A pretty girl sits down, eats, smokes and texts.
The girl is Irana and goes back to
tomorrow. I spray the drawing with fixative and hand it to her. ‘I love it!’ she cries, sparkling. Look, she’s not telling me it’s a great work of art or anything – she’s just happy. Spain
Buoyed up by the love, I break for hot chocolate from the corner café. A couple of men walk past, talking:
‘Bernard Matthews. Is he dead?’
My friend Peter wanders along to say hello. He says how wonderful it is to have an excuse to sit and stare. A drunk in shades shuffles up to Peter, nudges him, mumbles, grins. The drunk’s teeth are corroded black chips.
My drive home touches the tectonic plates of sleek
and just-surviving London . It feels as if people are being ground between the plates. London
A girl of primary school age with what used to be called flaxen hair, carrying a violin case, walks under her mother’s wing. Another mother, with a baby in a buggy and a small child alongside, is confident in that moment that nothing bad can happen and steps out in front of the car without looking.