When I Walked to Work (in Love with London)

by nat213

When I walked hungover along the south bank of the Thames majestic in its swooping blocked with art galleries and offices and slashed with bridges grey, weeping under the white-ash sky

When I walked on flagstones the same white-ash colour as the sky until I was sure sometimes that I walked in the sky in an upside-down world and my heard roared with hangover and beastliness and I dreamed of drugs and sweet anesthesia

Early morning and the din of the traffic gathered in rivers of metal that bisected the river and fed into the circulatory system of the capital filling the air until clouds and mist and fumes merged into one and you weren’t sure if you were seeing a real world or the sketched memories of someone with Alzheimer’s

And I ascended the steps from Southbank up onto Waterloo Bridge and the whizzing bicycles clicking and chirruping like velociraptors and the barging cars with their angry red sounds and massive buses lumping down the bridge filled with meat and babies and commuters with private gazes and wasted thoughts

I walked on the left hand side, always the left, because in England we drive on the left and we look to the left and cling to the left because that’s what we do and beside me the traffic roared and screamed tearing into the beating heart of the City

And I walked past all this gazing over the barriers and the wide cold water still grey and the other bridges under which boats passed slowly as old maids and through the mist-fumes the great clock Big Ben showing the time like an old man with gold wire-rimmed spectacles and the huge monoliths of the city rose all around and intimidated me

And I was struck with awe at the energy of millions of humans in ant-hive satisfaction going to work and the great machines that moved blocks creating more space and more wealth and the people rushing here and there and the theatres and the homeless and the suited and booted and the tourists clicking in orgasmic fascination and the constant din of industry filled the air

And I walked and walked until I was at my office door, door, great glass door, and an old East London man or African man peered at me unimpressed from behind his desk and security screens and I would avoid his gaze, the noise in my head to great to bare talking and baring the self, and the lift doors were clothes around me and my loins would ache for sex and the sinking feeling in my guts the boredom of rough office carpet, alienation, complete, I made a coffee and sat down to waste the day earning money.

Here me perform this piece with backing track by sound artist, Dan Linn: