aqua transmissa

September 11-26, 2010

Monday afternoon, Greenwich. Probably the best time to sit on the bench by the river, right here, or in some other tourist hot-spot in London. Dark and dirty water of Thames is washing the bank. This water is even dirtier than that in the bucket after mopping the floor in the bakery. It’s still sunny, though the breeze is chilly and the air obviously smells like autumn. I’ve got an autumn-like sore throat and I do not manage to pretend it’s summer anymore (although the London girls, the proper ones, crazy, they’re always hanging out with their legs bare and blue. Or what do you think about the fashion to wear tights torn? In fact, it’s quite handy – the other day at the bakery I caught on something, but didn’t need to worry about it on my way home, on the contrary, I felt extremely stylish).

So Greenwich. A tiny town just half an hour away from home, though the feeling is as if I were out of London. Cosy cafes, street musicians, flower and vegetable stalls and lanes, where my dear knows every single corner, turn and alley, and takes me there, while I’ve already got used not to think where I am going, so barely having enough time to look around I’m just rushing after him holding his hand.

About a week ago on a bus through sunny London towards Brockley train station, when my sight caught a slender church tower surrounded by blue skies, for the first time I said to myself, I love London. Because until then he was just a charming boy, staring and shining into my eyes with his piercing look, involving, turning me upside down like a tender but strong tornado, but beloved… no, he wasn’t loved yet.

Today I’m alone in Greenwich, because I so need someone who knows me from before, because people who are around me now know me only the way I’m here, and this is quite another matter. A naughty boy called London has charmed me and made me forget who I am. So I said, for a while I’ll stay with a person who knows me best in here, with myself, hopefully, there is a part of me that still recalls who I truly (?) am. But I’m not sure, actually.

On the opposite bank of the river – Canary Wharf skyscrapers, and small colorful houses on the riverside, as in Netherlands or somewhere. London himself does not know who he is.

Welcome to this mad city where the pace of Saturday morning excells every expectation of speed-lovers. Welcome to the City of blinding lights, where even the most peaceful flegmatic person is forced to lose patience by a slow-walker in front of him. EVERYONE’s in a rush here. Thousands of thousands, not holding hands, pushing each other, not looking into each other’s eyes, but apologizing every 30 seconds.

London is to blame for everything, and London does not know any shame. This city drives you mad, changes the very core of you, makes you forget who you are. London is the city of temporality because no one is planning to spend all their life in here. This is a city to come and go. Manet fluminis nomen, aqua transmissa est. As the water of Thames flows without stopping, so the people are changing all the time, yet Thames is still Thames, and London is London.

Let’s stay like that, I want to stay like that for a while. To catch a moment in all this running, to picture a thought to remember, otherwise it’ll get away and that’s it. Only the name will remain.

Didn’t I tell you the secret, there’s no sky in London. The sky is wreathed with some kind of film, it’s not that real when you look at it. My dear says, there’s often full-moon in here. What do you mean, often, I say, how can it be often? Full-moon is once a month or I don’t know a thing about astronomy. But when I think of that film, it might be often, full-moon. Something like in that movie with this funny actor, when a man spent all his life in a reality show, surrounded by cameras, in a fake city with a fake sky.

True, London needs more full-moon, for it would be brighter, because London might be the City of blinding lights, but it still falls asleep sometimes, letting New York keep the title of the City that never sleeps.

In London Italians sleep after their full dinners.

Polish work hard all day long and then definitely need to sleep.

My beloved Hungarians sleep, too.

Bangladeshi boy from the dishwasher room turns his face towards Meka, and says his prayers to his God, who, I believe, does not differ much from our God, and then Bangladeshi boy goes to bed.

Snobbish British ladies finish sipping their lovely decaff cappuccino and then get into their white luxurious beddings.

Lithuanians watch basketball in Haysmarket, get wasted, put shame on their nation, Haysmarket swear they won’t show basketball anymore so that Lithuanians wouldn’t come again, but Lithuanians don’t really care and go to sleep in their village of Stratford.

Some Lithuanians sleep in south east, Ladywell. I’m gonna sleep, too.

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