Sunday, 25 March 2012


I'm superstitious about graffiti.

If I look at it too long, something will happen. Thugs will happen. They'll jump from the corners wielding cans of spray paint and angry faces, and then they'll art deco me.

Or something.

It's not a rational unease. But it's a real one. So real that I often avert my eyes when passing by graffiti, turning my gaze away lest the streetthugs and gangsters saunter forward, like a small child playing hide and seek. If I don't see them, they don't see me.

I'm a bit like that with the life, sometimes. With the good things.

If I look at them too long, they will -


They'll disappear. Go away. Poof.

The other day I was sitting across from a client, tucked in one of those dark and masculine restaurants with wood and leather and faux fires burning on flat screen TVs. We were waiting for a journalist, making the easy small talk of professional life.

"So what about you? Do you think you'll be in London for the rest of your life? That this is it, this is where you'll stay?" He leaned forward, smiling slightly.

I paused. Hesitated. Reluctant in a single sweep to commit myself to this, this idea of London.

"For now." I conceded. "I've really started to love it here."

Sometimes the realisation that I am so happy, so very happy, astounds me. It startles me. I hold the thought in my mind like fingers to a rosary, gently touching each realisation, each pleasing little tidbit, with papery quiet and a certain reverence.

Bit by bit, I'm becoming comfortable with looking.

After dinner with friends, I found myself walking across Waterloo Bridge. The city was thrumming with an early spring evening. Along the Thames, buildings glowed in oranges, blues, purples.

I stopped for a moment there. My elbows on the railing, the smell of roasted almonds from the street vendor mixing with the faint laughter of tourists on the boat below. With a small sigh of concession, I looked.

Guess you can say I've started to notice the graffiti.


No comments:

Post a Comment