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London, The Big Smoke


On the platform, the man dressed in black boldly foxtrots across the orange line. His mouth propels open as he SHOUTS towards the tall buildings, arms towards the sky. He jumps back. Wide eyes turn to meet mine, toothless smile ravages the space between us. 

On the train, the woman in yellow discos wildly. Afrocomb in one hand, the other placed protectively over her earphones. Her eyes are closed, her body is joyously convulsing. 

In the lift, on the way up to the street, the man with the backwards cap ripples his body by design to the soundtrack of divas. He swings against the steel walls of the cage. 

The ponytailed man at the flower stand speaks with unremitting sarcasm. "Stop that orchid hunter!" he yells straight-faced at the assemblé of straight-laced bedheads who've spent two hours getting ready. The small Asian woman he's referring to beats away torsos in order to locate the perfectly hued stem.

In the greyness of an Autumnal evening we sashay past chicken shops, market stalls, and promises of loans. We find a crafted cocktail of coffee havens, clothes rails, and vegan cuisine running parallel.

 Underneath the railway tracks, we find glittering lights and a congregation stewing in the glimmer with a shimmer of their overpriced drinks. 

There's so many sides to London.

I always tell myself I never want to live here. Too much money poured into dusty bricks. Narrow hallways. Smashed bottles strewn within leaves. 

Tall regal windows looking out onto small cavernous portholes. The sinking ship of the wrong side of the road. 

It feels a lot different today, though. Red roses through the blackened blinds.

Maybe it's the hypnotic bustle of busy bodies. Maybe it's the village feel of South East. Maybe it's the unattainable idea this week is selling me of expensive brunches, and lunches, midweek coffees and museum trips. 

The clean leafy apple tree in the garden; the lemon tree nestled on the mantelpiece. 

Majestic historic brick standing grandly in the background.

 Overpowering sense of vitality in the big city in the moment. 

Visiting is not the same as living. 

Is it? 

I dance with the idea.

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