Sunday, 17 July 2011

Bright Lights, Big City

Every time I go to London it does something to me, getting under my skin in ways I don't understand. Or maybe I do; maybe I'm drawn by the things I don't see as well as those I do? It's a city of extremes, a place of appetites both base and inspirational. I do not know which I find the more alluring? I see the beautiful women and my mind flares dangerously; this despite having a wonderful intimacy and rapport with Joy. What does that say about me? Only that I'm like every other man that walks the face of the planet. Those fantasies are passing indiscretions, pure froth atop a richer reality that my better self treasures. With London, it's often the less tangible that grips me. We wander past a Kensington town house with it's pillared entrance, and I wonder how anybody can afford such a thing? Or I stare down a street and see rainbow life drifting past me in myriad mood states; a Somalian female in traditional dress, an elderly American wearing a black suit with white trainers, variant accents flashing across my spectrum of consciousness. I don't know why, but when I come to the city I feel somehow smaller, my unimportance weighs down upon me; I'm just another unremarkable face. The famous landmarks rear up every time you turn the corner; the London Eye flashing blue neon across the glistening Thames, Big Ben and Parliament semi illuminated in the near distance. It is night time and the City is engorged with alcohol, excess, and so many deviant ideas. I feel drawn. And then there's the underground; the ancient Victorian architecture slowly being replaced by post millennial design. The new stations have glass walls along the platforms; statistically fewer suicides the obvious plus. The theatre adds vie for the sideways glance, or a poster for the latest movie or the computer game or musician of the moment. The buskers have big amplifiers now and you can hear them from further away, and I people-watch with an excess that borders on the voyeuristic. A young father entertains his infant son who is laughing at him from his push chair, whilst a lady sat opposite uncrosses and crosses her legs, her nylons sliding in a way I've always found arousing. The carriage rocks from side to side, and on certain stretches you can feel the pressure change within your ears. The train stops and the doors hiss, exodus and influx an interwoven dance.
Perhaps you notice different things? Perhaps London means something else to you? It's a place that strikes a chord with me and whispers; no screams into the repressed creature that abides within, mocking this dreary slave to convention I too frequently  allow myself to be.

No comments:

Post a Comment