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Friday, 31 December 2010

Next Stop, Please

The sketchbook is crinkled and browning from use, its covers are in tatters and the gold writing is too far away to decipher. The pages are not used in order but opened at random and spattered with ink.

He uses a brush tipped pen and his eyes never leave their target; his strokes are strong, swift, decisive and taken in with that eye. The eye that he tries to hide from the people around him. That eye, his eye.

He wears no bright colours, nor dark. Khaki greens and washed out greys and the kind of shoes favoured by those who take long walks, an inconspicuous coat and the startings of a beard. He is ordinary, time has etched premature lines in his face. He has the expression of one that does all the watching, he sinks into his sketches as he sinks into the surroundings; no one would watch him, he isn't there. He is colourless. He sees everything.

And yet, in his periphery he is being watched. Blue eyes follow his pen and his face and wish that they too had a note book to scrawl in. Both observers look now to the same face, just woken up and tilting the corners of his mouth downwards. The bottle in his hands is bent and almost empty but he still drinks from it, as if it is a lifeline. Perhaps, it is.

The invisible man stands, it's his stop.

And mine.

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