Monday, October 10, 2005

Smile, you might confuse someone.

I write often about London and its assholes. I'm an asshole, and if you're thinking about moving here, you should probably be an asshole too. We're pushy, rude, impatient and self-absorbed into our I-Pods and cell phones while slogging our way to the city center to go to work in the morning or sloggin our way home at night. In shit weather, with polluted air and wet dirty shoes, the climate is reflected by the people--life sucks get a helmet. Go to other towns and villages and the locals immediately peg you as an American, French or a Londoner--. We are vampires in this city. Going to work in the morning fog, living most of our lives in the Underground and then comming home later in the evening fog, Londoners only surface at lunchtime, to feed, before scurrying back into our holes. Unless, the sun's out, then all bets are off.

On a day like today, probably the last good day of the year when it's about 20 degrees (75ish) with a bright blue sky and warm sun, the undead go on holiday to the park and invade every scrap of grass in the city, laughing at the merriment and having the audacity to smile, randomly at strangers. On a day like today even the most bitter, indifferent cyninc has to actually work to maintain his sneer. Businessmen frolic barefoot in the grass; lovers stroll shoeless along the sandy banks of the Thames--not caring about which combination of hepatitis they get from walking through London's 1000 year's worth of sewage; even bankers, yes bankers, dance naked in the fountains, possibly still on their cell phones forclosing on their mum's ancesteral home, but naked none-the-less. With so many beautiful people trapsing about, I reconsidered growing a goatee and wished I had indeed purchased some sheep skins at Ikea last weekend...

The media is often refering to the notion of the globalised city. And, even though I don't see how any city isn't "globalised" I understand their point. I was working at a cafe this afternoon, and realised that I was the only person who wan't speaking italian or with an italian accent. As I had my espressos and crescente, I pondered the fact that I could be almost anywhere in the world. I recall fondly the French expat in Puerto Viejo who hated Americans ruining the scenery, then even more fondly when I ordered breakfast and asked directions in en Francais: Je Voudrais...Ou est-que...Voulez vous couchez a moi? Bitch! The world's a beatiful place; hopping a jet to anywhere in the world is as easy as, well, hopping a jet to anywhere in the world. In a city of 12 million people, however, it's very easy to loose yourself in very small parts of it or worst, get beaten down by the shear enormity of it all. But at the very worst of it, when the vampires suck down your soul and have you one Wesley Snipes techno-pop thriller away from giving in and feeding too, do as the lovely girl in the pink shirt suggests "Smile, you might confuse someone."

Don't you love when the last line of prose is the same as the title? kind of brings a Gothic sense of closure to it all. Part, Bronte, part Austin, mainly cheap parlour trick of crappy constipated essaying.

anyway, I need to go charge my I-Pod so, as always thanks for reading,

Ben

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wallace & Gromit Up In Smoke
Aardman Animations, the British studio where the weekend's top-grossing film, Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit , was created, suffered a fire on Oct.
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6:52 PM  
Blogger Jed said...

Ben,
cheerio homeslice!
your coffee has made you jittery but the bitter taste leaves a stain upon my lapel. Alas, I remember you and think fondly of the velvet crema upon my tongue but am still disappointed at the stain upon my jacket.

4:29 AM  

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