It was a dark, cloudy sunrise. I rode my bike past the water tanks, which had been constructed in London some months ago to fight firebombs, past stacks of sandbags, which had been filled with earth from Knightsbridge Barracks, previously a scampering ground for terriers. In the wind, in the drizzle, through patches of fog, in-between cars, double-decker busses and horse-drawn carts, alongside street shelters and around newsstands, back and forth I went, as part of my military courier service, from the American Embassy to various governmental staff offices.
The engine rattled under me, giving a raw, intense rhythm to the urban cacophony, composed of sounds of drivers, peddlers, shoppers, cops, and soldiers. This beat connected me to the throngs of people and at the same time, separated me. And yet, listening to it forced me to set aside my silence, my sense of loneliness, and take them all in.
Upon entering Piccadilly Circus I stopped. Surrounded by a small crowd, a street performer hailed me to come over, and then started singing:
Swirl in the air of daybreak, and mix in a kiss
Add a splash of blue winter, ’cause you I miss
Stir it together, toast a moment apart
Back into my arms is a long way to chart
Cool it with ice, throw in a lost star
Serve it bitter, to the sound of a lonely guitar
Drink it in one gulp before you set sail
Let me have a taste of a lover’s cocktail
Excerpt from Dancing with Air by Uvi Poznansky
Included in Love in Times of War