A hundred (or more) tables but I’m not hungry.
How hungry can one town be? How much lunch can one town eat?
But here they are and here they eat. Here where the echo of a phone shop rings. Here, where the escalators drew you up into the Aladdin’s Cave of Sports Direct. Now: above us only sky; domes and light — but in the light the spectre.
This space is still anchored in its past. I can see it as through Google Glass: ghosts of shops — shops we never loved, not really. Enough remains (the ramp, Tesco, the Bullring link) to place me in space/time. For now though there is lunch.
I am not hungry. Why am I not hungry? Because the shops are not the ghosts. I am the ghost. I am the past. This map is only mine. At Foot Locker, turn left. Vision Express where I first became blind (or rather, had my failing eye sight certified). And on. Nickelby’s. As a Birmingham ingénue, an England ingénue in fact, I bought some terrible clothes there. Just beyond, they had Internet once. An internet café where (I think) my wife sent a reply to the email that sparked our marriage, sparked my life.
I am a ghost. Ghosts do not eat.
But Grand Central lives. Grand Central eats.
Birmingham: let’s do lunch.