For the second time that day, Oscar found himself drawn to that mushy, ugly spot on the banks of the Thames where he had first made love.
It was a particularly yellow day. For no particular reason. Yellow light fell soft and translucent from the sky, touching the capital mesh of screaming nonsense around him and dancing a graceful ballet with the old polluted river.
The hot sun beating down on him as it was, Oscar's face crumpled in a strained irritation. As much as he adored the yellowness of London, that day he felt an intense dislike for natural forces which made him do something ugly. Such as squinting in the harsh glare of the almighty sun. One thing Oscar had always hated was ugliness, especially in himself.
To avoid the sun's glare Oscar wore a wide-brimmed black hat, the kind he imagined Victorian gentlemen would have worn. In fact, on this particular day the sun did not bother his vision at all. Later it tormented him by boiling him alive through his thick black overcoat. How fine he had looked in the tailor's mirror, the hat and coat matching perfectly. Oscar had never anticipated the coat would make him so very warm and, burning up though he was, he daren't remove it due to his rather portly embarrassing frame and his ridiculously bright orange braces.
"What a cruel world this is!" Oscar muttered to himself. He thought about his cavemen ancestors and to what lengths they had gone to master the elements. But nature would always dominate mankind, he concluded, it was simply the way of things.
Oscar realised he was brooding again, and set off along the banks of the Thames, after kicking some dirt over the spot where he had first made love. The yellow was beginning to leave London on its way to some foreign clime and a wily demonic red gradually replaced it. Oscar once revelled in sunsets, when he was a slim young poet, very much in love with life. Now he hated the twilight time. It represented death and age for Oscar, both natural inevitabilities over which Oscar had no control. Oscar liked to be in control.
He hurried towards home. He looked forward to conversing with Master Emerald.
By the statue of Queen Victoria, Oscar was approached by a small young woman wearing a dusty army jacket and blue plaits in her hair.
Oscar paused dumbfounded. He could hear the girl talking, but only in a special little room in his head, the rest of him was concentrating on a terrifying wail which came from the river.
The girl was still raving. Oscar suddenly went into action; pushing the girl out of his way, loudly proclaiming 'Excuse me, my dear, it appears I am needed!'
He stormed towards the river, his wild hair throwing itself back and forth beneath the wide brimmed hat. On the banks, curiously at the same spot he had stood minutes earlier, he was accosted by a group of screaming children.
The tallest, a dark-haired skinny youth, tugged on his blazer shouting ' Please, mister, little Tommy's fallen in the old Father Thames. Help him mister, please!'
Without thinking of the consequences, Oscar went into action.
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