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FIRE IN THE BELLY It starts with a swallowing. Out of work a minute or two early gives you the edge over the competition. Travelcard in hand, fingers twitching like an addict on the edge of cold turkey, you move straight for the nearest gate. The smooth action you've practiced a thousand times allows you entry. You are faster than the others, more deft in your passage, the ninja commuter. You take the left hand side of the escalator, faintly aware that a tourist will block your descent, unfamiliar with London's rules of engagement. Not today though, your path is clear, despite the person in front of you who slows to a stop a good ten steps before the end. He is a lesser species of traveller, he does not know or cannot understand the minutiae of nerve reflex required for a swift transition from escalator to floor. ...read more.


You see that they are not aware, they do not know the ways of the tube, they are mindless of the mechanical monsters. You are a true traveller, you understand the lore, the gaps in the aisles, the signs and signals of the life in every lurching rock and braking curve. You know where seating is most likely, you can pick out those who will alight first and position yourself in the correct area to lay claim to their seat. When there are many seats, you will not suffer the obviousness of human aversion by choosing the middle seat of three, nor opt instantly for the one beside the glass so as to minimise the threat of intimacy. You choose the first seat available, you do not live as the city demands, you do not settle for the persuasive current of it's transport system, the flow of people through it's great veins and arteries. ...read more.


At your destination, you replay the scene in reverse until some smooth sleight of hand lets you free of the circus, vomits you up onto the city's skin. You can see the stars and the endless possibility of distance. People are meteors streaming towards and all around you. Weaving in and out of them on pre-plotted trajectories based on millions of best fit calculations, you move at a speed they can only dream of. You imagine they stop to see your course as you shift, half step, slow to optimize turning or readjust distance to an oncoming obstruction. You are unchained, drunk on your own vertigo, burning like the sun. A million photonic waves and particles racing through the matter of the universe. You are emblazoned as an angel, your passing unnoticed by those blind to the fire of intention, to hope, to freedom. You are Mercury; incandescent and forged by purpose. ...read more.

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