London Life

FIN
FIN 2012

It looks to me like London’s population is extremely stressed at the minute. The smack heads unable to move, one stuck, bent over a street sign, bearing the postcode of the dispossessed. A bald headed middle aged man wearing a Harrington jacket, ears turning purple as his head is thrown forward in a state of suspended animation. Next to him is a seated man, staring out into the great beyond, seeing nothing. The third of this tragic trio is a skinny young man with a straggly beard and no sense of anyone witnessing his quest to find a vein around the back of his knee to dig into. I walked past with a friend, hurried on horrified and jaded by the tableau vivant that was played out under her balcony.
I carried on my journey home after some certain respite, being cradled and comforted in the bosom the English countryside. I reached Hackney Road to hear the cacophony of car horns blaring, tempers rising with the rain threatening as the battleship grey clouds converged above the crossroads, emotions hung, battle lines drawn and resolve quartered. A Dominoes delivery scooter driver became embroiled with an irate car owner who gave the pizzaman a punch in the gap of his bike helmet, all the world watching the drama unfold, when two young men lurch out of a nearby kebab shop, dressed in matching cobalt blue polo shirts, one of them wielding a metal paddle with a wooden handle, the type that should only be used to take pizzas from a hot oven. The gladiators ready to take cobs out of each other.
Fortunately a couple of others stepped in to save everybody’s face, people upset, a poor delivery driver’s scooter bashed, a man almost done for GBH with his Pizza Paddle and the car driver finally quitting his posturing.
I walked away at this point weary of the futility that seems all pervasive in this city at the moment. I am not sure if I am just noticing more, or if the general mood is nihilistic and fractured, everyone with their tenterhooks at the ready, waiting to be hung out to dry by forces beyond their control.

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