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4. totem

What a fantastic, ecstatic, ultra-confused soup of emotions as I sleepily gaze at these visual artefacts. I feel sick and Iím thinking about the loneliness I sense, which is layered in a sort of bun on top of my emerging yeasty positivity. Occasionally Iíll pick figures out, ones I attach an unfamiliar sentimentality to for no reason whatsoever unless itís their hair, a brooch on their coat, or how peeved they look in the poorly papery light. Most of the day Iím left frustrated as thereís something out of place in everyone - an indefinable distance, one in which, I think, even if we spoke for months and months weíd never get that connection I crave.

But in the midst of the mass of bodies, the conveyer belt of faceless souls, I intermittently pick out a similar figure, and I like to believe theyíre thinking in the same way as me, want the things I want. And also for little reason other than this I place my dreams in them, my world begins to revolve around them. They are a miniature God - not in the religious sense - that holds the good things for a little while, a figure of hope, like a buoy or beacon in the otherwise arbitrary clutter of everything and nothing. A totem. Usually though, I am wrong. That faith gets pummelled. Torn up. I get the nervous lead-in-bowels sensation that I am being used. Swallowed up and spat out. And wonder if I am the type of person who gets used? The magic and cloak of invincibility start to drop away. How many more times will this be the case? I attempt once more to keep the better things close to the surface, to blot out othersí efforts to make life harder, to see the enduring brilliance in some unfortunate things. So these spatial monuments, plus the noises, the sentimental tunes and whistles, they are the items I throw my aspirations and hopes on. They are all I have.

5. foggy heart

I am angry but I am numb. A prisoner. The concrete jungle labyrinths back across the boroughs for miles, it is so claustrophobic. Stern and straight, the building stares back at me from the other side of the road. No light yet, the midriff of winter and itís deep dark, all sodium-yellow forever. Catcalls rustle through the heartbreaking bricks although any chance of my own inner boxing match lurching out is stamped on by the oppressive force of these streets.

There are constant variations within the whole, but this place never really changes. Some people leave or wander off and Iíll never see them again. Yet the scenery, the buildings, the roads, the parks, get modernised but retain the same essence. And saying these things loosens that special vibe - makes the words seem futile when the real power hits you as you walk through the madness. Itís these experiences that stick in the throat, those ones that are colours and smells and spiritual pinpricks not words. And Iím here longing for some escape route - since that 'Angel' started changing her faces I knew the game was up. I still feel for her. You know the shell of superficial love is cracked when little phrases and movements of the head change. Itís inevitable. The fuzzy, almost non-real times boil off to become features of the ĎFormicaí forests - feelings themselves invisible echoes in the landscape. Shadows of them - the bus stops, the wheelie bins, the escalators, the back-street laundrettes, the bleak empty platforms, the whistling motorbikes, the endless queues in Sainsburyís.

And when the touches turned to sighs there was no more I could do; my purpose had been served and when she started to drift Iíd be clinging on for the last scraps of any kind of love, knowing her attention was already elsewhere. Grasping for air, stifled by the low-flying airplanes, I realise that sometimes you are meant to lose stuff. No explanation for it and no way of getting it back, and donít try to halt it. Accept the grasp you have on it will loosen - even the once-warmest words will seem unreal.

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