24 – Misfit(s)

Mid-afternoon of an otherwise sleepy day in the office, if it wasn’t for the fact that our desk looks a ZOO.  Actually this is probably not the best comparison, our desk resembles a ZOO on most days, but today is extreme. People jump around and shout (in delight I think), and clap, and produce all sorts of sounds. Say, can you picture a cage full of shrieking chimpanzees in heat? Good, hold that thought, the description is rather accurate. And all this disarray thanks to Cheltenham Festival being aired live on TV. Now, my friends, the only occasion on which the English are capable of showing any kind of emotion is…

East London

…when they see a horse. So imagine their reaction to watching a group of running horses, doped to their eyeballs, mounted by tiny mini-men frenetically hitting the poor beasts with whips. All of a sudden, the English can hardly contain themselves!

I remember seeing The Revenant in the cinema early in 2016. The audience impassably watched 2.5 hours of assorted atrocities that happened to poor Leo throughout the film without batting an eye, but screamed in unison during the horse scene. Priceless. Just to make one thing clear: I don’t have a problem with horses. I think they are beautiful animals. Tasty and nutritious, too. (Sorry, bad joke, I couldn’t help myself).

East London

What I have a problem with is the general emotional shallowness, which the people who inhabit this little island euphemistically and auto-complacently call “being reserved”.  To me, it looks more like being repressed, emotionally and sexually, which comes hand in hand. They experienced a short period of mental liberation in the sixties (heavily aided by various substances), but that’s long gone and they since retreated right back to the Victorian uptightness, where they feel safe. None of them, men or women, make any kind of sense. They are polite enough, but uninterested in developing relationships beyond chatting about weather. And I suspect that each and every one of the London ladies genuinely believes to be the only being in the whole world to possess a vagina, while many of the London gentlemen ignore what a vagina even is (because chances are that each time they’ve had anything to do with one, they were so drunk they have no recollection of such interaction whatsoever).

East London

I am going to stop right here. There is no point in repeating the same things over and over again. No point in going on another rant. There is no point in explaining my stances on these matters either. I moved over here out of my free will (although I had very little idea of what it would be like, humanly), and no one is forcing me to stay. What I at first found peculiar about the locals I now consider distressful, but it would seem that everyone else is quite willing to withstand this living hell, face hours of commuting, build feeble bonds and make-believe friendships with people they would not piss on if they were on fire (and vice versa), and “swipe right” (or is it left?) when they want to get laid.

Clearly, the misfit around here is me. And I am not saying so with bitterness or reproach, but with a sense of liberation. I don’t understand why it took me so long to finally understand that no matter how hard I try to fit in, I never will. I should be in love with this place, really. There is no other city in the world able to stimulate and satisfy all my intellectual needs. Except for one. (No, not that one. Well, that one too, even though it’s still under discussion whether it can be considered an intellectual need. As far as I’m concerned, if it’s good, it very much happens in our heads). But what I actually meant was the need of a meaningful conversation with each other (as opposed to about each other). The juxtaposition of all the amazing things one can find and do and see in London and the quality of human capital is astonishing. I realize how arrogant and haughty I sound right now. That was not my intention, but I don’t have the strength to explain in detail what the intention actually was.

So, enough nagging about how I hate London(ers), and time to take the matter to the next level and leave London behind. I handed my notice last week, and in a few months, this blog will finally cease to be a dressed-down version of (hardly any) Sex and the City and will be reborn in the form it was originally conceived in: travel and photography blog. I will explain more later at some point, in the meanwhile, enjoy some new London shots, as I have to admit that no matter how much I dislike it, I cannot deny that London is incredibly photogenic.

East London (shot on iPhone)

Note: I am sure many of you will be able to work out the reason I named the entry that way. The Misfits (1961) is a film written by Arthur Miller and directed by John Huston, starring Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift and Eli Wallach. It turned out to be both Monroe’s and Gable’s finest and final performance of their careers. Gable died 10 days after the end of the shooting and Monroe never finished another film. If you’ve never seen it, do.

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