zondag 25 augustus 2013

Day 11. Walking with Lucy Steggals

The worst thing happened. I lost my jacket. I lost my jacket. I lost my jacket I got stuck on a crossroad. Twice.

I twisted my back, couldn't move for two days, wasn't able to walk south, to walk anywhere with my house on my back. Today I finally managed to walk to the nearest train station to catch up a few kilometres. A 10 km walk and another 3 to the hostel from the station in Namur. And lots of kilometres by train.

Lucy had asked me to choose a colour and eat food and consume drinks in this colour only. I ate a yellow creamy yoghurt, pineapple, a banana, yellow fruit juice and later on some cheese and taboule (I took the red and green bits out).

The nearest trainstation was Beringen. I got distracted by my old footsteps. I had been there before. I walked east then. Almost a year ago. I could see the path I followed behind the Beringen' mine and I felt an urge to go there again, to walk the path I walked before, to make the circle round, to stay in this last year forever, walk this year again and again and again. But I passed the mine, walked towards the train station and missed the train because I was waiting at the wrong platform. I looked at my backpack, didn't see my jacket hanging where it is always hanging, felt my heart sinking. I walked back to the mine, where I had sat down to drink a yellow beer, retraced my steps, saw my jacket twice but it was a piece of dark plastic twice. I walked and walked and knew I would miss my train again but I didn't care. 15 names embroidered in my jacket. I lost the people who walked with me. That was all that mattered.

I walked all the way back. When I was almost at the gate of the mining area I saw a piece of dark plastic on the side of the road. Then the most amazing thing happened. The piece of plastic turned into my coat.

I would be too late for the 7.30 train. And I couldn't take the 8.30 train because the detour was ridiculous, it would bring me west, to Antwerp and south to Namur from there. I made sure I was in time for the 9.30 train. It would take more than 3 hours to get to Namur. The hostel I had booked refused to let me in after 11. I wasn't sure where I would sleep. Maybe I would just walk. When I arrived at the train station at 9.20 there was enough time to stand still at the bridge crossing the tracks. I looked down at the platforms and into the distance, my eyes following the two lines. The sky was dark. Everything else was yellow.

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