textVISUAL

a magazine of texts and visuals

Linda Chapman & Rupert Mallin

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 Drawing and etching into plaster of Norwich Railway Station by Linda Chapman; text by Rupert Mallin
 
 

 BRIEF LIVES

 Clean lines, high wide space. Sparrows in the eaves and arches, pigeons among us across the expansive floor. We meet unexpectedly here: you back from London, I outward bound for Cambridge. In less than five minutes we pack our lives into the encounter.

A young man without a shirt, with piercings and tattoos is downing a cold noon beer and tugging two Staffs to heel, uneasily perched on a bar side bench, while a group of Dutch cyclists disembark from the London/Harwich train, laden, bright and keen to tour Norfolk.

A modest brass plaque names those railway workers who were killed when Norwich Station was bombed in World War II, sparrows in the eaves and arches, pigeons among us across the expansive floor.

 I climb into the Cambridge train, exhausted by your life. The black nosed Staff is kicking off, has interrupted the young man’s beer. The Danish contingent have booted up for their cycle and are assembled outside the main door. You stand alone in the station foyer, flicking through a diary, a sparrow in the eaves and a pigeon out of sight by your feet.

 

ARRIVAL

Between reality and romance, the clock, looking down, looking out across the hall, tells time but is timeless in the mind. Though brief for each of us a lasting encounter, the train pulling into the station, the transit of crossing lives like insulated wires, electric, similar but not the same – the same ticking seconds, the same face in our lives.

How many I love you’s through these doors? How many bags of leaving? How much news digested here?

Step down from the train: the multifarious platoon marches into the hall beneath the clock. Trains, buses, coaches, taxis, lifts, bicycles, friends, lovers, work, schools, colleges, hotels, hostels, mother, father, child, relations, clients, escorts all waiting for you in these seconds to the minute, in these minutes to the past.

Between reality and romance, the clock, looking down, looking out across the hall, tells time but is timeless in the mind. Though brief for each of us a lasting encounter, the train pulling into the station, the transit of crossing lives like insulated wires, electric, similar but not the same – the same ticking seconds, the same face in our lives.

 

_________

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1 Comment »

  1. […] Linda Chapman […]

    Pingback by textVISUAL 1 « textVISUAL | June 10, 2009 | Reply


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