Not everyone in London is a lascivious lust-busting maniac, rapaciously treading the tiles, in order to plump as many pigeons as possible. Others are keen to mingle, but determined to avoid or unable to forge emotional connections and dependencies. They want peoples’ company, they want work so they can survive physically, but they don’t want to be emotionally obliged or open. This includes runaways and refugees, who find sanctuary in London, but the sanctuary a quandary. On the one hand, new to the city, they are desirous to forge new relationships, to develop a sense of belonging. However, experience and perception has taught them direct emotional relationships do not work for them. Tortured, hated, despised, family members murdered and dismembered, most do their damndest to contain a pressure cooker of unpatalable emotions: anger, fear, self-repulsion and hopelessness. Such people find that no sooner do they start to open up than all their pent up feelings leak out, polluting their relationship, driving people away. Others come to London with a broken heart, and a determination to never let love be the guiding light. They come to anaesthetize themselves against the pain of past loves and relationships, they want a life without emotion. London helps put distance between themselves and all those places, which were once the location for starry eyed romantic liaison, which whisper to them of their love that turned sour, which now feel painful to the touch. Their a multiplicity of ways in which people can relate to one another without being emotionally open or available. London is a great place to turn off one’s feelings. It is full of transient passions sufficiently transfixing, for the neglected and abused to suppress their feelings of rejection and hopelessness. It anaesthetizes, stimulates the conscious, its noise drowning out the screams of the subconscious. It is a place where people can forget about emotions, and memories, and the trials and tribulations of relationships.
Consequently, it is full of people with trauma, who arrive in the Big Smoke, hoping the fumes will put them to sleep. Some try their hardest.
Distractions, hedonism and artefacts
London is the city of the artifact, the distraction which dazzles the senses, and the city of sensual delights to fulfill the hedonist. London offers a huge range of distractions, a blinding and bewildering array of sights, sounds and smells, as well as a bouquet of cultural and intellectual offerings, refreshed daily, which help to occupy the mind and senses.
Of course immersion in a distraction of one kind or another can be a relief, a marvelous moment of escapism. Everyone needs a little distraction from time to time, to clean the mental and emotional palatte, to freshen up for the challenges of tomorrow. Study of an object or artifact can lead to a wiser self.
However, for many the glorification of the artifact and distraction is the result of and the solution to the inability to forge emotional connections and be emotionally expressive and open.
At its most extreme Londoners spend their whole life dedicated to such objects, using their dedication to the object as a form of holding back the pain of the past and the paranoia of the present that comes with isolation. In London people can devote themselves to arts, cultures, landscape, architecture, money, careers, concepts, hedonism, food, sex, yoga, aesthetics, fashion – they engage all their physical senses but don’t engage in matters of the heart. You can fuck to your hearts content in London, without engaging your heart. London is like a fuck, its like casual sex. It is a city which celebrates trends and fashions, it is fixated by the next big thing, whether it is music, street art or restaurants. Some, schizoid, are dedicated to intellectualism. See for example the serious academic, the writer, the designer, the artist, the workaholic, who does nothing else.
The distractions of London, the predisposition to displace emotion with aesthethics and cerebrality, is glorified in the notion of fun. Londoners don’t want anything serious, they just want a bit of fun. On the rebound, having disowned their family, they falling half-heartedly into the arms of a faux super hero, into the arms of London.
Fun lovers seem to have the most fun in London all the way up to about 36, and then they start to look a bit desparate.