Walking



























It was muggy today, and the sky greyer than it has been. Near the Imperial Palace a couple of mothers walked towards me, pushing prams. As they passed, I realised that one’s pram was a dog pram, and a spaniel was reclining inside it, riding parallel to the human baby. 

Here in Tokyo, street maps are drawn to point in the direction you are facing, rather than north as a standard, and streets are not sign posted or named. I used the sun to walk south but the light was so diffuse I might have been walking north. Leaden crows swirled overhead, their cries echoing on the concrete and steel, and carrying across the city. 

Taxi drivers lay parked along a cemetery road between Roppongi and Aoyama Itchōme. Their cars looked like Mercedes, and were all dark green or yellow, with lace doilies draped on the headrests. The drivers had wound back their seats to horizontal, and curled like foetuses under broadsheet newspapers or dampened flannels, fast asleep.