A shame to start with any post to do with work. Never mind.
No-one who leaves Old Street station really knows where they are going. There is only a certain number of choices one can remember, and at Old Street there are far too many. Dozens of them, a myriad of exits promising me streets I’ve never heard of and places I’m not sure I need to go to or not. I pick an exit at random to get to street level. Perhaps there I can use my sight to pick up any familiar details that would tell me whether I am going the right way. Street names mean nothing to me.
I cross a large number of traffic lights, moving around the roundabout artery by artery, looking in all directions. Everyone is doing the same thing. Some people even have bits of paper they keep turning round, scratching their heads and swearing under their breath. Finally I reach the road I am looking for. I have forgotten which one, and to my consternation I realise I have done what I always do: I have walked all the way round the roundabout until I reach the penultimate street to the one I emerged on. I am unable to turn clockwise. The same thing happens every time. There is nothing I can do about it.
As I cross the final set of traffic lights to complete my complicated daily peregrination, a small school boy is almost knocked over by a taxi. I spend the next minute or so, as I walk down the road, wondering what my reaction would have been if he had indeed been knocked over. He didn’t even notice. He continues walking along, listening to his headphones. He does not know others are thinking about him. He doesn’t know about his near death experience.
A horde of cyclists filter past me on the road. A raggle-taggle band of commuters, one would think they would have some solidarity between them but no, they are pushing and shoving and jostling past each other like the cars on the road, like the pedestrians on the street, wanting to be first, wanting to arrive at their office before all their competitors arrive at their offices.
On my lunch break I will write down my morning reflections. I will be momentarily satisfied with what I have written. I will consider it to have just the right balance of misanthropy, mundaneness and wit to be ‘modern’. I will send them off to some literary magazine and probably receive no reply. I will consider this part of my day to be the most fulfilling even though unlike my job, which takes up around 70% of my time, it gives me no money. One day, I will stop writing all this down.