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A Day In The Life Of Allen Ginsberg

âme centré
Journal Entry: May 14th 1965

I arrived in London last week. Peter Orlovsky , Gregory Corso and I have moved in above a bar, soon to be known as the Beat Motel. Though the bar gets awfully noisy, I still find it to be a beautifully creative workspace for us all. After all, the chaos often times aids me in reliving the chaotic memories of my childhood, since I refuse to do so myself.
I have informed Peter and Gregory both to spread the word that I am offering to read anywhere for free. I have made my way into just about every local coffee shop and/or small boutique in town, hoping for a brief encounter of liveliness.
However, as I stepped foot in a small boutique today named “âme centré” (translated in English as soul-centered), I laid eyes on a young woman with messy, brunette ringlets that resembled my mother’s: except Naomi’s were darker. As I walked to the back of the store, I spotted a small section filled with what appeared to be some great literary works. Originally, I was drawn to the shelf by a title scrolled down the spine of a golden-yellow novel. The title read “La Bahgavad Gita” which was written by a man with whom I had many disagreements with in his works, yet I remained enchanted by his philosophies. I took a few steps closer to the book, and reached for the spine. To my surprise, I was met by another hand. My eyes lingered on a femininely built wrist for a minute or two; I spotted four miniscule slits on her wrist. I focused my eyes upward to meet the eyes of the woman who had seconds ago reminded me of my mother by her almost identical mousy brown ringlets. She dropped her head awkwardly and we lost eye contact. She quickly apologized and offered me the book before turning around and leaving my sight. Though I had only shared a split second of eye contact with her, I had recognized the weakness in her eyes. I saw the sadness inside of her, and the confusion which was obviously carved into her delicate wrists as well. This caused me to fall into a traumatizing flashback of my childhood.
I was drowning in a cloud of memories. I remembered the way that the autumn leaves had fallen so silently that day. I remembered exactly how still the air was, and how I embodied such a feeling of loneliness. I recall looking up at the trees bursting with yellows, reds, and greens, creating such intricate patterns, yet possessing such lifelessness. I was reminiscing about the day of my mother’s attempted suicide, followed by her admittance to Greystone Mental Hospital. I saw many physical qualities that my mother had obtained during her lifetime in the way that the woman carried herself.

I was shaken back to reality when a short, stout woman asked me if I needed any help finding any books. I told her I was just looking, and immediately made my way out of the boutique.

For the rest of my stay in London, I made sure to avoid walking past “âme centré” at all costs.



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