the hill towards the Kington Trading Estate and, on the right, written in large white letters, was "Propanethial S-oxide". Under this word was a circular glyph made from the numbers 7, 12, and 3.

As the years passed, I seldom passed that way. Leominster was easier to get to via the thought processes of my mind than on tired old roads. Every few years I passed the text and glyph and once I noticed that someone refreshed the paint. It has been ten years at least since I have passed that place. I later learned that it's The molecule that makes you cry when peeling onions.

Then, I dreamed that I was on the bus and looked out the window, and I saw Terry Wogan standing near the rock wall, reading "Causal loops - complicated deterministic dances in which any attempt to escape turns out to cause exactly what you were trying to prevent".

Sunday, I drove my truck down the A44 and slowed down as the road cut through Kington Trading Estate. The old words were gone, but as I went by, I saw a trace of flaking white paint on the stone.

"Propanethial S-oxide" still could be read in faded letters. I took some pictures. The glyph was gone and I don't remember what it looked like other than a complicated heart made of superimposed numbers. The flat stretch of wall that the unnamed alien chose for his advertisement is crumbling away. Nearby, there is a sign advertising the (cancelled) Kington Fair. In a few months all trace of the old words will be gone.

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