London, Love, Theatre

Planned Moments

We had spent the day wandering about the city, you taking me places that are important to you that you want to share with me: an outdoor funky cafe where Sage Francis will be playing, the cemetary near your work where Daniel Defoe, the author of The Pilgrim’s Progress, and someone else I forgot the name of, are buried. We glanced up at spaces with imaginary flats we’d like to call our own. We find our way to The Guardian and The Observer where you dream to spend more time than a work experience. We find our way to the river and you take me to the World Press Photography exhibit that your mum told us about when we were still in Scotland. That we had forgotten about. Or so I thought. We weave through other peoples lives taken in photographs, catching moments of sadness and bloodshed. Discovery and beauty. Some of them make me sad. But that’s because life affects me in ways I don’t always understand.

You grab my hand and after sharing sandwiches we head out to the river side. The Thames. There are performers posing in pictures. Painters painting sidewalks. Huge crowds of people that don’t belong here but came to discover something. We pass museums. Replicas of Dali statues out front. I find another place I want to visit on another day. We wander towards Big Ben and Westminister Abbey. Past a faded anti-war demonstration of photos of deformed babies from chemical warfare and remembrances of those dead in action and blaming Blair, across from Parliment. Life is sad. You can live your life in happiness but it doesn’t erase the fact that horrible things are happening all over the world. Some of us don’t care to think about it or reckognize it or allow it to touch us. But I do. That’s just me.

It’s my turn. I take direction, with your help, and we find oursleves in the underground maze trying to get to Picadilly Circus by 7pm. Someone has taken ill on one of the trains and squished between tourists we discover that we have to make our way back to the world above due to an indefinite suspension of the tube in the direction we are headed. We walk quickly past Green Park, glancing at more street art and old, tattered books for sale. I wonder aloud whether I could sell my paintings here and we decided that we want to come back here later, when we have more time. We find ourselves going in the wrong direction as the road forks. We turn around and walk, sometimes breaking into a run, in the correct direction. We arrive at Picadilly Circus and now look for Shaftsbury Avenue, grabbing each other’s hands we try to find our way among the tourists bustling through the veins of this intersection. We see the sign I am looking for simultaneously. We have to cross the street. There it is: Death of a Salesman, Lyric Theatre. You look at me, eyes wide. I done a good thing. Both of us are smiling ear to ear as we step in line to collect our tickets.