Where there's a Willesden there's a way

Thursday, October 07, 2004

The secret

Walking the streets and meadows of Oxford is a satisfying but vacant way to spend a day. I stopped pretending I was actually going somewhere about the same time I realised I didn't know where I was.

My peaceful stroll through the fields is briefly disturbed by a fast pace on my heels. I stop to watch the cows, and let a hunched student in a beige jumper hurry past as he sneers slightly into his phone. He seems to be carrying the city with him. I briefly overhear a brisk and learned conversation between two aged scholars as two Italian joggers speed past. Soon l have the wide green path to myself, and I shift my bag slightly and continue walking.

I catch the hollow eye of the woman in the baggy grey coat as she passes me for the third time today. It's a look that betrays something we know about each other. In this city where everyone is in a hurry, for all our determined looks and pretence of action, neither of us are going anywhere.

Like I say, l'm on holiday.


Post a Comment

<< Home