LDN-TXL-CPH

by Josie Thaddeus-Johns

In the restless of summer of 2012, I was in a fight with London. My family, my roots, my everything was there, but a new day had dawned in my brain rendering it all nonsensical and claustrophobic. I felt like I was haunting the city I’d grown up in. Meanwhile, people kept intoning: “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.”

The Garden of Celestial Delights

The Galactic Expressway Resort had been in development for just short of a decade when they celebrated their soft launch "Leave to Remain" on that fateful Friday of June 24th, 2016. The intention had been to establish a viable competitor for Dick Pickle’s Coitus Galactic, a flight service offering unencumbered views of our Earth to its ordinary citizens.

The Jungle is Hot, Don't Burn Yourself

Piano notes floated like velvet cloth across the clearing, harmonies trailing in the wind, before receding into the darkness of the jungle. Only once had I caught a glimpse of her, flowing hair masking her face, as she merged into the valley.

The Island Idyll

You look out over the island from the top of a cypress-scattered hill, surrounded on every side by crystal blue: an expensive diamond moat, cut especially for you. Your dusty feet dangle off the deckchair in the shade of your bell tent, its khaki canvas swaying in the breeze, a twisted rope of healing crystals hanging gracefully in the doorway.

The Boy Who Was Born under a Comet

For a few moments, the shop is empty and the street outside falls silent – uncharacteristically so for this hot and hectic, moiling corner of the city. There is no traffic. No parked cars reverberating with the sound of bass from oversized customised speakers.

Choosing Empathy

Empathy: the intangible architecture that supports our deepest connections; the unseen building blocks that help us to understand the needs, perspectives and motives of others; the ticket for a society racked with hate?

An End to Authenticity

“Are you going to experience Resort Cuba or the Real Cuba?” my friend asked me as I prepared to leave Canada for Havana. “Or the Actual Cuba?” she added, neatly encapsulating the traveller vs tourist debate.

Illusive and Delusional

Fallible flew above the wing. Midday direct: JFK to LAX. Leave at noon, fly for six, land round three. To Fallible’s left, two men streamed reality TV as she watched her only fathom-able in-flight entertainment, the sky. Once she too was so spoiled she’d forget. I’m flying, Jack! The wing outside was pigeon grey.

Mughal Selfies

On the east side of Humayun’s tomb, a young European woman in leggings and a black sports t-shirt positions herself so that she is perfectly framed by the 16th century arch behind her. She fixes her hair, lies down on the ground and pushes up into a yoga pose.

Get Your Gun, Girl

Anne Carson once wrote that in order to survive, you needed an edge; in this age, I suspect that a blade might be better. Reading the year’s new clatch of stories about the “real” Gone Girl ... I found myself wishing that men who turned out to be killers and mass manipulators were rare enough that a story about the “real” Gone Guy would catch on.