I found myself stood on the pavement, lips pursed and scrunched to the left, eyebrows furrowed like Neanderthal’s once removed cousin in deep contemplation as the flocks of hairy students flowed past me engrossed in important conversation. Oblivious to the legging clad intellects chattering around me, I was too engrossed in my own ponderances. They left me to own devices and quite frankly I’m not surprised. Quite sensibly they left the bearded man staring up at the underside of the Mancunian way (for those of you unacquainted with this startling piece of engineering, it is a road that lifts traffic up and over the University end of Manchester and even happens to contain a spur/exit that stops in mid-air), muttering to himself.
I looked up, furrowed my brow some more and scratched my chinny chin chin as one single thought fluttered around my head like a Vodka riddled Moth. “Is that road attractive?” I mused to myself. “I think it is, but surely that can’t be right, can it?” I stared, stared and then stared some more. By now it had started to grow cold and even the Carlsberg Special soused tramps had started to look at me with a growing sense of unease, but I had to know the answer to my question.
Something about the concrete snake slithering above my head, slicing unceremoniously through the heart of studentville spoke to me. Was it the concrete? Good God no. Was it the pillars coated in half-hearted graffiti, vomit and mammalian urine? Not really, but they did give it a sense of character, a safe revoltingness. Was it the sense that tons and tons of roaring metal were flying only a matter of meters above my head? Nope, that just made me sneeze.
And then, as I squinted harder until my eyes nearly rebelled and leapt from their sockets, it hit me. The curves had an almost sensual quality about them, something almost feminine. The curves slipped away from me, creating a distance, a soothing flow of graceful and almost elegant lines. Now, perhaps I’d been stood there too long. Perhaps it was a combination of the fumes from the cars, the urine and the student’s perfumed roll-ups, but I could not escape this thought. A monolithic lump of concrete that carved up the city, could be attractive. Am I wrong? Possibly, but I’m not so sure. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Exhibit A:
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