Five Fists of Science

Today has been one of those days that try my back, but despite the pain, it has been a good day. It started early this morning when I got up and fixed some tea and crackers for breakfast (now, I’m out of pb&j). Then, I walked to the Health Centre for my 11:10am appointment. Luckily, it was a painless visit, and the doctor told me that the rash around my eyes is just very dry skin. She sent me to Boots Pharmacy (she pronounced it as “Bootsies”) to get a tub of Aqueous Cream B.P. I’ll put this junk around my eyes for the next four to six weeks to clear it up.

I went straight from there to McDonald’s in the city centre for lunch. I had some delicious chicken nuggets with curry sauce. I’m going to miss curry sauce when I go back to the states.

Next, I walked to Lime Street Station to pick up a cheap student return ticket to Manchester. I almost missed the train to Manchester, because the original train I was going to take got cancelled. An attendant on the platform saw me standing there by myself and he told me that the train on platform six was going to stop by Manchester, so I ran over there and hopped on the train as the doors were literally closing. On the way there, I continued reading Ian McDonald’s River of Gods.

After I arrived in Manchester, I headed to Travelling Man comics to pick up a graphic novel that I ordered before Christmas, The Five Fists of Science. While I was there, I also got a few issues of an interesting comic called Mouse Guard. Next, I went to Forbidden Planet to look around. I guess I was in a spending mood, because I picked up some Sandman comics. What followed was a very long walk. I went in search of Blyth’s Art Shop. According to my map of Manchester, it was in the heart of the “gay” district. I walked along the canal and around all of the blocks, but I couldn’t find that damn art shop. Then, I walked down an alley that had some signs jutting out, and under one of them was a smaller sign that said that the art shop was accessible from the other side of the building. I looked around and it was inside a building with an electronic access system and a tiny placard showing the art shop was indeed inside. I called up, and they let me in. After looking around for a bit in their cramped quarters, I found a nice easel and acrylic paint set that was marked down 20%. I purchased that, and then I walked back to the Manchester Piccadilly train station.

Again, a cancelled train screwed me over. When I entered the station, the board said that a train was leaving in four minutes from platform 14. I rushed there, and hopped on the train sitting there. After it pulled out from the station, the driver announced that it was headed for Wales. Luckily, it stopped at the Oxford Road station, so I hopped out. The Liverpool was cancelled, so I waited about twenty minutes for the next Liverpool Lime Street Station train to come along. I got on board, pulled out my book, and read until I made it back to Liverpool.

The hard winds of Liverpool greeted me with hard hands and shoves as I exited Lime Street station. Since I was across the street from Worlds Apart, I decided to go in there for a bit. Unfortunately, that was the third comic shop that I purchased something at today. I “weighed” each of the Please Twins surprise figurine boxes until I was satisfied that I had picked the one with the figurine I wanted. I also got a set of manga art prints that I had been wanting for awhile.

After walking back into the street and noticing how my back felt, I decided I better get home. I decided to cut through the central train station to Bold Street so that I could get a skinny latte to join me on the trek up the hill to my flat.

On the way back, I saw the usual suspects–the Arab guys in Hot’n’Tender Chicken (serving up doners), the homeless guy in front of the news stand (I didn’t have to say “sorry,” because he was talking to some guy), Quick Chef (just reopened), and Dennis at the porter’s lodge (no new mail–I have another book on the way from Ed at SFRA Review).

Back in my room, I applied the aqueous cream to my face, sent some emails, looked through my loot (I did pick the right Please Twins figure), and watched another episode of Star Trek (“Amok Time.” If they used titles like Friends, it would have been called, “The one with Spock’s cheatin’ wife”).

I’m going to cool it awhile and do some more reading. I’ll catch you on the flip side, which reminds me of eXistenZ (I watched it last night). God bless David Cronenberg!

Published by

Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I direct the B.S. in Professional and Technical Writing Program and coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.