350PM I start my fifth—final—Stella in the Dome. Oh but now the maitre d’ is killing me; replaced the empty peanut bowl with little slices of sausage with dabs of mustard! Gorgeous! Oh and now he’s given me chunks of cheddar cheese with pepper on top! You are killing me, monsieur! But it certainly precludes the need for Brussels Grill! I have to force myself not to finish these all in one go even before I’ve started my beer, otherwise he will just bring more and as my mother always tells me, cheese is the most fattening thing you can eat. So no, let me slow down on the cheese and stick to the beer. Mavi Phoenix Longtime again, tempting me back to Vienna in the New Year. Like a Pill again. My ur-song. Kylie Can’t Get You Out of my Head (Brussels, circa 2001 or 1999? Even more of an ur-song, if so).
The Cine ABC and California Peep Show & videokabins next to it both STILL horrible empty shells; the people campaign to close down these disgusting sleazy places, but what takes their place? Nothing. Complete lack of any life at all, or in Stuttgarter Platz’s case just more bars, more drinking establishments. So much better? More life, more life-force, more passion, in the naughty places. 345PM. My Eurostar departs in 2 hours 11 minutes. And let’s hope I’ll be on it. Pink Like a Pill (Brussels, 2001, proper proper old school). One of my ur-songs.
Arnold Schoenberg (so redolent of Vienna. Viennese eroticism). I tell myself every time but I never learn—no point booking a late Eurostar on my homeward day. I always do it thinking at least it gives me a last few hours to enjoy the naughty jollies of Brussels, but in reality I NEVER want to do ANYTHING on my homeward day so it is just a complete waste of time, energy and money. Please, NEVER do it again. A lunchtime Eurostar is perfect, so I can at least lie in and stay in my hotel room till 11am checkout time, 1pm-2pm at latest, but no more 556PM homeward trains! Another lesson I have to keep re-learning. Joe Dassin again. 335PM. Getting there. And all my life-force still intact pretty much (i.e. all my sperm). There’s been a few girls passing the Dome while casting their lascivious eyes in at me, trying to tempt me to give up some of my life-force, but no chance madames! No chance, mes jeunes filles! Me too strong! I’m too bloody strong!
323. I wonder if I will be treated to a sexy barmaid here at the Dome, or does the lunchtime boss go all the way in these cost-cutting days? Would be lovely to see Aisha again as a final treat before I go home. Still a source of many erections/fantasies for me, even when back home in London. Rohff Qui est l’exemple (Brussels c.2003. FIRST Golden Age! Proper old school).
Fourth Stella in the Dome. 316PM. After this, and one more, I reckon that will be 415PMish and perfect time to get my taxi to Midi, and get TWO lovely Panos baguettes for a change (if they’re still open). The thing about the Ibis Gare du Midi coming back into play is it also brings back into play L’Orient Express, and the lovely little chicken (etc) LATE NIGHT restaurant next to it. And a constant all day source of food from the station (and NEWSPAPERS!). Yes, suddenly the thought of staying in the Ibis again has excited me about a quick return to Brussels (which I cannot possibly afford, but never mind). Just to feel the excitement, the eagerness, is a thrill in itself. Anticipation is everything. Anticipation is the fuel that keeps me going. If I really feel like it, I could forego one more Stella here in the Dome and walk to Fifth for a last 3 euro Maes; just to check the place out one last time. Little enthusiasm for it though. Does anybody record their travels, and their imminent homeward journey, as meticulously minute by minute as me? No, and yes why bother? I can almost hear my ex-wife saying. Always a great force for bringing me back down to earth and bursting my little bubbles. Bless her.