Lift going up.


I have bad habits behind closed doors, a fear of locks and an associated fear that they do not work: that either the lock will not open or worse, often, that it is not really closed.

Anxious moments occur in the toilets at work, on my way home. I use the disabled toilet on the ground floor because it is large. Sitting on the loo, I scrabble through my handbag, desperately trying to find my Oyster card because I am an idiot and lose things.


I do this furtively, constantly in terror that someone will push the door hard and it will swing open, exposing me like a bag lady, rummaging with increasing mania, head half-cocked in sudden panic.

The veil between public and private is deeply unstable, in the work toilets and out across the city. Greif on the tube sneaks up on me: its a vulnerable time between the trip home from work and having dinner – blood sugar levels are low and the tube leaves me dangerous time to think.

Other people do it too of course, other tired people worn grey by the city that particular afternoon. Football fans sometimes, crowding the tube from Wembley, bitter with loss and beer-leery, sneaking tears.

Kissing at stations I like, the way the rest of Waterloo must disappear into a pair of lips, the heat of an open mouth. I have been fond of kissing at stations, althought I am wary of departure points.



People who fight in supermarkets amuse me, the way things get revealed and turn desperately sour in front of tinned salmon and bashed-up apples which are better than half price. Cheap, damaged things which absorb the bickering.


I am reading this, redolent of course with sadness and red velvet gone brown through time:

It makes me long for things but it also makes me quiver in indignation, as all such stories do, over whose public and private flickerings are worthy of record.

I made this recently and urge you to do the same.

What do you do alone I wonder, or in those places where you are supposed to be composed? There are times that I giggle walking down public streets, and I cannot listen to headphones because I gurgle with mirth like a large child allowed out alone.