The bathrooms at Selfridges smell like cinnamon. They are hidden away, like the kind of ladies who shop here do not want to acknowledge the fact that bodily functions coexist with couture.
18 January, 2008 by Miranda Ward
A woman stops me on the street. She’s scouting for a talent agency, she says. She takes my photo and I write down my name and phone number just-in-case.
Just-in-case what? But there is a little bit of me that is flattered and another little bit that wonders if the kind of jobs she scouts for (movie extras mostly is what she needs, she says) pay very well. “See, the reason I’m telling you all this, the reason,” she says, “is you have the sort of look we’re looking for.”
Is it possible to sprain a toe? I think this maybe is what I did, on my way to the bus this morning when I tripped on nothing and stepped all funny. And I’ve been walking on it for hours on cool London streets and now it aches hotly. But then again, this may just be the melodrama of a city.
Without a computer, my words (these words) are slower, but I don’t know if that makes me more careful or not. I think not, really.
Reflecting on the fact that we were both, in a weird and abstract sense, miracle children, in that our parents each had thought at one time that they couldn’t ever have babies and then they did, we seem even more miraculous.
Sometimes, he talks about the brother-and-sister. The first time he ever mentioned them to me–no, not to me but in front of me–it was to make a point in some silly intellectual argument about capital punishment (what the connection was I cannot remember; it was the kind of argument that nobody who has ever been faced with that kind of thing would have because I don’t think when it really comes up in real life you start quoting political philosophy, do you). But then once he said to somebody, “I can remember holding them,” and I felt sad and tender all at once.
I can see the cloud of my reflection in the window. And the glow of streetlamp bulbs.
If I could be anywhere right now–and I do not know why–I would like to be at a pub on St. Giles, or perhaps somewhere near Little Clarendon Street. Even Walton Street or at the Royal Oak. With an evening stretched before us. It occurs to me that the city on an everyday scale does not really agree with me, except in small doses.
I feel as though I could fall right asleep just now. London does it to me. A city does it to me.
(Everyone must have a place like that–for some it’s the country but it doesn’t matter because I think the feeling itself is universal, being at home one kind of place, and edgy in another).