For three days I don’t get out of the house. In an impulse, after a phone call I go
outside to take out the rubbish. I go to the communal garden at the back of where
I live and everything is topsy-turvy because of the wind and the sunflowers are
all dried up.
In an attempt to get familiar with this strange place I walk at night. I don’t have a
clear aim; maybe I am just looking for a place to hide my secrets. These icy and
wet corners are my witnesses. I have an imaginary dog that drifts along with me
through this unnamed neighbourhood.
I came to Govan Graving Docks. To find home is not the easiest thing, especially
being so far away. But there is something about this place that keeps me
Circulation generates empty spaces.
It’s after midnight. I arrive at a footbridge, and stand there contemplating the
motorway. While taking my notebook from the inner pocket of my coat, someone
passes by me and stops and turns back in my direction to ask if I am all right. I
say that I am fine, I was just writing something. She tells me she got worried
when she saw me leaning too close to the edge of the bridge.
I walk from one corner to another, stopping form time to time. I wonder if there
is someone looking at me from the window in the same way I do sometimes.
A person crosses the street holding a cigarette between their lips. In the middle
of the crossroad they stop: with one hand they undo their jacket and sliding the
other hand into their pocket, they look behind once, twice and keep walking at a
I don’t see anyone at the windows. I keep looking at both corners. Someone goes
inside one of the buildings.
I am sitting on a small wall in front a tenement block. A man passes by me saying
something, as if he is on his mobile phone – I don’t pay attention to what he says
but I am aware of his presence. When he almost reaches the corner I raise my
eyes and realise he was talking to himself. Another man carrying a handbag
passes me on the other side – I feel a cold tingle in my spine. As usual the seagulls
start making a lot of noise. There are so many of them. I feel I could stay here
forever under this yellow light that brightens the streets in a monochrome tone.
There is an empty plaque attached to the lamppost as if I was literally nowhere. I
am using headphones but I am just listening to silence. It’s a strategy to look like
I am apparently busy, but I am not distracted. Quite the opposite, I am entirely
present and vulnerable in this place.
We need to drift to create encounters. I avoid the diversion and go back. The
wind makes me cry inside.
Dawn is breaking. The first thing I do when I arrive back home, even before
taking my coat off, is to start filling the bath whilst I make a slice of toast. I’m not
sure what the next step is –
The light starts to get inside in a blue haze through the windows. It barely
illuminates the room. The streetlamps outside are still lit. Today it is rainy and
windy. I rearrange the position of the table and sofas so that now I can sit in the
Excerpts from Railway a series of writing by Gustavo Salvadori Ferro,
2018 / 2019.