This article is part of the That Insidious Beast series.

The drunken wanderings and mental meanderings of an American expat in London.
09/02/09 - Monday - 5:22 PM from web
short shifts and pub quiz

We're having our shifts cut back from six to five so now I will have tuesdays off. Stan said Mr. Taggart was talking on the phone about shortages of nickel. Just had a pots and pans turn in last week, but I guess it wasn't the right sort of thing. I wish we were getting off fridays or mondays, but colin said we can make monday night pub quiz a tradition so that's what I'm getting ready for tonight. Tessa is gonna be there too. No I still haven't asked her out. I'm working up to it.

Lot more airplanes buzzing us these days. I don't know what it's about. Most of them are real high up. By the time the RAF sends up some Mirages to chase them off they're already gone. Over the weekend the police were collecting leaflets in the streets that I guess the Americans dropped. I grabbed one from the sidewalk, but the cop took it from me before I could really have a look and then chased me off.

These days I don't tell anyone about being from the states. Colin knows, my landlady, Dora, she knows. Mr. Taggart has to know because of the work papers. You know, reading this, but I use fake names. I say I'm canadian. i've known a couple expats who got it good when they just told anyone and everyone. I keep quiet.

Besides, I'm not really an American anymore anyway. I've lived here almost 15 years. Since before what happened in Chicago. I don't know what's going on over there, I don't follow the politics, and I can't just call my family and ask because the phones aren't wired up right. The war was supposed to be over a long time ago in Europe so why is everybody so nervous?

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10/02/09 - Tuesday- 8:16 AM from web
owww my head

Of course the times when I want to sleep in I wake up at the crack of bloody dawn. If I had just stayed in bed until 11 this would all be in the past, but it's like 7:30 now and I've been up for an hour. I tried making a pot of coffee but the tin was just down to those wood shaving bits they put in the coffee here. I made tea but that doesn't cut it for me, not when my head hurts this much. It's like the whole world is throbbing.

Last night was a blast. Me, Colin, Stan, and Tessa on one team and Peter, Doug, and two guys from the front office I don't know on the other. One of them said he was an outsider but that's okay. We smashed them. Absolutely killed them. And they were good enough to buy three rounds, which was on top of the four rounds we had during.

So I didn't so much ask Tessa as drag her back to my flat singing old elton john songs. Hey, they're easy to remember. And before you post something nasty in the comments about me being a sex beast, I was a perfect gentleman and I had already said I was taking the couch. Christ she was drunk. Too far to walk to shoreditch alone and it was already past curfew.

We saw a copper coming for us right as air sirens started going off. We all froze up and looked into the sky, those big lights they test out once a month started sweeping back and forth. You couldn't see them at first, but you could hear them. This deep "woooooosh" sound above the clouds. Then it cleared up and there they were, hundreds upon hundreds of planes, flying right over our heads.

The copper told us to get inside so we ran to my place. We were terrified of the bombs. Tessa said she remembered when she was a girl, during the war on the continent, watching the bombs landing across the Channel when the americans were flying from here. She said the whole sky would turn orange from the fires.

No bombs last night. No sleeping on the couch either ;) tessa left after a chat and some tea. hope to see her again tonight

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