The wet road was glistening in the lights of a night awake.
Cars on their way, street lights standing straight, windows that were ready to retire for the night. A girl and a boy walked out of the pub, hands clasped tight, kisses on the way — to the tube station, perhaps. They may go opposite ways, I said to him, but from here to the tube station this street will have a memory of the love that walked upon it.
That is what makes this a beautiful city. The streets have a memory. Sometimes, of violent and nasty incidents. But also of love — like we saw. And because the roads and the streets have a cumulative memory — the city has a soul. Cities unlike humans, don’t die. Very few cities in the world have died. Many have changed complexion, but a few have died.
I watched the glistening on the wet road, made wet by the soft, cold rain.
I wondered if it would remember me. Will it be able to lend its accumulated hope from the likes of me to the new nervous feet that will walk these streets years from now? Will it recognise me the next time I am here? Will it remember me, if I don’t ever come back here?
In the sober psychedelia of street lights and fast whizzing yellow headlights and red taillights – the street murmured a silent yes. As if you had to ask.
Ashamed and excited at the same time, I walked back to make my way home; gratified and mindful that my physical presence is not a requirement for belonging.