Monument

Back to work on a momentumless Monday morning. Fully rested from the weekend but always craving more. Right now I remain resentful of the bus-ride that jostles and jolts and keeps me awake. I could have caught another 10 minutes kip if it weren’t for these fucking roads. Someone should do something about that.

The bus screeches as it slows and I lift my head to meet one of Marble Arches statues, one of its many monuments. Among historical figures and battle horses stand more artistic endeavours, a little more surreal and expressive. A circus act: a man with a wide stance to accommodate the weight above him, his outstretched arm meeting the equally rigid trunk of an elephant balanced above.

This had stood out initially but you grow indifferent to even the most beautiful sunset should you sleep on the horizon – and the commute is inextricably cuffed to work. With such norms accepted it didn’t surprise me when I lifted my head that morning to see a large black figure standing taller than the double-decker’s top deck from which I viewed it: a winged feline, a deranged beast. A wild eyed, open jawed demonic cat, cutting a hole in the sky with its towering stature and razor tipped wings.

At a glance the beast was nothing more than another battle animal – something like the impressionist feral lions that decorate our most culturally significant grounds – but what caught me after a couple of seconds was it’s crazed expression. It looked as though the flesh had burnt away from its face, left frozen in a black maniacal scream.

I was left staring at this creature until the bus creeped forward once again, revealing the base of the monument – there standing a vicar with a train of suited folk behind him. Just on the outskirts a couple dozen Romanians lay unconscious in the morning sun, fallen at the feet of this behemoth as some kind of sacrifice. I am no longer tired. I am paying full attention to a world I no longer understand.

The bus pulls forward once more and reveals a little more to this already burgeoning picture – a camera crew. Okay. This grounds everything in a reality I can comprehend. Although in the coming days the monument remains and so too do the crowds collapsed below. A shrine for a Satanist religion perhaps. Only fair that all are represented I guess. I wonder where I apply to join.

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