Image by Christine Renney
Stepping under the bridge I begin to slow down and, at about the midway point, I grind to a halt. I take in my surroundings and suddenly I have shelter, a roof over my head. I glance at the wall to my right. It is littered with graffiti. I cross and lean against it and, looking up, I listen to the traffic on the carriageway above. It is almost a constant up there, but if I concentrate I can hear the little gaps, the spaces in between each vehicle.
Down here, the cars and the trucks are far less frequent. The pauses are varied and unpredictable and much more difficult to fill. Fumbling, I remove my tie and, crouching down, I hold it with both hands.
I remember reading somewhere how in Romania, under Ceausescu, cars with odd numbers on their registration plates were only allowed to drive on ’odd number’ days. And I realise that I have forgotten today’s date and I don’t know if this is an odd number day.
I can’t read the plates on the vehicles that flash past me, they are moving too quickly. Anyhow it would be a pointless exercise. I am not in Romania and even if I were, Ceausescu’s reign of terror ended long ago.
I let the tie slip from my hands and I stare down at it coiled between my muddy shoes.