Vignettes – 26/11/10

A  busy day at work punctuated by a rare trip to the gym mid-afternoon. For the first time in a long time I got on the scales in the changing room; 80 kgs. I don’t know what that is in stones and lbs. I still feel overweight. So whatever it is – it’s too much. A successful workout; 600 or so calories burned. I really do need to move on to weights again soon, however.

I depart the office at 6pm or thereabouts. I head to the tube to take the Piccadilly line up to North London to attend an art exhbition – something I’d committed to a while back. By Friday evening my energy levels for such an excursion have waned.

The tube – so busy, horribly so. I give thanks that my standard commute these days is by bus. Yes, it’s frustrating when you just miss a bus – or have to wait ages for one. But in truth such things are rare. I work in central London and I live in central London so the commute is fairly painless. And I like it. Being crammed into an overcrowded tube makes me realise just how much I prefer being above ground, watching the world go by.

I arrive at the destination and it’s rather quiet. The hosts are lit up that I’m there. I’m not sure why. I’m plied with prosecco and also food. I don’t resist. The art is rather lovely. I don’t consider myself much of an arthouse/aesthete but I know what I like and I like what I see.

Other colleagues turn up over the course of the evening, including a Polish colleague of whom I am particularly fond. We shoot the breeze from the comfort of a leather sofa, admiring the art. She sticks to apple juice. I stick to prosecco.

After a couple of hours we decide that it’s time to leave. I have to make the journey back to the centre. We head out into an exceptionally chilly night and head toward the tube. At one point I consider myself lost but thanks to the iPhone with its map/GPS one can never really be lost.

We descend into the bowels of the Piccadilly line at Turnpike Lane. We talk and eventually part company at Kings X. An affectionate kiss on each cheek.

And I transit to the Victoria line for the comparatively short journey back to Pimlico. At the next stop – Euston I think – a very pretty young Oriental woman sits down across from me. I am transfixed by her jade green eyes and her porcelain skin and her glossy black shoulder length hair and her delicate wrists and her pink fine nails and her cherry-red lips. There is something of the Geisha about her. I want to adore her. And I ask myself inwardly ‘is it wrong’. I mean, I espouse a lifestyle that is profoundly homosexual; it’s surely wrong to become desirous of a young maiden like her. Isn’t it? Oh to live a life in which everything is black or white – rather than shades of grey. In fairness, I don’t think I was attracted to her in that sense. I just coveted her beauty because I covet objets of beauty.

9 thoughts on “Vignettes – 26/11/10

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  1. As always, M, another beautifully-written and vivid post that’s lovely to read 🙂

    It’s interesting that you find the underground so unpleasant. It can be, certainly — painfully, unbelievably crowded, and often terribly hot. But it’s so fast and reliable and easy to navigate — I do still prefer it to buses when I’m in London, though I understand what you say about watching the world go by.

    I am exactly the same way as you with regards to this line: “I don’t consider myself much of an arthouse/aesthete but I know what I like” — whether it’s art or classical music or wine or whatever.

    I also know what you mean about finding a woman *aesthetically* beautiful. I do that all the time. I often hear heterosexual people speak as if they are unable to judge the beautify / handsomeness of their own sex. I think we’re all, gay or straight, able to see whether someone is nice to look at (and in fact there are studies that show that people unconsciously treat “attractive” people differently from “unattractive” people — in school, in the justice system). But aesthetics aren’t the same as sexual attraction 🙂

    “The hosts are lit up that I’m there. I’m not sure why.” — love that 🙂 ❤

  2. Love your Vignettes.
    I remember the buses vs Tube….but the stop start/stuck in traffic of the buses made me prefer Tube – having said that, as a Tourist it is still a novelty…the people watching is maybe what I love.
    And seeing the beauty of the Oriental woman (Oriental differs to Asian?) – I think anyone can appreciate beauty of either sex regardless of sexuality…and having been to an art exhibition – you cold see it as a culmination of artisic awareness, non?

  3. Justin – thank you, glad I’m not the only one! Re: ‘faces lit up’ – I should probably qualify that by saying that there weren’t many people in attendance so each time someone arrived and helped make the place look busier they were v.happy.

    Vern – thank you!

    Birdy – thanks! Yeh, ‘Asian’ here almost always means the Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh) and still people refer to those from Far East Asia as ‘Oriental’ though I don’t suppose it’s very PC these days…

    Mancais – thanks, had had a couple when I wrote it…

    Richard – thank you!

  4. First up, thank you for the kind tweet re my last blog post.

    I love your posts about life in London and especially the people you ‘meet’ on The Tube. Even when I’m in Leeds it’s such a different world but now I’m in my small town Florida period, it’s even more alien to me.

    Maybe we could do a combined fictional post where the people of Walmart get transported onto The Tube for a day. Now THAT would be a train trip to behold !

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