In a dire house off Mill Lane, an Australian girl in the lotus position in a dark recess telephone niche as if floating. Her face lit and her ruby red lips obvious. Thin and spiteful but no one listening. Her boyfriend far too good looking for her not to be worried. Downstairs the South African preacher and his wife has a congregation in their single room. A gay couple, newly skint, are off to Kilburn State bingo. There is an indian woman at the back, who only appears some days. There is loft flat, and one other flat overlooking a derelict garden and the Midland railway line. The landlady a tiny one eyed Maltese. Bedbug nests migrated streetwards after building work. In winter the balcony sucked heat out of the room larger on its side, as it were.
The houses slip on the hills of Green, dry cracks opening up on the railway path. Nails sticking out to catch the commuter. In the waiting room of Hampstead hospital din reverberated through the subterranean corridors. Someone is talking. A Serbian man from the flats is tapping. A telephone rings. Silences are broken by lone coughs. From the great white light beyond the swing door, a male nurse appears with clipboard. “Angela Spirelli” “Angela Spirelli?” “Risolda Greenberg” “Risolda Greenberg?” A black cabman with a walk on part asks for Anthony Wilson. Some minutes later the nurse reappears. “Darren Caseman” “Darren Caseman?” “Sophie Kirschner” “Sophie Kirschner?” Not one of these names are here. The living, somewounded are. Afterwards I am standing on the platform of Silverlink Hampstead Heath station looking in to the long straight tunnel to Finchley Road wondering why Willesden Juction was so impassable. Wasn’t it, after all just like a toy train set but bigger?