Sunday, 3 September 2017

London. A glorified mass of tube stations stitched together with memories and might-have-beens.
There's the one with the first kiss.
Then there's the one where the guy you were seeing surprised you by ending his night early somewhere else just to walk round the block and back, holding your hand.
The one with the last kiss.
That one with the awkward joint tube ride after your first-ever first date, and no kiss at all.
The one where we didn't even say goodbye.
All of these stops on the journey of life with one or both of you always wanting to get off; brief interludes of fleeting connection that steal away across the city sometimes never to converge again.
Tube stations, however, are also functional. They're functional, ubiquitous, and hard to avoid, memories or no memories; TfL, and life in general, gives no fucks. If your heart hurts, get off at the next stop where absolutely no-one will be able to assist you due to staff cuts, coupled with your complete inability to quash that aspect of your personality that seems to reveal itself after a certain amount of time and render you completely unloveable from hereon in. You know the one.
There's lots of London you re-walk time and again in different shoes. First time's a charm, while second time you haphazardly paper over cracked memories and forgotten laughter as you subconsciously make a note to wait a while longer before a third.
For a big city it has a habit of feeling very small. Right place, wrong time as you find yourself casually strolling past people from the past and wondering why, or how, you both could have possibly come to be there, at that exact same moment.
But then that's the burning question. These people we meet, these interchanges in life; why, and how do they happen? Maybe they're lessons, maybe they're lovers, or maybe it's all completely out of our hands. Or, maybe we're all just thrown together by sheer coincidence and size of population and it's all just one big scramble for profundity and meaning.
Comforting, right?
In all this though, one thing is certain: London, exactly like time, waits for no man, and I'm increasingly convinced, that neither should we.


Salted air ruffles dusk-red hair.
Amber headlights grow large
and sweep away
across the gentle crash of
dappling moonlight.
On the periphery like dots, houses twinkle
while distant gulls mimic distant pub chatter and smooth pebbles grate under the weight of shifting water.
Cold fingers clutch a warm phone
at the bottom of a deep pocket.
In the distance the horizon shimmers, and the vast silver-black rolls on