25.1.06

Music To Watch People By

I like to watch people, from time to time. Not in the creepy, obsessive stalker kind of way, nor in the professional Frenchman, sat at the outside table of a cafe, legs crossed, beret at jaunty angle kind of way. I like going to places, even different parts of London where I am often not. One can see only so many young mothers with the pushchair/cigarette combo on the Holloway Road, before one gets slightly disgusted.

People can cheer you up. The first day back at work after my Christmas break I was standing in the cold on New Southgate station waiting for the morning death-ferry to take me to work. I looked, but barely registered the rising sun, until I saw a lady with a camera-phone taking pictures of the rising sun. Thank you, I thought, kind lady, for you have expressed physically the urge I often have to take pictures of the sunset. I think I lack the artistic boldness and lack of self-consciousness neccessary to take pictures of the sunrise in public view (although bedroom window shots are fair game), but it's a shame because I looked, and it was certainly a beautiful sunrise, the large orange sun rising almost perceptibly over the gas ring and the builders' merchants, the last vestiges of night-time misting drifting away, lazily - I could sympathise with them.

Last night I fell in love on the train, again. This is a fairly regular experience, lasting as long as the journey, and should in no way cause alarm. The slightly melancholy young lady that boards the 1714 with me at Drayton Park should not fear for her life or anything, just to say that I understand that when you have to get off the train to let people off at Finsbury Park, then when you get back on you find yourself crushed in a less comfortable location than before (and almost always out of my eyeline), I would really like - but for that lack of artistic boldness and lack of selfconsciousness - to giving you a knowing raise of the eyebrow to signify that I understand you, I know why you're melancholy, and if I don't, then I would love to find out.
I never will, because I know that the effect lasts for the duration of the journey and as soon as I leave the footbridge and cross Station Road, she will be forgotten except to be immortalised in the twenty-first century's answer to archive rooms, a blog.

There was a fire-drill at the office on Monday, leading to an assortment of folks gathering shivering in the cold in Altab Ali Park. I've yet to find out what the collective noun for Art students is, but whatever it is, that's what's appropriate here: a motley band of boys with Ginola-hair and girls with interesting fringes; blue streaks wherever you look, some intentional, some not; those with impossibly large jumpers hanging unfeasibly from a slender frame, simultaneous pushing the realms of advisability and looking just wonderful. Again, lack of artistic boldness. In fact, half my attention was taken looking to see whether a certain person was there for whom I want and need to explain lots and lots of things, and yet at the same time don't want to see her at all.

So yeah, people are interesting is what I'm trying to say, in my clumsy manner. Moral of the story: be more interesting and don't be concerned if people are watching you, it's a good thing.
I tried to find some music to go alongside the image of a group of students standing in shirtsleeves, stamping their feet to keep warm in a rundown park in East London. I couldn't though, so I went with one more suitable for watching the sun rise, a nice Sigur Ros one. But apparently, that one also failed to upload, so I leave you with Tanya Donnelly's 'Mysteries Of The Unexplained', perhaps an ode to chocolate digestives.

5 comments:

Em said...

Careful now - I don't want a challenger for the emo crown.

Oh Simone said...

It was whimsical rather than emo, I feel.

Em said...

That's what Death Cab for Cutie always say.

Oh Simone said...

I was told Mercury Rev sounds like the new Death Cab album today. I almost said, do I wear stripey t-shirts? Do I have thick-rimmed glasses? Do I feel the need to screech about my tortuous life?

No, because I am not emo.

Paulie said...

I get the same train as you, (Highbury >> New Southgate) and I know what you mean about 'don't worry if people are looking at you doing things".

A few weeks ago, I started taking pics with my phone of all of the millions of warning notices that you see on one train journey. I was going to turn it into a blog post, but it was too much like hard work.

But people kept giving me wary looks for the whole journey.