It is 4.29 am. I am on a 36 bus en route to Heathrow where I will get the Heathrow Express to terminal 1 to meet my lady. I am front-seat-sat, top deck of the bus. The bus is half full. To my left two men lull between this world and glimpses of the next. Behind, a bespectacled lady snoozes onto a man's shoulders. By his facial expression he is not comfortable with this, but is too polite to say anything. There are mostly 'foreigners' here, together, microcosmic of the world in skin tone, culture, race and language I imagine. But what strikes me is the silence. When the bus pauses at lights, like it just did, if one dared, you'd hear a mouse fart.
Perhaps they are thinking of God, or something else as elemental and basic. The next meal, for instance. It is ironic that this city of a thousand tongues falls still at times like this when loneliness is heightened and real.
It is 4.41. We are by the Hilton Hotel at Hyde park. The lit buildings flash by like bright monologues or one sided conversations. The dark hears and does not speak.
I have always lived on the 36 bus route, my oldest friend lives on the Westbourne Grove end. 14 years and I have taken the same journey.
4.59. Paddington, on the Heathrow express train. There is easy listening wordless flute music wafting from the speakers. It invokes a sense of flight, it is calming and welcoming. There is a gentleman in a green sweat shirt, who looks American, smiling at the flowers in my hand. An air hostess just floated by and there is rising anticipation of the next stop. Recently I listened to a podcast that posed the question: given the choice of flight versus invisibility, what would you choose? Those who chose invisibility liked the idea of sneaking onto airplanes unnoticed and flying for free. I optioned for flight, to have wings as He-Man, flap and leave the world behind. But right now, I lean towards invisibility; wondering if the lady on the blackberry is checking flight deails or hotel bookings. Is she flying or meeting someone who has jus flown in?
5:10 The train has just left the station.
5.37. Heathrow Terminal 1, arrivals lounge. There is a Costa and a WHsmith. Two ladies scrutinse the arrival display. The one in grey repeatedly strokes her chin, points to the display and strokes her chin as if trying to tease out a beard and her folicles feed on flight information. There is a lady on my right playing solitaire on her iPhone and I feel that time is passing very slowly.
5.56 Her flight has landed.
6.24. I have killed hundreds of aliens playing Halo on my laptop. Wonder how she will react if I tell her I have mass-murdered in anticipation of her arrival.
6.30. There are many of us, eyes fixed at the arrivals entry swing doors. Whenever they open, we hold our breaths. A half second passes and we fade to dissapointment. It is a symphony of silent sighs, lungs - our only instrument and we play subconsciously.
6.34 She is in my arms. All's well. Tweet