It is a short two minute walk from the tube to work, but suddenly I felt I was excitedly overwhelmed by the busy sidewalks, the goings-on of a big city. My mind started buzzing away with observation:
Sirens screaming, a man in paint-splattered overalls carrying a ladder, a child crying, a woman’s breasts bouncing in a tight shirt, an elderly couple holding each other up as they shuffled along slowly, a mad flock of pigeons swooping for crumbs, kids on bikes, a jogger weaving by, a car honking horns, someone jumping over a puddle, umbrellas shaking off drips of rain, flashing orange lights of a work truck, a woman sitting in outside a sidewalk café laughing over a glass of wine, a man sitting on the sidewalk outside of Tesco selling the Big Issue, a street vendor with flowers, a man runs across the street calling someone’s name, a chugger tries to persuade someone to sponsor the children, a woman drops a cucumber out of her bag and bends to pick it up, a workman shouts to a friend over the noise of a machine, a woman points to something in the window of Oxfam, ashes falling on the tips of her shoes, a motorbike coming to a stop, a child on a scooter, a mural on the wall, a walk across a car park full of chatting groups of students, the slow drop of rain water from the door frame onto the mat and always somewhere, somehow, a sacred moment of stillness.
Today I saw a woman accelerate backwards into the front of a parked car. At the sound of cracking plastic, she met my eyes and sheepishly looked away. Then the printer was steaming like hot breath on a winter day because my office is arctic. They have replaced my favourite American bagel shop where the guy makes me smiley faces out of BBQ sauce on my chicken melts with a Cards Galore. Not even a unique card shop. On my way home, they made an announcement on the tube: “Woman, don’t let your child ride a scooter on the platform” two seconds before a Central Line train trundled in at lightning speed. On the way home, a teenager asked me, of all people, to buy him cigarettes. I didn’t. I don’t do people after 5:30 on weekdays.
How was your day?
How was your day?