by Christos Polydorou
For the past couple of weeks I have been posting pieces whose titles end in -city, as these are all punctuated by visits to dream cities not unlike Calvino’s Invisible Cities or the stories of the twelve dancing princesses in Jeanette Winterson’s novel, Sexing the cherry. The piece which surprised me the most was one called Reciprocity, which reads like a diary entry. I wrote it because I was writing about a very simple and straightforward thing, one that would be stifled by any artifice, stylization…, or even verse. I was taken aback by the response to it. It assuages me that I am able to restrain myself more than I could in the past when I am writing, and this mixture of restraint and passion is letting me write the most lucid pieces I have ever written. The only real reason I am not sad about growing older is watching my artistry develop in directions that I never expected. This keeps me on the edge of my seat; and keeps me ‘young’, but really in the way of being energetic, rather than in the shirking responsibility and disrespecting society way, in order to gain some fake sense of dominance anymore. I look at the roses with three, four colours each and I think to myself, my goodness, this flower’s natural beauty is so profound, nothing else matters in this world. All the cities and parks I have ever been to, especially the parks, make complete sense to me now, as a map I had to undertake in order to get to where I am. And all the squares and sidewalks I walk through are all leading me where I need to go. It is sincerely to me redundant at this point to feel despair for too long, because I have shrugged, and have let love in my heart. I really have nothing mean to say to anyone at the moment. Even the lady on the phone in the South eastern train who is shouting whilst I am attempting to read Lydia Davis, my new favourite writer. The fact that her works were collected and she won the Booker all happened at an uncanny time. For me, it remains to trust the universe or fate or god or whatever you call it, because we all have a name for this pull, even if we are atheists who do not believe in astrologists or psychics. The science of the natural world is the art of the natural world, and none of what we are going through is an ‘experiment.’ I will do what I always did, look, but not with sadness anymore, but with anticipation, and joy, and I will not feel regret that I let a country or an obligatory army service or a man or a woman committed burglary of my joy. And as for people who do not care for me in the life, there are people that I do not care for either. But living in London has shown me that nobility, respect, and knowledge in the fact that time transforms everything, are highest virtues. I also wrote them because it really upset me on a personal level when London suffered a terrorist attack a few weeks ago, at Westminster. It set into motion events and emotions which led me to write these pieces, about a city that I live in, and love very much: London.