Night had fallen a long time ago. It seemed as though this night had thrived for a portion of time that already seemed over a full day long, with everyone locked in here doing a whole book-worth of tasks in a strange recycled light from sources such as betting shops and phone-box window glows, paper-white heads striving for the heat but never quite finding it.
Clouds of hot air meeting the cold just in front of their mouths as they bump off each other coming out of shops and taverns, all enclosed in the perverse, all-day midnight. The dramatic edifice of the metro edged into Bill Rushcroft’s view, with the sudden increase in volume of commuters visible, audible and corrosive. It was far removed from those close-knit, and not-too-distant, backlanes where he could make out the collision of cutlery emanating from stuffy front-rooms, and the plastic thud of his box-shiny brogues against the dry pavement.
This epicentre was just like a formaldehyde fossil, a vision of what it formerly was, and also what might still be yet. The pure feeling of it was quite sad in the sense that it was watered down, leaving only a percentage of the intensity it used to have; all this was possibly in the mind - Bill searching for any imperfections because that’s what he wanted to find - but it completely could have been out of the mind too, a signal that times gone never totally go, and that microscopic traces of energies of the past linger, even though they reside imprisoned somewhere, tantalising.
The most disorienting thing for Bill was that he didn’t even know what he was looking for anymore, or wasn’t sure of the exact colour of magnificence he was trying to burrow in to. That brilliance had succumbed to imperceptibility and he was gazing into an increasing nothingness for a trace. A lost sense of atmosphere. Could it be unearthed?
The steel drums were still going, a great generic symphony being nurtured into its surroundings. But that was another ribbon of distress because of the connotations. When had he first heard it? He was sure he was happier then. His face was all scrunched, but still retained the miracle of a little grin.
© Copyright 2016 John Maher