Tuesday, February 27

Doves

The worst thing about this is seeing couples everywhere, seeing couples around London. I would not write a love-letter to the city of London, although I might send a death threat. If you love the city in which you live, colour me green. I go mad within its grey. I see couples around the city of London and that is the worst thing:
They go hand in hand.
I am on the tube, minding my business, and a couple get on. They sit opposite me. She dances from the doors to her seat. He sits there and they talk and he sits there and taps his knees as though he is playing the drums and they talk and it is familiar – familiar enough so that I do not know whether they have been in love for twelve years or only met last night. As much as I attempt to stare elsewhere (close quarters on public transport), I cannot help but put my eyes on them and to dream, to fantasise about some kind of love, as some kind of love would be magnificent and the colour orange. And, lo, everywhere I turn there are couple and all of the couples look young; their youthful prances around town, watery eggs bobbing patiently within taught abdomens, laughter, their happiness, their life working out okay.
I walk from Euston down Tottenham Court Rd and the sun is shining brilliantly, but it is February and very cold. It took a lot for me to leave the flat but now that I am out it is not so bad. The sun shines brilliantly so that everything is imbued with its winter colours, glorious and saturated. My hands are tucked within their pockets. As I near Oxford St I see a lady call out to a police officer; my mind works—‘What, an attack? stabbing? a terrorist?’ It is someone in the middle of the road, because the copper runs beneath all of his gear to the middle of the road where there is a body – maybe two – lying in the middle of the road; not lying because they want to, but lying because they have to. All the traffic has stopped so that the road is clear and empty and then I keep walking and the traffic is parked, not moving. The bodies lay in the middle of the road. Perfect centre. The bodies do not move. Had they ceased to be something other than nothing? I do not stop, nor do I wish to look at them. People stop to stare. Three people stand around the bodies and coats are draped over the bodies and it is so cold. Everyone else stares. I am disgusted by their staring. They clog the pavements so that I utter aloud—‘Get out the fuckin way!’ but they do not move because the human eye wishes to see nothing more than another closing for the last time. All the while, Tottenham Court Rd is terrifically lit with the sun at an angle. It is fine weather. Somebody once said—‘Today’s a good day to die.’ And they were right, but I cannot stand people watching. If I were to die, not at an instant but slowly, I would not want other humans to see. I do not like to be watched while I eat, shit or fuck so why should I enjoy being watched while I die? I shake my fist at them and walk on—‘Get out the fuckin way!’ No one listens because, look, two bodies!
After that I walked some more and there weren’t any bodies lying in the middle of the road.
There were still couples, though.
I fastened my coat and turned the collar up so that the wind did not penetrate my clothes. It was a long way. I wanted to return home before the sun set because I could feel my anxiety returning. I went to the shop and bought some beer. The skin on my hands cracked and they began to bleed. I licked the blood.
There was no one lying in the middle of the road.

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