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I’m wandering your streets, Johanna, WBR, The Cut, the sun slants down Lower Marsh as I find myself half way through a Pacifico on a wooden bench that rocks when I lean back. From the waiter in Inshoku who didn’t quite understand the concept of vegetarianism to the boring conversation I have to listen to over a Chicken Yakisoba, I grow to understand that these are real lives I am witnessing, and rather than the filmic snippets that unearth whirling eddies of emotion in me, tonic and ice to the Highball glass, they will not be reduced.

I can’t remember how many trips I’ve taken down Piss Alley to be greeted by lunchtime sun from the south, marvelling at how beautiful the girls who work at Christian Aid are, and getting a sandwich to eat on the wall outside the council flats. Once I saw Imogen from uni outside Cubana.  I remembered what you said, I can hear it now: that you’d scratch her eyes out if she came and sprawled on my bed again and how oddly life affirming that was at the time. The peeling paint on the Lower Marsh facades is being cleaned up.

We are being transformed from one thing, to the Other.

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