I'm sleepless at Hyde Park.
Sometimes they feed the pigeons too, but I'm keeping the chocolate brownie for myself. It was a welcome gift after all.
So strange being here, it's as though I never left. Three years of life and a wooden bench is a clasp that links a line into a loop. The grass is as green, the pigeons as plenty, the squirrels as quirky a sight, the strollers as faceless, the sun as fickle and life as beautiful. Only this morning Hamra was as familiar, but mustier, damper, like a weight to the soul. The autumn leaves move with the wind here, echoing dryness against the rough paths. I lick my lips for them and swallow traces of chocolate.
That morning I left the Kensington apartments to escape the fact that I had passed out on the floor and my prettier friend got the bed with Victorian linens. She looked like a baby doll and I had the taste of liquor in my mouth. It was cold but sunny and the Household Cavalry were trotting by already. Jogging Shorts sat down beside me to tie up his shoe laces.
"I live nearby. I'm a finance this-and-that. Jogging is what I do in the mornings."
Never having understood finance, economics or commerce, I was drawn to him because he did. Or maybe because he lived round the corner and I was impressionable and dreamy and thought that I had tripped upon Prince Henry. Probably that and my weakness for luxury cars and a faint whiff of a Jaguar ride about town and whether there was a connection or not, I took his card and promised to call him.
He turned out to be a pretty ordinary fellow who I couldn't look in the eye, but who took me out for the most delicious watermelon midori I had ever tasted, who, despite boring me, made me miss my last tube back home and to make up for it offered me a space in his bed. I took the night bus instead and walked alone the empty streets with hurried heel chatter.
My pretty friend found him ugly and then so did I.
A girl is taking a photograph of a squirrel, which then climbs up her leg, mistaking itself for being admired rather than just being a plain curiosity to the common tourist. I like squirrels, most of all their puffy tails. I looked at one closely the other day and realized that it wasn't any different from a rat's tail except it had long hairs that always stood on end. Superficial tails, superficial me. Throw us in the water and we will emerge like toothpicks that were feathers, once. Throw a Jaguar in the water and it will sink.
Throw a paper that says "BEY ROUTH" and it will float, just like it did above the crowds waiting for the arrivals to exit. Throw a chocolate brownie in the river and it will melt, but the water will taste sweet. Throw myself off the London bridge and I will drift to his doorstep because he makes me float. Imaginary Extraordinary Him is a helium cloud in my body and mind, delivering me to the streets of London like the rolling autumn leaves carried by the wind.
So I sit here, hands blue and slightly trembling, waiting to see him again. He gave me the keys to his place, which would sink if thrown into a river, but that could open doors to places I don't think I have ever seen.
I'll curl up in his bed, and he'll find that his thrown jacket takes the shape of a curvy hip and he'll slip in alongside me and my hands will not be blue any more, but they might tremble at the fact that something imaginary and virtual is tangible and I came all the way to London just to tremble and shake the bits and pixels off a reverie.