Not long after the terrorist attacks in Paris and a night before a man went to Leytonstone underground station and randomly attacked a man with a knife, I went to Islington, London to see a band. I went, despite people saying they would not go near London, and I did not really think about the dangers too much. It crossed my mind, especially being at a rock concert. I’m sure terrorists are not just targeting rock fans, but Eagles of Death Metal were playing at the Bataclan in Paris, so I could not keep myself from giving the occasional glance around the room for any suspicious behaviour.
London did feel quiet in terms of sound, as if people dare not shout for fear of being noticed, and an air of anxiety loomed, especially on the last train home. That last train home. It is a carriage no one wants to ride on, which makes me wonder why the regulars (they were obvious) did what they did. They wore suits, their ties loosened a little, while their hair had turned grey from stress or had gone altogether and their leather briefcases shined in the lights. The regulars were there for the same reason the homeless haunted the station at the same time, bothering travellers and commuters: money.
Those who work in the offices, late into the evening, doing everything they can to keep the business they represent afloat may seem like the complete opposite to the homeless, but they were the 2 groups of people I saw the most when getting the last train out of London. They shuffled, nervous, around each other, ignoring each other, with no eye contact because they know neither can offer the other anything beneficial.
The homeless have no money for the suited to admire and the suited have no money they are willing to give the homeless.
‘The rocks and stones, are like old bones, all bare of meat,’ sung Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. Mordor represents the industrial side of the world with the Shire being nature. The black colours and concrete of London, reminded me of Mordor – Orcs growling at one another as they struggled to live packed in the walls of London. The other night I went to London, being told to fear terrorism. Instead I found a loveless land full of ghosts willing to stay up into the dark, cold night looking for money.
To show support the people of Paris and around the world updated their statuses on social media with ‘je t’aime Paris’ or ‘nous sommes paris’. I don’t think the last train out of London will be so sentimental towards their city.
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