Something has descended on to the city centre tonight. It feels strange, and old.
It’s much quieter than usual. Not as many cars, taxis, buses or people. Everyone seems either to be hurrying somewhere else, or to be part of something bigger then them, as if they were at a concert or a parade.
In the supermarket, a man is shouting, as if he’s having an argument with a lover. He sounds more sad than angry. I look briefly down the length of the aisle at him; he’s a normal looking guy, in his 20s, smartly dressed. Not the usual profile you’d expect to be shouting at no-one in a supermarket.
I pass him later on my circuit of the shop, and he looks fine, no trace of tears. He’s not wearing a bluetooth earpiece or anything similar.
On my way back home, in the large, empty space known as Millennium Place, I hear a female voice shout something in two syllables that could have been my name, or “help me”, or anything else. I look, and the only person I see is sitting quietly on one of the benches at the edges.
I continue to hear voices echoed off of buildings as I make my way out of the city center. There are more hurrying people. As a brightly-lit but empty bus drives past, I reflect upon the pools of light we make for ourselves, and how cities are collections of edges. Everything happens at the edges.
The dark feeling that seems to emanate from the city subsides as I go over the ringroad, and has disappeared almost entirely by the time I’m on the home stretch. Still, I feel glad to lock my front door.
Coventry has been quite a tortured city, over the years. I might have to look up and see if there have been any notable events on the 28th of January in the past; as far as I know, most of the memorial for the war-time bombings is held on the 11th of November, like in the rest of the country. I don’t know when the actual bombings took place, or much else about the city. Cities are strange places.
So yes. This has mostly been a post on my feelings, enhanced for dramatic effect. But I think I’ll do more of these.
See you in another few months!