This Morning

When I left the house this morning there were two crows on the road, hunched over a dead cat. Every time those strong beaks pulled at the grey fur and flesh there was a twang of snapping mucsle. It was so visceral, all gore, and like a million piles of road kill I’ve seen before at home in the country. But not here, not in my overpriced, well dressed enclave of harbourside suburbia. I never expected to live here, I feel much more at home in the grimy, cafe choked suburbs that cluster around the university. The suburbs my grandparents grew up in and my great grandparents lived and I first found my feet in in my reverse treechange flight to the city. But then I had to suddenly  leave the dusty shadowed terrace I lived in there, and in a lucky move found a room straight away in a sunny art deco apartment full of art and also two of my best friends. It was a time of falling and then of being caught. I’m at Town Hall now, waiting for my train, and there’s a bird caught, flying up and down the lit platform, all wrong to be underground. And I’m trying to think how it will get out – if it can navigate the tunnels in the dark or if it will sense fresh air from here and head for the stairs, and how it got here anyway, this inhospitable transit place. The train is full as usual, I bags a lucky seat next to a handsome man in a well fitting suit who says two unintelligible syllables very politely and goes back to his iPad, I take the lid off my empty coffee to reach the chocolate powder. I’m wondering about this business of writing what you’re doing while you’re doing it, how all this recording actually makes a fiction of what is being said. Apparently writing opens up a part of your brain that gets shut off in the closed panic loop of anxiety. Maybe that’s why whenever something dire happens I start a diary, so I can rifle through words like a wardrobe, stitch up my brain with them. I think you notice more with sentences forming behind your eyes, but it’s a strange thing to be writing about my commute like it’s really happening when it’s only partially like that, because I was writing the whole time. You see?

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2 comments on “This Morning

  1. yes! like a picture of you having a picnic, but you’re not really having a picnic because you’re having your photo taken, so in a way the photo is documenting something that never quite happened… even though it seems like we need a photo to prove that it did… funny about caesar, the roman equivalent of tweeting maybe!

  2. I do see. Interesting thought. Perhaps a bit like taking constant photos while travelling, because you haven’t really experienced it unless it’s documented? I was thinking all this might all be a product of the digital age, but I heard yesterday that Julius Caesar had two scribes constantly recording his thoughts while he was conquering Britain. Lovely contrast of the well dressed enclave with grimy, cafe choked suburbs, by the way.

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