Monday, May 18, 2009

Oxford Street Slalom

Today was unusual. Not only did I leave my flat (yes, there are days I don't go into the outside world), but I actually -- voluntarily -- went to Oxford Street, the Queen of the Consumerism. I had an errand to run just off of the dreaded stretch. Heavy-hearted, I took the Tube and alighted at the centre of commercialism itself: Oxford Circus. Quick as a flash, I darted across the busy road and onto Great Portland Street, leaving the retching buses behind me.

Errand finished, I was determined to make my way back to the flat as fast as I could. I picked up the pace, negotiating the traffic, eyes focused on the roundrel lighting my way home. Oh -- what's that? Miss Selfridges? I'll just duck inside. Ooh, TopShop! The bright colours were a siren song temporarily blinding me. Zombie like, I trailed through the racks of clothing, my hands drawn out to touch the soft shiny fabric.

No. I must be strong. Back up the escalator and out onto the street, I dodge the demons of commercialism: shoppers clutching their treasures, possessed by their possessions. They fix me with their eyes, hitting me with their bags as they pass by in an effort to make me succumb.

I duck, I dodge. I try to cross to the Tube entrance, to take cover within the musty-smelling cavity, but my way is blocked by the side of a bus proudly displaying a Mango advert. I avert my eyes, push through the stand-still cars, and breathe in relief as I run down the gritty stairs to the Tube.

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