picosgemeos: (Montanhas)
Going home.#camdenroad #overground #london #trainstation

5.30pm, Wednesday 28 December, and I’m standing on the platform at Camden Road Station, waiting for an Overground train to take me to London's East End. It’s cold, the sun has set about an hour before and there’s hardly anyone about – not surprising during a week where most people choose to stay at home.

I usually wait for the train right at the end of the platform, where the last carriage stops. I notice a man walk slowly past me and nonchalantly move into the “no entry” area which leads to machinery and the bushes that run alongside the tracks. He’s dressed head to toe in black and carries a backpack with neon green stripes.

At first I think he works for Transport for London (TfL). Then I wonder if he’s just someone needing to piss. But he takes his time back there and when I check again I see that he’s moving deeper into the bushes, as if planning to walk home beside the train tracks.

I go down the platform in search of a TfL member of staff because now I’m thinking “what if there’s something in that backpack meant to hit the train?” There are no staff members around. I go back to the edge of the platform and look over the fence.  I can see him now and he’s standing right at the edge, waiting for the train to come.

I shout “Hey!” He turns around and slowly walks back to the platform.

“Do you work here?” I ask.

“No.”

“What were you doing back there?”

“I was looking out for the train.”

“It’s a strange place to wait for the train,” I say. All his answers are delivered flat, without any emotion. I can see now that he’s a white English guy in his 40s. “Were you going to jump?”

“No.”

“There is help out there if you need it.”

“I know,” he says, still emotionless. He returns to the edge of the platform, just by the barrier, and looks out for the train.

“Are you going to jump?” I ask again.

“No,” he says and moves away from the edge.

I repeat that there is help out there for him and again he says that he knows. A few other people stand near us but they are oblivious to our conversation - too absorbed by their phones.

We notice the train pulling into the station. I look at him and he looks at me. My heart’s in my throat because I know I’ll have to grab him if he makes a dash for the edge. The train stops, the carriage doors open, and people step out. He lingers behind everyone who’s boarding, as if waiting for me to go in first. I don’t move, waiting for him to get in. Once he does so, I step in after him and sit down one carriage away.

I chat with friends on WhatsApp and post a question on Facebook about what I should do next. The consensus is that I should find a TfL member of staff.

The train reaches its destination, Stratford. Everyone gets out and I see him lingering by the stairs, as if planning to turn around and get back inside the train. When he sees me watching him, he joins the crowd leaving the platform. I go after him but lose him in the human flow.

I find a young woman who works for the TfL and tell her what happened. She asks me to follow her and says she needs to report it. We go into a small office on another platform and I give her as best a description as I can of the guy. She says there are many suicide attempts this time of the year and that she’ll put a call out across the network to look out for him. She thanks me for reporting it and I say goodbye.
picosgemeos: (Montanhas)

I get on the Overground and find a spot by a window. I take out my mobile phone and prep the camera. In a few moments the train will go by the tent hidden in Hackney Wick's bushes and I want to snap a picture.

But the tent is gone. In its place, a devastation of bottles, cans and plastic bags.

I leave the camera on, to see what else I can capture. Boys kicking a ball in a school’s courtyard; grey roofs; and dull cars meandering through Hackney. Blade Runner’s theme song plays on iTunes. Programmed seagulls swoop outside.

Seven

Aug. 4th, 2015 12:32 pm
picosgemeos: (Montanhas)
#london #bhf #victoriapark #running #10k
With fellow runner [livejournal.com profile] neenaw


It's been now 7 months since I left Brasil and returned to London.

I fly to Canada in 7 days on holiday - it's been over 7 years since I've visited my in-laws and friends there.

I turn 40 in less than two months.

I ran 10K on Sunday for the charity British Heart Foundation (though my iPhone's GPS said it was 9.46k.) It took me 59 minutes and 11 seconds.

I did yoga in my living room at 7am this morning. I then left home and walked past that cat on my way to work - the one I saw on the day my grandmother passed away. It arched its back and stiffened its tail when I lowered myself to pet it. There were bits of leaves in its hair.

From the platform of Hackney Wick Overground station I spotted shirtless builders erecting a condo.

On the train, I listened to Dead Can Dance and saw mystery in the eyes of some of the commuters.
picosgemeos: (Montanhas)
#mg #minasgerais #suldeminas #korggo #corgo #corregodobomjesus #pousadadonamarica

Two days ago, I left for work at 8am (as usual) and walked to the nearest train station to catch the Overground to North London. On my way, I was surprised to find a white and black cat laid out in the middle of the sidewalk. I stopped for a few seconds to pet it. It didn't budge when I stood up and walked away.

In the train, I read a chapter from Rowena Wiseman's novel Repeat After Me. The main character, a teenager called Ivy, had just discovered her grandmother was going to stay with her for a few days - taking care of her while her parents were in America. Granddaughter and grandmother had started off on the wrong foot but, as the chapters progressed, had begun to appreciate each other's company.

Later that same day, on my way home, I found the cat still laid in the middle of the sidewalk. It looked like it was waiting for someone. I stopped again to pet it.

In the evening, while watching an interview with Alan Moore and his wife on YouTube, discussing their collaborative work Lost Girls, I had a quick look at Facebook and found out from an aunt that my grandmother had passed away a few hours before.

My grandmother's wake and funeral took place yesterday, 8th July 2015, in Londrina, Brasil. She was 89 years old.

I called my mother yesterday evening and she told me her mother's death had been very sudden. She had had lunch on Tuesday and gone to the bedroom to take her customary nap. The way she laid down, she stayed; she never woke up.

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Ollie

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