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When will the music I hear now no longer be alive? Itís the noises that live in my head, in newsagents, in the brushing past others, from far-off buildings. Singing along. But then I shiver when I think I see a figure I know up ahead, the littlest trace of something in the dark-green shrub shadows. Time is furnished with these ghouls, from time to time, greyed-out androgynous shapes that seem to silk under buttery lamps then shake then deepen back into the chalky underworld, to wherever their world is. And sometimes they are not there at all, not there in the humming darkness of closed clothes shops, not there in the drizzle beneath the railway bridge, not there in the speedy light of the gigantic buses. Sometimes my mind makes them up and sometimes they are not even apparitions of people but of days dissolved, the spatial last mark of grassed-over emotions, of possibilities, of lost loves, crumbled worlds.

I want to stop some of them, these figurines, and ask them where they are going. What routes are they taking? Will they make the journey more than once? And if they are staying for the long-haul, or just a passing visit? But I canít do it. Thereís no way of breaking down that barrier between me and them, but I can wonder all I want about the mystery of them, Ďcos if I ever speak to them that will be crushed, or even worse, itíll be replaced by boredom. So I carry on, head down, thinking Iím all alone, not even knowing if itís true just to keep up the persona, the loner stereotype.

Itís good to get wrapped up in this little world and its actors and actresses, the miniscule characters that pop in and out of consciousness, the ones with no names, but I see the distance as well. Whether this is real or a figment, who knows, but I still see a flickering bulb in the distance, across all the day-deadened faces, keeping the threads together, adding a gluey gloss to the skeletal dreams, a warmish feeling smothering these often brown, sunless short days, and seeping through their heartbreaks.

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