Thursday, June 26

Opened and Read, Stormed Through, Adored

I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN enamoured by the charge to train stations of all the people who make up the world I live in. Some rush and dart; most meander, dawdle, not a care, careless, head buried unromantically in their mobile phones, chatting to accompanying loved ones, happy in their pace. I breeze by them because I am a talented walker, a strider of the highest order. The sun – at this time of year – is fluffing its feathers for our journey to the constant and dirty vessels that electrify us toward work and caf├ęs.
This city is still new to me; newness expressed in that I am still excited and surprised by it, as though it were performing pranks to me on my birthday morning. Sometimes it sickens me, yes, but so does alcohol. I am at the bugle call. I am against the fierce light of another date, unlike any other that preceded it and will be attempted after.
On the tube:
I am master now of the tube, my route to work at least. I know every bump and swerve in the tracks so that if I were to stand unsupported I know exactly where to put the weight on my feet (I am in the habit of memorising such pointless things); this allows me to read fearlessly, something I wouldn’t have attempted nine months ago when I moved here. Thus, I get a lot of reading done on the fifteen-minute journey there and the fifteen-minute journey back.
Old books are cherished and I will read them over and over, like I will listen to the same song over and over. A book I have cherished above all others; a quartet. I pull it – a lump – from my bag a hunk of meat, full of arteries veins capillaries fibres that have strengthened me more than the dead man knows. I always clutched the book most lovingly; then I was reading it for the first time on the transport network of one of the most impersonal cities.
One night in my home, years ago, I went to bed with that book; open on a particular page; after having licked it over and over, demented, perverse, certainly, but in love.
I don’t know – it was strange for me to be reading it in what, if my life were a novel, was a new part of my life. As it is, my life is a continuous and petty stream; so the novel is opened and read, stormed through, adored, and no matter where I was, it was the novel that took me away and – on & on – o, I read a great deal before I got to the office.

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