Walking across the bridge briskly, I check
My phone for work emails and note the time:
I am thirty minutes later than the
Chosen time we’d agreed we’d meet. Much worse,
It’s ten minutes later than the time that
I had mistakenly planned to arrive.
I hope the first impression is my face.
After a quick exchange of scrutiny
We walk aimlessly north across the river.
Towards a part of town still fresh in mind.
Even the most familiar terrains
Seem vast and virgin with a stranger there.
I apologise that my chosen path
Has twists and is generally oblique.
He wryly reassures me that it’s not
About the destination, only journey.
Somehow, we reach an unsaid agreement
To avoid Soho, Strand and Leicester Square.
I wonder why the world feels so tiny
With such ample ground to see and explore.
We ponder two choices to suss and perch,
The musty Angel, or perhaps The Opal.
The latter has a name of grim warning,
And distributes free promo pints of beer.
We settle on the pub with non-brand gin
And slip away from the familiar.
A game of Blind Chivy reaches an end.
The two tube-stop jaunt transcends from the known
To lands unchartered.