Sunday, 15 February 2015

Euston Road - by Tariq Jazeel

Street View, by Amita Murray

I’m crossing the road, along with what seems like hundreds of others, walking in step with the flashing green man. I try not to catch his eye, he’s coming towards me. Homeless? Maybe. Down on his luck? It seems so. Knotted hair, grubby, long torn overcoat, dirty dark trousers. I think. And why, oh why, is he carrying a broom? Like some kind of 21st century witch, or wizard? No witch. I look away, hoping he hasn’t seen me looking.

Then, “ARGH!” He screams violently at me, not 2 metres from me as he passes my shoulder. I jump, startled. Embarrassed that I jumped. He scared me. He jolted me out of my voyeuristic conceit. Did anyone see me jump, did anyone see how petrified I was for that tiniest of nano-seconds, how my pupils widened, my body stiffened, and my stride was broken? Now I laugh, from relief, my body relaxes, my stride and composure regained, I’m at the other side of this interminably busy street, at last. So is he, I look back, he’s meandering across the road, holding his broom purposefully. Going to god knows where. God knows where, as I check my composure, and wonder about him. Where does he go? What does he do? How was it for him?

Are they laughing? No, I think I’m OK.

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