And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder: One of the four beasts saying: "Come and see." And I saw. And behold, a white horse.
I live in Shepherd's Bush, but I work in Chiswick. I wouldn't *live* in Chiswick, because I have that whole reverse-snobbery thing going on: I like living near broken cashpoints, crackhead-infested Co-ops and the sort of pub that, if you ever ventured inside, you would almost certainly never come out again. Interspersed with charming little pavement cafés full of middle class, Guardian-reading, left-liberal types who like living near broken cashpoints, crackhead-infested Co-ops and the sort of pub that, if you ever ventured inside, you would almost certainly never come out again.
There's a man going round, taking names. And he decides who to free, and who to blame.
I also quite like walking. In fact I'm not happy unless I walk at least three miles a day during the week, and five each on Saturdays and Sundays. Lately I've started to think of it as good training for the apocalypse, which I understand is due in 2012* - about the same time as the "London" Games and the second series of Green Wing.
Everybody won't be treated all the same. There'll be a golden ladder reaching down. When the man comes around.
So it's lucky that my cosy, centrally-heated office is almost exactly a mile and half from my cosy, centrally-heated flat. It's a great walk, and I go to work quite early, so it's also largely unimpeded by the things that irritate my fellow urban bloggers: dog-walkers, bus-stop-gatherers, mobile-phone-talkers, diminutive umbrella-wielders, expansive smokers, pimped-up double-decker buggies transporting squalling infants, and so on.
The hairs on your arm will stand up. At the terror in each sip and in each sup. For you partake of that last offered cup, Or disappear into the potter's ground. When the man comes around.
And I get to listen to my iPod as I pick my way around the patches of desiccated vomit, wind-blown sections of the Observer, used condoms and toasted focaccia crusts that litter the pavements of W12. The music means I don't really notice the walk; the other day I fell over in the road while listening to "Safe" by Canyon Country, and I scarcely noticed that I'd cut my knee, nearly been run over *and* dropped my copy of the Financial Times. That's such a great song.
Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers. One hundred million angels singing. Multitudes are marching to the big kettle drum. Voices calling, voices crying. Some are born and some are dying. It's Alpha's and Omega's Kingdom come.
But fuck me, it's cold at the moment, isn't it? And I left my gloves with some gay men on the Isle of Wight, which means the hot-cold-hot thing has wreaked merry havoc with my hands. They've gone all grey and scaly and cracked and bleeding. Which makes me think I should perhaps hold them out in front of me, arms outstretched, and teeter slowly around the place moaning and trying to bite people.
And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree. The virgins are all trimming their wicks. The whirlwind is in the thorn tree. It's hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
Err, that's it really.
In measured hundredweight and penny pounds. When the man comes around.
I really wish I'd done the hat one now.
And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts, And I looked and behold: a pale horse. And his name, that sat on him, was Death. And Hell followed with him.
* Warning: contains mild lunacy.