Sunday, 29 July 2012

Eliza escapes . . . (part two)

Alicante '82

No point trying the door, I knew that was locked. I looked down from the window, no fire escape, no nothing escape . . . just a long way down onto a small courtyard, packed with skips, bins and cardboard boxes. Most of the shutters were closed to the afternoon sun, and there was no sign of life in the rooms that were open to the sun. I banged hard on the door, four floors below the man on reception snored through his own siesta.

I changed into my old clothes and sandals, they felt good and smelled reassuring. I immediately had more faith in myself. I kicked my dress and heels under the bed, that was the end of them and, hopefully, all that went with them. A few splashes of cold water onto my face, my neck and arms, I rinsed through my underwear and I was ready . . . Now, all that stood between me and freedom was an old heavy, wooden door. Come on, there must be someone in this place other than me?  My hand was hurting from hammering the door, it seemed to absorb the sound. I tried kicking with my back to the door but that hurt my heel, there was nothing in the room that I could use to bang on the door. Maybe if I stood by the window and waited for someone to dump some more rubbish in the courtyard, I could get their attention.
"Hola!" . . . "Oi!" . . . "Ello?!" . . "ELL LO!!"
"La puerta!! . . . Oi!  . . . Cerrada!!"

I knew the word for closed as everything always seemed to be closed in Spain  . . . What was help? I knew what it was in French, at least one of my O levels was paying off. I followed my rule that rarely let me down; use the French word with a hint of Spanish, stick an "a" on the end, or an "o" for Italian.
"Secorra!" . . . "Woi!!" . . . O come on, I mean what if the place was on fire . . . Aha!
"Fuego!!" by the window . . . "Fuego!!" by the door . . . and back again to the window yelling.

I'm clouting the door with the metal frame of my rucksack now . . . holding it above my head ready to strike again, I heard a voice, something was being said in Spanish . . . Yes!! Yes!! This is it, I'm gone. I didn't care who was on the other side, the devil himself would not stop me now.
 "Bueno, bueno" A key turned in the lock . . . It was the greaseball from reception. I would have stopped to hug him but I didn't want him getting the wrong idea. With no backward glance to see if I had left anything other than the Brandy and those clothes, I flew down those stairs, leaving greaseball looking for the fire, he would be satisfied with the Brandy . . .  maybe even the clothes and heels. I had a road to find. 

It was an ideal hitching spot, a toll road with plenty of traffic, many cars pulling in for a break. Within five minutes a car pulled alongside me, A couple in their early 50's, both tanned and wearing way too much gold, looked a little too pleased to see me.
"You English?" the woman called from the window. O No. I didn't want to make conversation, but I did want a lift. Need a lift.
"Yeah, I need to get to Barcelona . . . or further, to France really"
"Jump in the back, we're going that way . . . Calp"
"Calp?" . . .  I hadn't noticed Calp on the map, but we were headed North and the quicker I put some miles between me and Alicante, the better.

The couple lived in this Calp place, they told me it was a busy town, near Benidorm, which I'd never heard of back then. They might be able to get work for me there, a friend had a bar . . .   Did I dance? O hello, here we go . . . No-no go-go. No more dancing . . . for now.
"Come and have a look, have a drink, see what you think eh? You're not gonna get to France today, you can stay overnight with us, see the bar, meet some people"
As she carried on planning the rest of my life, I saw a sign for Calp and he indicated to turn off the main road. I couldn't have been in the car for much more than half an hour . . . No way, this was too close.
"Erm . . . I think I'll just stay on the main road, if you could drop me here . . . thanks, I need to go further" 
"Yeah, well, I'll get out here then if that's OK?! . . . OK??"                                                                                                                                                                         
I was mentally calculating the distance, knowing I had to walk back to the main road and getting a bit frantic at the thought of wasting any more precious time. Strengthened by my old clothes, the smell of patchouli and having come this far, I barked.
"Could you just stop your fucking car and let me out! I don't want to come to Calp, I don't want to work or dance in Calp. Not for your mates and not for you . . . Thanks, and all that, but I'm running away, I need to go NOW! as far as I possibly can!!" The bark rose to a screech.
I felt like the gingerbread man; I've ran from Higgins and the laughing weirdo in a rented room . . . and I'll run from you pair too.
That did the trick, they didn't want to get involved in anyone else's mess, I suspect their own was enough.
"Thanks then, bye" suddenly polite again, now I had one foot out of the car. "Thanks for offering to help me, but I really can't stay here"
They weren't so chatty now . . . "Good bye, and good luck, young lady"

Back on the main road was not such a good hitching point and I felt pissed off with myself for having accepted the first lift, without knowing how far we were going. An utter waste of time. I stood at the roadside with cars whizzing past for almost an hour before a car pulled over . . . This time Spaniards, three of them, all male and middle aged.
"Barcelona?" I asked, having decided anywhere closer would not do.
"Si, Si Barcelona!"  ah well at least I wouldn't have to talk . . . like that was my biggest worry (!). I jumped in. The car smelled of Brylcreme, hardly surprising looking at the black plastic shapes they'd sculpted from their hair. I studied them in turn, looking for something that might tell me I was safe, or not. Not a hint, nothing. A mixture of their limited English and my limited Spanish told me they were off on a fishing holiday near Barcelona . . . did I want to come with them?
"No, Gracias , I have to go to France. I must to go to France".
I imagined the type of English middle aged men that might take a fishing holiday together . . . I felt safe. I sat back, accepted a cigarette and enjoyed a couple of hours of Euro-pop.

The evening was getting late, they were turning off towards a coastal town . . . was I sure I didn't want to holiday with them? I was almost tempted. It would be dark very soon . . . Then what?

Once again I was at the side of the road. I was beginning to feel weary and sad and hungry . . . maybe I should have gone with the fisherman, or headed to Barcelona for the night. Maybe I should have waited in Alicante . . .  or England. Gentle spots of rain fell. How had I even got to this point. What was so wrong with my old bedsit, in my city, with my safe job and friends?. Before I could regret or wallow any further, a big comfortable looking car pulled over. He was alone. Nice eyes.
"Si, Francia, entrar" Nice voice.
The radio played Abba and I felt safe. It was raining now, he didn't seem to want to talk, that suited me fine . . . I never had much to say. The music and rain were comforting. I sat back and closed my eyes . . .  until the sound of hail stones beating on the car woke me almost an hour later. It literally poured sheets, reducing visibility to almost zero. The wipers on full speed were useless. The noise was awesome and exciting. Surely he couldn't drive in this?
"I stop" he said . . . "We wait, no es posible, I sorry".

"OK" who was I to argue? I certainly wasn't about to protest and walk. He turned down into a lane with woods on either side and inched his way along to a place where he could stop . . . . He switched on the inside light and showed me how to recline the seat so I could sleep. The light went out and I lay there stiff and still, waiting for something to happen. I began to reason, in my own style of reasoning; if it weren't for my period I'd just get on with it, and hope it was just straight sex he was after, well straight-ish. I might even enjoy it, I mean he was clean and handsome, I'd had worse, he had a strong, deep voice . . . interesting eyes, neither too kind nor too vicious . . . and I was feeling lonely . . .

Maybe I could stay with him, I had no other plans. Maybe he had a nice place somewhere . . . We could fall in love and live happily ever after . . . I was nineteen and that was most definitely on my agenda, it would happen one day. I relaxed some and curled onto my side. I began to drift; images of his villa, me beside the pool with a cocktail or two, a little bit of madness . . . well, yes, my contribution alone would see to that!, but a little of his own too, not too much . . . Somewhere between Silverhip and Higgins. Yes, perfect. A loud stammered snore pulled me from my reverie . . . Oh OK, maybe not.

My dreams, built on the shaky foundations of a sexy voice, fine profile and nice eyes, were shattered by a single snore. I soon recovered, I'd be in France tomorrow . . . In Nice, hopefully. A whole new dream began to form in my fickle mind.

Once again, I've put a link to this episode on the "Flashes from the Archives" page, in the bar below my header. I think this is the ninth part in my story, if anyone wishes  to catch up.


  1. Very satisfying! Great writing as usual. You were very resourceful for 19 (well for any age really). Looking forward to the next instalment.
    Kiwigirl xx

    1. Thanks Kiwigirl . . . I started thinking through what happened in Nice, to refresh my memory. I had forgotten about so much of it . . . I keep laughing at my audacity and cringing at my promiscuity! I was bonkers. It really is like looking back at a different person. Just as well.
      Hope all things are still shiny and new ;-)

  2. You have a nice writing style.
    I do help that telling this, is helping you and that it is not making it harder to keep on the right path at the moment.
    Keep well

    1. Thanks Kim, . . . I have to be on the right path to write anything really, as my only spare time to write is at night , , , If I use at night, I become way too "tired" to write and too numb to really remember properly. So writing anything is a good idea.
      I hope you're feeling better Kim. Take care x

  3. Goodness,
    being in that situation would have scared me sh*tless.

    1. Hi Twisted Scottish Bastard.
      It would scare me shit less now.
      I've no idea why, but I was almost fearless back then. I kind of believed that nothing bad would ever happen . . . and, for the most part, it didn't. In fact it still hasn't. That's pretty good going for almost 50 really.
      Good to see you here, thanks x

  4. When I saw this on my blog roll I got so excited!!! And I wasn't disappointed, well, except for the fact that I have to wait...again. :-)

    Thanks for the latest chapter...I am loving following this. You really should be shopping for a publisher.

    Love it,

    1. Hi Sherry . . . I hoped it wouldn't be too much of an anti-climax, as nothing exactly "happened" on my journey to France. I wanted to take it further into France and leave on a cliff hanger again, but I was very pushed for time.
      I've been reminiscing, raking through the archives, ready for the first French episode . . . I honestly struggle to believe that some of it was really me!
      I would love to think I could get something published one day. I'm considering taking a writing course in September
      Hopefully, I'll get some time on holiday to write . . . especially if it rains. Four more sleeps ;-) So so excited.
      Thanks for being here Sherry, with love x

  5. Nice one, I enjoyed really that !
    But I can't help wondering why on earth, of all things to leave behind you'd leave the brandy ? ? but you made it & that's the main thing !
    Hope alls good. Karl X

    1. Ah well Karl, I wasn't, at the time, dependent on alcohol . . . that came later.
      The Brandy in Alicante was to help lose any inhibitions or morals that I still had left. When I left Alicante, the clothes, the drink and all that went with them, stayed behind. I was back to "normal" ;-) for a while . . .
      All is good . . . I've spent a week manically cleaning every inch of the house in prep for decorating . . . after camping!
      Take care mate x

  6. I am so so happy that you got out. I am able to comment at the moment, but don't think it will last. Tomorrow I am going to backtrack for the posts I have missed.

    1. The E's C,
      I'm pleased you can comment again, I always enjoy your contribution.
      Thinking often of you and the SP, I hope things are improving for you both, with love x

  7. You know I've fantasized about fleeing British shores for years and never got round to it. I so admire you for going. And learning to speak Proper French. Not just the pidgin version, like what I've got...☺.

    PS did Nice live up to its name..? And do Nice biscuits come from there...? ☺

    1. Gledwood,
      I'm pretty sure that if I had waited to plan this, it would never have happened. It was just a chain of events.
      At the time, I'd never even considered "abroad", I never tried to imagine what it would be like. Those places were all just names from geography and language lessons.
      I had no expectations of Nice, as I'd never heard of The Cote D'Azur, or St. Tropez . . . It was quite some time before I realised this coast wasn't typical of France.
      Nice is Beautiful, Last night I walked around the "old" Nice (on Google maps) I checked out a few places where I'd stayed . . . the past started coming to life.
      You could still go Gledwood, I think you'd love it. It's liberating to be able to justify "not fitting in", through being a foreigner . . . rather than just "not fitting in" at home. If that makes sense.
      I'm rambling, it's bed time. Night night x

  8. Oh boy, I was waiting for this! I was so excited when I saw it on my feed! You are a mighty talented writer. I'm hooked and can't wait to read the rest of the story. I must know what happened to that crazy, sexy Higgins in the end. Did you ever reunite. It was wrong for him to keep you and control you like he did but I certainly understand why he appealed to you, not only in looks but his manner, as well. Snoring man made me laugh straight out loud. Funny how the flames of a good solid daydream can be extinguished so quickly by uncooth bodily noises.

    Decorating sounds like such fun. Your garden is so lovely and your canine friend who took up residence in your lap a few posts back was so cute! I really love dogs and so much miss having one around.

    Take care, bugerlugs! Much love to you. xx

    1. Hi JJ,
      I'm so pleased that you're enjoying it, thanks.
      Did we reunite? Our relationship went on for twenty years, on and off. Despite "offs" that lasted a few years we were soul mates and couldn't stay apart . . . I allowed him to control me and enjoyed it as much as him, then sometimes I would change and run away . . . then change again and come back. Very stable! It seems to me that you totally understand ;-)
      Three more days and we're off camping, I'm more excited than the kids! I really am.
      You too, take care JJ . . . Stropster's just talked me into having fruit salad with meringue and ice-cream . . . It would be rude to say no really x

  9. The fearlessness of the young bugerlugs was amazing! So strong, yet such belief in life and herself. And from what i can deduce from your blog, it's obvious you still have those traits.
    Beautifully told story x

    1. Hi Imogen,
      Thanks. I was indeed fearless . . . I suppose, in many ways, I still am. I never worry about anything going wrong (other than the dentist). I often fall asleep with my doors unlocked and windows open.
      Thinking of you on this last day of July ;-)
      Easy does it, with love and thanks x

  10. That's a big reason I want to go abroad. Apart from different stamps, different coins, different brands of toothpaste... I like the way you take on the status of Honorary Citizen. I'm fed up of living with the fuck-ups these Labour and Tory Governments have done. I want to live somewhere else, with someone else's fuck-ups where, because I'm foreign, I have to keep my mouth shut about... know what I mean. I'd really like to go to Germany, Switzerland or Austria...

    1. You really should go, do some voluntary English teaching, that often leads to paid work. That's what Hanneka went to do in Nepal recently . . . Until she had millionaires falling at her feet, now she's off travelling again.
      Voluntary work is a good start in any country while you find your feet. One of the benefits of a warm country is being able to sleep in the open air at night.
      I hope you do it, really x

  11. You are a good writer, Bugs. I've missed being here. Am catching up down. Quite an exciting life you've led.

    1. Hi Syd, I'm so happy to see you here! I was just off to bed and checked on comments. I've missed you, but I've read how busy you've been with exams etc.,
      Thanks for being here Syd, that was such a lovely surprise x

  12. Great writing.

    Like others have said the fearless youngster thing is interesting isn't it... I wasn't like that I was a very fearful person from a young age, I've grown less so as I've got older and esp since being sober. My son is the fearless youngster - one day we were walking along a cliff, my daughter was about 10 I think and into collecting seashells - she saw one at the bottom of a 30 foot very loose cliff and point it out. Before you could say anything my son was over the edge and down and back with it. A guy came up and offered him a chance to join a climbing event at an indoor wall. He went straight up and along and back down. The guy came over to me - "Your son has just made professional climbers look idiots!" He was offered some chance on a team but wasn't interested!!! Now he is over 20 I think he'd be different he is growing more fearful I think...

    Interesting differences in people...

    Anyway - can't wait now for the next installment... i.e. what winning snore prevention treatments you try out ;-) Haha

    1. Hi Furtheron . . Maybe he'll get into climbing later on in life, he's still very young.
      My three are all showing that fearless streak . . . I suppose it rubs off. Whilst making them aware that there are dangers in many areas, I made sure they were aware that bad stuff doesn't often happen.
      Like, not too many "what if's".
      Yeah, I'm looking forward to writing the next one, having raked out some memories..
      I reckon you're our official Olympic blogger x

  13. I held my breath through all of this, praying nothing bad would happen. You're not supposed to take rides with strangers, don't you know. I'm excited for the next installment but nervous to read it, too, lol. I've never encountered someone so wild and fearless, capable and strong but so vulnerable, too. You are an enigma, Bugerlugs...but always endearing.

    Love and hugs,


    1. Ah Thanks Summer, they're lovely words.
      I'd love to sit up half the night now and write the next part . . . But, I have to be up at 7am. Maybe on holiday I'll get more time . . . maybe not.
      Two more sleeps ;-) I'm getting right excited now . . . we all are. I'll post some pics once the tent is up.
      Love and hugs to you too Summer x

  14. I'm already worried for you, even though I know you end up alive and well. Are you now on holiday? Have fun, and don't take lifts from strangers!!!

    1. Hi Cro,
      We leave early tomorrow morning, all packed and ready to go. More wellies than sun cream but I'm sure we'll have fun . . .
      The more I rake through the memories to write, the more I wonder how on earth I'm still here.
      No, no more strangers x

  15. I was so nervous as I read this and now I'm nervous as I wait for the next chapter...nevermind that it's already happened to you...I'm anxious for your past, if that makes sense. I hope this brings you a sense of peace and closure as you write. When I write I alway find myself a bit surprised how far and distant I feel from the person I once you feel that way?

    Be well, Lovey!!!!

    1. Hi LOvey, Yeah, totally feels like looking at someone else's life, like watching a film and then describing it . . . although the more I dwell on it, the more some of the feelings come back. I'm looking forward to writing the next part as I remembered so many details by thinking it over and over.
      I enjoyed catching up on your blog, take care Lovey x

  16. Nice Eyes sounded pretty erotic till the snoring?LOL.I use to love men that snore it helped make me sleep.Im looking forward to what happens next with Nice Eyes.Thanks for visiting meXoXOxo

    1. Ah . . . Don't get too excited Bev, we parted ways the next morning . . . but there were quite a few men in France! x

  17. Thank God I know you made it (since you are writing this). You took some serious chances. What do you call your guardian angel??

    1. Hi Lou, I did take some serious risks, but I always felt safe . . . I suppose I trusted God, as I still do. I'm not sure which God or which denomination . . . Just God. x

  18. Hi Sweety I miss your postsXoXoxOx

  19. Hope you having a lovely time on holiday, and that you come back re-juvenated. Like Bev I miss your posts.
    Kiwigirl xx

    1. Hi Kiwigirl
      I missed you too . . . I actually came back looking about ten years older . . . but I'm catching up slowly . . . back to about 45 now. I looked about 40 when I went away ;-)

  20. Bugerlugs, where have you vanished to..?!?? I hope you don't mind but I borrowed 2 pixx of your pups named Bubby and Wamp, I do believe... of course I gave your link and all. And I mentioned that I myself had given birth to "baked beans with paws"... ooo how cute!

    I hope you're having a wondrous time, wherever it is you've pinged...

    1. Gledwood! the previous posts says I'm off to Wales camping for ten days . . . Only joking, I know your attention span can be short (sometimes)
      Thanks for the link and the mention, yes they were Bubby and Wamp . . . And I've still not taken them to the pet shop! errr, maybe I will keep them ;-)
      I'm pinged back from Wales now, all depressed and misery :-(

  21. I was thinking about you today and hoping all is well. No email to email you at privately....I miss you girl!

    1. Hi Annette, I thought about you a lot in the mountains and lakes. I missed your posts and you . . . I caught up last night on your blog, well done on your clear out. I did the same before I went away, I have one drawer of clothes now!
      Good to be back, on line. Much love to you x

  22. Welcome back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!guess what?I was reading some of your older posts and I didnt know you have a Youtube channel and I heard Leonard Cohen sing Dance Me To The End Of Love and I played it all weekend long over and over.XoXoXoXo.

    1. Thanks Bev, Good to be back on line. Glad you found the You Tube stuff although there might be some things the kids have put on there too!
      I adore Leonard Cohen and that song is one of my absolute favourites . . . I'm so glad you enjoyed it and played it over and over. Love to you Bev x x