Sunday, November 8

Silt

RECENTLY I HAVE NOT been feeling much of anything, at least not in an intense way, the emotions, not in the way that overcomes me in an unforgettable manner. Yes, many of the days are forgettable to me. If the days are forgettable, then time moves faster and one is left wondering, more and more—‘Where does it all go?’ Perhaps I am just someone caught in an unremarkable existence, but sometimes life is unremarkable. There is nothing to witness. Pass me that camera; no… don’t, it has gone. The moment has passed. There is little for me to take note of: no woman to fall in love with, no experiences of complete happiness, no tormented moments of desperate depression; nothing. I am just getting-by. Should there be guilt in my voice? It is possible. Maybe I should be out there seizing things, getting stuff done; only, I lie on my settee, staring at the television, not much impressed by anything. Something will happen, possibly.
While we sit outside the cafĂ©, Rebecca asks me—‘Do you really intensely dislike the human race, or are you scared?’ I smile, not knowing what she is saying exactly; but, no, I do not dislike the human race. Since Rachel stopped talking to me I have been at odds to find something new and exciting. I find neither happiness nor sorrow in my day-to-day. That is all right. That is it. ‘London is heaven and hell,’ I tell her—‘I love it.’ There is nothing for me but London’s living and breathing. I yearn to live and breath back at it.
This evening I changed from the Central to the District line at Mile End (a place brimming with memory; memory that I ignored, memory I found it easy to ignore, but memory that was there nonetheless). The tube was cooler, sparser. On one seat was an abandoned box of chicken bones and chips. A young man, doubled up in stubble and hair a-tussled, had his feet crossed out in the aisle and as I – already pulling a book from my bag – went to sit down opposite, he drew them in, most politely, to give me room. He was sitting there with his partner, an attractive blonde girl with a square jaw and thick lips. They did not speak to each other for the entirety of the three stops I was present – Stepney Green, Whitechapel, Aldgate East – but chose to languidly recline in their mutual grumpiness. Ah, yes, it might be unfair of me to hold these two strangers to account for the silence they exhibited to the other on a five-minute train journey, but what is love without laughter, communication, and the minor smiles that occur every other moment when one is in love? I decided that I was glad I was alone, facing against their couple, their partnership. I knew those moments, and faint relief brushed at me that I was no longer subject to them.
Alone, and with the biting wind of night at my elbows, I walked from the tube station home. I had looked up over my book and regarded these strangers pitifully and sadly. Mine was the night. Ah, but yes – to my original point – life is quiet, unremarkable. It does not matter. I do not expect much. I just wait for something to astound and amaze me. Patiently I wait.

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