Synaesthesia Magazine Cities - Page 54

filthy rotten shadow

H

>

is corduroy jacket is infested with

louse. But still she goes on loving

him. Together they work the black markets, hoarding and hustling stolen goods from China, India and the Middle East. They are scoundrels; invisible to everyone who walks with their eyes half open but noticed by those with a sharp sense of smell. They are filthy rotten shadows and a semi-permanent fixture in the cityscape. They take their trade all over town. Be it the far East in Bromley-by-Bow selling car parts in exchange for dark rum. Or Mayfair, where the royals go; where socialites and politicians blow their noses with crisp fifty pound notes. They move with the rain cloud and hope for a sudden charge in the atmosphere. For they know that a change in weather equates to stupidity: a raging thunderstorm followed by a rush for cover, loose pockets and roads littered with phone parts and silver coins. They study human behaviour and more than anything they know how to weaken the city-dwellers’ soul. They slide in between sky scrapers and stay cool against the many metallic faces. They carry a bag of breadcrumbs and perfect their magicians’ exit: a flock of pigeons and a single corduroy jacket infested with louse. POOF! They disappear into the navy blue night like owls. Twit Twit Twoo.

Together they are a twisted love story. They met in the East end. She was new to the city and wherever she went she felt very foreign and very small. He could have cradled her there and then. He would have fathered her if only he had the wealth to do so. She was afraid of the city, but he knew all the secrets. He would brag about all the places he’d been and the many things he’d seen. She was safe again. His company provided her comfort, a warmth for this foreign girl on foreign turf. He had all the right connections and she had none. So naturally she fell into his arms.

“You better watch yourself, this city is unforgivable. It can do things to people like you and me.”

“You and Me?”