Thursday, December 09, 2004


"You always tell me what you think, Adam," some friend or other was saying a while ago, "but never what you feel."

O. Let me think. Feel, I mean. No, or - ahh, you know. Well, here goes:

A strange encounter: The woman I sat next to on the tube last night, flicking through a holiday brochure, ticking various hotels or places of names with a blue biro, then putting boxes around others, then scribbling across the page, stabbing it, hacking at it, peering at it - all before she turned and stared and grinned at me with this crazed, mad, pale, so young and awful face. Right then, I suppose:


Or some nothing moment: A brash business man queue jumps at an escalator out of the tube:


A bolshy business woman queue jumps just after, and I watch her beautiful figure clamber up the stairs:


Someone or other clearly in a real rush queue jumps with a sorry:

a pragmatic justice,

if that counts. Or some office moment: a phone call from someone asking for someone's phone number. "It's not on the internet? In the document I emailed you last week? And come to think of it, how come you always do this? Unlike anyone else? And I don't even work for you?" - is what I don't say, reading the digits off.


of course. In they come later, a Christmas card and some home-made biscuits I don't enjoy: a blip of lofty


passes. Walking outside my office at lunch with such thoughts, feelings going blip-blip-blip, as I wade through meandering students and sniping chuggers and the suited masses, I wonder what I feel about them all. I'm in a bad mood. Maybe I feel about the whole world roughly what I feel about heavy metal: I just don't like it, and can't work out how anyone really could. People-cars-birds-litter-shops pass, and feelings go




Surely life isn't just a graph with two dimensions: one, stuff; the other what you feel about it, there on a grid, with speech the only attempt at the smooth line that connects the dots of reality that randomly pop up?

At some point I'm walking around the side-ways C of the Aldwych: and the traffic has stopped. And the road is cleared. And everyone at the bus-stop is staring. And lights are flashing. And ambulance men are rushing over. And a figure lies still, dying probably, in the middle of the road. Further along a white van is stopped, alone.

This should remind my feelings of the essentials of life, its fleeting, precious nature and sudden end, this should be the image that provides the perspective, that gets rid of the bad mood, clarifies the feeling. "I know who I hope it is," I think, and walk on.