Up West

April 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

They say that the minute you make eye contact, it’s all over.

There are hundreds of them, swarming across the street in both directions, pouring out of the tube station entrances and surging towards the bright lights. The traffic’s stacked right back too – a queue as far as he can see in his mirrors.

The privacy panel is up so he can’t hear the muttering that will no doubt be starting from his client. They’re all the same – you find that out as the years go by. All these celebrities and big cheeses. They all want the limo, they’re all prepared to pay for discretion – the privacy panel, the heavily tinted windows, the Mercedes (less obvious than a Lincoln, see) – but then they’ll ask him to go down this street and that street, so that people can wonder who they might be. Haughty and preening in their half-visible state. He’s seen it all, really. The drugs and the mess and those women who think they might try it on with the driver for a bit of fun. He’s your consummate professional, though. Never wavers, never says a word.

Eyes ahead, waiting for the traffic to start moving. Mindful of the bodies swerving round and cossetting the polished black car as if it were a pebble rolled over and over in a pocket, or a secret unable to leave itself alone.

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