More than four years after my last ‘visit’, I am back. To this City about ‘whom’ TS Eliot had this to say:
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet. [The Waste Land, by T. S. Eliot]
The two of us hardly ever encounter ourselves. But when we do it appears we always manage to not get on too well.
I am writing this from a hotel on Penywern Road, off Earl’s Court Road, where I have decided to lay my head for the night. A nice receptionist, wireless internet access, and the promise of breakfast in the morning. What more can a wanderer ask for?
I have spent a good part of my time wandering the catacombs of the London Underground, staring and being stared at, part of an endless crowd of flowing people, all of us undone by varying degrees of death and dying. We’re all Londoners of differing intensities, living, lying, loving. And in my case, leaving.
PS> Place names: Proud (arrogant even), poetic names of stations and lines and roads, defying easy pronunciation, elusive, full of alive-ness, unlike its people and its monuments … Lister, not Lee-sis-ter, Glue-ster not Glue-seh-sta…