The tubes rumble and steam under this great, beating city. They stop and start, shudder and moan but always, onwards keep going.
It all links together – a web of botched causeways, slip streams and dead ends, haphazardly, organically united under the coarsely slashed circle.
Its lifeblood, pumping through its veins 19 hours a day: we, the greying commuters. We seeth along its clogged ducts, feed into bottle-necks, cram behind the lost tourists, tut at the trundling, obese bags and three-wheeled prams and relentlessly pant in search of fresh reality.
It’s another world down there, the monoclinical lighting, globs of chewing gum – usually, perfectly, lodged in the nostril of a star on a poster – and stink from the bowels of life above. Every day we file down, rush and push, squeeze, raise eyebrows, grimace and shove, sit, avoid eye-contact, stare, lean, welcome, pour out, rush along, bustle and beep beep into the blinking morning. Then the formula flips and it’s dark and the mood is different and more foreign is ringing around the tin carriage, people who haven’t worked, first timers on the system, oh how weird that must feel… and once again we’re spat into cold, shivering energy.
The cartes huitres, the lights, the whirring wind forced through the pipes. Beggars, bad buskers, lovely drunkards and the occasional, fleeting glimpse of a face with a future you’d like to be part of.
Welcome to Monday.