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Instructions for a new city

 by Bryony Littlefair

Walk with a sway to you, like you own expensive luggage.

Avoid sales assistants, groups of children, street performers, high bar stools.

Life will taste strange, not bad necessarily, but like a chocolate bar that’s a few months out of date.

Become convinced the coffee guy is in love with you, or thinks you’re ugly. Neither is true.

Your loneliness will not take the form you expect, will not be small and high-pitched, will not be the sad mewl of a deer. It will be awkward and clunky, like an oboe case, a curtain rail. Forget it in the luggage rack.

Indulge your new, off-kilter desires, which spring from the places where people used to sit. Go out with lots of makeup, or none at all. Try things.Hats.

Spend as long as you like in the station toilets, which are so white and bright it’s like the scene near the end of a movie where the protagonist visits heaven, just briefly, and learns something important.

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