Strolling through the industrial wasteland. Peeled off cement, a bleeding man on the side walk, smell of depression wafting through the air and the manic surprise of tourists.
For a tiny island, they do talk a lot about themselves. As people fill the pub, it feels warmer in a very un-tropical way.
I float like oil. Forever the Martian. Making a note of weird habits, strange dislikes, adorable quirks-forever ambivalent.
I count my grey hairs and the lands which wouldn’t want me near them. I am sure one day they will tally well. Their nations, their borders, their nightmares. My brown skin, my religion of disbelief, my patches of DNA which shouldn’t accidently topple over their morning coffee.
Not Ibn Battuta. Not a chronicler. I don’t know the types of beetroots which grow here or the colour of the Queen’s adult diapers.
I queue obediently at the supermarket temple, pay with blood and walk away with a meal for may be two days. I watch the very young bruise their hands and grow old serving mulled wine. I walk through elegant cafes serving cakes worth a week’s rent. I pass by the blonde black woman having a quiet meal of soggy sandwiches under the shadow of brutal buildings.
We brush past each other every day in the tube. At the escalator, I imagine your life story and you mine. I wonder about the dark patches under your eyes and you about the tear in my coat. During rush hours, our breathing dances to a pattern. Over the free newspaper, you sigh at your monkey rulers while I look for the next murderer who will be elected to rule the terms of my passport.
You wipe your loneliness over a beer. I take mine for aimless bus rides. Somehow, we will never ever catch up for coffee.