[a short section from Zilla Part 2 – a duologue for performer and Google Street view, written by me and performed by the brilliant Ira Brand. Enjoy.]

It is Tuesday 24 May
And I wake up for the second time today
It is night
It is dark
I am still on a train
The train has fallen over
And it is on fire
I am covered in dust
Or perhaps ash
Or glass
Or perhaps I’m remarkably unscathed
Any make-up I was wearing remains perfectly intact
Especially around the eyes
A single bead of dried blood has threaded its way down the side of my face
Like house paint spilling from an old tin
My glasses are smashed
If I was wearing any glasses
Otherwise my hair is a mess
Or my dress is torn
I am in the train
Or under the train
Or alongside it
I have been thrown from the train
The train hangs limply off the bridge like a horribly broken ankle
It is concertinaed in the middle like a crushed Pringles tin
It has plowed through a station or a house
Or even a school
The train is in pieces
And the carriages torn open to the radiantly starry sky

I stand up
Slowly
Full of cracks and aches
I place my broken glasses
On my blood tickled face
I brush down unruly hair
I stand impassively
Swaying
Leaning against a tree or
Perhaps the corner of a building
And I look
And the camera
Looks at me looking
And then swings round behind me
And I am looking
A tiny figure
Leaning on a tree
Or the corner of a wall
I stand in the foreground
Silhouetted against all that I am looking at

Mainly I am looking at rubble
Streets of converted Victorian houses collapsed in on themselves
Or crushed
You can see the remains of interior walls
Wallpaper
Antique picture frames and IKEA furniture
Tower blocks sag to one side
Lit only by the fires burning in the occasional window
Reflected in the flood water
Obscured by the falling ash
And the rain
There are cars in trees
There are trees on top of cars
Or boats in trees
Or boats on top of cars
There are lost dogs
And dead dogs
Rats
Probably
Though they are rarely mentioned
There are traces of a fight
Or of a struggle
There are grizzly remains
Or the suggestion of grizzly remains
You can’t see anyone
Only ruins
There are single shoes discarded in the road
In the foreground
On the floor by my feet
A child’s shoe
Or a summer sandal
Or half a flip flop
Chewed
I look up again
It is grand
Epic, you could say
Everything is bruised
Everything is on fire
Everything is underwater
Everything is perfectly appallingly untouched
Even the street lights are working
It’s just that everyone is gone
And it’s all very quiet
Too quiet almost

You can hear the threatening stillness
Everything smells of nights in the city
And there is a definite sense
That more than one poorly-made decision has led us all here
But yet here I am still
Remarkably
Looking at it all
Or trying to imagine it all
The city before me is just one example of what might still be here and what might not
A blanket of ruins and things that will eventually become ruins
And bodies and people that will eventually become bodies
An account of all the disasters we’ve survived thus far

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