South London morning

October 7, 2008 at 1:51 pm (1)

This morning I went to my local cafe, which is attached to a church. A hearse was outside. The funeral men were ordering tea. I wanted to shout — “There’s no coffin in there.” And then, to their bemused looks say: “The door’s open — you’ve got to watch it in this area.”

I decided not to, as if to joke with them was to mess with death itself. Yesterday I went to see the Rothko exhibition at the Tate Modern in London. I had no idea who Rothko was until the other week. But once there I did enjoy the show — he’s big on death but his colours were more nuanced than the dull greys of these funeral men. Once, as a young cyclist, I cut in front a hearse and the driver caught my eye and instead of issuing curses, pointed to me and then gestured towards the back his car as if to say, “That’s where you’ll end up.”

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