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ĎI know you. Maybe Iíve seen you in the early hours, or later, with more hate and fear and tiredness in those aqua eyes. Possibly it wasnít you, but the way that you walk - expectant, vital, as though youíre longing to get somewhere -gives you away. It is you, Iím sure. Maybe you know me too. Before I even said this, right now, you think you heard me. Or you imagined that you heard me. Who can be sure youíre not imagining this, as well? No, Iíll tell you, youíre not imagining it Ė itís real, or at least it did exist at some point. You thought you heard me once and thatís good enough forever. And you got a flavour of my voice one night inbetween the leftover kickdrum tinnitus of the club, when youíd exited the clangy main-road and cut up the soft glistening sidestreet where just the occasional Mr Fox would stare you out then slide into camouflage security, but you werenít sure if it too was a receding glimmer of those big-speaker sample snippets from somewhere earlier in the night, mingling with the glowing early hours, and my androgynous voice escapes definition, weaving in and out of time and roaming in pitch, like all the phantom voices youíve heard on that lane, and others similar to it. But I was a little different. And I think you knew - and know - that. Just some thing about what I said. How it never left you, making a deep impression despite the foggy, drunken giant slumber. I wasnít meant to meekly diminish into your subconscious, the way that some of the tangled quotes you hear do. I mean something to you. You might have another impression. You might have seen me, once or twice: just slinking away (like the fox!) after youíd stopped and glanced for a fraction longer than normal, a fraction that proves it was an unreal, but unique moment Ė something slinking away just as you noticed, and vanishing into a bigger, violently moving crowd, mainly haircuts and coats forming the oscillating throb. You: painfully craning your neck to get a full view of me once more, that desired clarity. But you never do get it. Iíve already gone. Youíre grimacing and your eyes are impotently darting through the shadowy body-river. Or Iím that person getting off the train after lingering for a few moments at your presence, that one that brings out your insecurities and a desire to achieve something, because youíre end-of-week tired and having trouble making decisions and difficulty staving off the things that are making you lose focus. You might have seen me when I was that person, seen but never followed, because you conspired to think that you couldnít, and that it wasnít right, even though there was nothing holding you back, to quickly go and check, to see if there was more to it than the second-long glance. Or any number of trickling shadows barely visible in the dusky Thames-glowing fogs on Temple cobblestones that slip from the double-carriageways, flimsy but tangible enough for you not to ignore and which send goose bumps down your back and intensify the cold Ė only for a moment, but a moment is enough. Enough for you to have the thought that might come back only a long time later, worried and in awe of the vision that is in pieces during your slumber, which itself happens in jigsaw bits. Iím the one - or versions of me - that always culminates there, when you love to remember it, but despair because this then appears to have been consigned to gone days and youíd love to be totally immersed in those feelings once more Ė at this point they feel like an imagined past. You might have seen me in these places. You probably did: and still do now, and will do again. Definitely grasped me in some form. How do I know? Because I saw you: saw you while you werenít sure and floundered wherever you were, failing to grasp the movement of my figure, and always figuring out the place to direct your gaze a little too late, and I knew I wasnít mistaken. I can see the weight of the cityís flushed skies in the contours - the peaks and valleys - of your skinny face. That betrays a bloated set of feelings, and that makes me pinpoint you. It had to be you. Youíre unsettled. A homing bird thatís losing that spark of homeliness, the sad, straight mouth tells me that, and I recognise it because itís not totally uncommon. You, though. Thereís something in you. You love the view and remember the times you were serenaded by the pink petals in tangerine light when there was nowhere else to go and time calmed down. It is what you want it to be like. Except the amber glow has been screen-shot by your memory, where you showered it with blessed qualities and tried to maintain its real warmth and closeness but instead have left it stagnant; it has cooled down there Ė maybe this is whatís turned you angry and disconnected, or maybe itís the realisation that the glow and petals reside only in another place. They have been neutralised by the constancy of every brutal development here. Iíll admit it for you: the city wasnít how you imagined, and in other ways it was exactly how you imagined, and both have left you struggling for air. It happened gradually, facilitated by each shunt onto an already flesh-heavy stinking carriage or incendiary interchange beyond a time you thought was practical (or convenient). When I see you and you canít see me, all that is lingering on your lost face. Maybe you began to doubt hearing me. True, I can be distant, but never doubt me, because even when I get tangled in the confused rustling of rusty tree-leaves in wind, Iíll be there.í

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