It’s good to see you again. Here in The City.
Your face in the buzzing rush-hour crowd. I see you every morning at the Tube station. Secretly I am waiting for you, and on those mornings you do not show up or I cannot get sight of you I know it is going to be a bad day.
I know your ways, your habits. You rush through the Tube barriers nibbling on your Pret-a-Manger club chicken sandwich, always looking perfectly elegant and classy. You get enormously annoyed when someone blocks your way, and let everybody know about your displeasure then. While waiting on the platform you look absent-minded, but I know you are alert and observe the people around you very closely.
Sometimes – but very rarely – when I’m lucky I can catch a position near you in the hopelessly packed Central Line.
But you don’t know me. I’m not significant. Not that kind of person to stand out from the crowd. I’m not someone high-class like you would ever take notice of. With my cheap and self-fixed glasses, and my mama’s selection style shirt.
Once I could have sworn our eyes met, and you looked right through me. That moment I wanted to freeze for eternity. I could have sworn you have seen me because you were smiling. Until I realised you were listening to your music with your earphones and mutely singing to it.
At Bank I always lose you in the crowds. Not so today. Today I found you there. For some reason which I can not explain I got out very early this morning, at 5 a.m., even though it was raining a cold November rain. Walking through the morning streets of the City just because I cannot sleep.
And there you are. An unexpected apparition. As if you had never been away.
You’ve been missing for so long. Where have you been? Those last months have been empty and grey without you shining in the morning. You look amazing and sparkling as always. But a bit skinnier than before. And a bit sad. Your way of dressing changed a bit, from either happily colourful or pastel business outfits to a plain existentialist black. Even your beautiful and always well-made long ebony hair you are hiding now under a cap.
I wonder what befell you. The death of a good friend, or even partner perhaps? Or a terrible accident? An unspeakable sickness?
I really hope you are well. In my imagination you tell me all your stories over a coffee, and I am nodding understandingly all the time. But this day will never come.
Yet it’s so good to see you again. Here in The City.