119. N9 to Heathrow

I finish my now cold tea.

Tear the little sticker from the side of the cup and stick it on the loyalty card.

Toss the paper cup in a bin.

Head back down to the Strand.

Its busy, but not that busy.

Its Saturday night.

Drizzly and the breeze chilly.

I’ve got my backpack with a shirt and toothepaste and a tooth brush and a couple pairs of socks and one spare pair of boxers.

And I’ve got my black computer bag with my green folder of certificates.


My Birth Cert.

My B.A.

I left some valuable certificates at a local pawnbrokers in Phnom Penh with my New Testament Greek diploma from Birkbeck, my degree transcript and my CELTA from Cambridge.

I borrowed $100 against my passport.

Then I gave my certificates as collateral when I had to renew my VISA and needed my passport back.

They probably think they can kiss that 100 bucks goodbye but I will repay them.

Besides the moral value of paying debts, those certificates are hard to replace.

I like these light blue jeans they gave me at the prison.

And I thank God for my Iceman Cometh O’Neill.

I must be a 28 waist right now.

The positive side effect of Crystal Meth.

I get to The Strand.

The N9 pulls up.

I get on after half a dozen other people.

How much?

No cash, says the driver.

What? How do I…

You need an Oyster card.

WTF? I’m homeless.

He nods me on.

Nice driver.

I go upstairs and take my first out of many night bus trips to Heathrow.

Heathrow that will become my home.

My stage.

My audience.

My studio.

And my muse.


Author: Mark Dark

Actor turned Christian missionary turns his back on his Hollywood dreams to combat sex trafficking in Cambodia – and finds himself tangled up in gang culture and a surreal internal world of drugs psychosis. Based on true events.