Float to Istanbul, Muscat and elsewhere, and check in with Cleopatra, Shakespeare, Francis Drake, Shah of Persia, Adam, Cain, Abel, Lawrence, Ataturk, Czars Nicholas and Alexander, Matt Harding, Russia oligarchs, well-fed stray cats, unidentified shortwave broadcasts, Abraham, Norman, Matt Harding, rowers, drummers, a blonde dog and you and me… finding the edges of the globe.
Disappearing, invisibility, loneliness, depression, anxiety, being lost, trying to not be found, trying to find white space to invigorate… Sometimes these weave together, other times (perhaps) each remain exclusive.
Gord Downie, Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski and me all try to figure out the nuance in different ways atop Turkish street music, trains from Kerala and Moncton, and various ephemeral music snippets.
++ Continued Exploits and Dispatches from one Thor Aronson ++
Over a week now in Istanbul, just waiting for evidence his quarry was here, or had stopped through at least. But, not a lead until a well-bribed cleaner a 4th floor walk-up hotel sent word (through contacts at the port) of a passport matching his vague description.
“A Canadian?” thought Thor, “they’re not even their own damn country! Just another dominion of the damn British!”
A closer look revealed his Greek heritage which indicated he had at least two passports to travel under. The stamp s showed a circuratous route through various Mediterranean, Levant and Baltic enclaves.
Yet “Gus” is no TE Lawrence or even Wilfred Thesinger, no way he could be rambling through these remote places without assistance from a fluent Arabic speaker, various fixers and sea captains. But still, Thor was at least a step behind… if not more.
With myriad ships going in and out of the gateway to Europe and Asia, he could be just about anywhere, but most definitely he was at sea as the rail lines were still rebuilding from frequent bombings, likely effectuated by those nefarious Brits.
No matter, after contacting an inside source at the Canadian Consulate (of course sequestered down a hallway at the UK embassy) Thor knew the passport was a fake, and even the name might not be accurate, but… The face was definitely the mug he was after.
Thor sat down stone steps between the grand souk and the blue mosque, lit a cigar and waited for another smoke signal. If he was careless to leave the passport behind in the hotel safe, no doubt something else would emerge. The bribes were paid, the photo circulated and soon Gus would tip another card. Inhaling deeply, Thor mattered, “fucking Canadians, when will they get it together and become their own country?”
His quest for the elusive quarry stalled again, Thor – rather exhausted after six days on a merchant marine ship despite a rather pleasant stateroom – sits on a coil of worn rope on a salty dock to consider his next move. The question: where has the renegade Mr. Lester disappeared to to this time? Lighting at the second last cigar from a box acquired in Sicily, he considers possible directions… Set out towards the Tyrhenian, dropping in on various islands seeking telltale sign? He does have ties to Corsica after all so the direction would be generally useful. Or maybe the Aegean?
“Too many damn islands…” He mutters to the Katakolon seabirds. The leather attache (containing the critical documents seeking validation) still close by his worn boots, he pulls the boiled wool fisherman’s cap down his brow, closer to the wrinkled blue/white striped coarse linen shirt, inhales deeply and concludes to head towards the Bosphorous.
At least he’ll have a hot Turkish bath and beat-down massage on ancient marble before deciding which continent to drift towards next. But first, a tall ouzo and plate of olives to set him on the way.