Last night…

January 5, 2007 at 2:38 pm (Double espresso)

I went to see Les Misérables in London’s West End. After the show, there was a man outside begging. Clearly, he was cashing in on the audience’s sympathy for the underdog. It was ingenious. He looked like a member of the cast and, I thought, could be an out-of-work actor. But I didn’t give him any money. A hypnotherapist had charged me £80 for a one-hour session earlier that afternoon. A pound to him would have meant a total of £81 pounds on something that will benefit a stranger else more than myself.

Walking into Piccaddilly Circus underground station, there was a homeless man sitting by the entrance, with no shoes. His feet seemed to have acquired a leather-like quality, his soles, soot black. My sister, who was with me, asked: “Why doesn’t that man have shoes.” Recently, I lost a pair of shoes at my parents’ home. They were dark brown, leather, smart. I suspect my mother stuck them in the wash. She’s prone to do that, mum: if it belongs to me it needs a wash. Doesn’t matter if it’s a T-shirt, i-Pod or shoes, bung it in.

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