Friday, July 14, 2006

OK, let's talk stalking, and my writing prompt mission yesterday.

Straight off the train, I followed a woman of about 40. Everything about her glittered, her dyed blonde hair, earrings, sparkly flip-flops, silver belt. She had no bag - that's what drew me to her, how can you survive with no bag? Even her pockets looked flat. She kept looking behind her, so at first I thought she'd spotted me, but then I realised she was just trying to catch her reflection in all the shop windows. I thought she must be going somewhere good but then she dashed into a coffee shop and I'd made a rule for myself that I would only follow in the street, so I left her.

Next up were two friends, about twentyish, both with those ballerina type skirts of many fluttery layers. Even the way they walked down the street was floaty and curvy but then I realised they were so busy talking, it was irrelevant to them where they were going and suddenly they didn't interest me any more.

So then I found suspect 4, a bald man with a huge orange rucksack and those shorts like babies wear that give all men the same bowed baby legs. Boy did he walk fast - dashing into roads, zigzagging round cars, I ended up running up streets after him. If someone I knew had stopped me, I would have ignored them. I could feel my blood race. And then suddenly we slowed down and I saw there were two policemen ahead of him. I wondered if policemen on foot were like those in a car, you just can't overtake them. But eventually we managed it, my heart thumping. This chase gave a whole new feel to Covent Garden, rarely have I been in such a hurry to get ... where?

And then just when I was wondering how much further I could run, he was gone. Completely. Between two cafes and a dead end. I gazed in one cafe window to try to find him and a guy waved at me, but he wasn't my guy. He was nowhere. I felt like a hunter must feel when he'd lost his chance of a kill. I just stood there. I really didn't know where to go, a wind up toy wound down.

But then I saw a stationery shop with a sale and the spell was broken, although I couldn't stop laughing for about an hour after. I felt mad but alive, aware of how much more I was noticing all the small details that might have passed me by before: a Chinese boy with his arms around his elderly parents, the teenage girl reading Jane Eyre as she walked down the street, how men who've obviously been fit in their youth put on weight from chest up so they have no necks, the couple flirting by the 'Fool for Love' poster.

And my writing prompt for today is going to be to ... write as if I'm following myself.

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