On my way from the boroughs to the inner, I thought to formulate the through line of this travelogue and found particular inspiration not in the dull, uniform bricks common to the buildings, so many taupe outposts. Instead, I caught myself examining with an eager eye undeveloped plots, forbidding thickets and fallen fruit underfoot. In them, I saw the confirmation of my earlier experiences with this city, which I had always experienced from the fringes rather than its center.
Perhaps it owed to the center being unlivable and arid; this would account for my always being flung from the center to its edge. No one could occupy that center. Only at that edge did anything bear fruit and, even then, only in the forgotten parcels of land adjoining the railways or behind the hedge of an empty court. At this late date, the fruit remained ungathered. Plums lay where they had fallen and sundered with passing feet. The more or less continuous shuffle had reduced skin and flesh to stains and viscous pools.
In the brownish purples and golds spread over the pavement, I could almost detect a certain hostility, or at least in the footfalls which had rendered them so. From these points at the edge, this hostility might ooze back into the center, emanate from everywhere and everything, and so drive the people living there back to the very fringes from which the hostility had emerged. I imagined that everyone in London was caught up in a such a cycle, between center and fringe, even the royals.