On my walk to work, I take a series of back streets through some very posh bits of Knightsbridge. As I passed by this one big expensive flat on the corner, I noticed a black cab sitting in front of it. The driver had his door open and was reading a newspaper. Suddenly, the heavy studded front door of the flat opened. A podgy man in his fifties wearing a dreadful pale blue dressing gown and slippers appeared on the stoop. As he gestured towards the cab, a sour-faced Asian girl in her twenties, wearing what was obviously last night's dress, brushed abruptly past him and practically ran for it.
While strolling through the park with my headphones on, I noticed that a small, serious-faced girl clutching a large stuffed mouse to her chest was watching me. She was using one of her little paws to twitch the mouse's tail, conducting an invisible orchestra. Just as we came abreast, she pointed the tail tip at me and I executed a quick couple of dance steps. She smiled. No one else noticed a thing.
There's a lime on top of one of the bus shelters on the route I take to work. One side is painted metallic green, the other black, and it's stuck full of matches. It's been there since I started taking the bus last November. It can only be seen from the top level of a double-decker.
A few weeks ago, someone decided to take things a step further. Every bus shelter from Holborn to Green Park now sports a metallic gold potato with fluorescent orange spots, stuck full of nails and what look like tiny plastic dessert spoons. I love them. I want them to be there forever.
Lately I've been noticing the beauty of younger women. I've always loved looking at pretty ladies, but since I've turned thirty it seems like they've become even more breathtaking. It's not that I envy them or want to change places with them, since being me has become quite a satisfying endeavor, particularly during this past year. It's more that I'm fairly sure most of them don't know just how gorgeous they are. I want to tell them. I want them not to worry about that mole on their shoulder, or the scar on their eyebrow, or the bit of fat on their thighs that will never go away. In fact, it's the combination of their glowing skin and the laughter in their eyes with those flaws that make them so beautiful. Even though I think I believed that on an intellectual level five or ten years ago, I don't think I ever felt it as viscerally as I do now.
I know it won't make any difference - the litany of I'm-not-pretty-enough will continue - but I want to tell them anyway.