Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Changing at Crewe

'Hood City' again yesterday - half way across the country to meet my mother in Nottingham - six hours on the train there and back. It rained. It was cold. I plugged in my ipod and muffled myself in sound. Then at each station I walked along the platform to the forbidden land, where the concrete walkway tips down to meet the track and the signs tell you not to go. So I went to the edge and looked.

The trains roared past taking the air with them with a glorious ferocity and then after they had gone there was just me and the wind and music flowing into my head making me feel wildly happy over nothing. No one stopped me. So I loitered. I investigated strange little huts - their plywood outsides eaten away with damp and decay, and inside rusty radiators, bolted doors, a broken chair and a half-filled waste bin. Each one, I guess, someone's kingdom, someone's office. Someone had lived a life here, signed papers, filed them away, passed small laws. Then they had gone. There must have been one last closing of the door, one last piece of paper shoved in the bin, the someone had risen from his chair and had not sat down again. There had been one final time - but maybe at the time it had seemed like an ending just for now. Then the world had gone on but this hut had stayed as it was.

And now nature creeps in, like the grains of sand over Ozymandias. Damp fingers at the walls and edges upwards. Rust forms orange blossoms, one petal falling away to reveal another. In the night there are rats gnawing at the toxic particle board and making nests with electric cables. And the king of this place is gone, his laws long-forgotten.


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